Individual Education Program goals are very important and are part of a road map that leads to achievement of long term goals. IEP goals need to be written in any area that has been identified on the present level of performance page as an area of need. The present level page typically describes the student’s current academic, social emotion, communication and health functioning as well as identifying areas of need.
Once an area of need has been established a goal needs to be written in that area. The special education teacher along with parents and general education provider together should be writing goals. Unfortunately, what often happens is that goals are written in isolation by the professionals and then are presented to parents.
In order to ensure that parents voice and concerns are addressed parents need to participate in goal writing and at the very least understand why the goal is written, how it supports the long term goal, and how progress will be measured. Most recently, I attended an IEP meeting where the goals were written so broadly that it was impossible to first understand what the goal was and secondly how it was being measured.
It is best to begin the IEP meeting or premeeting with understanding what the parents’ long term goal is for the student. Sometimes this long term goal might just be something that the team can’t imagine is attainable but everyone must remember that no one really can read the future and anything is bound to be accomplished with motivation and commitment. Consequently, parents’ goals for their son or daughter need to be respected and the team held responsible for guiding the son/daughter towards that long term goal.
Any questions on goals? Contact Diana@talkcounts.com