Connecticut IEP Manual

Section 4: Annual Goals and Short-term Objectives

General Information

The IEP includes measurable annual goals and short-term objectives or benchmarks that describe the student’s expected learning outcomes. Annual goals are used to estimate what outcomes one can expect a child to achieve in an academic year based on the student’s present levels of performance. Short-term objectives and benchmarks describe meaningful intermediate and measurable outcomes between the student’s current performance level and the annual goal.

Measurable annual goals and objectives should align with the present levels of academic achievement and functional performance and relate directly to the concerns/needs requiring specialized instruction. IEP academic annual goals should align with the grade level general education core curriculum standards (CT Core Standards). For students in preschool, annual goals should align with the Early Learning Development Standards (ELDS).

Connecticut regulations require short-term objectives derived from the annual educational goals for all students that have an IEP and that evaluation procedures and performance criteria be specified for all short-term objectives. The annual goal may be measured in terms of the achievement of the short-term objectives that are written to address the goal or separate evaluation procedures may be utilized for the goal. Evaluation procedures and performance criteria should be individually determined based on the student’s present levels of academic and functional performance and the task demands of general education or appropriate preschool activities.

Annual Goals

The standardized format for IEP annual goals is as follows:

Given [Condition*], the student will [Targeted Skill/Behavior], to this extent [Evaluation Criteria]

*Condition may include materials, setting, accommodation, assistive technology.

Goal Example #1:

Given grade-level informational text, [student name] will identify the main idea and supporting details with 90% accuracy as measured by teacher-created curriculum-based assessments.

Goal Example #2:

Given math manipulatives, [student’s name] will solve problems involving addition and subtraction of whole numbers and decimals through hundredths, as measured by completion of short-term objectives.

Short-term Objectives

The standardized format for IEP short-term objectives is as follows:

Given [Condition], the student will [Targeted Skill/Behavior], to this extent [Evaluation Criteria] by [Date].

Objective Example #1:

Given several job postings from an on-line employment website, [student name] will select two job descriptions that meet the student’s interest and highlight the words that describe the skills or requirements for each job in 3 out of 3 attempts by December 31, 2022.

Objective Example #2:

After watching a social interaction video clip, [student name] will orally summarize the interaction and correctly identify if it was a positive or negative interaction with 80% accuracy by March 31, 2023.

Progress Monitoring Schedule

For each short-term objective, the PPT will need to determine how often student progress toward mastering the objective will be monitored. Appropriate progress monitoring intervals vary, should be reasonable, and determined based on the student’s present level of performance, the evaluation criteria, expected rate of skill acquisition, and the targeted end date for the objective.

Reporting Progress

The IEP must indicate the frequency that progress reports will be provided to the parent. At a minimum, the student’s progress on mastering IEP goals and objectives must be reported consistent with the issuance of grade-level report cards, but the PPT may decide that reports will be provided more frequently. (See section 12 for more information on progress reporting.)