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Student Services

Progress Monitoring: Your Action Plan for Success

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School districts must monitor student progress not only for assessing outcomes but also for state and federal reporting and Medicaid reimbursements. Beyond compliance, progress monitoring can identify staffing needs and professional development gaps.

Here 9 ideas to help you improve progress monitoring:


  1. Define Concerns Clearly:
    • Use specific language
    • Identify alterable target behaviors
    • Specify when and how long the behavior occurs
    • Make it observable and measurable

  2. Measure Progress Consistently:
    • stablish common rubrics or rating scales
    • Include data on assistance provided
    • Use standardized procedures for efficiency

  3. Set Baseline and Goals
    • Establish baseline using average data points
    • Set specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely goals
    • Track progress with charts connecting baseline and goal points

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  4. Utilize Data for Decision-Making:
    • Regularly collect and review data
    • Adjust strategies based on data
    • Determine service frequency and duration

    Want to dive deeper?

    Check out this article (with a link to a downloadable eBook!) for a more detailed look at progress monitoring.

  5. Fiscal and Regulatory Impact:
    • Demonstrate fiscal responsibility with a progress monitoring system
    • Improve Medicaid reimbursements by systematically implementing progress monitoring
    • Regular progress monitoring data is required for reimbursable services
    • Streamline data collection for compliance, state reporting, and Medicaid reimbursement

  6. IDEA Impact:
    • Ensure progress summaries are completed every three months
    • Report on IEP goals as often as non-disabled students’ progress

  7. Evaluate Your Service Tracking System:
    • Ensure your system works for you
    • Standardize procedures for entering progress monitoring data
    • Benefit from improved visibility, parent engagement, and audit protection

  8. Focus on Student Achievement:
    • Choose a system that aligns with best practices
    • Evaluate intervention strategies’ impact on student progress
    • Ensure goals are appropriate and adjustable

    Optimizing progress monitoring involves clear definitions, consistent measurements, goal setting, data-driven decision-making, fiscal responsibility, and choosing the right system. Prioritize student achievement by evaluating and improving your current practices.