Posted: Tue, 06/13/2017 - 11:48am Updated: Mon, 03/29/2021 - 4:28pm

Requirements for School Improvement Plans

What is the submission window for school improvement plans to the Indiana Department of Education?

Schools may submit school improvement plans to the Indiana Department of Education (Department) beginning June 7, 2021. All school improvement plans must be submitted to the Department no later than October 8, 2021.

Which schools must develop and submit a school improvement plan?

In order to be accorded full accreditation status, public schools and state-accredited nonpublic schools must develop a strategic and continuous school improvement plan. A charter school may use the charter agreement entered into with its authorizer as its school improvement plan unless the school has been designated as Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI) under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and receives federal funds through the Title I Program. In this case, a charter school must complete a Comprehensive Needs Assessment (CNA) and School Improvement Plan (SIP) using the consolidated CNA/SIP template provided by the Department.

A school that is accredited through the freeway program may use its freeway petition as its school improvement plan and is not required to submit its petition to the Department as an improvement plan.

Required Plan Components

Required components of a school improvement plan include:

  • Objectives for continuous improvement in, at minimum, the areas of attendance rate, ILEARN proficiency rates, and graduation rates (secondary schools only) for the school to achieve over a three (3) year period and how the school expects to meet these objectives.
  • Specific areas identified by the school where improvement is needed immediately, and how the school will address these areas.
  • A list of the statutes and rules the school wishes to have suspended from operation for the school (if any).
  • Description of the curriculum and the location where the curriculum is available for public inspection.
  • Description and name of the assessments that will be used by the school in addition to ILEARN.
  • Provision outlining how the school will address the learning needs of all students, including exceptional learners. 
  • Provision for courses that allow all students to become eligible to receive an academic honors diploma (secondary only).
  • Provision to encourage all students to earn an academic honors diploma or  complete the Core 40 curriculum (secondary only).
  • Provision to maximize parental participation in the school.
  • Provision to maintain a safe and disciplined learning environment for all students and teachers.
  • Provision for the coordination of technology initiatives.
  • Provision for implementing career awareness and career development education curriculum.
  • Methods to improve cultural competency of teachers, administrators, staff, parents and students, including the identification of all racial, ethnic, language-minority, cultural, exceptional learning, and socioeconomic groups represented in the school’s student population; culturally appropriate strategies for increasing educational opportunities and educational performance for represented groups that are incorporated in the school’s plan; and areas identified as requiring additional professional development to increase cultural competency in the school.
  • A professional development program that includes: a narrative of student learning data; strategies, programs and services to address student learning needs; activities to implement such strategies; and an evaluation of the impact of such strategies. 
  • Assurance that the professional development program complies with the board’s core principles for professional development.

The following additional information may be included in the school improvement plan:

  • Proposed interventions based on school improvement goals.
  • A narrative description of the school, community, and educational programs.
  • A statement of mission, vision, and beliefs.
  • Data, including graphs, from the annual performance report or other performance indicators.
  • Other information about educational programming and the learning environment.
  • Information about how the school’s curriculum and instructional strategies support the achievement of Indiana’s academic standards.
  • Analysis of student achievement based on ILEARN and other assessments used.

Additional documents

The building or corporation exclusive representative must signify support for the professional development portion of the strategic and continuous school improvement plans. Corporation officials should decide if this agreement will be signified at the building or corporation level.  Based on this decision, the following documents are available for download and completion.

Comprehensive Needs Assessment (CNA) and School Improvement Plan (SIP) Template

Description of the state template

Although this template is required only for certain schools, as explained below, any school may use the template in the school improvement planning process. 

A consolidated CNA/SIP template was developed by the Department in accord with requirements in Indiana’s Consolidated State Plan Under the Every Student Succeeds Act. This template combines a CNA and SIP into one document to ensure the process of identifying and addressing schools’ needs is fluid and coherent. The CNA/SIP template fulfills all requirements under ESSA and Indiana law. Additionally, there are components in the SIP portion of the template that satisfy the requirement that schools with Title I Schoolwide Programs develop a comprehensive plan. 

The consolidated template is divided into four (4) sections:

Section A - School Improvement Plan (Part 1) for the required state elements listed above. 

Section B - Comprehensive Needs Assessment (Part 1) to identify areas where improvement is required immediately.

Section C - Comprehensive Needs Assessment (Part 2) to identify root cause(s) for prioritized gaps.

Section D - School Improvement Plan (Part 2) to develop improvement and professional development plans.

Schools required to use the state template

Use of this template is only required for schools that have been designated as underperforming based on ESSA criteria. The synopsis below further clarifies requirements regarding template use. 

Who is required to complete the SIP portion of the template (Sections A and D)? 

Schools identified as CSI.

Schools identified as TSI or Additional Targeted Support and Improvement (ATSI).

Who is required to complete the CNA portion of the template (Sections B and C)?

Schools classified as CSI.
Schools classified as TSI or ATSI MUST complete a CNA but are not required to use the state template to do so. They must, however, attach evidence of their comprehensive needs assessment to the template. For this reason, most TSI (ATSI) schools use the entire template.