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Part 3: Improvement Planning

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Improvement planning is an ongoing process that requires a sound theory of action informed by a comprehensive needs assessment (Parts 1 and 2). Teams develop a detailed action plan, which includes continuous monitoring and adjustment through do-study-act cycles. Sustainability is key for long-term success and often requires changes in policy, procedures, resources and adherence to the fidelity of implementation.

Improvement plans based on the WISExplore Data Inquiry Process can serve multiple purposes for a school or district including: strategic planning, educator effectiveness, program evaluation, and grant writing as well as meet requirements for response to federal notification under ESSA and IDEA.

Improvement Planning Includes Four Steps: 

1. Theorize: The Improvement Plan Strategy ties the previous work together in a theory of action while adding a means for monitoring student progress.

IF … we successfully implement this evidence-based improvement strategy
THEN … teachers and leaders would demonstrate these practices
SO THAT … growth is accelerated for students who most need it, while learning is increased for all students
THEREBY … meeting the long-term student goal

2. Plan: Teams design a detailed set of action steps. Each action is described including the resources needed, staff assigned and evidence for task completion. The action plan is dynamic and continuously revisited during implementation to determine progress.

3. Monitor: Teams revisit their action steps, study collected quantitative and qualitative student and practices data and summarize what is happening during implementation. Each cycle culminates with proposed modifications and adjustments to the action plan.

4. Sustain: Teams determine policies, procedures and responsible staff needed to sustain improvement efforts. Funding and other resources are allocated for capacity building and ongoing implementation. Finally, teams determine how they will measure fidelity to the plan for continued success.

Improvement Planning Learning Module


This module  is based on the foundations of needs assessment and inquiry found in the Student Data Inquiry module (Module 1) and the Practices Inquiry  module (Module 2). It provides training and guidance for effective improvement planning and cycles of ongoing implementation.



For questions about this information, contact Lauren Zellmer (608) 266-8499