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Office of Planning and Research

Planning for Success in Massachusetts

Massachusetts's Recommended Strategic Planning and Continuous Improvement Process

Planning for Success (PfS) is an inclusive, hands-on planning process designed to build district and school capacity and coherence while also building community understanding and support. The Planning for Success model, designed for both districts Download Word Document and schools Download Word Document includes a multi-year improvement plan and annual action plan for implementation.

A flexible process easily customized to each district's or school's unique context and preferred timeline, PfS has been developed and refined since 2013 by use in and feedback from school districts across Massachusetts. PfS has proven successful for districts at all levels of student achievement and growth, from single school districts to urban and regional districts and educational collaboratives.

PfS Resources For Your Use

PfS provides educators with a variety of tools, protocols, and facilitation tips that support do-it-yourself facilitation for the work communities engage in at each of PfS's three phases:

Create Plan
  • Analyze performance, educator evaluation, and community feedback data for trends and patterns, identifying root causes
  • Envision the future
  • Backward design the improvement strategy from desired student outcomes, researching effective practices
Align Systems
  • Connect Educator Evaluation goals to the plan
  • Connect School Improvement Plans to the District Plan
  • Leverage budget, grants, and resources in support of the plan
  • Build community commitment to the plan
Implement
  • Create an annual action plan with progress and impact benchmarks
  • Monitor and publicly report on progress
  • Redesign the plan if necessary

These DIY resources, as well as a number of multi-year plans and one-year action plans, are available for educators' and facilitators' use. PfS case studies Download Word Document that demonstrate a variety of approaches to structuring the PfS planning process are available as well.

Finding a Trained PfS Facilitator

For those districts and schools preferring to engage in the PfS process with a facilitator from outside their organization, a list of trained PfS facilitators is available, complete with bios and contact information. Districts and schools interested in the services of PfS Facilitators should contact them directly to design a customized planning process and determine consulting costs.

Participating in PfS Action Planning Networks

Districts interested in building their own capacity to conduct action planning may inquire about opportunities to participate in an Action Planning Network hosted by the department. These networks serve as a rich professional learning experience for participating districts.

For More Information

Planning for Success is produced by the Office of Planning and Research in consultation with Lori Likis, Ed.D., Principal Consultant, Creative Coaching. For more information about Planning for Success, PfS facilitators, or Action Planning Network opportunities, please contact Lori Likis.

Planning for Success Resources: Creating a Multi-Year Plan

In this phase of the PfS process, districts and schools create their multi-year improvement plan. As communities engage in this work, they:

  • Analyze performance, educator evaluation, and community feedback data for trends and patterns, identifying root causes
  • Envision the future
  • Backward design the improvement strategy from desired student outcomes, researching effective practices

The table below outlines the activities involved in facilitating the development of the multi-year plan and provides access to the DIY facilitation resources and PfS worksheets and templates that support these activities. The facilitation resources provide information about how to facilitate each activity, including suggested meeting agendas, timeframes, and presentation slide text.

Planning ActivityPfS Facilitation ResourcesPfS Worksheets and Templates
1. Designing the Planning Process
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Designing the Planning Process and Planning Team
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The District Planning Process
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Planning Team Worksheet
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The Massachusetts Planning and Implementation Framework
2. Getting Started with the Planning Team
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Getting Started with the Planning Team
 
3. Analyzing the Current Context
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Analyzing District or School Planning Practices and Culture: SWOT Analysis
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Analyzing Data for Root Causes
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PfS SWOT Analysis Worksheet
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Root Cause Analysis Worksheet and Dimensions Bullseye of Improvement
4. Envisioning the Future
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Envisioning the Future
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Synthesizing Visioning Feedback
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Community Feedback: Common Themes Worksheet
5. Drafting and Revising the Plan
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Identifying Strategic Objectives and Strategic Initiatives
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Researching and Selecting Evidence-Based Practices and Programs
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Selecting Outcome Measures and Setting Targets
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Identifying Mission, Vision, and Core Values
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Reviewing the Draft Plan for Quality
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The Massachusetts Planning and Implementation Framework
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PfS Plan Template
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PfS Strategic Objective/Strategic Initiative Organizer
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PfS Outcomes Worksheet
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PfS Quality Review Feedback Form

Planning for Success Resources: Creating an Action Plan

Planning for Success offers the following resources to support your district in creating an annual action plan that supports implementation of your district plan.

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Creating the Action Planning Team
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Personal Reflection Activity: Action Planning
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Analyzing District Planning Practices and Culture (SWOT Analysis)
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Creating the Action Plan
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Reviewing the Draft Action Plan for Quality
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Monitoring and Reporting on Action Plan Progress

Planning for Success Resources: Connecting Planning to Educator Evaluation

The educator evaluation system is the process that links each classroom to the district's plan and vision for all students. The Planning for Success educator evaluation series answers the question: From the school committee, to the superintendent, to school administrators, to teachers and specialized instructional support personnel…what role does each member play in relation to the district's plan and planning process? Resources include:

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Superintendents: Educator Evaluation and District Planning
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School Administrators: Educator Evaluation and District/School Improvement Planning
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Teachers and Specialized Instructional Support: Educator Evaluation and Improvement Planning
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School Committee: Educator Evaluation and District Planning

Planning for Success Plan Examples

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Cambridge Public Schools: District Plan Overview
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Cambridge Public Schools: District Plan Outcomes
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Cambridge Public Schools: Outcomes Data Dashboard
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Concord and Concord-Carlisle Regional Public Schools: District Plan Overview
View External Link
Pilgrim Area Collaborative: District Plan Overview
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Valley Collaborative: District Plan Overview and Action Plan
View External Link
Weston Public Schools: District Plan Overview
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Whitman-Hanson Regional Public Schools: District Plan Overview
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Whitman-Hanson Regional Public Schools: Action Plan
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Malden Public Schools: District Plan Overview
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Cape Cod Regional Technical High School: District Plan Overview
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Reading Public Schools: District Plan Overview and Action Plan
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Webster Public Schools: District Plan Overview
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Burlington Public Schools: District Plan Overview
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Burlington Public Schools: Elementary Schools - School Improvement Plan
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Burlington Public Schools: Marshall Simonds Middle School - School Improvement Plan
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Burlington Public Schools: Burlington High School - School Improvement Plan

Read about these districts' planning processes—and the reflections of planning team participants and Superintendents on their planning processes—in District Planning Case Studies: Planning for Success 2015 Pilot Projects Download Word Document.



Last Updated: October 9, 2018
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