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Progress Monitoring


What is Progess Monitoring ?
Progress monitoring is the scientifically and/or evidenced-based practice of assessing students’ academic and behavioral performance on a regular basis. Progress monitoring serves two purposes:

  1. To determine whether students are making appropriate progress in the core instructional program.
  2. To build more effective programs for the students who are not making appropriate progress.

Why is Progress Monitoring Important?
Progress monitoring assures that what schools are implementing is working. Ongoing progress monitoring is extremely important. The continual collection of data and measurements provides a unique portfolio outlining student needs. Progress monitoring assists school personnel in making decisions about the appropriate levels of interventions provided to students.

What Would Schools Consider ?
The practice of progress monitoring will most likely be unique from school to school as schools have various assessments and intervention strategies already in place. Monitoring progress assists classroom teachers in identifying student performance levels, for example, students who are struggling to make adequate progress. Through monitoring the students’ progress using classroom-based measures, the teacher may adjust instructional strategies, curriculum, methods of delivery, etc. to better meet individual student needs. Many schools may use the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) assessment to assess student progress in reading.

Gathering classroom or school behavioral data is an example of Tier I progress monitoring. If, through progress monitoring, school personnel determines that appropriate student progress has not been made, the school team would provide or recommend supplemental instructional programs and practices to reinforce skills and improve progress.

In the RTI model, a student receiving Tier II levels of service would continue to be instructed and monitored in the regular classroom (Tier I). In addition, this student would receive supplemental instruction and more frequent progress monitoring. For example, the progress monitoring may consist of monthly one-minute measures of oral reading fluency. Conducting monthly observations of targeted behaviors would be another example of Tier II progress monitoring. If the results of progress monitoring indicate adequate student achievement or behavior, levels of services and progress monitoring in both Tier I and Tier II continue.  
If, through continual progress monitoring at Tiers I and II, school personnel determines that appropriate student progress has not been made, the school team would provide or recommend more intensive levels of student intervention. These intensive interventions are specifically designed to meet and address individual student needs. Progress monitoring in Tier III occurs more frequently and is more individualized than the previous Tiers. For example, Tier III progress monitoring may consist of weekly measures of comprehension and oral reading fluency. Tier III progress monitoring for behavioral issues may consist of weekly review and data collection to monitor the effectiveness of a behavior intervention plan. The accumulation of progress monitoring results helps direct a team to alter Tier III interventions or determine if referral for special education services is necessary.

Overall, progress monitoring will assist in defining the level of instruction and curriculum needed by students in all levels of service. Progress monitoring assists schools to ensure interventions match the needs and learning styles of each student.

Additional Progress Monitoring Information:
How Progress Monitoring Assists Decision Making in a Response to Instruction Framework [K-12]
Researchers at the National Center for Student Progress Monitoring studied a Response to Instruction model as a method of identifying children for special education services. To judge responsiveness, curriculum-based measures of oral reading fluency were used to monitor progress. This process generated a number of examples of how weekly progress monitoring, which includes systematic data interpretation and teacher action, is central to good decision making in an RtI framework. Two children are discussed whose profiles illustrate different aspects of the progress monitoring-RtI interface. The document is available at

What is Scientifically-Based Research on Progress Monitoring? [K-12]
When teachers use systematic progress monitoring to track their students progress in reading, mathematics, or spelling, they are better able to identify students in need of additional or different forms of instruction, they design stronger instructional programs, and their students achieve better. This document from the National Center for Student Progress Monitoring first describes progress monitoring procedures for which experimental evidence demonstrates these effects. Then, an overview of the research is presented. The document is available at





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North Dakota Department of Public Instruction
Kirsten Baesler, State Superintendent
600 E. Boulevard Avenue, Dept. 201
Bismarck, North Dakota 58505-0440

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