What are competencies?
A competency is a measurable, observable demonstration of something a student knows and is able to do. In Douglas County School District (DCSD), students are expected to achieve high performance levels in seven competencies — communications (reading, writing, listening, and speaking), foreign language, mathematics, science, social science, technology, and employability.
Who developed the competencies?
A District Accountability Committee (DAC) developed the exit competencies for core academic skills in 1995. The committee included parents, school staff, community members, and business representatives. They researched national trends and standards, gathered input from local businesses, looked at the changing demographics in the West, and identified the skills that would be needed for future jobs. The school district presented a draft of the competencies to the public in eight public meetings to gather public input and respond to questions and concerns. On December 12, 1995, the DCSD School Board approved the final draft of the seven competencies and 12th grade exit competencies.
What are benchmarks for competencies?
Benchmarks are specific statements of what students must know and be able to do at different times during their school career. High school benchmarks indicate the level students must achieve on each competency in order to graduate. Benchmarks are also identified at grades 3, 6, and 9. They serve as targets for student achievement at each level. Students and parents can use these elementary and middle school benchmarks to help students work toward meeting the graduation competencies.