Student Progress Monitoring: What This Means for Your Child

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.

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Monitoring Progress: Questions Parents Should Ask & Discuss

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.

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How Does Mastery of Annual Goals Relate to Grading and Promotion?

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.

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Si un estudiante recibe instrucción en el entorno del salón de recursos, ¿Las calificaciones se determinan con base en el progreso hacia sus metas del IEP o en el progreso hacia el dominio del plan de estudios?

Todos los estudiantes son estudiantes de educación general primero que nada. Para todos los estudiantes en el estado de Texas de los grados K-12, los estándares estatales son los TEKS. La colocación educativa de un estudiante no cambia los estándares del plan de estudios. Los estudiantes deben obtener calificaciones por las actividades a través de las cuales están accediendo a los estándares.

La colocación en la que un estudiante recibe servicios no tiene relación con las calificaciones que recibe. El dominio relativo del TEKS, con o sin adaptaciones o modificaciones, es la base para calificar a un estudiante.

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6 Tips to Make Sure Your Child’s 504 Plan Is Being Followed

Your child’s 504 plan has been set in motion. Is the school delivering what it promised? Use these tips from 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.

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Comments that Parents Hear: “We have held __ IEP meetings this year. Your child is progressing with the current IEP, so we do not need another meeting.”

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)

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Are grades based on progress toward IEP goals or mastery of the curriculum?

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.

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How do you grade for a student with severe cognitive disabilities who is receiving services in the general education setting?

Considerations for grading students with severe cognitive disabilities are the same as for all students with disabilities.  The focus of IDEA 2004 is to provide all students access to general curriculum. Students should earn grades based on activities for which they are accessing the standards, not based on progress toward goals and objectives. The expectations for what these students should achieve in the grade-level content may be different from what is required in grade-level achievement standards due to needed modifications; however, the essence of the content at grade level should not change.

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¿Cómo se califica a un estudiante con discapacidades cognitivas severas que recibe servicios en el entorno de educación general?

Las consideraciones para calificar (asignar notas) a los estudiantes con discapacidades cognitivas severas son las mismas que para todos los estudiantes con discapacidades. El enfoque de IDEA 2004 es el de proporcionar a todos los estudiantes acceso al currículo general. Los estudiantes deben obtener calificaciones basadas en las actividades para las que están accediendo a los estándares, no en base al progreso hacia las metas y los objetivos. Las expectativas de lo que estos estudiantes deben lograr con respecto al contenido del grado pueden ser diferentes de las que se requiere en los estándares de logro del grado escolar debido a las modificaciones necesarias; sin embargo, la esencia del contenido a nivel de grado no debe cambiar.

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