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Implementing Action Plans

Implementing Action Plans

Author: Gino Sangiuliano

In this lesson, students implement action plans developed following best-practice implementation strategies.

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Source: Globe, Clker,; Thinking Person, Clker,; Laser, MorgueFile,; Question Marks, Pixabay,; Social Media, Pixabay,; Tree, Pixabay,; Green Light, Pixabay,

Video Transcription

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Hello there, and welcome. My name is Gino Sangiuliano, and in this lesson you will learn how to implement action plans following best practice strategies. So let's begin.

My son recently turned 12, and for his birthday we took him and a few of his friends out to play laser tag. Let me set the stage for you-- eight 12-year-old boys who had just had cake and soda ready to enter a large dark area with phasers to shoot lasers at one another.

As they were waiting for their turn to enter the arena, their conversation intrigued me. Let's be blue. Do you want to make a pact with another color? You guys cover high ground, and we'll cover the low ground. Look for the power-ups. Should we split up or stay together? They were making a plan. In the end it probably didn't impact their final score, but the game was far more enjoyable because of it.

In site-based management, one of the most important processes is implementing a plan. Whether it's a team, school, or an entire district, you can't succeed without a solid plan, the most common being the school-improvement plan, which includes goals for continuous improvement. In any effort to support the work of the school towards meeting the outlined goals, a school will often decide to engage in site-based initiatives.

At this point I would like to share with you the process of establishing and implementing any plan that is designed to elicit change or improvement. These are considered long-range action plans, as opposed to the shorter-range plans you study at protocol with smaller groups. In either case, here are some important and practical strategies to consider when preparing for implementation.

I will list the steps here and go into detail on each in subsequent slides. Keep in mind that this process applies to any school plan at any level or site-- needs assessment, consideration of core areas of school functions, design of the plan, communication, implementation, and sustainability.

The first step is to conduct a needs assessment. Cassie Erkens says what gets measured gets done. This is where the team identifies the desired outcomes and any related needs. In preparation for implementation of the plan, it is usually the school improvement team that conducts this inquiry as part of the school improvement plan development cycle.

Next comes the consideration of the core areas of school functions. This is viewed within the four quadrants for action, a matrix identified by the Annenberg Institute at Brown University. The first quadrant is human resources and development. This refers to the skills and knowledge that teachers and professionals possess that will allow a school to reach its goal. If there are any deficits, they need to be addressed through training and professional development. In this quadrant you will also consider if teacher expectations of student learning need to be adjusted.

In an effort to gather as much information as possible, the question of additional assessments, evaluations, or self-reflections should be considered. An example of this might be that if a school wants to implement classroom meetings, training and responsive classroom would help.

The second quadrant, school organization-- this refers to the schedule, courses, climate, and general structure of the building. Difficult questions need to be asked about whether the current structures aid or hinder teams in reaching the goals. Teams, of course, need to work within the guidelines of their state and district mandates. Here's where teams also consider the impact of curriculum, instruction, and assessment as related to the identified need. For example, if a school wants to group children from different classrooms for intervention work, schedules will need to be coordinated.

When we discuss the third quadrant, fiscal and technical resources, we are considering what is needed in terms of money, materials, and technology. Are there any resources lacking that make implementation of the plan an impossibility? For example, if a school wants to effectively monitor progress, they may decide to invest in a program like STAR or IXL.

The final matrix is reserved for social resources, which include parent and community partnerships that can be valuable assets to reaching the goal or in some cases can hinder the cause. A complete plan not only considers student support services but also will include ways to engage parent and community members. Parental and community support can be extremely beneficial. For example, if a school decides to implement before or after school intervention sessions, you would need the support of parents to get the children there.

The third step of the processes is to create a set of action research questions that will guide the planning. These questions will help you gather and analyze the baseline data that you will need to help track progress. This information will also help in developing the action steps.

Next you'll want to communicate the plan. The stakeholders involved need to know what the plan is, so developers need to clearly delineate it and the expected results. In sharing this information, you might consider developing a rubric to explain what the expected results would look like in practice on a continuum.

Other aspects that should be clearly communicated are roles and responsibilities of those involved, as well as the intervals at which progress will be communicated. Keep in mind that the plan should be communicated before it's implemented but after it's designed. Step five is to put the planned steps into action, and the final step is to put measures into place that will help sustain the plan. To do so, you will have to set regular intervals to meet and review implementation progress data, reflect, and adjust steps accordingly. Public relations is very important, and communicating short-term successes and changes to the plan need to occur as early as possible.

So it's time to go ahead and summarize this lesson. We looked at the six steps to implementing a plan. They are needs assessment, core considerations, design of the plan, communication, implementation, and sustainability.

Here's today's food for thought. Identify a plan that your school has put into place. How well were these steps followed? As you reflect on this new information, you might want to explore the additional resources section that accompany this video presentation. This is where you'll find links to resources chosen to help you deepen your learning and explore ways to apply your newly acquired skill set.

Thanks so much for watching. We'll see you next time.

Notes on "Implementing Action Plans"

(00:00-00:09) Intro

(00:10-00:48) Laser Tag

(00:49-01:58) Plan Of Action For Implementation

(01:59-02:19) Needs Assessment

(02:20-04:36) Consideration Of The Core

(04:37-05:25) Design And Communication

(05:26-05:52) Implementation And Sustainability

(05:53-06:33) Food For Thought/Summary

Additional Resources

Inquiry and Action: Making School Improvement Part of Daily Practice

This guide offers practical suggestions and strategies for implementing school improvement plans and processes.

School Improvement in Maryland: Implement the Action Plan

The Maryland Department of Education provides an at-a-glance view of school improvement plan implementation strategies.