OT IEP Goals – How School OTs Can Write SMART Goals

SMART goals notebook
Cross Country Education
September 21, 2020 23:24 PM (GMT-04:00)
Writing measurable Individualized Education Program (IEP) goals is an essential part of our role as school-based occupational therapists. The goals we include in our students’ IEPs will guide their OT services for the IEP year. Taking time to ensure that each OT IEP goal meets the needs of the student is vital for success in occupational therapy.


At Cross Country Education, our OT team uses two tools to help ensure the OT IEP goals we write are effective. First, we write SMART goals. SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-limited. Here are some questions to ask when evaluating whether your goal is SMART:
Specific – Does the IEP goal list precisely what you want the student to accomplish? Does this goal relate to a specific need identified in the student’s present level of performance? 
Measurable – How will you know when the student has met the goal? Is the goal stated in a way that allows for objective data to be recorded and measured?
Attainable – Is it possible for the student to meet this goal within the IEP year? Is this a realistic and attainable goal in reference to the student’s baseline? 
Relevant – Does this goal relate to the goals of the IEP team and the student? Will achieving this goal help the student access their curriculum?
Time-limited – Is the timeline for meeting this goal stated? 

The SMART IEP Goal Template

The second tool the Cross Country Education OT team uses is a template to work from to ensure we are writing SMART IEP goals. Here is the goal template with each SMART component bolded:
By [date] in order to [educational/PLP need], student will [functional skill] with [measurement] with [level of assistance], as measured by [person].
And here is an example of a SMART IEP goal written using the template: 
By September 2021, in order to legibly complete classroom writing tasks, student will self-generate two sentences with 75% legibility with adapted tools as needed for 3 out of 5 opportunities as measured by teacher and OT

Setting Our School OTs Up for Success

Our team of educational professionals and talent specialists appreciates and supports our school-based OTs! View our resources for educational professionals on successful virtual occupational therapy sessions, occupational therapy assessment tools, essential skills for school OTs, and more.
Find your ideal occupational therapy job with Cross Country Education now.

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