OIP-stagesThe OIP involves four-stages (see Figure below) across which processes, structures, tools, and people are connected – all with the intent of helping districts enact Ohio’s Leadership Development Framework by (1) using data to identify areas of greatest need; (2) developing a plan to address those areas of need that is built around a limited number of focused goals and strategies to significantly improve instructional practice and student performance; (3) implementing, and monitoring the degree of implementation, of the plan with integrity; and (4) evaluating the effectiveness of the improvement process in changing instructional practice and impacting student learning and performance.

Sustainable improvement is not random. Rather, it is highly focused, beginning with an honest assessment of student data and the identification of academic weaknesses and related issues (e.g., climate and conditions) that must be addressed.

Stage 1

STAGE 1 of the OIP begins with this kind of assessment using Ohio’s Decision Framework (DF) tool. The DF is a decision-making aid designed to assist districts in making informed decisions – based on what their data tell them – about where to spend their time, energy, and resources to make significant and substantial improvements in student performance. A state-developed data warehouse allows for relevant data needed to complete the DF process to be readily available to districts and buildings, and community schools (AKA charter schools). Such data are organized in such a way as to allow district leadership teams (DLTs) and building leadership teams (BLTs), and community school leadership teams (CSLTs), to answer essential questions and make decisions about their greatest need related to improving student learning and performance.

For more information about identifying critical needs at Stage 1, go to:

This tool aims to facilitate planning for improvement of data systems based on data collected from users. The tool can be used to identify data collection goals and to document decisions made based on the data collected.

Stage 2

At STAGE 2 of the OIP, leadership teams affirm the priority areas identified through use of the DF in developing a district improvement plan that has a limited number of focused goals and strategies. In Ohio, the Consolidated Comprehensive Improvement Plan (CCIP) is the automated state tool for creating district and building improvement plans. All districts in Ohio are required to submit a CCIP, which includes the district goals, strategies, and action steps for improving student performance.

For more information about developing focused goals and strategies, go to:

Stage 3

At STAGE 3 of the OIP, the focus is on implementation, and monitoring the degree of implementation, of the focused plan across the district. Recent research on the effects of full implementation (Leadership and Learning Center, 2007) and its impact on student achievement note that partial implementation of evidence-based strategies is not much better than no implementation. For example, in one school when fewer than 50% of the teachers aligned curriculum, assessment, and instruction to state-content standards in science, the percent of students proficient in that content area on state assessment was 25%. In stark contrast, when over 90% of the teachers in the same school aligned curriculum, assessments, and instruction to the state science standards, student proficiency increased to 85% (Reeves, 2006). These findings – based on a synthesis of multiple research sources on teaching, leadership, and organizational effectiveness – highlight the critical importance of full implementation of the district plan based on focused goals that remain stable over time (Reeves, 2008).

For more information about developing focused goals and strategies, go to:

For webinars on moving the work forward through OPES and OTES, go to:

Stage 4

At STAGE 4 of the OIP, the focus is on evaluating the effects of the improvement process at multiple levels (classroom, BLT, DLT, regional, state) and its impact on student achievement. Key indicators are customized for each level, while maintaining the focus on essential practices in the areas mentioned above (e.g., data and the decision-making process, focused goal setting process, instruction and the learning process, etc.). At the district level, continuous monitoring is necessary to gauge the effectiveness of improvement efforts on changes in adult practice and student achievement and to ensure a sustained focus on district goals for instruction and achievement, and is the key function of the DLT. At the regional and state level, monitoring the use of the OIP as Ohio’s primary vehicle for supporting statewide sustainable improvement is the major function of regional managers assigned to oversee the work of State Support Teams who work with DLTs to review data, develop focused plans, and ensure fidelity of plan implementation and its effect on instruction and achievement.

View the OLAC Webinar: Shared Leadership for Superintendents