Action Planning for Success - IU13
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Action Planning for Success

Once priorities for improvement have been identified with established goals to measure progress and improvement, the steering committee (in consultation with other stakeholders) will next develop the action plans to meet the goals.

The first step in action planning is to determine the strategies that will best address the priorities. By using rigorous and relevant evidence and assessing the local capacity to implement the strategy (e.g., funding, staff, staff skills, stakeholder support), schools are more likely to implement interventions successfully and meet established goals. After selecting the strategy, the next step is to map out a plan for how the school will implement each selected evidence-based strategy. It is important to note that one of the benefits of implementing an evidence-based strategy is that the steps that are key to effective implementation are already established.


The guiding questions and resources below can help in the creation of an evidence-based action plan.

  • Where can a school team find easy-to-use toolkits for drafting an action plan for a specific strategy?

    While this is not an exhaustive list, these are resources that are especially helpful for school teams to explore if they align with the selected priorities.

    • Schools looking to implement schoolwide social-emotional learning will find tools and resources aligned to this evidence-based strategy in CASEL’s Guide to Schoolwide SEL.
    • Schools looking to reduce chronic absences among students will find a number of evidence-based action planning tools at Attendance Works.
    • The What Works Clearinghouse publishes a number of Practice Guides, which provide the broad steps necessary for the implementation of evidence-based strategies.
    • Schools focused on implementing evidence-based literacy practices may find this resource map from REL Southeast/IES valuable.
    • Schools focused on the implementation of MTSS will find the resources on PaTTAN’s website extremely valuable.
  • Is there a template that school teams can use to develop an action plan that can be effectively monitored throughout implementation?

    The Biweekly Implementation tool can be used to draft an action plan as well as monitor implementation. If you need assistance accessing this tool, please email

  • Are there resources that a team can review to learn more about effective action planning?

    This article from Phi Delta Kappan online provides key elements to consider when planning. It can also be helpful for a school team to use “if-then” statements in a logic model as they work through what is necessary for implementation. This resource from Marzano Research can support a conversation about logic models.

My school will be utilizing external partners to help us implement our action plans and achieve our improvement goals. How can I best organize the technical assistance my school needs and monitor the impact of this support?

This tool, the Technical Assistance and Support Plan Sample can assist a school team in mapping out both support needs and the technical assistance to be provided.

Empower Leadership


Do you have a resource to share that aligns with this part of the planning process that you have found valuable? CLICK HERE to share for possible inclusion on this website.


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