The Placer Union High School District is proud to be at the forefront of innovative practices in teaching and learning, namely Competency-Based Education (CBE).  Parents, teachers, and students all agree that the ability to meet students where they are makes schools better. Research shows that they’re right.  CBE improves outcomes for all students; those who have historically excelled, those who have always struggled, and everyone in between.  CBE tenets include clearly-articulated expectations of learning for each course, provides transparent grading systems aligned to the standards, promotes student agency and ownership of their learning, and allows for flexibility to meet the expectations.

PUHSD teachers and administrators are learning alongside leaders in this movement, such as Joe Feldman and Dr. Robert Marzano, to be among the first school districts in the Nation to match the realities of our classrooms to the promise of the theory. Over the next few years, all teachers will have the tools, skills, and District support to personalize learning given the realities of a modern classroom. 

This page is designed to serve as a resource for teachers and families.

"Competency-Based Education (CBE) makes the learning expectations clear, so students have a role in designing and executing learning plans intended to develop a mindset and skillset of success. All learners in this system will believe they have the ability, based on their capacity, to shape their lives. CBE uses a system of highly coordinated, evidence-based instructional and assessment strategies that, when executed together, have a combined effect greater than the sum of their parts." -Dr. Robert Marzano

Competency-Based Education (CBE) is a system of instruction, assessment, grading, and academic reporting that makes learning goals and expectations clear and easily understood by teachers, students, and families. This transparency ensures that all students and their support teams have access to monitor progress toward proficiency and offer appropriate support as needed.  CBE is designed to accurately identify the level of student understanding, allowing students to progress as they demonstrate mastery of the academic content, regardless of time, place, or pace of learning. CBE focuses solely on student learning by articulating precisely what students need to be able to do and know.  CBE emphasizes mastery of skills rather than completion of tasks. It often looks very much like the “try until you get it right” approach. CBE’s focus is to meet students where they are and provide a path forward. 


Utilizing Competency-Based Education in our classrooms, combined with the tenets of Quality Schools and the work we have already begun, we will refine and improve our current practices by clearly articulating the expectations for student learning, develop methods to describe explicit progress towards learning goals, and align our instructional practices to support our students in meeting those goals.


The transition and implementation to a Competency-Based Education system has been slowly gaining traction over the last several years through a number of past and current initiatives to improve teaching and learning.  We have finally come to a point in which we are formally implementing CBE across our District.  We are phasing in the system by having a number of our teachers pilot CBE and an aligned gradebook during the 23-24 school year.  Our goal is to be in full implementation by the Fall of 2024.


Video of Trent Wilson, Executive Director of Educational Services, sharing information about CBE 


“The Point” Podcast

Some episodes contain information about CBE

The links on the above page include the Board Policy & Administrative Regulation for Grading Practices, the Board Resolution regarding CBE, and many other valuable articles, sites and links.