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School Function Assessment (SFA)

The School Function Assessment (SFA; Coster, Deeney, Haltiwanger, & Haley, 1998) is a criterion-referenced assessment used to measure a student’s performance of non-academic functional tasks that support participation in elementary school (K-6).


The School Function Assessment is designed for use in integrated settings with same-age/grade peers. The SFA measures three areas of school function: (a) level of participation in six major activity settings, (b) task supports, such as assistance and adaptations provided to the student, and (c) activity performance. The SFA uses a Likert scale with respondents rating a student from “extremely limited participation” to “full participation,” “extensive assistance/adaptations to no adaptations,” and “does not perform to consistent performance.”

Criterion scores indicate the student’s place on a functional continuum, rather than distance from norms. Because the instrument is criterion-referenced, it provides specific information about a student’s strengths and limitations, which is useful in program planning. It takes 1½ to 2 hours to complete the entire SFA; however, individual sections can take as little as 5 to 10 minutes to complete. A single respondent who knows the student well can complete the assessment, or it can be used as a collaborative assessment in which multiple professionals involved with a student contribute information.


Author (yr) Age Range (yrs) Method of Administration/Format Approx. Time to Administer Subscales
School Function Assessment (SFA) Coster, Deeney, Haltiwanger, & Haley (1998) 5-11

Criterion-referenced, judgment-based questionnaire completed by school professionals who know the student well

Likert scale to rate items on three scales: Participation, Task Support, Activity Performance

1½–2 hrs. for full assessment; 5–10 min. for individual scales

Task Supports: Physical Tasks Assistance, Physical Tasks Adaptations, Cognitive/Behavioral Tasks Assistance, Cognitive/Behavioral Tasks Adaptations

Activity Performance: Travel, Maintaining and Changing Positions, Recreational Movement, Manipulation with Movement, Using Materials, Setup and Cleanup, Eating and Drinking, Hygiene, Clothing Management, Up/Down Stairs, Written Work, Computer and Equipment Use, Functional Communication, Memory and Understanding, Following Social Conventions, Compliance with Adult Directives and School Rules, Task Behavior/Completion, Positive Interaction, Behavior Regulation, Personal Care Awareness, Safety

Availability: Pearson,


Author (yr) Sample Size Topic(s) Addressed Outcome
Davies, Soon, Young, & Clausen-Yamaki, (2004). 11 - Age Range: 5-12 (years) Validity and reliability of SFA

Kruskal-Wallis: chi-square ranged from 9.28-20.55; intraclass correlation coefficients: participation = 0.70, task supports = 0.68, activity performance = 0.73, moderate relationship between teacher and occupational therapist ratings

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