Make Improvements to the Action Plan

Make Improvements to the Action Plan

When districts learn from successes and challenges, they can increase the effectiveness of SEL implementation by integrating what they learn into ongoing SEL strategic planning and support.

Below you’ll find an overview of: WHAT high-quality implementation looks like, WHY it’s important, WHEN to engage in this key activity, and WHO to involve. Also see the PROCESS page for step-by-step guidance on how to engage in the work, and the RESOURCES page for additional tools to support your efforts.

What does it mean to make improvements to the district's SEL action plan?


As part of high-quality SEL continuous improvement, districts work with staff, students, families, and community partners to alter or update plans based on what was learned through data reflection (see Key Activity: Reflect on Progress Toward Annual SEL Goals) and share with the larger district community what was learned and how that will inform the district’s next steps.


A strong approach to making improvements to the action plan involves:

Summarizing the successes and challenges that were identified through data reflection.

Sharing this summary in formats useful to a range of stakeholders such as written reports, public discussion forums/webinars, and online data dashboards.

Engaging staff, students, families, and community members to determine next steps for SEL implementation as the SEL team revisits Focus Area 1 and the SEL action planning phase.

Providing support to school teams to incorporate what they learn through data reflection into their own action plans.

Supporting school teams in communicating about progress with their school community (e.g., families, students, staff, community partners).

Why should my district adjust our action plan?


Throughout SEL implementation, you likely came across obstacles that delayed or hindered your progress and new ideas that could increase your effectiveness. When you take the time to present this learning to students, families, staff, and other partners and work together to determine what should happen next, your plan will be strengthened by a broader range of experiences and perspectives. This is the core of continuous improvement: learning from your successes and challenges and adapting your approach along the way to increase effectiveness.

Sharing progress, learning, and planned next steps with the larger community raises awareness about what the SEL team is achieving, highlights successes that can be celebrated, and maintains commitment and buy-in. Consistent communication on progress can also encourage decision-makers, such as the superintendent and Board of Education, to provide needed resources for future SEL efforts.

When should my district make improvements to our action plan?


You’ll engage in much of this work after reflecting on the past year’s data and drawing conclusions around success and challenges towards the end of each school year (See Key Activity: Reflect on Progress Toward Annual Goals). You might begin discussing action steps for the coming year right away during a data reflection meeting.  You might also choose to compile insights from data reflection meetings with different stakeholder groups and dedicate separate time for applying learning to a new year-long action plan.  If the planning meeting is separate from the data reflection meeting, be sure to summarize data reflection insights before discussing action steps.

You’ll want to prepare key data and conclusions to share with the full district community shortly after data reflection and action planning takes places. This may include sharing progress about the past year’s SEL efforts and a summary of implementation and outcome data, as well as any next steps that are planned.

Who needs to be involved in making improvements to our action plan?


Most of the stakeholders involved in other aspects of continuous improvement will also be involved in making improvements to the action plan, though there may be some additional people needed to execute next steps and help communicate with stakeholders. These include:

  • SEL lead and team
  • Family and student representatives
  • Communications department or someone from the SEL team who supports communications (instrumental for ensuring communications about the results of SEL continuous improvement are shared)
  • Members of the district Research and Evaluation department (to help determine what data trends and highlights to communicate)
  • Key staff members from departments that lead SEL-related work across the district
  • School leadership and their supervisors
  • Community partners that help support SEL in the district
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