Back to School Baseline Data

Hey everyone. I know that many school based speech-language pathologists have already returned to work and many will start back soon. Tomorrow will be the beginning of my 4th week back at work and 3rd week for students. After the initial excitement and sleepiness of going back to school and work has worn of, speech-language pathologists need to make sure that they take baseline data on their students’ IEP objectives. For many kids there will be some variability in their scores from the end of the school year to their beginning of the school year data. However, with a quick re-teaching of the skill they are back to where they were previously. 

Some of you may be thinking, so what really is baseline data? This is the data, percentages, or measurable information that you collect to informally assess specific skills outlined in a child’s IEP objectives. ASHA’s Evidence Based Practice Glossary states that baseline is “a benchmark, measurement, or calculation used as a basis for comparison.” 

Many SLPs consider the first data point gathered on a skill an accurate measure for baseline while I have heard others say that they consider 3 data points as baseline data. I have created several quick informal assessment and/or progress monitoring tools that will make it easy for you to gather this data. Just click here to access these digital downloads to help simplify your SLP life.  

I have assessment tools for oral story retell, basic concepts, vocabulary (Tier I semantic processing- object function, similarities, differences, etc), associations, wh questions, irregular plurals, irregular past tense verbs, speech fluency, speech intelligibility, synonyms, antonyms, multiple meaning words, and English/Language Arts Tier III curriculum vocabulary.  I have personally used these tools frequently in my speech language sessions with students on my caseload. 

I suggest making several copies of the forms that you need to record baseline data and keep them in a binder. I typically select the forms that I need for each student and place them in my daily student therapy files. Using informal assessments/progress monitoring forms have truly improved my ability to quantify the skills of my speech-language students. This also helps as I record progress check data throughout the school year.  

I hope you have a great school year! Make sure you subscribe to 
my blog: Building Successful Lives by entering your email in the right hand column above. This way you will get my blog articles sent directly to your inbox. I look forward to you reading what I have to share 🙂

Tamara Anderson

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