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Alignment of te ongoing processes that impact the learning of all studentsThe purpose of the Great Prairie School Improvement Process is to assist districts'/schools' achievement of the following:

  • Educate all students to high standards
  • Strengthen the internal capacity of each district and school
  • Focus accountability on results
  • Integrate quality educational practices with local decision-making

The focus is on a systemic approach to improvement to build capacity and ensure sustainability. The tools and resources linked to each of the five phases below assist that purpose.


Jamie Cranston - Central Region
School Improvement Consultant
800-382-8970 Ext. 5232 Ottumwa Office
Evan McCormick - Eastern Region
School Improvement Consultant
800-382-8970 Ext. 1298 Burlington Office

Mike Stiemsma - Western Region
School Improvement Consultant
800-382-8970 Ext. 5427 Fairfield Office


  • Audit Phase: Review of LEA data to identify.
  • Diagnosis Phase: Completion of a gap analysis based on the comparison of the current reality with the desired state.
  • Design Phase: Development of an action plan based on if. . . then statements and supporting evidence as a result of the gap analysis.
  • Implementation Phase: Delivery of the intervention with ongoing assessment of student achievement.
  • Monitoring/Evaluation Phase: Formative and summative evaluations and updating of the action plan based on student achievement data.

The Audit Phase is designed to examine what is going on in a district or school. These data provide information and insight for effective decision making regarding how a district/school might improve their ability to meet expectations for performance.

Key Question: What is the current reality in the district/school?

Steps of the Audit Phase:

  • Collect/organize existing district/school data based on the “3 Domains and 13 Elements”.
  • Create a district/school profile that includes essential findings and areas for further study.
  • Develop a set of considerations based on the areas for further study.

The Diagnosis Phase reviews prioritized areas from the audit summary. Through a comparison of the current reality with the desired state, a gap analysis is completed. The root causes that are contributing to the area(s) for further study are identified. If/then statements based on possible solutions and a theory of change are created as a final step to set the stage for the goals or action plan steps in the design phase. All of this is summarized on the Diagnosis Worksheet.

Key Question: What is the highest priority and what do we need to do?

Steps of the Diagnosis Phase:

  • Review and refine current reality.
  • Determine the desired state.
  • Complete a gap analysis.
  • Determine the root cause(s).
  • Identify and prioritize solutions.
  • Create "if…then" statement(s) and a theory of change.

Diagnosis Phase Tools and Resources:


The Design Phase provides for the development of an action plan to address the prioritized area(s) of concern in order to increase student achievement. An action plan is based on the prioritized solutions and resulting “if . . . then” statements and/or theory of change of the Diagnosis Phase.

Key Question: What is our plan to meet our goal for increased student achievement in the identified area?

Steps of the Design Phase:

  • Develop a goal statement that supports prioritized student learning needs.
  • Determine both formative and summative indicators of goal success.
  • Select professional development focused on scientifically based research or evidence based practice.
  • Identify the specific action steps or activities that need to occur to implement the action plan.
  • Identify how the action plan will be monitored and appropriate timely adjustments made.

Design Phase Tools and Resources:

The Implementation Phase ensures that the action plan becomes real in a building or district. This phase provides the professional development that builds the capacity of teachers and leaders to change instructional practices in a way that increases student achievement.

Key Question: Is the plan being implemented as designed?

Steps of the Implementation Phase:

  • Implementation of the action plan including the use of scientifically research based/evidence based professional development.
  • Monitoring expected changes for teachers, leaders, and students.
  • Adjustment of the action plan based on formative assessment data.

Implementation Phase Tools and Resources:

The Monitoring/Evaluation Phase provides for the evaluation of the effectiveness of interventions for student achievement and provides the support for recommendations that assure change or sustainability.

Key Question: Is the plan producing the results that were anticipated and if not what changes need to occur?

Steps of the Monitoring/Evaluation Phase:

  • Complete a summative evaluation to determine the level of implementation.
  • Complete a summative evaluation to determine the impact on student achievement.
  • Report findings.
  • Make recommendations to continue, discontinue, or adjust actions or recommendation that alternative actions be taken.

Monitoring/Evaluation Phase Tools and Resources:

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