Make Improvements to the Action Plan

Make Improvements to the Action Plan

When districts learn from and share about successes and challenges they can increase the effectiveness of SEL implementation.

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 share with stakeholders and take action to promote SEL continuous improvement?

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As part of high-quality SEL continuous improvement, districts use what was learned throughout the year and during data reflection (see Key Activity: Data Reporting and Reflecting) to determine next steps and engage stakeholders. This may mean building on or expanding strategies that worked, making changes to a strategy to address implementation challenges, or attempting new strategies when previous efforts were unsuccessful.

Using data to share progress and take action is the fourth and final phase of a Plan-Do-Study-Act continuous improvement cycle (read more about PDSA cycles in Key Activity: Planning for improvement) before a new year-long continuous improvement cycle is launched.

A strong approach to sharing progress and taking action involves:

Using conclusions from data reflection to determine next steps and create action plans.

Sharing these conclusions and action plans with key stakeholders.

Providing support to school teams for data-informed action planning.

Supporting school teams in communicating about implementation progress and progress towards achieving desired outcomes with their own key stakeholders (e.g., families, students, staff, community partners).

Use the Rubric to assess your approach to sharing with stakeholders and taking action. 

Why does my district need to share with stakeholders and take action?

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Throughout SEL implementation, you will likely come across obstacles that delay or hinder your progress, or new ideas that could increase your effectiveness. When you take action based on what was learned from implementation and outcome data, your next steps are more likely to be successful and sustained. This is the core of continuous improvement: learning from your successes and challenges and adapting your approach along the way to increase effectiveness.

Sharing about progress and what is learned with district stakeholders helps raise 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 to provide needed resources for future SEL efforts.

When should my district share with stakeholders and take action?

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You’ll engage in much of this work after reflecting on the past year’s data and drawing conclusions around success and challenges (See Key Activity: Data Reporting and Reflecting). As discussed previously, this summative data reflection meeting typically occurs at the end of the academic year, after districts have implemented their plan and compiled their data. Some districts may want to engage in discussing next steps and a new year-long action plan in the same meeting, immediately after spending time on data reflection. Other districts may choose to break this up into multiple meetings so that they have dedicated time to plan for the coming school year. If the planning meeting is separate from the data reflection meeting, it’s important to review what was discussed and learned during data reflection before determining action steps.

You’ll want to prepare conclusions to share with stakeholders shortly after reflecting on data at the end of the academic year. 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. If you’re developing a new action plan at a later time, you’ll also want to share that plan with stakeholders before the start of the following year.

Who needs to be involved in sharing with stakeholders and taking action?

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Most of the stakeholders involved in other aspects of continuous improvement will also be involved in developing an action plan and sharing progress with stakeholders, though there may be some additional people needed to execute next steps and help communicate with stakeholders. This includes:

  • SEL lead and team
  • Communications department or someone from the SEL team who supports communications (instrumental for ensuring communications about the results of SEL continuous improvement are shared with the right stakeholders)
  • Members of district Research and Evaluation department (to help determine what data trends and highlights to communicate)

Additional stakeholders who may be involved in developing and carrying out a new or updated action plan based on what was learned through the year include:

  • Key staff members from departments that lead SEL work across the district
  • School leadership and their supervisors
  • Community partners that help support SEL in the district
  • Other stakeholders, including families and students, who can inform a robust action plan
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