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Improvement Planning

Improvement planning is an essential component of the school and district improvement process.  Schools and districts should continually reflect on the effectiveness of their initiatives and determine the most appropriate way to proceed based on their current circumstances. 

In the spring and early summer of each school year, a team of stakeholders from each identified district and school should convene across multiple meetings to assess their current conditions and identify how best to support learning in the upcoming school year through their annual improvement plan. 

District Comprehensive Improvement Plan (DCIP)

All Target Districts will work with stakeholders to consider existing needs and determine next steps for the upcoming school year.  The DCIP should be informed by the DCIP Planning Document that is completed prior to writing the plan.   Target Districts with identified schools should also incorporate insights from the school improvement planning process into the DCIP developed.  The final DCIP is submitted to NYSED for approval.

School Comprehensive Education Plan (SCEP)

Any school identified for Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI) or Targeted Support and Improvement (TSI) will work with stakeholders to develop a School Comprehensive Education Plan (SCEP) for the upcoming school year. 

School teams are encouraged the view the video tutorial “Using the SCEP to Pursue Our Values and Aspirations.”

Below you will find additional information concerning the improvement planning process.

Collaborating with Stakeholders

An essential component of improvement planning is creating an inclusive space that allows members of the school and district community to openly share their perspectives and work together to determine ways to promote their shared values. It is with this understanding that the New York State Education Department has developed the SCEP Requirements for Meaningful Stakeholder Participation to promote perspective sharing and collaboration through the improvement planning process.

All Target District DCIPs and CSI and TSI SCEPs must be developed with stakeholder participation. NYSED will not approve any SCEP from a school identified as Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI) until the plan demonstrates evidence that stakeholders have meaningfully participated in the development of the SCEP.

Student Interviews

Any planning process should begin by listening to the stakeholders that matter most – the students. In recognition of this, NYSED has established Student Interviews as a foundational component to be completed prior to writing an improvement plan. The guidance document, Interviewing Students in Advance of Developing Your SCEP outlines the variety of ways schools may select to conduct interviews before writing their plan.

Equity Self-Reflection for Identified Schools

The Equity Self-Reflection for Identified Schools is designed to support CSI and TSI schools as they consider how their school currently supports Culturally Responsive-Sustaining (CR-S) Education principles and allows for the creation of an equitable learning environment where all experience dignity, a sense of belonging, and inclusion. This is intended to help facilitate a discussion among members of the school community about how the school may want to proceed with supporting these principles in the School Comprehensive Education Plan (SCEP). 

This document, which fulfils the ESSA requirement that schools complete an equity review, is intended to facilitate discussion among team members, and should be completed prior to writing next year’s improvement plan. The self-reflection links closely to the NYSED Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Education Framework.

Reviewing Multiple Sources of Data and Feedback

Prior to writing the plan, the team should review data and discuss what was learned this year regarding aligning resources to initiatives.  Team members should be familiar with the school’s survey data and consider what may have led to students, parents, and staff responding as they did to certain questions.  

Clarifying Priorities and Considering How They Connect to School Values

The team should reflect on what has been learned through the Student Interviews, the Equity Self-Reflection, and the review of data and multiple sources of feedback. The team should then review the "How Learning Happens" framework, especially Page 3, and discuss "What should we prioritize to support our students and work toward the school we wish to be?"

Writing the Plan

After the school has completed the steps above, the school team will discuss its answers to the question "What should we prioritize to support our students and work toward the school we wish to be?" and identify 2-4 “Commitments” for the upcoming school year. School teams have a lot of flexibility to identify the Commitments that are meaningful to them and allow the school to work toward its vision and aspirations.  As part of the plan, teams will identify why these commitments were selected, the strategies that will help advance the commitments, how success will be determined, and the resources necessary for the commitments identified. 

Please see the video tutorial “Using Your SCEP to Pursue Your School’s Aspirations and Values” to become familiar with the components of the plan template and the steps teams will take to use the plan to articulate its vision for the upcoming school year.  

Identifying an Evidence-Based Intervention

As the school team completes its plan, the team will need to identify an evidence-based intervention to that supports one or more of the Commitments identified. Additional materials related to Evidence-based interventions  can be found on our Evidence-Based Interventions page.

Funding the Plan

NYSED provides Title I 1003 School Improvement Grant (SIG) BASIC funding to support the implementation of the DCIP and SCEP.  More information is available on the NYSED SIG funding website.

In addition, after the school team completes its SCEP, representatives from the school should confer with the district to consider if it would be useful to complete the OPTIONAL  “Leveraging Resources to Advance the SCEP” document.  This document is intended to provide a structure for the school to articulate ways in which the district can support the advancement of the SCEP.  Since existing structures within the district may already serve that purpose, this document is not required to be completed. 

Sample Plans

NYSED has developed the sample SCEPs and DCIPs below to assist schools and districts as they write their plan. These are provided as a sample -- schools and district teams should make sure that their plans are specific to their communities:

Sample SCEP: Cohesive, Relevant Curriculum

Sample SCEP: Deepening Connections

Sample SCEP: Graduation Through Relationships

Sample SCEP: Graduation and Success Beyond HS

Sample DCIP: Inclusive and Nurturing Environment

Sample DCIP: Matching Lessons to Student Needs


Staying Connected with the School Community

The team responsible for developing the SCEP has the opportunity to chart a vision for the upcoming school year. It is essential that members of the SCEP Development Team stay connected with the school community throughout all phases of the development and implementation of the plan to share ideas, listen to feedback, and highlight the elements of the plan of which the team is most proud.

The document “Staying Connected with the School Community Throughout the Development of the SCEP” outlines ways team members can remain connected before writing the plan, while writing the plan, and after the plan has been written. 

Submission Requirements

Submission Requirements

  • All CSI school teams should have shared their completed SCEP with their NYSED Field Support liaison for approval by August 1, 2022.  The CSI school plans  also needed to be approved by the District prior to the first day of school.
  • All TSI schools should have had their plan approved by their District prior to the first day of school.   Districts must keep the approved SCEP on file. 
  • All Target Districts were to submit the DCIP Planning Document and DCIP to by August 1, 2022. Extension requests can be made by emailing



SCEP-related questions can be directed to
DCIP-related questions can be directed to