As summer is coming to an end, the excitement of new beginnings fills the air. With a new school year approaching, educators are preparing to lay the foundation for a successful new year for their students.  


Advanced planning with the end in mind can ensure busy educators are well-prepared for the school year ahead. Considering each student’s long-term academic, social, and emotional growth when planning individualized learning plans is vital for a thriving new year.  


Achieve success for your students with our three-step plan: 

  • Assess your students’ current status 
  • Create actionable IEP goals 
  • Support your students with technology and digital prompting 

Step 1: Assess Current Status 

Getting baseline measurements for each of your student’s skills is an essential first step. For new students, you’ll need to gain an overall picture of their strengths and areas for growth before you can initiate goals and create individualized learning plans. Even for returning students, you’ll need to reassess following summer break to account for the potential for summer learning loss (or potential summer gains) to know how to support their learning needs best.  


Digital assessments, such as ABLLS-R and AFLS, are a great way to efficiently and effectively assess your student’s skills across a wide range of skill domains. With individualized reports, you can seamlessly utilize assessment results to inform your goal development and instructional methods.

Step 2: Create Actionable Goals 

Next, write actionable goals for the year and create individualized instructional methods that meet every learner’s unique needs. Lean on your assessment results to guide you in developing the goals that meet your students where they are and support their ongoing educational journey.  


Write SMART goals 

Specific: Written clearly and concisely, stating the targeted result.
Measurable: Worded to allow for objective observation and measurement with clearly outlined mastery criteria.
Attainable: Achievable considering the student’s assessed skills, history of goal attainment, and available resources.

Relevant: Meaningful to the student’s academic, social-emotional, and functional needs.
Time-bound: With the end goal in mind, goals must be planned to be achieved by a target date. 

Step 3: Support your Students with Technology 

In the ever-evolving digital age, there are countless ways to enhance learning using technology. Educators can help their students increase autonomy and progress toward IEP goal mastery through supportive technology and digital prompting. Digital step-by-step instructions that guide your learners through their individualized goals can foster learner independence and help reduce educator burnout. 

Set the Stage for a Successful New School Year

In our extended Special Educators Back to School Guide: A Three-Step Plan for a Successful New Year, we delve deeper into strategies for achieving optimal success as you enter a new year. Learn more about how to plan for a productive school year full of growth.