IEP progress updates provide family and staff members with information on how a child is performing towards goal mastery. Think of them as mini present levels. A well written progress update will inform how often a child has demonstrated mastery and to what percentage of accuracy. It will also give anecdotal information and next steps for student progress.
When do you write IEP progress updates?
This should be specified in your IEP. In my district, at minimum we write progress updates every quarter. Remember, this is not the only time we communicate with the family about progress, this is just the time we send home formal reports. Constant communication with families is critical to student growth and success as well as keeping everyone on the same page.
What do you use to write IEP progress updates?
All of the data you’ve collected, of course! Refer back to student work samples, data tables, student input, other provider input, and co-teacher input. Use everything you know about the student to write an amazing update!
What should you include?
Include the average accuracy the student has achieved and the number of times the student has met the objective criteria. Also include anecdotal information, like things you notice about the student in terms of strategies or interest. You can also include strengths and weaknesses. I like to include attendance information. This helps to show how attendance is positively or negatively impacting performance.
Sample Progress Update
On his most recent four trials, Student has met this objective on 3 of the trials. His average accuracy on those four trials was 93%. Student is able to use his calculator to solve equations, but often wants to use draw a model or use his fingers to solve it. He is reluctant to use a calculator and often tries to hide it when using it in the classroom. This results in him pressing incorrect buttons or incorrectly reading the screen, since he has it in his desk or under his leg when trying to use it. At this time, he is working on addition and subtraction equations within 100, as indicated by his current objective. The problems do include skills such as regrouping and subtracting across zeroes. Student will continue to work on this goal area as written.
As of the end of May, Student has missed 17 days of school this year. This is greatly impacting his ability to make progress. While almost half of the days have been excused, his attendance is greatly impacting his learning. When he misses school, he struggles to remember classroom procedures and skills he has previously learned. Especially when absences occur back to back, Student continues to fall further behind his grade-level peers academically. With consecutive attendance to school, Student is able to continuously practice and review learned skills while also acquiring new skills.
A progress update is a formal way to express the child’s progress towards mastery of their IEP goals. Progress updates are done so that all members of the IEP team know where the child is performing and what the next steps will be. By writing well-written progress updates, no team member should be surprised at the next annual review as to whether a child met or did not make an IEP goal.