Implement Plan and Monitor Progress
Once the team has a plan of action to address the success gap(s), the most important part of the work begins: implementing the action plan and monitoring progress. Monitoring plan implementation and progress on actions will help keep your team informed and accountable. As you consider modifying your action plan, you will want to avail yourself of the wealth of perspectives available to you. Thus, as the equity lead, you will want to bring your complete equity team together periodically (e.g., a few times a year, at minimum) to discuss progress.
In this interview, IDC’s TA specialists talk about the importance of monitoring the fidelity of implementation and suggest ways to monitor progress toward the identified goal(s).
These ongoing check-ins provide an opportunity to
- Monitor and report progress on specific action steps
- Review the implementation and outcome data collected during the implementation
- Consider new data received or collected or challenges that have arisen
- Evaluate how the work is going
- Determine when incremental changes or course corrections are needed
As equity team members take on active implementation roles, it may be necessary to have a smaller group of implementers commit to meeting more frequently. This smaller group should meet monthly (at least in the beginning) to share updates on the work outlined in the action plan timeline, review collected data, and problem-solve implementation challenges.
The action plan can serve as a guide for building agendas for these meetings. The facilitator or equity lead should track upcoming due dates on the action plan and identify which team members will need time on the agenda to provide updates to the group. These updates should include progress on the steps of the action items and implementation or outcome data the team collected. Analyzing the data the team collects throughout the process will help your team evaluate when progress is sufficient. Also, it will help your team evaluate when you may need to revise your action steps to strengthen support for implementation or update your implementation strategies.
Steps to consider when preparing for monthly meetings:
Set up regular monthly meetings for the equity team to monitor implementation of the plan and progress toward intended results
Review the action plan timeline and add the additional staff who may provide specific feedback or update the equity team on relevant items
Identify needed data and updates from team members on the action plan
Create the meeting agendas at least a week prior to the meetings and provide them to those scheduled to attend
Update action plans at the monthly meetings
- Indicate completed items
- Use the collected data to evaluate the action plan’s effectiveness or needed adjustments
Continuing the Cycle to Address Success Gaps
Equity, inclusion, and opportunity for all children is important but not easily achieved. The systemic factors contributing to success gaps for particular groups of children are often challenging to identify and address. The process outlined in the Success Gaps Toolkit provides a framework for discovering more information about the systems and structures in your district or school that may be contributing to discrepancies in child access, opportunities, and outcomes.
It is not enough to create an equity team that will use the Success Gaps Rubric and implement an action plan one single time. Rather, your team should expect to carry on this work as a continuous cycle. As your team works through the process, you will benefit from periodically reassessing your district’s or school’s current operations by
- Revisiting the data and the rubric with your team
- Assessing progress
- Identifying new priorities
Completing a set of goals in your action plan and updating the rubric annually can help you track progress and show improvement. Further, reassessing the status of your policies, procedures, and practices can help you think beyond the measurement of individual action steps to the evaluation of your efforts as a whole. Showing progress can help motivate your team in difficult times. Celebrate your successes as you work to develop systems that provide equitable opportunities to all groups of children and students.