Why Proficiency-Based?

Why are We Committed to a Proficiency-Based Learning Approach?


  • All students will be better prepared for college, career, and civic readiness


  • All students will connect to, engage in, and develop a passion for learning


  • All students can learn and show what they know in a variety of ways and paces (multiple pathways)


  • Students, teachers, and families have a clear understanding of where a student’s learning is, and where it is headed


Why Are We Using Empower?


Empower is a grading program that allows the school to report student progress on learning goals.  It gives more detailed information than traditional report cards with letter grades.  It clearly allows everyone (students, parents, and teachers) to see where students have been in their learning, and where they are going next.


What is our Philosophy on Grading?


  • The purpose of grading is to accurately and consistently communicate student learning progress and achievement.


  • Grades should show what students know and what they can do.


  • Grades should be understandable, based on concise and clearly articulated standards and performance criteria.


  • Behaviors (e.g., attendance, on task behavior, time management, working with peers) should be reported separately from academic performance.  


  • Grading practices should be consistent across teachers, grades, schools.


  • Grades reflect proficiency at a given point in time, rather than an average of scores.


Our School Vision


Fueling Hope Through Learning



Our Mission Statement

Mt. Ararat Middle School provides a proficiency-based, learner-centered education for students in grades six, seven, and eight in which a feeling of hope and engagement is fostered by clear expectations, learning from mistakes, and positive relationships.


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