It’s Student Growth Objective (SGO) Time! How about some samples?

Let’s face it….with additional responsibilities, new teacher evaluation systems, the common core, and now SGOs, it’s hard to keep sight of what’s MOST important for many students with autism:

  • Social interaction
  • Communication
  • Cooperation

We need to create SGOs that actually WORK for our students! They certainly deserve it!


  1. Visit your state’s Department of Education website for further information. For example, below is some information that we found on the NJDOE website:

Q: I teach a population of students with severe disabilities. Can I set an SGO that addresses progress in non-academic areas in this case?

A: If you are teaching a group of students whose academic progress is limited by certain behavioral or emotional restrictions (e.g., students who cannot read or write), you may set a non-academic SGO.   However, the design of this SGO should still capture a significant portion of the work that you are doing with your students throughout the year.  In addition, a non-academic SGO for a group of students must be appropriate for all of the students in the group.  If your group of students is extremely diverse, it would be better to set individual goals for each of the students tailored to their specific needs and identified areas of growth.  You would then aggregate the results of these goals into one SGO score.

  1. Consider using a criterion-referenced assessment that assesses language, social and other related skills (core deficits that outline the autism diagnosis) for formative and summative measures (i.e., VB-MAPP, ABLLS-R, etc.). Hopefully, you are already using one!
  1. Target a skill that will benefit ALL students. Targeting the same skill does not mean that all students will be provided with intervention at the same level of the skill. For example, one student may be working on requesting (manding) for items/actions while another student may be working on requesting (manding) for information. Both students are working on the skill of requesting (manding), however, at different levels.

*If you are using the VB-MAPP, target a skill that is assessed on ALL three levels. Doing so will make it more likely that all students can be included in your SGO.  

Take a look at our SGO samples and let us know what you think!

SGO Social Behavior Sample1

SGO Mand Sample1

The purpose of this teaching tip is to provide teachers with information that may be useful when selecting student growth/learning objectives. Ultimately, specific guidelines and requirements regarding the selection of SGOs/SLOs will be decided by state DOEs, school districts, and administration.


State of New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE). (1996-2014). AchieveNJ frequently asked    questions. Retrieved September 3, 2014, from

Sundberg M.L. (2008). Verbal behavior milestones assessment and placement program– guide. Concord, CA: AVB Press.

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One comment on “It’s Student Growth Objective (SGO) Time! How about some samples?

  1. Gerri Porterfield

    Great article and appreciate all your wonderful books and articles that are shared on LinkedIn!
    Thank you TOM~Gerri

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