The Individualized Education Program (IEP) documents a child’s eligibility for special education services and formalizes the plan to provide special education programs and services that are appropriate for the child’s unique needs. The IEP contains specific information about a child and specifies the special education programs and services recommended to meet these needs. The IEP lists measurable annual goals, consistent with the child’s needs and abilities; the IEP includes benchmarks or short-term instructional objectives, evaluative criteria and procedures, and schedules used to measure progress toward the annual goals.
Progress reports provide a mechanism to monitor a child’s progress toward annual goals and to evaluate the effectiveness of the child’s special education program and services. Programs must conduct regular progress monitoring of student achievement data over time. Progress monitoring should be used to adjust, as appropriate, the student’s instructional program. It should also be used to request meetings of the CPSE to consider changes to the student’s IEP, when appropriate. If a child is not expected to reach his/her annual goals, the CPSE should review and revise the IEP to ensure that the child is being provided the appropriate supports and services, and the IEP reflects the child’s current needs and abilities.
Programs should provide regular written reports of the child’s progress to the parent and CPSE. Progress reports may be discussed during CPSE meetings and transition to kindergarten (“Turning 5”) IEP meetings.
Each annual goal establishes the criteria, schedule, and method for evaluating the student’s progress. Establishing goals that are measurable is important so that progress can be adequately assessed. To report a student’s progress, the teacher(s) must have gathered evidence of what the student is able to do in each annual goal area. Establishing a systematic data collection system is the first step to effective progress reporting.
Progress reports should contain, at a minimum:
- A review of the educational/related service(s) IEP goals and objectives, and the student’s current levels of performance in achieving the goals;
- A review of the educational/related service(s) to which the report pertains, including a description of the student’s response to the service and/or current levels of performance;
- A review of the student’s current level of performance and development across domains, including social and emotional, physical, communication and language, cognition and activities of daily living (ADLs);
- A review of the child’s rate of progress in acquiring skills; and
- The extent to which progress is sufficient to enable the child to achieve the annual goals and the extent to which that progress is sufficient to enable the student to achieve the goals by the by the end of the IEP period.
Additional areas to consider for progress reports include:
- A review of the student’s current level of performance and development across domains, including social and emotional, physical, communication and language, cognition and activities of daily living (ADLs); and
- A description of the student’s academic achievement and learning characteristics, including rate of progress in acquiring skills and information and preferred learning style.
Programs that operate a special class and/or special class in an integrated setting (SCIS) must provide three (3) reports of progress per year for preschool students receiving 10-month special education services and four (4) reports of progress per year for preschool students receiving 12-month special education services, as required under the regulations (section 200.4(d)(2)(iii)(c)).
A “final” progress report is required if the student is discharged/terminated from services either:
- More than thirty (30) days after the most recent progress report or
- After more than thirty (30) days of service, if the student’s period of enrollment was not long enough to have required a first progress report.
Programs should also provide any additional progress reports as requested by the CPSE.
Distribution of Progress Reports
Progress reports must be sent to the child’s parents and the CPSE.
Before any scheduled CPSE meeting, the most recent progress reports should be submitted to the CPSE located in the child’s home district. For an annual review meeting, this documentation should be submitted at least thirty days before the review. For reevaluations, this documentation should be submitted to the CPSE within twenty school days of the parent’s consent for reevaluation.
In addition, progress reports for Turning 5 IEP meetings must be provided by February 1st.
For all DOE District 1-32 schools and pre-k centers, progress reports should be uploaded into SESIS and notification must be sent to the CPSE when completed. More information can be found on the SESIS Special Circumstances web page under the section "Uploading Documents."
For all 4410 nonpublic school providers, preschool progress reports should be provided (mailed or hand-delivered) to the appropriate CPSE office.
- Progress is reported to parents in a jargon-free manner that can be understood by them; reports should be objective, not subjective.
- Specific data is included in measurable terms regarding the student’s progress towards meeting annual goals.
- If the parents or service provider believes the educational or related service needs, including improved academic achievement and functional performance of the student, warrant a requested review or reevaluation, a written request should be submitted to the CPSE. Programs can support families in this process by assisting the family in writing the request and providing the CPSE with documentation.
- In addition to required written reports of progress, programs should connect with families on an ongoing basis to discuss progress, e.g., parent teach conferences, phone calls, in person meetings, etc.