The Ohio Improvement Process (OIP)


The 5-Step Process

OIP Glossary


Achievement Gap

The disparity in academic performance on tests among identified groups or the difference between how a group performs and what is expected of that group. Typically, the disparity is defined as a difference between white students and students of color or between students who receive a free or reduced-price lunch and those who do not.


Specific steps to operationalize a strategy and reach a goal.

Adult Implementation Indicator

Gauge by which a strategy is determined to be met in terms of changes in practices expected of adults.

Annual Goal Target

Gauges against which to judge whether an annual goal is met.


Starting point from which an indicator can be measured.

Building Leadership Team (BLT)

A team of individuals who promote a culture of common expectations or commitment by maintaining a schoolwide focus on improving student achievement. The team fosters shared leadership and responsibility for the success of every child through the creation of purposeful communities.

Capacity Building

Providing opportunities—such as job-embedded staff development, coaching, and time for reflection on effective instructional practices—that enhance the ability of teachers and administrators to positively affect student learning.


Highest level of functioning in a continuum of how information, knowledge, and working together operate in any organization.

Collaborative Structure

A structure designed to increase teacher or district staff capacity in meeting the challenge to close achievement gaps and raise the bar for all students. Other terms may be used, such as data teams, grade-level teams, department teams, to describe a professional learning community in a district or building. Characterized by continuous school-based or district- based professional development, mutual support, and coaching with peers; dedicated time for collaborative work; and permission to take risks as a staff to learn, practice, and hone their skills. Effective school and district leadership is fundamental to creating collaborative structures.

Common Formative Assessments

Teacher-generated periodic or interim assessments that are collaboratively designed by teams for specific units of instruction. Common formative assessments are created as short matching pre- and post assessments to ensure same-assessment- to-same-assessment comparison of student growth. Common formative assessments usually contain a blend of item types, including selected response and constructed response, representing power standards.


Exchange of ideas and information by any of a variety of methods.

Community School Leadership Team (CSLT)

See District Leadership Team.

Comprehensive Assessment System

The means by which a district measures student performance from the time that the student enters education to the time the student leaves. Includes three types of assessments:

  1. Initial or diagnostic assessments that identify student strengths and weaknesses or identify what a student already knows about a topic and identify any gaps or misconceptions.
  2. Formative or interim assessments used by teachers and students during instruction that provide feedback to adjust ongoing teaching and learning to improve students’ achievement or intended instructional outcomes.
  3. Summative assessments given periodically to determine, at a particular point in time, what students know and do not know relative to content standards.

Comprehensive Continuous Improvement Plan (CCIP)

A unified grants application and verification system that consists of two parts: the Planning Tool and the Funding Application. The Planning Tool contains the goals, strategies, action steps, and district goal amounts for all grants in the CCIP. The Funding Application contains the budget, budget details, nonpublic services, and other related pages. The CCIP should be the district’s focused plan for improvement.


After discussion, a group has reached consensus on a decision if most team members agree with the decision and if those who disagree are willing to accept the decision and try to make it work. Consensus allows those who disagree to gather more data and raise an issue if indicated.

Content Standards

Specific, measurable descriptions of what students should know and be able to do at each grade in each curriculum area.

Continuous Improvement Framework

The concept that effective schools are engaged in a long- term process of improvement of teaching and learning that is demonstrated by a pattern of continuous improvement of learning for every child. The continuous improvement cycle includes determination of prioritized needs, planning for focused improvement, implementation of the plan, and monitoring and evaluation of the results.

Culturally Relevant Educational Practices

Using the cultural knowledge, prior experiences, frames of reference, and performance styles of ethnically or economically diverse students to make learning encounters more relevant and effective for them.

Data-Driven Decisions

Decisions that districts and schools make by knowledgeably and effectively using a range of data at the classroom, school, and district levels to improve instructional support and practices.

Data-Driven Decisions for Academic Achievement (D3A2)

An ODE initiative that provides a systematic approach for Ohio educators to access data and align resources. Users are able to identify and access resources to meet specific needs from different systems that communicate using common standards, for example, Schools Interoperability Framework (SIF) to ensure consistent data standards and the Ohio Standard Identifier Code (OSIC) to show alignment to Ohio’s Academic Content Standards.

