The OIP is not a program, nor is it an initiative to be implemented. Rather, it is a structured process that can be used and adapted by districts to enact research-based essential leadership practices, as outlined in Ohio’s Leadership Development Framework. It is also Ohio’s strategy for establishing a common and consistent vocabulary and set of protocols for use by regional providers (ESC and SST personnel) in working with districts to support meaningful improvement efforts. For examples of district-wide tools and protocols to support data use across a district, you can view these sample materials on DWW:

Benefits of OIP. While state and federal laws both require a needs assessment and an improvement plan, many districts still have multiple plans, and/or the district plan is the work of a department or few individuals operating in isolation. They generally do not address how the district intends to make/sustain improvement. Instead, they identify only what the district has done and explain how the district intends to expend funds. Most current district plans cannot provide meaningful data for helping service providers (e.g., SSTs) understand and respond to the needs of districts/schools.

The OIP is a clearly defined process with several major tools that: (1) are aligned to each other; (2) are connected to each other in a web-based environment; (3) establish boundaries for collective conversations; and (4) allow districts and schools to plan the use of state and federal funds to implement a focused improvement plan. The OIP uses a datadriven needs assessment to develop a focused plan that will be used across the district to drive its comprehensive continuous improvement effort by:

At no time does the OIP tell a district what to do. Rather, it is used to help districts explore – in a more collective and strategic way – what they believe they should do to make and sustain improvements in instructional practice and student learning. Using the OIP to eliminate programmatic silos and foster more collaborative dialogue allows the district to evaluate specific strategies/actions being implemented, thereby making better decisions about what to replicate and when and how to intervene. The OIP incorporates OLAC essential leadership practices as part of the Ohio Decision Framework (DF) tool described below.

OLAC and BASA, in cooperation with regional providers have identified specific tasks associated with the role of the superintendent in serving as the vision/mission keeper, the resource allocator, a convener/member of the DLT, and an architect of the district plan. These tasks or functions include the following:

  1. Oversee use of the OIP, establishing systems, structures, and supports to implement the process with a primary focus on instructional improvement for all students;
  2. Select, and set the direction and expectations, for the DLT
  3. Ensure that TBTs are fully implemented across all buildings and grade levels;
  4. Be present and practice shared leadership with the DLT;
  5. Engage staff and community in the planning process;
  6. Create collaborative structures to ensure plan development, implementation, and evaluation;
  7. Approve a single, focused, data-driven, and evidence/research-based plan;
  8. Budget the plan;
  9. Monitor plan development and execution;
  10. Hold participants accountable for results; and
  11. Ensure data are shared across levels (i.e., DLT, BLT, TBTs). Source: OLAC Module: Stage 0-Preparing for the Ohio Improvement Process, 2012.

View the OLAC Webinar: Being an Instructional Leader in All Stages of the OIP: Superintendents and Principals

View the OLAC On-line Module: Collaborative Teams and Organizational Structures

DWW also provides a planning template to support districts in examining their data use and implementation of supports for using data to support instructional decision-making.

This planning template for district-level personnel offers key actions to help districts develop a comprehensive and coherent plan for using achievement data to support instructional decision making. It covers such topics as district leadership, standards and expectations, research-based instructional strategies, teacher quality, and data use.

Download the DWW planning template | WORD | 257 KB