Plan Ahead and Raise Sights

Pre-plan high standards for each grade/course—with schoolwide curriculum, lessons, and useful assessments up to and beyond standards—to support achievement and growth

More Detail


Raising sights, quality, and consistency by planning ahead includes the following:

  • Articulate the vision for teachers, students, and families
  • Choose high annual standards and growth goals
  • Choose and/or develop high-standards curricula aligned with goals, across grades and subjects
  • Develop engaging lesson plans that align with curriculum and include frequent checks for understanding, personalization/differentiation, re-teaching, and acceleration
  • Systematize schoolwide procedures and routines
  • Select or develop interim assessments aligned to high standards and growth goals
  • Establish an assessment calendar
  • Determine data systems to share progress with teachers, students, and families
  • Schedule time to analyze data and adjust teaching
  • Plan for students to set and track goals

See the one-page Instructional Excellence Summary covering all the key elements.

Study Guide

See this printable study guidewith discussion questions and real examples from educators:

For Multi-Classroom LeadersKey Element of Instructional Excellence: Plan Ahead and Raise Sights

Instructional Excellence Support Tools

Use this action list and tool to guide and support your teachers:

Instructional Excellence Action List: Plan Ahead and Raise Sights—print a copy of this detailed, checkable action list for each teacher you lead

Instructional Excellence Support Guide Overview and Support Tool—use this tool to record observations, provide feedback, and identify next steps

Videos—For Multi-Classroom Leaders & Other Instructional Teacher-Leaders

Watch these short videos of educators discussing the elements of Plan Ahead and Raise Sights, organized by action:

Videos—For Principals & Multi-School Leaders

Watch these short videos of educators discussing the elements of Plan Ahead and Raise Sights, organized by action:

Discussion Questions

Use these discussion questionsto help guide your instructional team through the elements of Plan Ahead and Raise Sights:

    1. Which actions in this element of instructional excellence are strengths for you or your team?
    2. Which actions in this element of instructional excellence are weaknesses for you or your team? Think about actions you never take, fail to take as often as needed, or do not take as well as needed to achieve strong learning growth consistently.
    3. What one to three specific changes will you or your team make to use your strengths more often or more consistently and improve weaknesses in the coming months?
    4. Make a brief action plan with specific goals, roles, and time by which you will make specific changes!
    5. Did your changes produce better learning results? If so, keep them. If not, think again about what other changes to make!

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