What is Competency Education?

Adapted from www.competencyworks.org

  • Competencies include clear, measurable learning objectives
  • Measurement of learning is meaningful and a positive experience for students
  • Students receive timely, differentiated support based on their individual learning needs
  • Learning outcomes emphasize the application of knowledge, along with the development of important learning and problem-solving skills

In a competency-based education system, students work toward mastery of a concept by setting goals based on “I Can” statements.


Here are a few examples of I Can statements being used at Lincoln Street School:

  • “I can describe characters in stories and explain how their actions affect the story.” (Grade 3, Reading)
  • “I can find whole-number quotients and remainders with up to four-digit dividends and one-digit divisors.” (Grade 4, Math)
  • “I can review key ideas and draw conclusions after a discussion.” (Grade 5, Speaking & Listening)

Who is our graduate?

In a 2015-2016 survey, parents and staff were asked the question, “What characteristics do you want our students to possess when they graduate from Exeter High School?”  The following are the results of that survey:

Academic Skills

21st Century literacy

Critical thinking

Oral and written communication


Self-motivation / self-direction



Thinking Skills



Curiosity and Creativity


Growth mindset


Think critically

Social-Emotional Skills

Kindness and Caring

Compassion and Empathy

Happiness and Joy




Growth mindset



Global and community-minded

Self-direction and Self-regulated

Lincoln Street School

Competency-Based Education


Project-Based Learning

What it means for

our students

and their families

SAU 16

Competency Education

Vision Statement

Each graduate demonstrates

engaged learning and citizenship

through the ability to solve problems independently and collaboratively

with perseverance and resilience,

and communicates solutions

with confidence and empathy.

What is Project Based Learning?

Adapted from The Buck Institute for Education


Project Based Learning (PBL) is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an authentic, engaging and complex question, problem, or challenge.

Project Based Learning is how students and teachers at Lincoln Street School will work toward a competency-based education system.  

Teachers are working to develop projects and learning opportunities that include essential elements of PBL.  Essential elements include:

Key Knowledge, Understanding, and Success Skills - The project is focused on student learning goals, including standards-based content and skills such as critical thinking/problem solving, collaboration, and self-management.

Challenging Problem or Question - The project is framed by a meaningful problem to solve or a question to answer, at the appropriate level of challenge.

Sustained Inquiry - Students engage in a rigorous, extended process of asking questions, finding resources, and applying information.

Authenticity - The project features real-world context, or speaks to students’ personal concerns, interests, and issues in their lives.

Student Voice & Choice - Students make some decisions about the project, including how they work and what they create.

Reflection - Students and teachers reflect on learning, the effectiveness of their inquiry and project activities, the quality of student work, obstacles and how to overcome them.

Critique & Revision - Students give, receive, and use feedback to improve their process and products.

Public Product - Students make their project work public by explaining, displaying and/or presenting it to people beyond the classroom.

Examples of projects in development at Lincoln Street School:

Grade 3:  

  • Where does your food come from?

Grade 4:

  • NH Staycation

Grade 5:

  • Make a Difference

Teams of teachers will be working to enhance these projects and develop additional ones during the Summer of 2017.

Stay tuned!

For more information, please check the Lincoln Street School website at www.lss.sau16.org