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Data Driven
by Abby Sakovich M.S., CCC-SLP
What is Progress Monitoring?
Progress monitoring is the process in which educators repeatedly and scientifically assess a student’s performance to determine whether instruction is effective. Teachers monitor student progress on an individual basis or as part of a group. The academic, social, or behavioral needs of a student typically determine the type of progress measured.
Why Monitor Progress?
  • Educators can make better decisions about instruction when informed.
  • Effective progress monitoring boosts accountability.
  • Regular data collection facilitates frequent and efficient communication with other professionals and parents regarding student progress.
  • Progress monitoring encourages higher expectations for students.
  • Well-designed progress monitoring lowers Special Education referrals.
Progress Monitoring Dos
  • DO obtain an accurate baseline. Appropriate assessment is key to determining a student’s current level of performance.
  • DO set appropriate goals and determine an appropriate length of time to target goals. (See Handy Handout #471 on tips for writing SMART goals.)
  • DO determine age-appropriate, reliable, and valid tools to use while progress monitoring.
  • DO develop a system for how and when to progress monitor (daily, weekly, monthly, etc.)
  • DO schedule meeting times with other professionals and parents to discuss progress and adjust instruction as appropriate.
Whether tracking the progress of one student or one hundred, develop a system that works for your classroom and the individual needs of your students. Find or develop quick and easy to use tools that facilitate fidelity of implementation. If you are struggling to develop a progress monitoring system, reach out to the intervention specialist or intervention team leader in your school. He/She should be able to help you determine a starting place for your students and set you on the path to progress monitoring success.
Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). “Common Questions for Progress Monitoring.” Accessed September 8, 2017.
National Center on Response to Intervention. “Progress Monitoring Brief Series Brief #1: Common Progress Monitoring Omissions: Planning and Practice.” Accessed September 8, 2017.

*Handy Handouts® are for classroom and personal use only.
Any commercial use is strictly prohibited.

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