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Mastery-based Learning Grows with State-funded Support

Release Date: 

December 12, 2023

Washington State Board of Education Announces Second Cohort of Grantee Schools for Mastery-Based Learning Collaborative

In a pioneering effort by the state legislature and the Washington State Board of Education (SBE) in promoting mastery-based learning, the Board is excited to offer new funding and support for 20 schools across the state. The awarded schools are now part of Cohort 2 of the Mastery-based Learning Collaborative (MBLC) - a grant program created to support mastery-based learning (MBL) - sometimes called competency-based education.

The MBLC is now 40 plus schools strong (Cohort 1 was announced last year). Schools were selected to be a part of it through a competitive application process. Grantee schools receive professional learning to successfully move their instruction to align with the state’s culturally responsive-sustaining MBL framework, which was informed by national MBL work. Schools also participate in the wider MBLC community, so that schools can learn from and support each other in their work.

Schools in the following districts have been awarded funds:

School name


Catalyst Public Schools


Gibson Ek High School

Issaquah School District

Nespelem High School

Nespelem School District

Rainier Valley Leadership Academy


Sno-Isle Skills Center

Mukilteo School District

Dishman Hills High School

West Valley School District (Spokane)

Hudson’s Bay High School

Vancouver Public Schools District

Methow Valley Independent Learning Center

Methow Valley School District

Envision Career Academy

Summit Virtual Academy 

North Thurston Public Schools

Cottonwood Elementary School

West Valley School District

Career Academy at Truman High School

Open Doors Youth Reengagement (1418)
at Truman Campus

Federal Way Public Schools

Open Doors at Heights Campus

Vancouver Public Schools

Tulalip Heritage School

Legacy High School 

Marysville School District

Nova High School

Seattle Public Schools

Discovery, Minter Creek, and Purdy

Peninsula School District 

A.G. West Black Hills High School

Tumwater High School

Tumwater School District

Lopez Island Schools

Lopez Island School District

Based on the lessons learned from the two cohorts, SBE will identify policies, practices, and support structures necessary to successfully transition schools to MBL.

State and federal funding for this work in the current two-year (biennium*) budget cycle totals $9,367,000.

 “With this funding, schools can help us better understand student successes within this approach and how important it is for their futures,” said Bill Kallappa, Chair, State Board of Education. “Our first cohort has shown us engaging, hands-on learning that leads to student success, and we’re excited to see more in Cohort 2. We hope to offer more options like this, making school more relevant and equitable for all. Congratulations to the grantees.”

What is Mastery-based Learning (MBL)?
MBL is an innovative approach that lets students take charge of their learning, go at their own speed, and get help that fits their interests and needs. Instead of moving on to new content because time has passed, students move forward when they truly master a topic. They demonstrate they have met the state learning requirements in meaningful ways.This way of teaching and learning also values each student's unique strengths and the knowledge they bring from their different backgrounds.

For a comprehensive list of selected schools and additional information on mastery-based learning, visit the Washington State Board of Education's page:

In 2019, House Bill 1599 created a state work group focused on MBL that set the stage for the work of the MBL Collaborative. Washington has been recognized nationally for its work around culturally responsive-sustaining MBL (for instance, see this article or Washington’s work spotlighted in this national data portal.)

*The biennium runs from 7/1/23 - 6/30/25.

Media Contact: 

Stephanie Davidsmeyer
Director of Communications