Progress monitoring can give you and your child’s teacher information that can help your child learn more and learn faster, and help you make better decisions about the type of instruction that will work best with your child.
Our children’s progress is being monitored constantly at school, through the steady stream of homework assignments, quizzes, tests, projects, and standardized tests. On first hearing the term “student progress monitoring,” our initial reaction may be “they’re doing this already!” or “more tests?”.
But do you really know how much your child is learning or progressing? Standardized tests compare your child’s performance with other children’s or with state standards. However, these tests are given at the end of the year; the teacher who has been working with your child during the year will not be able to use the test results to decide how to help your child learn better.
Keeping up on a student’s progress towards meeting their IEP goals can save valuable time. Be sure that you know how each goal will be monitored and when instructional changes should be made.
Regarding Strengths & Weaknesses
ASK: What do you see as my child’s strengths, weaknesses– academically, behaviorally, and socially?
DISCUSS: Your own thoughts about their strengths, weaknesses, interests, what motivates your child, what behaviors you see at home, and how your child feels about him/herself as a learner.
TEC §28.0216 requires that school district grading policies:
“(1) must require a classroom teacher to assign a grade that reflects the students’ relative mastery of an assignment; [and]
(2) may not require a classroom teacher to assign a minimum grade for an assignment without regard to the student’s quality of work.”
These rules apply to classroom assignments, examinations, and overall grades for each grading period. Because of this, teachers may not assign a grade based on effort, and schools cannot pass a student who has not mastered the curriculum. Since goals can be either academic or functional in nature, they either serve as a “link” to grade level standards, or they serve to help a student “access” grade-level standards. In this case, IEP goals remain supplementary to grade-level standards. Because of this, mastery of an IEP goal does not constitute passing a course, and passing a course does not equate to mastering an IEP goal.
Your child’s 504 plan has been set in motion. Is the school delivering what it promised? Use these tips from Understood.org to monitor the situation throughout the year.
Know who’s providing your child’s services.
The 504 plan should state not only what special services your child will receive but also the name of the person is responsible for it. Try casually asking your child, “Have you worked with Mr. Jones this week?” Your child’s answer may tell you a little—or a lot—about how well the 504 plan is being followed.
Recall the Law
The IEP must include “a statement of the program modifications or supports for school personnel that will be provided to enable the child— (i) To advance appropriately toward attaining the annual goals; (ii) To be involved in and make progress in the general education curriculum in accordance with paragraph (a)(1) of this section, and to participate in extracurricular and other nonacademic activities;” 300.320(a)(4)
If a student is receiving instruction in a resource setting, do you determine grades based on progress toward their IEP goals or on progress toward mastery of the curriculum?
All students are general education students first. For all students in the state of Texas grades K-12, the state standards are the TEKS. A student’s education setting does not change curriculum standards. Students should earn grades for activities in which they are accessing the standards.
TEC §28.021(a) requires that promotion from one grade level to the next be determined “only on the basis of academic achievement or demonstrated proficiency of the subject matter of the course or grade level.”
Mastery of an IEP goal does not automatically constitute passing a course, and passing a course does not automatically equate to mastering an IEP goal.
Monitoring your child’s progress is important anytime, but it is especially important now that the school year is half over. Reports from the school are not always very specific. Where is the child in relation to his/her peers, the grade level curriculum, his/her IEP goals?
The PRN website blog will be focusing on progress monitoring this month. We will be sharing articles and resources on grading and how to determine if your child is making progress towards IEP goals, a Section 504 plan, in RTI, and the general curriculum. You are encouraged to leave comments and ask questions at the end of the articles. Chuck Noe, our Education Specialist, will be answering questions and providing insight to help you determine if your child is making adequate progress and options to explore if your child is not making progress.