Meaningful and Measurable Goals
Meaningful Goals answer the question "Of all the things I could pick to teach this student... why this?"
This part of the IEP describe the student's academic and functional goals for the year. The statements should identify the knowledge, skills, or behaviors that the student should be able to demonstrate within a year. Goals are created using baseline performance data as stated in their present level of performance and be clearly measurable so that it is clear if the student does or does not achieve that goal. See more information about goals from the National Association of Special Education Teachers. The DPI Measurable Annual IEP Goals: Self Check helps teams determine if their annual goals are measurable.
Benchmarks/ short-term objectives
Benchmarks are required by law for students who take an alternate assessment aligned to alternate achievement standards. Benchmarks can be created for all students, but must be completed for any student participating in alternate curriculum and taking alternate statewide or districtwide assessments. Benchmarks break the skills described in the annual goal into discrete measurable intermediate steps.
In MMSD, when a goal includes benchmarks, the goal statement must still contain a baseline and measurable level of attainment. Benchmarks must also contain a baseline and measurable level of attainment. DPI recognizes rare occasions when that is not required. See the DPI Forms Guide for more information on the requirements under those circumstances. Due to the rarity of those situations, the district recommends that all goal statements and benchmarks include a baseline and measurable level of attainment.
Reporting Goal Progress
In MMSD, parents and guardians must be informed at least quarterly about the progress their student is making toward achieving annual goals. They may be informed more frequently, but it is expected that staff report progress quarterly and at the end of the IEP to determine of the goal was met or not met. When benchmarks or short-term objectives are included in the annual goal, all benchmarks or short-term objectives must be attained in order for the goal to be considered met (DPI Forms Guide)