Data Teams

See Teacher-Based Teams.

Decision Framework (DF)

The Decision Framework (DF) is a tool designed to assist District Leadership Teams (DLT), Building Leadership Teams (BLT), and Community School Leadership Teams (CSLT) in making informed decisions – based on what their data tell them – about where to spend their time, energy and resources to make significant and sustainable improvements in student performance. To that end, the DF will help these teams: • Sort through and categorize data in meaningful ways; • Prioritize areas of need and make decisions based on an analysis of data; • Identify root causes of prioritized needs; and • Develop a more focused plan leading to improved student achievement.

The DF is the primary power tool in Stage 1 of the Ohio Improvement Process (OIP). As one of a set of connected tools, the DF results in a profile based on what DLTs, BLTs, or CSLTs identify as their major priorities that when submitted, automatically populate the needs assessment of the Comprehensive Continuous Improvement Plan (CCIP).

Decision Parameters

Factors that help make sound decisions that serve as guidelines rather than policy, rule, or procedure.

District Leadership Team (DLT)

A team of individuals who promote a culture of common expectations or commitment by maintaining a districtwide focus on high achievement for all students.

Early Childhood Outcomes Summary Form (ECO)

Measurement of every preschool child with a disability using a seven-point scale to document the child’s progress in each of three categories (positive social and emotional skills, acquiring and using knowledge and skills, and taking appropriate action to meet needs).

English Language Learners (ELL)

A student subgroup described by instructional needs that change as students gain English language proficiency; ELL students receive services based on their achievement on academic assessments.


The practice that DLTs and BLTs engage in to critically examine and analyze monitoring data to assess the extent to which the process and plan implementation produced the desired results.


The process of reviewing, assessing, and applying proven strategies to address data-determined needs.

Evidence of Success

Tangible documentation that shows progress toward achieving a strategy.

Expectations and Conditions Goal

A broad statement that specifies a desired change in order to improve or increase the opportunities or potential for improvement in learning and identifies the end result to be achieved within a given timeframe.

Extended Learning Time

An increase in the amount of time students have available for school by providing opportunities before and after school and during the summer, modified school calendars, and changes in the structure of the school day. Extended learning time also can be provided by reducing or eliminating pullout programs that interrupt regular instructional time, increasing the focus on learning during scheduled class time by reducing extraneous activities and scheduling longer blocks of time for classes.


The degree to which the plan accurately produces its effect: exact correspondence with the process and faithful to the OIP nonnegotiables and OLAC principles in the face of obstacles.

Focused Plan

A blueprint based on identified needs that directs all district work and resources and leads to improvement in student achievement.

Formative Assessment

A continuous instructional process used by teachers to obtain evidence of student understanding for the purpose of improving teaching or learning. To be effective, teachers must be skillful in using various assessment strategies and tools, such as observation, student conferences, portfolios, performance tasks, prior knowledge assessments, rubrics, feedback, and student self-assessment. More important, they must have a deep understanding of the formative assessment process and understand its close relationship to instructional scaffolding.

Grade- or Department-Level Teams

See Professional Learning Community.

Implementation Management/Monitoring Tool (IMM)

An electronic tool that provides a way for districts to document how their district and school plans will be implemented. The district or school can identify items to be measured, resources needed, persons and groups responsible, timeline for implementing and the completion status of the implementation items.


There are two types of indicators. A performance indicator is the gauge by which a goal is determined to be met. A progress indicator is the gauge by which a strategy is determined to be successful. Progress indicators have a baseline measure established and short-term progress measures to assess degree of changes in knowledge, skills, attitudes, policies, and practices; and documentation is identified to provide evidence that the indicator is met.


A search for knowledge; an investigation or research that has the aim of augmenting knowledge, resolving doubt, or solving a problem by questioning and seeking the truth.


The translation of a district’s mission, policies, vision, and continuous improvement plan into actions applicable to the daily activities of its administrators and staff; the integration of OIP principles into the district culture and structure.

