As we are wrapping up our first quarter of the 2010-2011 school year, I have been getting many questions about progress monitoring and how to best make decisions on measures to use, how often to monitor, etc. When we first began progress monitoring two years ago, our expectations were more standardized: select a few students who you have identified as struggling and monitor them every two weeks with a long term goal of end of semester or end of year progress.
However, we are becoming more sophisticated in our use of progress monitoring and while this can feel uncomfortable to some, it is much less black and white and much more individual student focused. Many of you are asking great questions about progress monitoring and what tools are best, etc. This indicates that we are starting to make more of an adaptive change than a technical change as we think about what progress monitoring truly is. It isn’t just one more thing to do and check off the list. It is meant to be done with intention and purpose…this requires us to think about what we truly want to measure and to determine what tool will be best for collecting this data.
In recent weeks, more questions and thoughts and wonderings have come up around how often students should be progress monitored. The rule of thumb is that the more significant the gap, the more intense the intervention and the more often the student should be progress monitored. For some students this may mean weekly progress monitoring and for some it may mean once a month. Teaching teams need to have these conversations together to discuss what measures to use and how often to monitor for their students. When having these conversations, ask yourselves “does the identified area of concern match the selected intervention and does the selected progress monitoring tool align with both the identified area of concern and the intervention?”
We are continuing to grow in our use of progress monitoring as a district. Keep the questions and wonderings coming!