NYC Mastery Collaborative Monthly: 12.16.14
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NYC Mastery Collaborative Monthly


Newsletter: Vol. 1 Issue 2   |  12.16.14

CompetencyWorks Highlights NYC and Mastery Schools in 'Magical Mastery Tour' Posts

In late October, we had the pleasure of touring six NYC public middle and high schools with Chris Sturgis of CompetencyWorks, an organization that functions as a national hub for competency education. If you’re interested in competency-based (aka outcomes-based, mastery-based) approaches, CompetencyWorks is a relevant and inspiring resource, well worth checking regularly.

We’re also excited to announce that CompetencyWorks now includes thoughtful and exciting profiles of five schools in our new NYC Mastery Collaborative.

On our “Magical Mastery Tour” with Chris, we visited schools implementing mastery-based learning systems. Chris notes that "innovation is alive and well in the New York City schools” and highlights Bronx International and Carroll Gardens School for Innovation as two of the most developed competency-based models that she has seen.



In her introduction to the Magical Mastery Tour, Chris provides a quick roundup of New York City and New York State policy, the role of our Digital Ready program, the Mastery Collaborative, the New York Performance Standards Consortium, PROSE, and more.

After highlighting challenges such as grappling with a compliance culture and a lack of resources, Chris notes,

Although I never had any doubt, the Magical Mastery Tour has proved to me that competency education is a structure that will not only hold up any pedagogical approach or school design, but will actually help improve it by engendering greater intentionality and innovation. Educators will have much greater flexibility as long as there is transparency and alignment about what students are expected to learn and how they are going to be assessed, and as long as they continue ensuring students get the support they need until they demonstrate they are ready to move on to the next stage of learning.

Competency-based education is thriving and growing in NYC, and we hope to be a local clearinghouse for interesting and promising ideas, resources, and models.

Mastery Level Bulletin Board at Carroll Gardens School for Innovation.

Chris’s next piece in the series is an overview, The Big Three Takeaways of the Magical Mastery Tour, in which she examines how competency education supports ELL and SPED populations, strategies for big districts to use and advance competency education, and competency/mastery approaches as part of schools’ infrastructure.

She rounds out the series with case studies of our schools. Click on the schools’ names to read her thoughtful and detailed profiles:

  • Bronx International High School

  • Carroll Gardens School for Innovation

  • EPIC North High School Part 1 (& Part 2),

  • Bronx Arena Part 1 (& Part 2)

  • Urban Assembly Maker Academy


    November Online Session Materials Available!

    On November 19, Joy Nolan and Jeremy Kraushar of Digital Ready led the MC’s first monthly online session to discuss creating competencies/outcomes from the Common Core Learning Standards.

    We looked at some powerful excerpts from The Art and Science of Designing Competencies Issue, a brief from CompetencyWorks. We also reviewed frameworks used by Boston Day and Evening Academy, and Hudson High School for Learning Technologies. This led to a discussion around methods for chunking learning targets/outcomes into more digestible skills in student friendly language. Here is the presentation from the session.


    Sign Up for December's Online Session


    Today: December 17, 2014, 4:00-5:00 PM

    Theme: Setting Expectations and Giving Feedback in Mastery Classrooms with Jared Sutton and Jason James from Carroll Gardens School for Innovation - ONLINE SESSION



    December Online Session Sign-Up


    December session is quickly upon us. Based on interest from the group, the session be co-facilitated by Jared Sutton and Jason James of Carroll Gardens School for Innovation, as we discuss strategies for using mastery methods to set clear expectations and generate useful feedback cycles for students.

    You can access the online session as a guest via a link we’ll send after you register.


    Sign Up for January's Online Session


    January 21, 2015, 4:00-5:00 PM

    Theme: Conversation with Christy Kingham The Young Women's Leadership School of Astoria - ONLINE SESSION (focus topic to be determined)



    January Online Session Sign-Up


    Our January Mastery Collaborative Online meeting will be co-facilitated by Christy Kingham of The Young Women's Leadership School of Astoria. Christy has been using mastery for more than six years and has a wealth of knowledge about competencies and outcomes. Her website, Christy's Classroom, is an incredible resources that includes a breakdown of the system at TYWLS, as well as rubrics and curricula.

    You can access the online session as a guest by a link sent to you after registration.



    Save these Dates!

    Schedule of upcoming
    online and in person meetings:


    Monthly Online sessions:


    March 11, 2015 - TBD - ONLINE SESSION

    April 15, 2015 - TBD - ONLINE SESSION

    May 20, 2015 - TBD - ONLINE SESSION


    Quarterly in person sessions:

    February 25, 2015 (Tentative) - Platforms and Tools that Support Mastery-Based Tracking featuring tech partners) – IN PERSON SESSION - Location TBD

    June 3, 2015 - Structures for mastery resource share - IN PERSON SESSION



- Magical Mastery Tour Recap

- Recap of Nov. Online Session

- Sign-Up for Future Events

- Schedule for Year

- Overview

- Resources

Previous Event Links

Mastery Collaborative Launch Slide Deck

Pictures from the event

Mastery Inventory Results

November Online Session Slide Deck

Join the Mastery Collaborative

Mastery Collaborative Google Folder

Mastery Collaborative Folder

Examples of Competencies/Outcomes

Progress Report Examples

Other Mastery Resources

Competency Works

An online resource blog dedicated to providing information and knowledge about competency education in the K-12 education system


Video Link

Mastery-Based Learning - Featured FDA VII HS

The Art and Science of Designing Competencies Issue Brief

Chris Sturgis, Competency Works

The Shift from Cohorts to Competency

Digital Learning Now paper, including background, FAQs, and ‘10 capabilities of a competency-aligned system


Magical Mastery Tour
Chris Sturgis, Competency Works


Three Big Takeways from NYC
Chris Sturgis, Competency Works


Bronx International Case Study
Magical Mastery Tour
Chris Sturgis, Competency Works
Carroll Gardens School for Innovation 442 Case Study
Chris Sturgis, Competency Works
EPIC North Case Study (Part 1)
EPIC North Case Study (Part 2)
Chris Sturgis, Competency Works
Bronx Arena Case Study (Part 1)
Bronx Arena Case Study (Part 2)
Chris Sturgis, Competency Works
Copyright © 2016 Mastery Collaborative, NYC DOE, All rights reserved.

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