At the Bennett Day Upper School, we believe that there are essential human-centered skills that must be developed in order to become a responsible and impactful citizen.

Competency-based learning goes beyond grades to provide each learner with specific feedback related to their strengths and areas of challenge. We identify the core skills for each discipline, then ask students to provide evidence of their ability to perform those skills. A student progresses to the next skill only when the previous one has been mastered. We track every student’s progress and provide one-on-one mentorship so that we can provide challenging, rigorous and meaningful learning that goes beyond the traditional curriculum.

For a deep dive into competency-based education, see here.

Our Core Thinking Skills

Logic and Reasoning

Mathematical Thinking
Persuasive Writing
Computational Thinking


Scientific Investigation
Mathematical Fluency
Sociological Analysis


Health Maintenance (Physical and Mental)
Artistic Expression (Visual, Musical, or Dramatic)
Narrative Expression (Storytelling)

Strategic Foresight

Economic Literacy
Technological Literacy
Modern Media Literacy

Global Competence

Empathic Design
Democratic Participation
Multilingual Communication

But Don’t I Need Grades to Get Into College?


Not anymore.

Colleges around the country are moving towards competency-based programs, allowing students to submit transcripts that no longer include grades. Top schools around the country, from Harvard to the University of Chicago are committed to nontraditional transcriptions.

Over 150 of the top independent schools across the country, along with numerous public schools, have pledged to move towards “mastery-based” transcripts in the coming years.

We’ve developed a system that allows us to go beyond grades and believe strongly that grades provide inadequate feedback, but if a university is in need of a more traditional transcript, our system can be easily transcribed to fit any university requirement.

Our online system allows students to maintain a real-time awareness of their progress as learners. Our system creates a descriptive, detailed digital transcript that allows our students to have limitless choices available for them to pursue lifelong learning when they graduate from Bennett Day School.