Ohio Improvement Process
OLAC and the Ohio Improvement Process
At OLAC, we believe leadership should focus on a set of essential practices that need to occur in an aligned and coherent manner across all levels of the system through the effective development of team structures at the district-, school-, and teacher-levels.
These practices, articulated by OLAC in the Ohio Leadership Development Framework, provide the foundation for the continued development and refinement of the Ohio Improvement Process (OIP). The OIP includes, but goes well beyond, the traditional plan-do-study-act (PDSA) cycle. When viewed as an organizational strategy, rather than an exercise in compliance, the OIP gives districts a template through which focused and intentional action can take place. It brings educators together through collaborative team structures to learn from each other, and it facilitates communication and decision-making between and across levels of the system (district, central office, school, grade levels, content areas, classrooms).
Presently used by a majority of Ohio school districts and community schools, the team structures at the core of the OIP form peer-to-peer networks, giving more people a voice and allowing for the inclusion of multiple perspectives in guiding each district’s journey toward organizational learning and continuous improvement. The OIP involves five steps:
- Identify critical needs;
- Research and select evidence-based strategies;
- Plan for implementation;
- Implement and monitor; and
- Examine, reflect, adjust.
Supporting Implementation through the Ohio Improvement Process lays the foundation for sustainable change. Supporting implementation consists of setting up the collaborative teams and processes districts and schools need to identify, research, plan, implement and monitor, and examine their improvement efforts. It also includes the communication and engagement, decision-making and resource management that thread through the process.
The combination of OLAC's work in delineating essential practices ("the what") and the use of the OIP ("the how") to put them into practice has given many districts across Ohio increased capacity to lay a strong foundation for continued and sustainable improvement.