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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.

Schools and districts are best positioned for Continuous Improvement when they work with stakeholders to collaboratively develop improvement plans that are rooted in their vision and informed by what they see and hear. More information about the Needs Assessment Process can be found on our Needs Assessment page.

NYSED has developed an improvement planning process for all schools rooted in the concepts of:

  • Envision
  • Analyze
  • Listen
  • Implement

The materials and resources designed by the Department to support these concepts can be found below.

School Comprehensive Education Plan (SCEP)

The School Comprehensive Education Plan (SCEP) is the tool developed by the Department to support schools in planning and organizing their improvement efforts in the upcoming year.  Any school that is supported through the Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI) support model, the Additional Targeted Support and Improvement (ATSI) support model, or the Targeted Support and Improvement (TSI) support model will be required to work with stakeholders to develop an SCEP for the upcoming school year.  The Department has organized the work teams will do into six different team activities prior to writing the SCEP:

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, along with the insights that have come from the school improvement planning process into the DCIP developed. The final DCIP and DCIP Planning Document are submitted to NYSED for approval.

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

Assembling Your Team

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.

The guidance document “Assembling Your Team” outlines considerations for schools, along with requirements for schools participating in the CSI, ATSI, and TSI Support Models.   


Schools and districts are best positioned for Continuous Improvement when they have a shared set of values and principles that guide both their long-term vision and day-to-day operations.

The guidance document “Envision: Exploring Your Vision, Values, and Aspirations” outlines considerations for schools and provides a sample Envisioning Activity.


Teams that understand the current landscape of the school can begin to consider where additional attention and resources may be necessary to support continuous improvement. 

Teams should consider a variety of data sources in advance of writing their plan.  The Department has organized these into three different categories:

Guidance documents and sample activities for each of those categories can be accessed through the links above. 


Any planning process should include 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, Listen: Interviewing Students outlines the variety of ways schools may select to conduct interviews before writing their plan.

Putting It All Together

Throughout the Envision – Analyze – Listen process, school teams will learn a lot of information about where the school is currently in relation to the where the team would like the school to be.  The SCEP Planning Document is designed to assist school teams in narrowing their focus to ensure that the school community is not overextended and that the work the school will undertake in the upcoming year is part of a cohesive, organized plan.  

Writing Your Plan

After the school has completed the steps above, the school team will write a plan to guide the school for the upcoming year.  The template provided by the Department for schools in the CSI, ATSI, and TSI support models is organized around the following components:

  • 2-4 “Commitments” that will guide future efforts.  An ideal Commitment is something that the school team sees as part of a long-range vision for the school.  At least one Commitment must be connected to Teaching and Learning.
  • Annual Goals and Mid-Year Benchmarks for each Commitment.
  • Strategies that will allow the school to reach its goals and benchmarks and advance the commitment.
  • Early Progress Milestones and Spring Survey Targets that will provide helpful feedback that the school is on-track.
Implementation Levers

The Department has identified strategies, systems, and structures that can position a school for success, known as “Implementation Levers.”  There are three different Implementation Levers:

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.

Submission Requirements

Submission Requirements

  • All CSI school teams should share their completed SCEP with their NYSED Field Support liaison for approval by July 15, 2023.  The CSI school plans also need to be approved by the District prior to the first day of school.
  • All TSI schools should have their plan approved by their District prior to the first day of school.   Districts must keep the approved SCEP on file. 
  • All Target Districts are to submit the DCIP Planning Document and DCIP to by July 31, 2023. Extension requests can be made by emailing


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



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