Job-Embedded Professional Development

Ongoing professional development grounded in day-to-day teaching and designed to enhance teachers’ content-specific instructional practices with the intent of improving student learning; aligned to learning standards and school and district improvement plans (Darling-Hammond & McLaughlin, 1995; Hawley & Valli, 1999; Hirsh, 2009; NSDC, 2010).

Kindergarten Readiness Assessment (KRA)

Beginning with the 2014-2015 school year, the kindergarten readiness assessment has replaced the KRA-L. The new assessment includes ways for teachers to measure a child’s school readiness. Ohio’s Early Learning and Development Standards (birth to kindergarten entry) are the basis for the new assessment. It has six components: social skills (including social and emotional development, and approaches toward learning), mathematics, science, social studies, language and literacy, and physical well-being and motor development.


Acquiring and applying new knowledge, behaviors, skills, or values; knowledge acquired by systematic study.


The district’s purpose or the reason it exists. Fulfilling the mission is how a district realizes its vision.


The degree to which a student population of a building 120 days before a test window is not in the same building at the time of the test window.


The practice that DLTs and BLTs use to supervise the plan in progress to ensure the tasks, actions, and strategies are on course and on schedule in meeting goals as measured by progress against indicators.

Multiple Risk Factors

A multiplicity of reasons for which students may be at risk of academic failure, for example, high levels of both discipline occurrences and absences.

Nonnegotiable Goal

Goals upon which all staff members act.


A statement that reflects an opinion, testimonial, or comment about data.


Data that show a relationship within the same set of data.

Professional Learning Community or Team

See Collaborative Structures.


The repeating of a cycle or process, either indefinitely or until a specific point is reached.

Research-Based Practices

The process of reviewing, assessing, and applying proven strategies on the basis of empirical evidence to address data-determined needs.

Root Cause

The deepest underlying cause of positive or negative symptoms within any process that if eliminated would result in elimination or substantial reduction of the symptom.


Valuable diagnostic information about past practices and reports on students’ predicted success probabilities at numerous academic milestones, K–12.

School Improvement Plan The school’s focused plan for improvement.

Schoolwide Information System (SWIS)

Web-based information system designed to help school personnel use office referral data to design particular interventions for individual students and general interventions for all students.

Shared Leadership

Leadership shared by team leaders and team members—rotating to the person with the key knowledge, skills, and abilities to address the particular issues facing the team at any given moment with the focus on “improvement of instructional practice and performance, regardless of role” (Elmore, 2006).

SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable and Attainable, Results-Oriented, Targeted) Goal

A broad statement that specifies a desired measurable change in student performance to close a gap or an improvement opportunity or potential for improvement in learning and that identifies the end result to be achieved within a given time.


Anyone who affects or is affected by the success of the district. Typical stakeholder groups include students, teachers, paraprofessionals, support staff, school administrators, students’ immediate family members, school board members, community leaders, local business and industry representatives, and citizens who live in the community.


Subject-matter benchmarks to measure students’ academic achievement. Curriculum standards drive what students learn in the classroom.

State Performance Plan (SPP) Indicators

A strategic framework of 20 measures on which the state collects data in order to determine a district’s or building’s level of performance, to set targets for improvement, and to develop improvement strategies to improve the performance of students with disabilities in the state.


A set of specific, measurable written statements about what a district is going to accomplish to meet a need and get closer to reaching a goal within a given time.

Strategy Indicator

The gauges by which a strategy is determined to be met in terms of student performance and adult practices

Student Performance Goal

A broad statement that specifies a desired change in student performance to close a gap and identifies the end result to be achieved within a given time.

Students With Disabilities (SWD)

Students who have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; have a record of such an impairment; or are regarded as having such an impairment. Students with disabilities are those students served under “Assistance for Education of All Children With Disabilities” (Part B) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.


