Progress Monitoring at Legacy

Progress Monitoring at Legacy

What is progress monitoring? Well, simply put, it is the regular assessment of a student’s academic progress and the collection of data to inform and monitor instruction. Students at Legacy just completed their final, formal progress monitoring for 2023-2024, and they are so relieved it is over. 

Students with diagnosed learning disabilities are frequently being examined by educators, whether it is called “testing”, “assessments”, “benchmarking” , “baselines”, “informal reading inventories”, “rating scales”, or “teacher observations”. These special education buzzwords are all forms of progress monitoring.  Much to our students’ dismay, careful progress monitoring is a critical component of properly educating children with dyslexia. Unbeknownst to our students, our teachers actually monitor progress on a daily basis–we use informal structures so it is not obvious to the students. 

At Legacy, we have three formal benchmarking weeks; students are assessed during the beginning, middle, and end of the school year to track individual development. Informal progress monitoring is simply data tracking in between the formal benchmarks. For example, a trained Orton-Gillingham reading instructor may notice that a child struggles with words like “brink” or “bring” by mispronouncing the short /i/ and instead misreading them as “brunk” or “brung.”  They may also notice that the student reads the words “brim”, “brick”, and “brit” correctly. When the teacher records the errors and analyzes them, a skilled teacher asks herself, “Why these words, and not other words?” A likely answer to the above scenario is that words ending with an /ng/ or /nk/ cause the child to motor plan their sounds incorrectly, and the student needs more practice going from a short /i/ sound to a consonant /n/ sound. With this analysis, this teacher can adapt their instructional strategies to meet the exact needs of this particular student, ensuring that his or her reading intervention is effective. Progress monitoring throughout every tutoring session and class allows Legacy staff to tailor interventions to the individual student, and in turn helps students make sustainable academic improvements.

Regular progress monitoring empowers educators to set measurable and achievable goals for student advancement. Accountability to student improvement allows staff to set an appropriate pace that is neither too fast nor too slow. Consistent informal monitoring holds educators accountable for student progress, ensuring that teaching methods and interventions are evaluated and adjusted for effectiveness. Simultaneously, progress monitoring empowers educators to be creative and find what works! The data collected prompts informed conversations about changes in instructional strategies or the introduction of new interventions. Different children require different methodologies, strategies, and presentation of concepts in order to learn, and their learning goals need to reflect these differences. Legacy strives to help each individual student become successful, therefore the goals we set provide a clear roadmap for academic growth in both literacy and foundational math skills. 

Continuous progress monitoring ensures that students receive consistent support throughout their education, helping to close the achievement gap between students with dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia and their neurotypical peers. So when your child complains “I hate benchmarking” –just remember it is just a formal way of collecting data to help them achieve their full potential!