Parents Can (and Should!) Ask for More Frequent Progress Monitoring
By Caitlin E. McAndrews, Esq.
Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) must contain a statement of how often a child’s progress toward her goals will be monitored. This is the section which describes how frequently parents will receive progress reports. Odds are good that if you look at this section of your child’s IEP, you will see something like “quarterly” or “with marking period reports.” Many parents do not know that they can request to receive progress reports more frequently than three or four times per year.
Research shows that students for whom progress is monitored more frequently make better progress. This makes sense, because students know their work is being monitored more often, parents have more information with which to assist their children’s teaching, and teachers have more current information on students’ current levels and needs. It also provides a built-in form of communication between teachers and parents.
Unfortunately, a parent requesting more frequent progress monitoring reports may meet with some resistance from the school. One way to help smooth the process is to ask for copies of the forms on which the teachers are keeping their records of your child’s performance, such as AIMSWEB reports, on a more frequent basis. A communication book can also be extremely helpful for children who have organizational difficulties or are working to modify their behavior. Remember, the teachers involved with your child should be keeping a record of progress as the school year progresses, so receiving more frequent progress monitoring reports could be as simple as requesting a copy of this data.
The bottom line is that more frequent progress monitoring leads to better results for students. Parents can – and should – request more frequent reports of student progress from their child’s school. If you have any questions about this or any other special education issue, please do not hesitate to contact our office!