After deciding to provide intervention to a student, we recommend setting a progress monitoring goal. We’re sometimes asked, “how do you decide how far out to set the goal?” While there’s not one right answer to this question, this article will make a case for setting goals for the end of the year.
It’s important to remember that the intervention itself may last for a variety of lengths of time. Many are first scheduled for 6-12 weeks, after which time, teams meet to determine appropriate next steps, such as discontinuing a successful intervention or intensifying a less-successful intervention.
Progress monitoring goals, though, can be set outside of the intervention length of time. We recommend setting goals for the end of the year, and using either the spring benchmark or the default goal based on growth norms to set that goal. Doing this any time of the year does two things.
- First, it allows you to compare a student's performance at any point of the year with where they need to be to meet the end of the year goal.
- It prevents you from having to set new progress monitoring goals during the year if the student needs intervention longer than initially expected.
For example, let’s say a student receives intervention after fall screening and 8 weeks later is on track so far, given their goal. You discontinue the intervention but keep the plan and continue to monitor the student every month to ensure they continue to grow at a rate to meet their end of the year goal.