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What exactly are goals?

Goals must be measurable. Bottom line. They cannot be an abstract concept. Goals must be something concrete and measurable. They also need to be specific. If the goal is broad, it does not address the heart of the matter.

Goals must also be realistic and achievable. Goals are meant to be accomplished within a 1 year time frame, not 4 years down the road. If the goal can’t be achieved with that 1 year timeframe, then an achievable goal needs to be created.

On the other hand, if a goal is achieved within 3 months, that goal needs to be reevaluated. A small meeting should be required. It does not necessarily need to be the entire IEP team, but a smaller team of the person writing the goal, the case manager and yourself should go over the change and adopt the new goal.

What are the objectives?

Within each goal, we have objectives. An objective is similar to a single stair in a staircase. Each stair climbs the staircase all the way to the top, or goal achievement. Goals should not have an overwhelming number of objectives in order to achieve. If there are too many objectives within the goal, this goal should be broken down into multiple goals.

Sometimes people like to umbrella every possible objective into one goal, and this negates the purpose of goals because it makes it difficult to gauge improvement. If you feel a goal is overwhelming or has too many objectives, don’t be afraid to speak up and provide your feedback and concerns. Also, if you feel like the goal is not challenging enough, speak up. The reason for these goals is to push the student toward greater learning and achievement.


Data Collection

The data collected throughout the school year are measurables towards the designated goals. All teachers and parties involved are responsible for collecting data throughout the school year as it relates to the goals of the child. This data is super important as this data helps inform the next IEP meeting and could potentially inform whether or not a student may qualify for, or need, an extended school year (ESY).

Not every student who accesses special education or a student with a disability qualifies for ESY. Extended school year is typically four to six weeks at the beginning of summer. This is on-site education where transportation is provided (if you qualify) similar to the normal school year.

Several predictive factors come into play when qualifying a student for ESY:

  • Degree of student’s impairment
  • Rate or lack of progress
  • Behavior issues
  • Physical issues
  • Regression / Recoupment – additional ramp-up time to relearn what has already been learned.

ESY is data driven, which is why data collection during the school year is very important. If you don’t agree with the decision made on ESY, ask to see the data.

We understand that there is a lot of information to process when it comes to IEPs. If you have any questions at all, feel free to contact us and we will guide you through the entire process.