We are often asked by the families we work with: How do I know if my child is making progress with their Individualized Education Program (IEP) ?
The Answer: It starts with writing discrete measurable goals that set out the criteria for measuring progress. The goals and objectives must define what it is a child will know, do or be, in order to demonstrate progress. They should also not be considered mastered until they can be demonstrated across settings and people.
On the Page 7 of your IEP, at the bottom, there is a section called Evaluation Procedures. It is from this list of possible procedures that the PPT selects which will be used to assess progress for each individual Goal and Objective stated for the student.
We routinely request that the school use Evaluation Procedure #3: Pre and Post Base Line Data. This ensures that the school will gather baseline data on all the objectives at the start of the IEP and we request a date by when that data will be sent home. Then each progress monitoring period, a report on the progress over baseline should be sent home.
This enables us to monitor progress and decide if any adjustments to instruction, services or program may be necessary and it gives us a very good idea if the current program is working and if your child is making measurable progress.
It is also important to consider using both curriculum-based assessments such as DRA’s , writing prompts and classroom tests, to measure progress, as well as requesting some key standardized tests being repeated though out the year . These would include reading, writing and math standardized assessments.
In the case of more behavioral goals, the data can be gathered and graphed to show improvement.
Data can be collected for all types of goals and it needs to be reviewed and analyzed throughout the school year by the family and the school team.
– Noreen J. O’Mahoney, C.S.W., S.D.A., President of CAA