Student progress monitoring for special education is not limited to one year | TeachTastic IEPs

Updated: Feb 12


When it comes to progress monitoring, there are two main ways that districts can approach it: time-limited or spanning multiple years. In this blog post, we will discuss the benefits and drawbacks of each method so that you can make the best decision for your students!


Time-Limited Progress Monitoring

One of the benefits of time-limited progress monitoring is that it can be more manageable for teachers. They only have to assess students once every few months, as opposed to assessing them multiple times throughout the school year. Additionally, this method can help ensure that all students are assessed in a timely manner.

Another benefit of time-limited progress monitoring is that it can be used to track students’ growth in a given skill area across multiple years. For example, if you have one class with four different reading assessments over the course of two years (one at each grade level), then you could use data from all four assessments together as long as they are taken at approximately the same point in time each year. This would give you a more complete picture of your students’ reading growth.


However, there are also some drawbacks to using time-limited progress monitoring. One is that it can be difficult to track student progress if they do not have any assessments at the end of the monitoring period. Additionally, if students make a lot of progress in one assessment but then regress in the next one, it can be difficult to track their overall growth.


Spanning Multiple Years Progress Monitoring


On the other hand, spanning multiple years of progress monitoring has some clear benefits. For example, it can help ensure that all students are assessed in a timely manner. Additionally, it can give you the flexibility to use different types of assessments throughout the school year so that students are not limited by what their teachers choose for them.


However, there are also some drawbacks to this approach as well. For example, if students only have one assessment at each grade level then they might not feel like they are being assessed equally. Additionally, if students do not have multiple years worth of data then it can be difficult to track their overall growth across time periods.


It is up to you to decide what type of progress monitoring works best for your district and the needs of your students!


How often should I Progress Monitor IEP Goals


There is no one answer to how often you should progress monitor IEP goals. It depends on the goal, the student, and the situation. However, here are some general guidelines:

For short-term goals, it is typically best to check progress at least every few weeks. For long-term goals, it is usually best to check progress at least every few months.

Use common sense when deciding how often to progress monitor IEP goals. If a goal is very easy, then you may only need to check progress once or twice before the student has mastered it. On the other hand, if a skill takes many steps and is difficult for the student to master, you may need to check progress every day as he or she is learning it.


It is also important to remember that not all goals are best assessed with formal assessments alone. If a goal focuses on what the student does in class, then checking his work samples can be very helpful in addition to using formal assessments and quizzes.


Classroom grade can be used to progress monitor academic IEP goals


Classroom grade is a measure of student achievement that can be used to progress monitor academic IEP goals. However, classroom grades may not accurately reflect how well students perform on specific skills and standards taught in the classroom. Classroom grades are usually an overall assessment of student performance across various subject matter areas (e.g., math and reading) and are not specific to individual skills or standards. To use classroom grades as a progress monitoring measure, teachers should identify the most important academic concepts students will learn throughout the school year, then provide students with opportunities to demonstrate mastery of these concepts throughout the year using Common Formative Assessments (CFAs).


Classroom grade data can also be used to progress monitor other IEP goals, such as social/emotional and behavioral goals. Progress monitoring of these types of goals should include both teacher observations and student self-report measures. Teacher observations can help to identify specific instances when a student is demonstrating improved or declined behavior in the classroom setting. Student self-report measures can provide information about how well a student is understanding and implementing the skills learned in intervention. When used together, classroom grade data and teacher observations can help to identify early whether or not a student is making progress on their IEP goals.


When using any type of assessment data for progress monitoring, it is important to ensure that the measures are valid and reliable. This means that the measures are able to consistently measure what they are supposed to measure.

When using classroom grade data for progress monitoring, it is important to consider the following:

  • The specific academic concepts being assessed

  • How well students are performing on these concepts across different grades and subject areas

  • The level of detail included in the report card

  • The amount of time available to collect and analyze the data

Classroom grade data can be a valuable tool for progress monitoring, but it is important to use caution when interpreting the data. It is always important to consider the validity and reliability of any assessment measure before using it for progress monitoring. When used correctly, classroom grade data can be a helpful tool to assess student progress and identify early whether or not a student is making progress on their IEP goals.

The topic of progress monitoring is a tricky one. There are many different opinions and thoughts on how to monitor student achievement with IEPs, but there isn’t necessarily a right or wrong answer. You need to take into consideration the goals you want students to achieve within specific time frames in order for them to be successful. If it is your goal that they meet these standards yearly then progress should be monitored at least every 3 months- if not more frequently than this. However, if you have less ambitious expectations and would like them to reach their goals over multiple years (perhaps even two) then so long as the teacher monitors once per term, we think this could work well too! What do you think? Do you have any questions about progress monitoring? Comment below and we will get back to you as soon as possible!


Thank you for reading! I hope this information was helpful. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask via comment below.

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