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Unified Improvement Planning - Overview

This is an image that illustrates the continuous process of unified improvement planning. The arrows move from plan to implement to evaluate and back to plan. These arrows circle around the focus of unified improvement planning.

Unified Improvement Planning was introduced in 2009 to streamline improvement planning components of state and federal accountability requirements. Based on the Colorado Achievement Plan for Kids (SB212-08), the primary purpose of improvement planning is to align efforts to: Ensure all students exit the K-12 education system ready for postsecondary education, and/or to be successful in the workforce, earning a living wage immediately upon graduation.


The intent is that schools and districts create a single plan that has true meaning for stakeholders, ultimately reducing the total number of separate plans required. Improvement plans also satisfy the documentation requirements for schools and districts on the state’s accountability clock.

Continuous Improvement

The diagram depicted here illustrates the theory of action behind Colorado’s approach to improvement planning. By engaging in a continuous improvement cycle to manage performance, districts and schools will improve their effectiveness and the outcomes for students.

  • Focus attention on the right things (performance indicators); 
  • Evaluate performance by gathering, analyzing, and interpreting data about performance; 
  • Plan improvement strategies based on performance data, root cause analysis, and evidence-based strategies
  • Implement planned improvement strategies.


In Colorado’s accountability system, district and schools are assigned ratings or plan types.  There are different requirements for submission and plan content based on the plan type that can be found in the UIP Guidance documentsThe Code of Colorado Regulations  for the administration of statewide accountability is also available and provides the official accountability and accreditation rules as passed by the State Board of Education.

The UIP, the UIP handbook, and this website are designed around the four components of improvement planning (in the table below).  Tools and resources are included to provide greater detail and recommendations for leading the planning process, help schools and districts understand UIP requirements, and support facilitation of the continuous improvement cycle.


   Performance Data Analysis  

   Root Cause Analysis   

   Major Improvement Strategies and Action Steps   

   Progress Monitoring: Targets and Benchmarks  

Analysis of current performance, identification of trends, and prioritization of challenges of focus. Identification of the underlying causes of performance challenges that will guide school improvement work. Identification of evidence based strategies and action steps to address performance challenges. Measures of student progress and implementation progress that guide mid-year adjustments and changes.


For More Information

Please contact Lisa Medler, or 303-866-6993.