Inside Mastery Based High Schools: Profiles and Conversations


"We began this project to address a need for concrete examples of mastery-based learning in practice. Given the novelty of this work, we realized that many new school designers know the theory behind mastery-based learning but would benefit from a deeper understanding of its day-to-day practicalities. To give designers a glimpse of what this work looks and feels like, we visited six mastery-based high schools, gathering artifacts (schedules, transcripts, curriculum materials) and speaking with their leaders about the realities of implementation. The six mastery-based high schools we visited are:

  • Boston Day & Evening Academy, Boston’s first evening high school to grant mastery-based diplomas
  • Casco Bay High School, a mastery-based high school in Portland, Maine
  • Parker Charter Essential School, a project-based, mastery-based school in Devens, Massachusetts
  • Making Community Connections Charter School, a middle/high school that puts student agency at the center of its design. It was founded by the QED Foundation.
  • Next Charter School, a mastery-based, personalized model in rural New Hampshire
  • Maine’s Regional School Unit 2, a mastery-based and student-centered community of schools in rural Maine

For each school, you’ll find:

  1. a brief profile, giving an overview of the model
  2. a transcript of our interview with the school’s leader(s)
  3. relevant artifacts including student schedules, competency frameworks, sample mastery-based student transcripts, graduation checklists, and goal setting protocols"

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