Painlessly Collect Data and Monitor Progress with These Handy Trackers!
Data collection is a critical component of your child’s IEP — and it has never been more important for parents to learn how to track data than it is now! Along with special education advocate Dr. Sarah Pelangka, we’ve created this goal tracker to make it easier for you to collect valid and reliable data to the best of your ability. (We've included a handy example on the first page.) Before you get started, check out this short video with more tips.
So you can provide current data points for your child’s present levels of performance, baseline levels, and possible assessments (if they are due). This will allow you to advocate for current, necessary goals instead of using data that is no longer relevant.
What should you be collecting data on? As much as you feel is necessary, and whatever you are capable of tracking. Data tracking can be overwhelming, so at the very least, we recommend tracking the following areas:
- Progress on current IEP goals
- Current/new behaviors: How often are they occurring? How long are they lasting? What is the topography (what do they look like)? When are they occurring?
- Social skills: How frequently is your child initiating with peers/adults? What do these interactions look like?
- Emotional changes: Document any noted changes (mood changes, changes in sleep, eating patterns, etc.)
- Any additional accommodations and/or modifications you have made to allow your child to access their education.
If you can track daily, fantastic! A few days a week is also great. Weekly works, too! Just do your best and don’t stress over it!
Data can be tracked in a number of ways, including typed documents such as this one, handwritten data collection, narrative form (although hard data is best), and videos. Videos are a great way to collect data, as they’re easy to make. Plus, no one can refute the source, and you can always rewatch while taking notes in case you feel you missed something. Check out this great app that records and transcribes for instant documentation. For ongoing data collection, it’s best to keep a typed document like this one, as you may need it for reporting purposes or for a due process hearing. Make sure you understand how each goal is being measured (such as frequency, duration, or rate). Also check out SpEd attorney Grace Clark’s tips on progress monitoring here.
We created this IEP service delivery log so you can keep track of any concerns you have about IEP goal progress during distance learning. As with the data tracker, we've included a handy example on the first page.
** For both trackers, you can either print them out and write in your data/notes, or you can go up to "File" in the menu at the top left and then select "Make a Copy" from the drop-down menu; this will create a new document that you can type into and make your own. **