Posted: Tue, 06/13/2017 - 11:48am Updated: Thu, 09/10/2020 - 12:55pm
The following recorded presentations are available to assist schools in completing the new CNA/SIP template.

Requirements for Plans

What entities must have a school improvement plan?

In order to be accorded full accreditation status, public schools, including charter schools, and state-accredited non-public schools must have a strategic and continuous school improvement plan (see IC 20-31-4-6(5); 511 IAC 6.1-1-4(1)(J)).

What entities must submit a school improvement plan to the Department?

Pursuant to 511 IAC 6.2-3-5(a), a school improvement plan must be submitted to the Department. Therefore, all schools that are required to have a school improvement plan must submit it to the Department.

However, IC 20-31-5-2 provides that a charter school may use its charter agreement entered into with its authorizer as its school improvement plan. Further, a school that is accredited through the freeway program may use its freeway petition as its school improvement plan. These entities do not need to submit their charter agreements or freeway petitions to the Department since these are already on file.

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

Schools may submit school improvement plans/student achievement plans to the Department beginning June 8, 2020.

All school improvement plans/student achievement plans must be submitted to the Department no later than October 2, 2020.

What must be included in a school improvement plan?

IC 20-31-5 and 6, and 511 IAC 6.2-3-3 outline the required components of a school improvement plan, which include the following:

  • Established objectives of continuous improvement in, at minimum, the areas of attendance rate, ISTEP+ (ILEARN) proficiency rates, and graduation rates for the school to achieve over a three (3) year period and how the school expects to meet these objectives, with annual review and revision if necessary to accomplish objectives.
  • Specific areas identified by the school where improvement is needed immediately, and how the school will address these areas.
  • Description of the curriculum and information concerning the location of a copy of the curriculum that is available for public inspection.
  • Description and name of the assessments that will be used by the school in addition to ISTEP+ (ILEARN).
  • Provision outlining how the school will address the learning needs of all students, including exceptional learners; provide courses to allow students to earn an Academic Honors diploma; and encourage the completion of the Core 40 and Academic Honors curriculums.
  • 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.
  • 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; and an assurance that the professional development program complies with the State Board’s core principles for professional development.
  • 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 in need of additional professional development to increase cultural competency in the school.

511 IAC 6.2-3-4 outlines the following additional information that the school may choose to include in its school improvement plan:

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

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

The Comprehensive Needs Assessment (CNA) and School Improvement Plan (SIP) template was designed to fulfill all ESSA requirements for Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI) and Targeted Support and Improvement (TSI) schools. Additionally, the plan fulfills most requirements for the Title IA grant. Below is a synopsis that clarifies which schools are required to use the state-provided template.

Who is required to submit a school improvement plan (SIP)?

All public and private schools.

Who is required to submit a comprehensive needs assessment (CNA)? 

Schools that receive Title I funds AND schools classified as TSI, ATSI, and/or CSI.

Who is required to use the Indiana Department of Education’s SIP template?

Schools classified as TSI, ATSI and/or CSI.

Who is required to use the Indiana Department of Education’s CNA template?

Schools classified as CSI.


Even though schools classified as TSI are not required to use the CNA portion of the consolidated template, they are required to conduct a CNA, as are schools that receive Title I funding. Since the CNA is incorporated in the state-provided template, it makes sense to take advantage of this convenience to satisfy these requirements. Although the consolidated template is only required of schools as noted above, any school may use the template to satisfy the accountability requirement for submission of a continuous school improvement plan.

The Consolidated Comprehensive Needs Assessment/School Improvement Plan (CNA/SIP) Template May Be Downloaded Here.
Additional documents to download include:

How does a school submit its school improvement plan to the Department?

The submission of the school improvement plan/student achievement plan must be completed by the school principal or authorized official.

  • Login to DOE Online at
  • Under the blue menu on the left side of the screen, hover over “Accreditation” then click on “Legal Standards Assurance”.
  • Once the Legal Standards Assurance screen opens, click on “Standard 1:  School Improvement Plan Compliance”.
    • Check all applicable boxes on this screen.
    • The principal or authorized official must provide an e-signature by typing his or her name in the box provided on the screen. Please also provide the date that the information was completed and submitted to DOE Online.
    • To upload the school improvement plan:
      • Click “Choose File” under the signature box.
      • School Improvement Plans/Student Achievement Plans must be submitted in PDF format. Only one document may be uploaded. If there are multiple files, you will need to combine them into one PDF prior to submission.
  • Review materials and click “Save and Return to Scoreboard” at the bottom of the screen to officially submit the school improvement plan/student achievement plan.

Please go to DOE Online Help for any assistance with DOE Online