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Planning to Improve

In this phase of the CIP, you will select and/or develop strategies and interventions that respond to the priorities and goals established in the previous phase.  Next, you’ll develop an action plan that includes both implementation steps and evaluation measures. The action plan will guide work for a period of one to three years.

Guiding Questions

As you write your action plan, you will address each of these questions.

  • What strategies will we use to ensure that our improvement plan is successful?
  • What research and practice supports our use of these strategies?
  • Have we included strategies related to student diversity and equity?
  • What resources (people, time, etc.) are needed to meet our improvement goal?
  • What will we collect as evidence to show that we have reached our associated equity and diversity goals?

Resources for writing the action plan:

See the Resource section of this guide for a variety of information and tools that might help you write your plan. Resources under these categories will be most useful in this phase.

  • Assessments
  • Curriculum and Instruction
  • Leadership
  • Organizations Providing Assistance and Materials

Step 1: Develop Action Plan

As in any planning process, the first question to be answered is, “What specific actions must be accomplished in order for this improvement plan to be successful?” You will use the Action Plan Worksheet found in Appendix L to record all elements of your action plan.

First, identify your improvement goal and determine strategies/interventions to help meet the goal. For example,

Improvement Goal

The number of low-SES third-graders who score proficient on the NeSA-R will increase by three percentage points by next year.

Action Plan Strategies

  1. The principal will set up a system to monitor progress toward increasing the percentage of third-grade, low-socioeconomic students who meet performance expectations in reading.
  2. Third-grade teachers will collaboratively develop formative reading assessments to guide reading instruction.
  3. First-, second-, and third-grade teachers will form a Professional Learning Community to identify and share teaching strategies that respond to the assessed reading needs of the third grade, low-socioeconomic target group.

After identifying the strategies/interventions, you will identify and record specific implementation activities, including who will do what, when, and with what resources. You also should recommend support and/or staff development activities to help staff implement the strategies and achieve the improvement goal.

Finally, you must record your current status from the four data sets (pre-intervention data).  Record the desired change (post-intervention) that you want to see by the end of your timeline period.  The comparison of pre- and post-intervention data will provide evidence of progress toward your goal. Assessment instruments and processes should be administered at the same time of the year to ensure comparable measurements.

Step 2: Write the Action Plan

Your completed Action Plan Worksheet may be all you need to guide implementation. On the other hand, you may want to use the worksheet to create a more formal planning document. No matter what you choose, keep the following points in mind:

  • Action plans in schools must be subjected to ongoing monitoring to identify successes to build on, gaps to be filled, and problems to be solved.
  • The initial action plan will provide a starting point, but as the school moves into implementation, revisions may be required to ensure effective implementation.
  • You will need to refer to the action plan often and schedule times to review progress and make needed adjustments.