Graph with green overlay and black text that says reading an IEP progress updates

How to Read an IEP: Progress Updates

Progress updates on an IEP are critical for understanding what a student is doing currently. They are a great place to start if you are short on time and don’t have time to dig into the entire IEP. Progress updates are also a way to communicate with families – it’s written, documented information about how their student is doing.

What are progress updates?

Progress updates provide updated information on student progress. A progress update is not the same as weekly progress monitoring. Progress monitoring is the act of collecting the data. The progress updates are the written reports of student progress. Think of progress updates as mini present levels.

How often are product updates written?

In my district, we do progress updates each quarter. The IEP should specify exactly how and when the progress updates are done. The IEP should tell you how progress updates are provided to families. Progress updates are formal written documentation. But don’t forget, you should be reflecting on data all the time. You should not be waiting for progress updates to reflect on data.

What information is in a progress update?

Progress updates should include information that explains:

  • How much support did a child receive to achieve the result (hand over hand, verbal prompting, minimal prompting, graphic organizers, etc.)
  • The accuracy and consistency of their results (On the last recent 5 trials Johnny has scored an average of 84%. In total, Johnny has met his goal on 56% of the trials attempted.)
  • Next steps: For instance, maybe the student will try a different approach for tapping out words. Or are they ready to move to decoding words without using manipulatives?)
  • Information on student attendance (Is attendance affecting performance?)
  • Any other relevant information that relates to the student’s performance in that particular goal area.

Questions to Ask

Questions to ask about the IEP Progress Update Section include:

  • How recent is the progress?
  • What data is provided?
  • How much support was provided to get those results?
  • What are the next steps for progress?


Know how to read an IEP progress update is critical to being able to support your students. They can be tedious to read and write; but, they provide the most up to date information on students. Progress updates are helpful in knowing where a child is performing and what the next steps for that student are.

One Response

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Giraffic Jam Logo

Hey there!

I love helping teachers and students by creating materials that are engaging and appropriate for all learners.


I believe that all students have the ability to learn and grow when given the proper resources.


Want to know more?

Let's Connect!

Price - slider
Price - inputs
Special Education
Special Education
Holidays & Seasonal