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School Improvement Plans

The Office of the State Superintendent of Education is committed to school improvement through partnering with local education agencies (LEAs) and the Public Charter School Board to target resources, supports, and interventions to the lowest performing schools and schools with the largest achievement gaps. Each school that is classified as Priority (lowest performing) must create improvement plans aligned with seven research-based turnaround principles. Schools identified as Focus (largest achievement gaps) must develop plans focused on closing the gap for identified subgroup(s) within specified subject area(s).  During years one and two of implementation, OSSE provides feedback on school plans. In year three of school improvement, OSSE will prescribe the use of a portion of federal funds intended for use in turnaround activities and approve improvement plans. These plans are “living” documents and are regularly updated by LEAs to reflect their improvement efforts.

Questions regarding plans for schools operated by the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) should be directed to [email protected] and questions regarding plans for charter schools should be directed to the relevant LEA or school. General questions about OSSE’s school planning requirements should be directed to Dr. Tiphanie Scroggins, Management Analyst, Division of Elementary, Secondary, and Specialized Education, [email protected].

OSSE School Improvement Plan Resources

A school improvement plan is vital for school turnaround.  It is a comprehensive road map used to improve pedagogy and student learning through strategic planning and effective leadership. To support the turnaround efforts of Priority and Focus schools, OSSE has compiled the resources below for developing and refining improvement plans.

School Improvement Plan Rubric: This is the rubric OSSE will use to review and provide recommendations on school improvement plans for Priority and Focus schools. Schools are encouraged to use this rubric as a guide as they develop their school improvement plans.

School Improvement Planning Guide: This guide is structured to be a hands-on resource for school teams as they develop strong improvement plans and processes to ensure continuous improvement.

School Improvement Planning Video Modules: These online video modules are aligned with OSSE’s School Improvement Planning Guide. These brief modules walk school teams through the elements of developing strong improvement plans and processes to ensure continuous improvement. 

  • School Planning Overview
  • Phase 1: Pre-planning
  • Phase 2: Setting Goals
  • Phase 3: Identifying and Prioritizing Strategies
  • Phase 4: Planning Your Strategies
  • Phase 5: Monitoring Progress

Professional Development: LEA Support Session (November 18, 2015): The session provided LEA staff serving Priority and Focus schools an opportunity to learn new strategies vital to school improvement. These strategies will enhance their strategic planning to develop effective school improvement plans. Here's a recap of the event, including copies of all presentations and materials.

General Resources

School Turnaround Learning Community:  The School Turnaround Learning Community (STLC), launched by U.S. Department of Education to support School Improvement Grant (SIG) recipients and others undertaking rigorous interventions in their lowest performing schools provides research-based practices and practical examples from states, districts, and schools developing and implementing on-the-ground solutions.

What Works Clearinghouse: The What Works Clearinghouse is a resource provided by the U.S. Department of Education that identifies studies that provide credible and reliable evidence of a given practice, program or policy and disseminates summary information and free reports to the public.

School Turnaround Articles

Berman, S. H., & Camins, A. (2011). Investing in Turnaround That Endures. Education Week, 31(10), 28-22.

David, J. L. (2010). Drastic School Turnaround Strategies Are Risky. Educational Leadership, 68(2), 78-80.

Simmons, J. (2011). To Improve Schools, Stop Guessing and Start Using Research. Education Digest, 76(9), 37-39.

Sparks, S. D. (2012). Interplay of Strategies Seen as Key in Turnarounds. Education Week, 32(4), 10-11.

2016-17 Focus Schools

  • Achievement Preparatory Public Charter School-Elementary*
  • Bancroft Elementary School*
  • Bruce Monroe Elementary School at Park View*
  • Capital City Public Charter School – Lower School*
  • Capitol Hill Montessori School at Logan*
  • Excel Academy Public Charter School Dream
  • Friendship Public Charter School Woodridge Elementary*
  • Friendship Public Charter School  Collegiate Academy
  • Garrison Elementary School 
  • HD Cooke Elementary School*
  • Hart Middle School 
  • Kimball Elementary School*
  • King Elementary School*
  • Langley Education Center*
  • Miner Elementary School*
  • Noyes Education Center*
  • National Collegiate Preparatory Public Charter High School 
  • Payne Elementary School*
  • Richard Wright Public Charter School*
  • Seaton Elementary School*
  • Simon Elementary School
  • Smothers Elementary School 
  • Takoma Education Campus*
  • Tyler Elementary School*
  • Walker-Jones Education Campus 
  • Whittier Education Campus
  • Wilson High School*

2016-17 Priority Schools

  • Aiton Elementary School 
  • Amidon-Bowen Elementary School*
  • Anacostia High School 
  • Ballou High School 
  • Cardozo Education Campus 
  • CW Harris Elementary School*
  • Coolidge High School
  • Drew Elementary School*
  • Dunbar High School 
  • Friendship Public Charter School Blow Pierce Elementary
  • Garfield Elementary School*
  • HD Woodson High School 
  • Hendley Elementary School 
  • Houston Elementary School 
  • Johnson John Hayden Middle School 
  • Kramer Middle School 
  • Langdon Education Campus*
  • LaSalle-Backus Education Campus*
  • Luke C. Moore High School 
  • Malcolm X Elementary School at Green 
  • Maya Angelou Public Charter School – Evans High School 
  • Moten Elementary School 
  • Patterson Elementary School 
  • Roosevelt High School at MacFarland 
  • Savoy Elementary School 
  • Turner Elementary School
  • Washington Metropolitan High School

*Priority and Focus schools demonstrating continued growth and would have been eligible to exit based on past years of progress and performance on PARCC.  While schools’ federally reported classifications will not change in the 2016-17 school year, OSSE will report such schools as “Rising Priority” or “Rising Focus” in order to publicly recognize the progress they have made.

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