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Monterey County Office of Education

Leadership, Support and Service to Prepare All Students for Success

Dr. Nancy Kotowski, County Superintendent of Schools

GoalsBe S.M.A.R.T. when writing IEP goals!

There are many different interpretations of the SMART acronym but all of them reflect a thoughtful process in which goal setting is individualized, precise and meets the needs of each student.

IEP goals should be:

Specific: State exactly what you want the student to achieve. Consider whether a larger task can be broken into smaller items or separate goals.

Measurable (Mutual, Motivated): Establish clear definitions to help you measure or whether the goal is being met.

Attainable (Achievable, Active, Action-Oriented): Outline the exact steps the student will use to meet the goal. Use “action” verbs to describe the steps.

Relevant (Realistic, Results-Oriented, Reviewable, Resourceful, Revisable, Rigorous): Set goals that the student will actually be able to accomplish. Be sure to consider obstacles that the student will need to overcome.

Time Bound (Timely, Time Limited, Timed): What is the time span in which to accomplish the goal? Are benchmarks needed?



Consider the following chart by Jana L. Scott to help you draft SMART IEP goals for your students:

Goals chart


Consider the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) when drafting IEP goals. The following resources will provide assistance with aligning IEP goals to California’s CCSS:

  1. California’s Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects
  2. eStandards and eStandards Mobile are designed to provide quick and easy access to California's State Content Standards:
  • Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy
  • Common Core State Standards for Mathematics
  • English Language Development
  • Next Generation Science Standards

The web edition can be found here.

Instructions for downloading the mobile app can be found here.

SIRAS Systems is the Special Education Support Program used by all school districts within Monterey County SELPA to develop and manage IEP’s. Within the IEP Manager, teachers can go to the Goal Developer and create new goals for a student using the Goal Wizard. The Wizard provides a template for creating a goal in a selected domain for an individual student. *Think of this as a jumping off point from which you will adjust the goal to meet the needs of your particular student.

Goals within the Wizard are aligned to CCSS based on content area and specific skill/behavior being measured. A training video demonstrating how to use the Goal Wizard can be found within the SIRAS Login under Tools>Support>Training Videos

Click here for the Goal Developer Wizard! 


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