Charting the roadmap to student behavioral success

Multiracial children standing in a line outside in a playground

Progress monitoring, as defined by the National Center on Progress Monitoring, is repeated measurement of academic performance to inform instruction of individual students in general and special education. It is conducted regularly in order to:

a.) Estimate rates of improvement

b.)  Identify students who are not demonstrating adequate progress and/or

c.) Compare the efficacy of different forms of instruction to design more effective individualized instruction.

This practice can also apply to behavior, as well as academics, and can be applied to individual students, classrooms, and at the schoolwide level.  We will focus on behavior and examine effective practices at the individual student level in order to chart your roadmap to behavioral success in your school.  We’ll look at how to use data results to shape behavioral instruction and interventions as the staff monitors and adjusts accordingly.

Individual Progress Monitoring

In order to monitor progress for students on an individual basis, your school should have an evidence-based monitoring system used consistently for all students requiring individual behavioral monitoring. Use the progress monitoring results to adjust and fine tune behavioral instruction, modifications, and interventions. Consider the following when monitoring students:


Students with Disabilities

  • Types of Monitoring: Individualized Education Program (IEP) goals and objectives, discipline referral data, incident referral data, behavioral rating scales/screeners, individual daily behavioral recording/point sheets, current grades and academic performance, Functional Behavioral Assessments (FBA), Behavior Intervention Plans (BIP), formal psychological assessments
  • Assign special education staff to monitoring students regularly to measure progress on their IEP goals and objectives, and ensure they are reporting results to parents and administrators/lead staff
  • Assign administrators/lead staff to monitor IEP progress
  • Conduct internal staff conferences to discuss lack of progress based on data results and action plans to monitor and adjust behavioral instruction and intervention(s)
  • Provide pro-social instruction to designated students via social skills classes, counseling, small group and community service project instruction to work on deficit skills
  • Review, revise or develop current and relevant Functional Behavioral Assessments (FBA), Behavior Intervention Plans (BIP), and IEPs that address progress monitoring results; typically done within the IEP meeting process
  • Continue to monitor behavioral progress, at least every grading period

Students without Disabilities

  • Types of Monitoring: Discipline referral data, incident referral data, behavioral rating scales, universal screeners for internalizing and externalizing behaviors, individual daily behavioral recording/point sheets, current grades and academic performance
  • Conduct regular Response to Intervention (RtI) or Student Intervention Team meetings to consider developing an individual student behavior plan if prior interventions have been ineffective. This team should also analyze specific student progress monitoring data for students that are currently monitored on a student plan and recommend adjustments to students’ behavior plans per data results.  As you develop a process for identifying students for monitoring consideration, consider the following questions:
    • How are you identifying students that need behavioral intervention?
    • How are the behavioral needs identified?
    • Are you developing benchmarks for behavior?
    • What methods of progress monitoring are you using?
    • How often do you convene to discuss progress?

    As you identify and develop individual student behavior plans, consider the following critical steps:

    • Set goals for student growth and outcomes
    • Select appropriate methods of progress monitoring
    • Identify which individuals will conduct the monitoring
    • Specify the frequency of the monitoring
    • Set timeline(s) for reviewing progress monitoring results
  • Include the classroom teacher(s) in the RtI or student intervention team meetings in order to gather input and data, and discuss adjustments to the behavior plan
  • Assign a staff member to monitor each student regularly to measure progress on their behavior plan and ensure they are reporting results to parents and administrators/lead staff
  • Assign administrators/lead staff to monitor behavioral progress
  • Provide pro-social instruction to designated students via social skills classes or individual/group counseling to work on deficit skills
  • Meet regularly to discuss student progress

Although our focus is on individual student monitoring, here are some tips for schoolwide and classroom progress monitoring.

Schoolwide Progress Monitoring

Schoolwide monitoring can be done in a variety of ways. The first step is to determine the campus goals and the types of data that will be examined to measure progress on those goals. A year-to-year analysis is also an effective way to check for improvements and progress.

  • Types of Monitoring:  Discipline referral data, discipline referral data compared to district-wide data, campus observation rating scales for common areas, suspension rates, attendance rates, alternative placement rates, dropout rates, and schoolwide behavioral screener data
  • Create a campus climate or positive behavior team that convenes regularly to review and analyze the data and to monitor behavioral progress
  • Share data results regularly with staff
  • Provide training for staff and students in the area of Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS)
  • Address problem areas as they surface whenever possible, don’t wait until the start of the following school year

Classroom Progress Monitoring

Classroom monitoring involves teacher participation and classroom visits by administration/lead staff.   It is important for teachers to know that the campus leadership team is available for support and guidance; therefore, it is critical to create a comfortable environment in order to exchange ideas for behavioral intervention.  Consider the following:

  • Types of Monitoring: Discipline referral data by teacher, discipline referral data by student, classroom observation rating scales, universal screener (behavior) data, academic grades by classroom, passing rates, parental input, and behavioral checklists
  • Have teachers submit classroom management plans for their classroom (expectations, procedures, reinforcement systems, consequences)
  • Visit classrooms regularly to monitor implementation of classroom management plans
  • Consider developing common classroom expectations, reinforcement systems and consequences for all classrooms to build consistency among the staff and students
  • Address high volume discipline referrals with individual teachers to examine the variables causing the problems
  • Provide training for staff regarding effective classroom management

By implementing and conducting progress monitoring for individual students, classrooms, and at the schoolwide level, you can improve your leadership practices and help guide your staff in the right direction by addressing specific behaviors with specific interventions. The monitoring results will tell you where your students, teachers, and school are headed.


About the Author
Roland Espericueta

Roland Espericueta

Roland Espericueta has over 20 years of experience in Special Education and Educational Administration. He taught in Special Education in the San Antonio Independent School District as well as the Northside Independent School District, where he also served as a Campus Administrator and Coordinator of Behavior Programs. In 2009, Roland joined the Review360 team as an Implementation Specialist. In this role, he trains teachers and administrators on using Review360 and provides continuous behavioral support to partner districts. Roland also brings his extensive expertise to The Behavior Matters Newsletter as a regular contributor.