A smaller group distinguished in some way from other members of the larger group of which it is a part. Under federal law, each school and district is assessed to determine whether it has achieved adequate yearly progress (AYP) for all students in communication arts and mathematics, as well as among each subgroup (Asian and Pacific islander, black, Hispanic, American Indian, white, free or reduced-price lunch, individualized education program [IEP], limited English proficiency [LEP]) unless there are 30 or fewer students in the subgroup.There must be at least 50 students in the IEP and LEP subgroups for a school or district to be accountable for AYP.

Summative Assessment

Assessments—for example, state assessments, district benchmark assessments, end-of-term or semester exams—given periodically to determine at a particular point in time what students know and do not know relative to content standards to help evaluate the effectiveness of programs, goals, or alignment of curriculum.


A list of steps in order to complete an action.

Teacher-Based Teams (TBT)

Teacher-Based Teams (TBTs) are teams composed of teachers working together to improve instructional practice and student learning through shared work. As part of the OIP use of collaborative structures, TBTs follow a common set of guidelines described in a five- step process connected directly to the focused goals, strategies, and actions described in the school improvement plan.


A statement based on at least three years of data from the same data source.

Value-Added Data

A component of Ohio’s accountability system that measures growth or improvement over a period of time to determine the value gained by a student during that time period.


A shared understanding of what the district wants to create (picture of the future) by stakeholders who are committed.

OIP Webinar Materials

March 25, 2013


  • Building Leadership Team (BLT) Rubric: pdf
  • No. 4b – Process Checker Role: docx | pdf
  • No. 4c – Reflective Questioner Role: doc | pdf
  • No. 5 – The Highly Effective Meeting Profile: pdf
  • No. 6a – Teacher-Based Teams Checklist: docx | pdf
  • No. 6b – 5-Step Process Building Leadership Team (BLT) Meeting Agenda and Minutes Template: doc | pdf
  • No. 6c – Tuning Protocol Overview: pdf
  • No. 8b – A Comprehensive List of Strategies that Relate to Effective Teaching: docx | pdf
  • No. 18 – Building Highly Effective Building Leadership Teams (BLTs): 18 Critical Components: mp4 | wmv | pptx
  • Building Leadership Team (BLT) Feedback to Teacher-Based Teams (TBTs) Rubric: docx | pdf
  • Building Leadership Team (BLT) 5-Step Meeting Agenda Training: Notes & Slides pdf
  • Building Leadership Team (BLT) 5-Step Meeting Agenda Training: pdf | ppt
  • No. 13 Teacher-Based Team (TBT) Rubric: doc | pdf
  • No. 18a Traditional Roles to Integrated Services: doc | pdf
  • No. 18 b1 Shift from Traditional Programs to Comprehensive Integrated Services Activity Sheet: doc | pdf
  • No. 18 b2 Shift from Traditional Programs to Comprehensive Integrated Services Chart: docx | pdf

OIP Webinar Materials

April 29, 2013


Implementation Management Monitoring Tool (IMM)

  • IMM Overview: wmv | mp4
  • Plan Item Filter: wmv | mp4
  • Implementation Details: wmv | mp4
  • Goal Target: wmv | mp4
  • Strategy Indicator/Progress Measure: wmv | mp4
  • Action Step Implementation Details: wmv | mp4
  • Communication Approach: wmv | mp4
  • Reports: wmv | mp4
  • Resource 10: District Focused Plan (IMM Template): doc | pdf
  • Evaluation Report Development Guide: doc | pdf
  • OIP Stage 4: 6 IMM Questions Workbook: docx | pdf
  • OIP Lead Facilitator PowerPoint: pptm | pdf
  • 2013 OIP Implementation Criteria and Rubric: pdf
  • Leading School District Focused Action Plan: doc | pdf
  • Monitoring – Evaluation Chart: pdf
  • OIP Stage 4 Monitoring Evaluation (B. McNulty): wmv | mp4
  • Progress Monitoring Evaluation Model: jpg | pdf
  • Theory of Action: pdf

Weeding the Garden

  • Weeding the Garden: ppt | pdf
  • Impact Implementation Chart: ppt | pdf
  • Implementation Audit Protocol: ppt | pdf
  • Implementation Audit Template: docx | pdf
  • Weeding the Garden: wmv | mp4

OIP Contact Form

Contact the State Support Team