Curriculum and Assessment

SAU 29’s Philosophy of Learning
The goal of learning is understanding. It is essential that all students have equal access to a clearly articulated curriculum that engages them in inquiry, exploration, discovery, application, and reflection. 
Clear goals that are designed to capitalize on strengths while addressing the needs of individual students leads to effective learning through activities that lead to deep understanding. Learning begins as the acquisition of knowledge and skills. Deep understanding requires the development of safe and vibrant learning communities that allow risk-taking and fosters continual dialogue. 
The measure of learning and the evidence of understanding is the student’s ability to apply what is learned in school to authentic purposes and real life situations.
Development of Curriculum
Across SAU 29, units of study are created using the Understanding by Design (UbD) framework, which was originally developed by Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe. The NH curriculum frameworks serve as our guiding documents, and teachers use the UbD model to create three stages of curriculum design:
Stage I: Desired Results. In this stage, teachers determine the big ideas and enduring understandings that comprise each unit of study
Stage II: Evidence. In this stage, teachers create assessments and tasks that allow students to demonstrate their understanding and mastery of the standards
Stage III: Learning Plan. In this stage, teachers develop learning activities that are designed to further students’ understanding of key concepts.
Competency-Based Education
SAU 29 has adopted a Competency-Based Learning Model for students in grades K-12.  Students in grades K-8 will be introduced to all elements of the model at the start of the 2023-2024 school year.  Students in the high school will begin the journey shortly thereafter.
What this means for your student is that learning is driven by clear expectations through competencies and performance indicators that students are expected to “meet” by the end of each grade level/course (high school).  At regular intervals, parents will receive feedback on their student’s progress toward meeting the competencies.
Additionally, parents will receive feedback on their student’s Habits of Work.  Students will be scored in each class based on the following criteria: Respectful Learner, Engaged Learner, and Responsible Learner.  These important habits/skills are necessary for academic success and are essential lifelong skills.  In the SAU, we have prioritized developing these habits in our students along with the acquisition of important academic content and skills.
Progress on your student’s Habits of Work will be regularly monitored and communicated.  These will be reported separately and not included as part of the student’s academic achievement.