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Tuesday's Tip: Smarter Goal R- Relevant

GOALS MUST BE RELEVANT TO CURRICULUMS: General/Core, Modified, Expanded, & Functional

  • Goals must be relevant to Curriculms

  • General Education - Core Curriculum - Subject centered

  • Use of State Standards or Common Core Standards2


  • Modified Core Curriculum - Subject centered

  • Based on ability and priorities

  • Use of transitional IEP development


  • Expanded (Functional) Core Curriculum - Problem centered

  • Includes General or Modified Core Curriculum

  • Based on special skills needed due to a disability, i.e.:

  • Deafness

  • Sign language

  • Lip-reading


  • Blindness

  • Mobility training

  • Braille


  • Autism

  • Hidden/covert curriculum

  • Social cognition/judgment curriculum


  • Intellectual Disability

  • ADLs

  • Functional communication


  • Physical disability

  • Power mobility training


  • Behavioral

  • Pattern recognition, emotional regulation,

  • Skills that move from mimetic, parallel, automatic, rule, or habit-based to conscious, deliberate, and ToM analysis based.



  • To advance appropriately toward attaining the annual goals2.

[34 CFR §300.320(a)(4)(i)]

  • To be involved in and make progress in the general education curriculum

[34 CFR §300.320(a)(4)(ii)]

  • To participate in extracurricular and other nonacademic activities.

[34 CFR §300.320(a)(4)(ii)]

  • To be educated and participate with other children with disabilities and non-disabled children in extracurricular and other nonacademic activities.

[34 CFR §300.320(a)(4)(iii)]

  • Transition IEP for employment, post-secondary, or independent living when the child turns 16, or younger3, and updated annually thereafter. Don't forget that this includes leisure and recreation goals or the ability to independently: complete a job application, read the driver training manual, pass the driving test, read a map, complete ADLs, date safely, access their community, read a bus schedule, balance a checkbook, safely access the Internet to do research, ...)

  • It must include:

  • Appropriate measurable post-secondary goals based upon age appropriate transition assessments related to training, education, employment, and where appropriate, independent living skills [34 CFR §300.320(b)(1)]

  • The transition services (including courses of study) needed to assist the child in reaching those goals [34 CFR §300.320(b)(2)

This is the 5th of 8 blogs addressing the use of Smarter Goals in order to attain better functional outcomes for our children. Make sure you

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DEFINING MEASURABLE GOAL COMPONENTS If you have a student with an IEP you have read lots of goals, but do you have any idea about how appropriate a given goal is? Will this goal lead to any functional