In grades K – 2, students are regularly administered short assessments for purposes of progress monitoring, usually in Reading and Math. If a student was identified for additional instruction, at some point he scored below benchmark for grade level on some academic measure. The student begins intervention with a specialist instructor, likely in a small group meeting several times per week. His progress continues to be monitored using what the school may term “curriculum-based assessments.” The purpose of the intervention is to get the student up to the benchmark for his grade. Once the student reaches the benchmark for grade, the school may discontinue the small group instruction. This type of small group instruction does not mean that he is receiving “Special Education” services with an Individual Education Plan (IEP).

If your student is being released from small group instruction because she met the benchmark in a particular area, ask the following questions:

  • What should I do to help my child stay on track?
  • How often will you assess my student to make sure she maintains grade level performance?
  • What was my child’s percentile rank on the curriculum-based measure?

The first two questions will tell you what to do to keep your student moving in a positive direction and how the school will track her progress.

Why ask about percentile rank? The percentile rank tells you where your student is performing when compared to peers. In my next blog post, I will share why the percentile rank is an important piece of information for parents.

Blogger Mary Ann Mulcahey, PhD, shares her expertise in assessment and diagnosis of learning disabilities and ADHD, and the social/emotional adjustment to those issues. If you have questions, please contact Mary Ann at mmulcahey@springer-ld.org.

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