Why do you start progress monitoring before you begin an intervention and what do you need to consider when selecting a progress monitoring measure to ensure you get the data you need to make decisions?

Question: Why do you start progress monitoring before you begin an intervention and what do you need to consider when selecting a progress monitoring measure to ensure you get the data you need to make decisions?

Answer: If you have a student who you have identified as potentially in need of intensive intervention, it is essential to begin progress monitoring them on a weekly basis — right away. Even if you have not started your interventions; even if the team is not sure what they are going to do. The reason is that you want to collect a lot of baseline data, which is to say, the data you have before you actually make a decision about what to do, because that will allow you then to create an aim line to determine the rate of growth that a student is going to need in order to make adequate progress. If you don’t have baseline data you cannot tell what is a good estimate of the student’s current rate of performance and how much we should increase that. So it is really critical to begin doing weekly progress monitoring as soon as you can. One thing that is important to state along with this is that there are two forms of progress monitoring, as you may know. One is mastery measurement and one is general outcome measurement. And for reading and math in particular, it is really important to do the general outcome measure at the student’s instructional level. So if you have a fourth grade student who is performing at a second grade level in reading, you are going to use second grade progress monitoring tools and you are going to administer those on a weekly basis to collect your baseline data. It is important to have this general outcome measure, because if you just do, say a sight word measure, that’s great, but you don’t know enough about the student’s broader reading, you only know about one thing. So again, it is really important to begin the measurement right away as soon as you are beginning to feel the student might be a student you are going to include in intensive intervention, and might need data-base individualization, even if you haven’t started yet.

Developed By: 
National Center on Intensive Intervention