Maryland Statewide Individualized Education Program (IEP) Process Guide July 2014  

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Section IV: Goals

General Information

Measurable annual goals with accompanying short-term objectives or benchmarks should align with the present levels of academic achievement and functional performance. Annual goals and short-term objectives or benchmarks should relate directly to the information recorded under concerns/needs requiring specialized instruction. Specified annual goals and objectives should align with the grade level general education curriculum standards, functional performance requirements and the Maryland State Curriculum (SC).

The IEP includes measurable annual goals and short-term objectives or benchmarks that describe each student’s expected learning outcomes. Annual goals are used to estimate what outcomes you can expect a student to achieve in an academic year based on the student’s present level of academic achievement and functional performance considered and documented in Section II of the IEP. Short-term objectives and benchmarks describe meaningful intermediate outcomes between the student’s current performance level and the annual goal.

Goal

Goals are specific, measurable, relate to the student’s disability as it affects the student’s performance and participation in the general curriculum with non-disabled peers to the maximum extent practicable, or appropriate preschool activities.

Goals should contain the qualities of being “SMART.”

S Specific and descriptive
M Measurable
A Attainable and relevant
R Realistic and relevant
T Time limited (one year)

 

IEP Goal Writing Standards:

  • Directly linked to an area identified within the student’s present level of academic achievement and functional performance that describes hoe the student’s disability affects student performance requiring specialized instruction.
  • Are achievable in relationship to the student’s expected rate of progress, strengths, and needs
  • Instructionally relevant
  • Connected to student’s grade level SC
  • Written in observable, measurable terms
  • Identify an ending level of performance
  • Identify objective procedures for evaluating progress
  • Written in terms that parents and professionals can understand
  • Reasonably calculated to be accomplished in one year
     

By MM.DD.YYYY (optional)

Each goal must quantify the length of time (by what date) the IEP team anticipates the student will be able to achieve the goal.
 

How the team will notify parent of progress

Describe the manner in which the parent of the student will be notified of progress of the student.
 

How Often

Designate how often the parent shall receive the Progress Report.

  • Weekly
  • Bi-Weekly
  • Monthly
  • Interim
  • Quarterly
  • End of Marking Period
  • Other (text filed)

COMAR 13A.05.01.09.B

ESY Goal

Identify whether or not this is a goal for which a student is to receive ESY services, or whether the IEP team has deferred making that decision until a later time. If the decision is deferred, document the reason for the deferral and the time frame in which the IEP team believes it will be appropriate to reconsider whether or not the student may or may not require the provision of ESY.

Evaluation Methods and Performance Criteria

This area is designed so that one can select an evaluation procedure for the goal statement. Evaluation procedures and performance criteria should be individually determined based on the student’s present level of academic achievement and functional performance and the task demands of general education or appropriate preschool activities.

It is necessary to specify the manner in which the goal shall be measured, i.e., a percent change, number of trials, standard score increase, months of growth, etc. in this area. When taken as a whole, the evaluation procedures and performance criteria should be measurable, objective, and clear.

Objective (Benchmark)

Describe meaningful intermediate outcomes between the student’s current performance level and the measurable annual goal.
 

Progress Toward Goal

The area at the bottom of the page entitled Progress Toward Goal provides the service provider a place to record student progress.

There are five progress codes:

  • Achieved
  • Making sufficient progress to meet goal
  • Newly Introduced skill progress not measurable at this time
  • Not making sufficient progress to meet the goal
  • Not yet introduced

A text field is provided under the progress codes to record evaluative data and a narrative description of the student’s progress.

In the shaded column on the left side of the page, space is provided to report on progress toward achieving the goal. Enter the date for evaluating the student’s progress.