Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Logo
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 and schools 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
  • 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 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 Kathy Cross.

Last Updated: October 2, 2019

Contact Us

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
135 Santilli Highway, Everett, MA 02149

Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370


Disclaimer: A reference in this website to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public and does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.