Using Rhithm to help with monitoring special education student progress goals

This article is written by Kristen C. Eccleston, Ed.D., NBCT.

Progress monitoring is an important part of the IEP process that allows schools to assess a student’s academic and/or social-emotional progress on IEP goals and evaluate the impact of instruction a student is receiving. Using the Rhithm App can be an effective way of gaining measurable data on students working to make progress on social-emotional goals.

  1. Progress Monitoring

  2. Using Rhithm's Data Reporting Tool

  3. Making Data Work For You (Social-Emotional IEP Goals)

  4. Incorporating Emotion Regulation Skills

  5. Further considerations

Progress Monitoring

In 2004, when the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) was reauthorized, the focus shifted from short-term objectives to annual goals. Annual goals are measurable statements used to identify the knowledge, skills, and/or behaviors a student is expected to demonstrate by their annual review meeting. During each annual IEP meeting, measurable goals identified in the present levels of academic achievement and functional performance (PLAAFP) must be developed to meet a student's individual learning needs.

To ensure a student is meeting the objectives set forth within their IEP goals, progress monitoring occurs several times throughout the annual IEP cycle, typically once an academic quarter. Progress monitoring is scientifically based and is implemented to evaluate the impact of instruction on students learning. According to IDEA 2004, each IEP goal must include a description of how a student's progress toward meeting their annual goals will be measured, and reports of these measurements must be provided to parents.

Currently, state and local education agencies are tasked with monitoring, tracking, and reporting progress on student IEP goals. Some agencies have clearly outlined procedures to guide educators tasked with monitoring student progress, while others do not. As a result, teachers frequently struggle with the absence of clear guidance, support, procedures, and available resources designed to aid in progress monitoring and streamline the data collection necessary to measure and report student annual IEP goal progress.

Using Rhithm’s Data Reporting Tool

Rhithm Insights is a data visualization and reporting tool for leaders that makes it easy to analyze trends across their districts or campuses while increasing awareness to support data-driven decision-making. Teachers can also access and use this information to dive into an individual student in order to get a clearer picture of their well-being and how it might be impacting academic and behavioral outcomes.

As students complete regular Rhithm Wellness Check-Ins, the teacher dashboard provides an at-a-glance view showing Tempo Scores that highlight how regulated classes and individual students are. Tempo Scores are a simple quantitative measure calculated based on responses from any of our Wellness Check-Ins (Essential Wellness Check-In & Simplified Wellness Check-In), and provide a general summary of how ready your students are for learning using the following scale:

  • > 90 - Regulated and ready to learn

  • 70-90 - Regulated with room to improve

  • < 70 - Higher level of dysregulation and lower level of learning readiness

📍Note: There are some observed differences between Tempo Scores for the Simplified and Essential Wellness Check-In. More on that can be found here.

A composite of your students' tempo score is at the top left of your dashboard, and each individual student's tempo score is listed next to their name on the Entity List. Individual student data can be reviewed in several ways. One way is to examine a student's Trend View. Trend view shows a graph of averaged responses organized by day, week, or year.

The next way to examine student data is by exploring List View. List view provides more granular details about the responses a student selected while completing the Rhithm assessment. Each column in List View represents a different question in the assessment, and responses are color-coded based on which frequency zone they fall into. Additionally, you can view any student notes that were entered while completing a Rhithm assessment. Notes can be found by either gliding on the pen and paper icon next to the student's name in the Entity List or by clicking on the pen and paper icon next to a student's assessment results in List View.

For more information, check out Rhithm’s article: Viewing assessment data or Getting started with Rhithm (Teachers).

Making Data Work For You (Social-Emotional IEP Goals)

Collecting data to assist in the progress monitoring of social-emotional/behavioral goals is as easy as visiting your Rhithm Dashboard. From your Rhithm dashboard, you can download a spreadsheet of check-in data or a Completion Report showing how many check-ins an individual student, teacher, or admin has completed.

Also, from the Rhithm dashboard, you can download various “List View” reports showing student responses during a select timeframe. This downloaded data can then be correlated and used as part of the student's Progress Monitoring Report and/or as data placed within the PLAAFP section of their IEPs to demonstrate your student's progress on the specific social-emotional/behavioral goals you previously identified in their IEP.

With Rhithm you have access to measurable data that showcases the progress or ongoing needs related to your student's identified social-emotional/behavioral goals. Not only can you use Rhithm’s data to ensure you are meeting the criteria outlined in IDEA 2004 as it related to student monitoring, but you can also use Rhithm’s data to create a tailored learning solution incorporating the video collection found in Rhithm’s Toolkit, to provide your student with the social-emotional/behavioral skills necessary to meet their identified goals.

For more information, check out Rhithm’s article: Exporting data from your dashboard or Rhithm Insights Overview.

Incorporating Emotion Regulation Skills

For students with specific social-emotional/behavioral IEP goals, the Rhithm Toolkit is a great resource to use as part of your progress monitoring process.

The Rhithm Toolkit allows educators to browse and engage with our library of video content while filtering by need, method, learning level, narrator, or framework.

Special education teachers can use student data as a resource to assist them in creating measurable social-emotional/behavioral goals that are reflective of a student's specific needs. Once a measurable goal has been created, teachers can incorporate use of the Rhithm App and the Rhithm Toolkit into the intervention plan.

For example, a potential IEP goal linking a student struggling with emotional regulation skills to the Rhithm app could look like this:

Goal: Given adult support and fading prompts, the student will be able to identify when they are experiencing feelings of being overwhelmed and implement a self-soothing strategy in 4 out of 5 trials.

  • Objective 1: Student will ask to use an identified self-regulation tool (E.g. Rhithm) when they first start to notice feelings of being overwhelmed.

  • Objective 2: Student will receive and participate in a provided self-regulation strategy to support their readiness for learning.

  • Objective 3: Student will implement the provided self-regulation strategy to support their readiness for learning.

  • Objective 4: Student will return to their newly learned regulation strategy anytime they begin to experience feelings of being overwhelmed.

Each time a student uses the Rhithm app, data will be collected and become part of the student's Tempo Score that teachers can easily access on a weekly basis.

Administrators can also assist in the data collection of students with IEPs by accessing historical periods of student data from Rhithm Insights to support the long-term tracking of student progress towards a specific social-emotional/behavioral goal.

Additionally, teachers can use the Rhithm Toolkit separately from asking a student to “Get in Rhithm” and use the videos to create a tailored social-emotional learning experience specific to their students learning needs and/or IEP goals.

Further Considerations

Emerging national trends show that more and more school districts are turning to high-tech solutions along with ongoing training to aid in the fidelity of implementation practices used to monitor student's progress on their annual IEP goals. Using Rhithm’s data reporting tools is an efficient and effective way to utilize technology to aid in measuring student progress.

Benefits of using Rhithm data to monitor student progress of social-emotional goals include:

  • Meeting IDEA compliance requirements for measuring and reporting student progress

  • Having a systematic approach to data collection

  • Access to longitudinal data on student progress

  • Ongoing Progress Monitoring with Data Collection

  • Assisting teachers in making data-informed decisions that help guide instruction

  • Having relevant and current information for a student’s PLAAFP

At Rhithm we understand the demand placed on special education teachers and those tasked with monitoring student data, and we are excited to partner with you in ways that help ensure both student and teacher success.

We hope you find the information related to using Rhithm data to support monitoring student progress helpful. If you have any feedback or want additional tips, please do not hesitate to contact our support team to let us know!

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