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Parent Resources » PHS Proficiency Scales

PHS Proficiency Scales

A proficiency scale is a table used by teachers and students to determine the student's current level of progress and achievement toward meeting the expectations of a learning standard.
Proficiency scales use a 4-point system where a score of 3.0 indicates proficiency - meeting the standard's expectation(s). In other words a student who receives a score of 3.0 has MET the standard. A general description of the 4-point scoring system for proficiency scales is below:
4.0 - The score of 4 is reserved for occasions where the student has mastered the standard's expectations AND gone above and beyond its expectations and applied skills in an authentic and advanced manner.
3.0 - The score of 3 means the student has MET the standard.
2.0 - The score of 2 means the student has gained an understanding of the vocabulary and simpler processes of the standard. Students are able to do the prerequisites necessary for the standard (3.0), but not able to do what the standard requires.
1.0 - The score of 1 means the student can achieve partial success with the vocabulary and simpler processes of the standard WITH HELP (from a classmate, assistant, or teacher).
Students may also earn a proficiency score of 1.5, 2.5 or 3.5. A half-score means the student can do ALL of the lower level, but only some of the higher level. Ex: All of 2.0, but only some of 3.0 expectations; therefore, the student earns the proficiency score of 2.5.
The scale below communicates each level of a proficiency scale in a very friendly and fairly simple manner.

Proficiency Scale chart


The proficiency scale below communicates each level of proficiency through a life skill all of us have done at some point in our lives or another - riding a bike on our own.


riding a bike - proficiency scales


How does the 4-point proficiency scale help students, teachers, and parents?


The 4-point proficiency scale increases the likelihood our students "hit" the targets (3.0) that are clearly defined for them.


We are taking the secrecy out of what they need to learn and practice, and there's no secret about what they will be tested or graded on.


Proficiency scales provide clarity and transparency relative to levels of mastery.


The 4-point proficiency scale puts the focus on learning and what to learn next rather than on points possible on an assignment, project, quiz, or test.


The 4-point proficiency scale empowers students to:

Track their progress relative to the expectations in the standard's proficiency scale.

Set goals based on what they can do well and what they still need to focus their class time on learning and getting better at.

Identify skills on the proficiency scale they still do not know how to do yet and skills they focus on learning, asking for help on, and practicing in school (and at home). 

Celebrate their growth, progress, and proficiency for each standard.


The 4-point proficiency scale increases clarity and equips students, teachers, and parents with a way to talk about what the student currently can do and what the student is still working on learning and becoming proficient at.