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Cross-disciplinary Approach to Assessing Learning: Preparing All Learners for Tomorrow's Possibilities
students in music class

Guided by the Bolton Public Schools Portrait of a Graduate, the Class of 2020 will be the first graduating class required to demonstrate mastery in critical thinking, communication, creative and practical problem solving, citizenship, and self-direction.  These broad learning skills, also known as Bolton’s Transferable Skills, are cross-curricular graduation standards taught in all content areas to ensure that students have multiple experiences with these 21st century skills across all grade levels. This approach provides personalized pathways with multiple on-ramps for students to demonstrate mastery. 

This multi-year process continues to utilize a Backward Design model to identify these cross-curricular graduation standards, to develop performance indicators, and to create scoring criteria to teach and assess these skills.  We are currently in the process of the vertical and horizontal articulation of the Transferable Skills for grades 6 - 12 with PreK - 12 alignment being developed in the coming years.  By virtue of Bolton’s small size, major initiatives require the dedication and creativity of teacher leaders who collaborate regularly with the administrative team.  In order to clearly articulate the standards and skills and link them to curriculum, instruction, and assessment we utilize an interdisciplinary PLC approach for the development and refinement of our work including the design, implementation, and scoring of performance assessment tasks that measure Bolton’s Transferable Skills.  The results are clear and consistent expectations for explicit teaching, for voice and choice in the learning experiences, and for rich and authentic student tasks and key performances that lead to the mastery of these essential skills and content-area standards that are essential to students success in the world of today and the future.


BPS Transferable Skills (video)

BPS Transferable Skills Performance Indicators

Bolton High School Working Draft of Transferable Skills 9-12


Sarah Malinoski   |   |   (860) 643-1569

  • Assessment
  • College & Career Ready
  • Critical Thinking
  • Curriculum
  • Instruction