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Lindsay, California, September 5, 2012 - Lindsay High School English teacher Amalia Lopez works with advanced student Karly Higgins on her senior project which requires her to work shadow someone in the field she is interested in persuing, which in her case is astrophysics. Lopez sets up websites for her advanced students allowing them greater access to research on their own. Karly is graduating a full year early and has already passed her AP tests. ..Lindsay High School began building a competency-based education model about 7 years ago, fully implementing it just over three years ago and is set to graduate its first class this school year. This model does away with traditional grading and pass/fail for grades. Instead students are expected to achieve proficiency in a range of areas in each class, where a 3 (equal to a traditional B) is passing; A 4 is considered intensive and usually denotes college bound. Says Principal Jaime Robles, ?This allows students to learn at there own pace. If a student is advanced, they can move ahead, and if a student is lagging, they get the support they need.? Part of this model allows for students who are more advanced dig deeper and push harder and truly move ahead of others. Because they are ahead, some spend the extra time learning more, others take concurrent classes at the nearby community college and some choose to graduate early to start their path. ?Each student has their own set of goals,? says English teacher Amalia Lopez, ?Whatever their goals are, we support them.?.Slug: DD_ CompetencyByline: Daryl Peveto / LUCEO for Education Week