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Goal Attainment Scaling in School-Based Practice

presented by Mary Jane Rapport & Amy Barr

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Goal Attainment Scaling (GAS) is becoming more commonly used in school settings for a variety of purposes. However, many school-based physical therapists are unfamiliar with this goal writing structure. This course will describe the evidence base for use of GAS in school-based practice along with specific guidelines for writing goal attainment scales. Common challenges and practical advantages to GAS will also be explored. Case examples will clarify key concepts and offer participants suggestions for writing goal attainment scales. Upon completion of the course, participants will have the tools they need to begin writing goal attainment scales.

Meet Your Instructors

  • Mary Jane Rapport, PT, DPT, PhD, FAPTA

    Mary Jane Rapport, PT, DPT, PhD is a Catherine Worthingham Fellow of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). Dr. Rapport is a professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and the Department of Pediatrics in the School of Medicine at the University of Colorado, where she is on the faculty of the Physical Therapy Program. She is the Director of the University of Colorado Pediatric Physical Therapy Residency Program, the PT Program Student Services Coordinator, the PT Discipline Director for the Maternal Child Health LEND program through JFK Partners, and the Co-Director of the Teaching Scholars Program in the School of Medicine. Dr. Rapport has extensive experience as an educator and a pediatric physical therapist with a productive record of presentations and publications. Much of her career has been focused on legislative action, policy interpretation for the delivery of special education, related services, and early intervention services. Dr. Rapport has been a physical therapist for over 30 years and a physical therapist educator for over 10 years. While much of her career has been in academia and focused on higher education, she has maintained clinical practice in schools as a school-based physical therapist and as an early intervention service provider. Most recently, she has been working one day a week with students with disabilities at the preschool, elementary, and high schools levels in a local school district. She has taught courses and workshops and delivered conference sessions specifically on the implementation of services under IDEA and related federal laws to thousands of pediatric physical therapists over the years.

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  • Amy Barr, PT, DPT

    Amy Barr, PT, DPT is a practicing school-based therapist and the Physical Therapy Coordinator for a large school district located in the suburban Denver area. She has 20 years of experience working with adults and children and has spent the last 14 years serving preschool through transition age students in a school setting. Dr. Barr teaches nationally on topics important to school-based therapy, including team collaboration, IEP development, and physical therapist performance appraisal. She has a passion for providing quality continuing education for school-based physical therapists and cofounded an annual education day for therapists in Colorado. Dr. Barr chaired the Physical Therapist Performance Appraisal Task Force for the School-Based Special Interest Group of the Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy. She participated in the PT Performance Appraisal work group for the Colorado Educator Effectiveness Project and is an active member of the Colorado Department of Education Physical Therapy Advisory Committee. Dr. Barr graduated from the University of Colorado with her Masters of Science in Physical Therapy in 1997 and her Doctor of Physical Therapy in 2010. She is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association and the Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy.

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

Download Learning Objectives
  1. What Is a Goal Attainment Scale?

    1. What Is a Goal Attainment Scale?

    This chapter will describe the history of GAS, how goal attainment scales are used in schools, and the components of a goal attainment scale.

  2. Advantages and Practical Considerations of GAS

    2. Advantages and Practical Considerations of GAS

    This chapter will include a description of advantages to using GAS goals as well as potential concerns related to validity and reliability of scales. Alignment with current school practice and IEP goals as well as practical suggestions for data collection will also be explained.

  3. Writing Guidelines for Goal Attainment Scales

    3. Writing Guidelines for Goal Attainment Scales

    This chapter will include the criteria and guidelines for writing goal attainment scales. It will also include suggested variables for measurement.

  4. Case Study

    4. Case Study

    This chapter will provide a description of a specific student, “Garrett,” and two GAS goals that were developed based on his identified needs and priorities for growth. A collaborative discussion between IEP team members is also utilized to demonstrate the goal writing process.