Smart Goals for SLPs


So this week at school, I had my first SMART goal meeting of the year with my administrators. My school district implemented this model a couple of years ago as part of our evaluation system. If you do not use this system in your school, here is a bit more about it.

Smart goals are used for all teachers (and therapists) to help measure student progress. While teachers in my district are expected to have goals related to math or reading, there is a bit more flexibility with therapists in writing these goals since we work on so many different things! I still have my personal beef with this evaluation system, particularly for therapists - mostly that students with individualized eduction plans have to have a one-size-fits-all goal that I am judged on - but it is what I have to deal with, so I try to make the best of it. Here are my recommendations for making the smart goal process as easy as possible!

  1. Pick relevant goals: If you are allowed to pick you own goals, pick something that your students are working on anyway. There is no need for extra work that is not even relevant to your students' goals. 
  2. Pick a data collection system: Most of my own personal data collection probably only makes sense to me and other SLPs. Administrators need an easy way to understand what all that SLP jargon means. I recommend using a rubric, informal assessment, or a skill-specific assessment (i.e. not the CELF!) that can be used to easily collect data at least 3 times a year (beginning of the year, mid-year, and end of the year) and make the data non-SLP friendly. 
  3. Select a sub-group of students: SLPs work with a very diverse group of students with varying ages, goals, and abilities. It would be impossible to pick one goal for all students to work on. Select a small group of students working on like-goals to track.
  4. Make a running record: Keep your administrator-friendly data all on one easy to read page for your selected students. This will make it easier for both of you to see how your students are progressing towards meeting your SMART goals.

This year my SMART Goal is for narrative re-tell. I have several students working on this goal in one form or another. My kindergarten team is also working on narrative re-tell, so we plan to collaborate together. I love when I get to work with my teachers! Here is my goal for this year:

100% of students in grades K-3 with language-based goals who qualified for speech services through an IEP before mid-year will improve their narrative re-tell skills as demonstrated by a growth of at least 10 points from their baseline performance on the Test of Narrative Retell by 5/31/2016.

Whew - that is a mouthful. As you can tell from my goal, I am measuring student progress for this goal using the Test of Narrative Retell (TNR). If you didn't catch my previous post about this assessment, you can read more about it here. This assessment is FREE. You heard me - It's free, standardized, super easy and quick to administer, and you can download it for grades pre-K-3 here. You're welcome.

Along with the TNR for collecting data, I will also be utilizing the Story Champs Program that goes along with the assessment as a part of my intervention. Just so you know, the assessment can certainly stand alone from the Story Champs Program - but my district bought a few to pilot amongst the SLPs so I am going to be trying it out! The program comes with both a small group intervention kit and a large group intervention kit. I plan on using the small group kit in my room and pushing-in to classrooms to do the large group kit with the teachers. The kits include numerous short stories (paragraph level), pictures to go along with the stories, and symbols (with various symbol manipulatives) that represent story grammar elements.  I am excited to try it out and share more about it with you all as I become more familiar with it! 

Does your district utilize a SMART goal system? What do you think about it? What will you be working on this year?


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