Maritime High School
615 S 200th Street Des Moines, WA 98198

Office Hours:

Monday-Friday: 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Maritime High School
615 S 200th St Des Moines, WA 98198

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Mastery-Based Learning

We do things a little differently at Maritime High School. What students know is important, but what they can do is essential.  

At Maritime High School, we follow a mastery-based learning approach. This approach requires students to show skill in a variety of areas and helps develop well-rounded knowledge and abilities that are critical for future success in the maritime industry. Students work on hands-on projects covering different topics to learn more effectively, build lasting skills, and improve their understanding of the maritime field.

Every student graduates with a Mastery Transcript, a detailed record that goes beyond grades to represent their skills and achievements throughout their education. This transcript, recognized by colleges and industry leaders, highlights the competencies each student has mastered under our mastery-based learning approach. 

What is Mastery-based Learning?

Mastery-based Learning at MHS allows students to demonstrate their understanding and skills through evidence-based learning rather than traditional grades. This approach encourages students to actively engage in their learning process and showcases their abilities and knowledge in a more comprehensive and personalized way.

Mastery-based learning allows students to take ownership of their learning by providing evidence that they learned something rather than being told what they learned by teachers. 

What does Mastery-Based learning look like at Maritime High School?

The courses at Maritime High School are year-long, project-based experiences that incorporate in-class and fieldwork experiences. Each course contains four units that explore unique aspects of the maritime industry. Each student shares their learning and receives feedback at various checkpoints.

Mastery-Based Assessment Checkpoints:

  • Community Learning Showcase (CLS): Each fall and spring, MHS students open our school up to families, industry, supporters, and the wider community to share their individual learning in a poster-style session. Guests are welcome to join, hear directly from students about their learning, ask questions, and provide helpful feedback. These occur in October and March.

  • Exhibition: At the end of each quarter, project teams present their final products to peers, industry, and community stakeholders to receive feedback. Students reflect on their team’s learning and to what degree they have demonstrated MHS competencies. 

  • Presentation of Learning (POLs): Student Presentations of Learning (POLs) are student-led conferences focusing on each student's individualized learning. They give students an individual opportunity to reflect on and articulate their own learning narrative, curate and receive feedback on their evidence, and prepare/post the evidence to their Mastery Transcripts as a form of long-term documentation. These occur in November and April.

Presentation of Learning Overview

Before the Presentation (Prep Time):

  • Students think about what they've learned and choose project work (we call these "artifacts") that best represents their learning. 

During the Presentation  (Agenda)

  • Students share their learning artifacts through a presentation that they prepare. They talk about their projects and what skills they've developed.
  • Teachers, family members, and classmates listen and give advice to help students improve.

After the Presentation (Reflection):

  • Students consider the feedback and make any changes to their work.
  • Students update the Mastery Transcript with the work they’ve done, and the information they’ve written about their artifacts.
  • Teachers check the Mastery Transcript and approve it


Graduation and Beyond

Upon graduation, students receive a Mastery Transcript, which is a detailed record of their competencies and achievements. This transcript is recognized by colleges and universities. It highlights students' learning experiences, including those at Highline College, Seattle Maritime Academy, PSSC, and more.

Our Mastery-Based Learning initiative is supported by the Washington Mastery-Based Learning Collaborative (MBLC). Our practices meet high standards and align with state education goals.

All MHS graduates will be prepared to pursue post-secondary education or enter directly into the maritime workforce.

Learn More About Mastery-based Learning