Goal Setting Tools

Goals are essential for making decisions regarding whether a student is demonstrating adequate progress in the intervention program or determining whether an instructional change is needed. These goals support teams in designing and implementing the progress monitoring plan aligned to the student’s intervention plan.

Selecting the focus of the goal should be based on needs identified through formal or informal assessments. The goal setting process includes:

  1. selecting a measure,
  2. establishing baseline performance,
  3. choosing a validated goal setting strategy, ​and
  4. writing and sharing the goal.

When developing goals, educators must consider why and how the goal was set, how long the student has to achieve the goal, and what the student is expected to do when the goal is met. Whether teams are setting goals for students receiving tiered interventions or for an individualized education program (IEP), the goals should promote students’ access to and benefit from the general education curriculum. Including students and families in the goal setting process can facilitate greater student engagement and successful problem solving.

Tools and Resources to Support Goal Setting:

Related Resources


What is the Endrew F. decision and how does it impact writing a student's IEP?


Strategies for Setting High-Quality Academic Individualized Education Program Goals


Strategies for Setting Data-Driven Behavioral Individualized Education Program Goals


How do we address the realization that a previously set goal might be unrealistic and unattainable for a student?


When setting a goal it is important to check that it is measurable by asking: Is it quantifiable? Can it be observed? Can data be collected systematically? Can the collected data be graphed?