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Present Level of Performance

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Essential Elements

Key Question: What is the child doing now?

Purpose: To describe the unique needs of the child that will be addressed by special education and related services, and to establish a baseline of measurable information that serves as the starting point for developing goals and objectives/benchmarks.

Definition: The present level of performance specifies:

  • the strengths of the child
  • the unique needs of the child
  • parental concerns
  • how the child's disability affects their involvement and progress in the general curriculum

Key Characteristics:

  • measurable
  • objective
  • functional
  • current
  • identifies any special factors
  • describes both academic and non-academic areas
  • includes the results of most recent evaluation or re-evaluation (e.g. formal and informal educational performance data, state and/or district assessments)
  • establishes a baseline of information used in writing goals, short term objectives and benchmarks

Writing Strategy: Describe the behavior the child is doing in objective, measurable terms.


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Our thanks to the staff of Cooperative Educational Service Agency #7 (CESA) for permission to use this document. This district won the Wrightslaw "Best School Sites Contest."


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