Planning for Implementation

Vision of Excellence

Essential Questions


Strong Instructional Leadership Teams (ILTs) seamlessly translate vision and goals into practical plans for the school year. They ensure that the most important tools for enacting the school’s customized distributive leadership model are in the hands of Senior/Team Leads and other teacher leaders. As a team, they develop clear expectations for how and when to use each tool. ILT members also set ambitious yet feasible goals for themselves and their team members, which they periodically refine based on feedback. How do successful teams transition from design to implementation through effective planning?

How can ILTs finalize systems, tools and strategies before the school year to set themselves up for success?

How can thoughtfully developed goals set ILT members and their collaborative teacher teams up for success in the coming school year?

1. Develop and Refine Key Implementation Tools and Strategies

2. Collaborate to Determine Growth Areas and Professional Goals for ILT Members

3. Assess School-Wide Strategies and Needs to Develop Goals for Professional Growth


Who is the primary audience for this focus area? Instructional Leadership Teams
When is this focus area most useful?  Spring/Summer before Implementation and Beginning of the School Year

Objective 1: Develop and Refine Key Implementation Tools and Strategies

Key Action Steps

Gather tool exemplars and templates

  • Locate exemplars and templates that ILT members can use with their teams (see below for partial list). School leaders should clarify which tools should be collectively used across all teacher teams, which are optional, and which could be modified.
  • Use this guide prior to creating tools from scratch. If necessary, check with Senior/Team Leads and school leaders at other schools, Instructional Superintendents (IS), and network partners for additional resources.
Refine existing tools to meet school needs

  • Consider how available tools in the following areas might be modified or used to meet the needs of your ILT and teacher teams. Check with your IS to see if there are preferred network tools that you should use or adapt.

Master schedule checklist
Senior/Team Lead schedules
Coaching calendars, including LEAP observations
Common coaching template

  • Prior to use, practice with these tools within the ILT and request feedback on usability. School leaders should also provide feedback on the use/implementation of these tools during 1:1 meetings with ILT members.
Discuss key implementation strategies

  • Clarify non-negotiables for the use of tools and related practices. Consider the frequency of scored observations and the time between observation and feedback meetings, for example.
  • Norm on the use of school-wide protocols and tools (e.g., Relay’s 6 steps) as a team. Practice and give feedback within ILT meetings, when possible.
  • Review LEAP professionalism indicators at your team will uphold throughout the year. Identify the series of steps ILT members would take if teachers were consistently not meeting standards.

Spotlight on Schools

Many schools have used shared trackers (on Google Drive) where coaches input observation notes, action steps, and LEAP scores. During ILT meetings and 1:1 meetings between Senior/Team Leads and school leaders, they are able to analyze data together, discuss the performance of individual teachers, and look for patterns. Having a shared tracker and looking at multiple sources of data as a team allows leaders throughout the building to better support one another’s practice and identify intervention strategies for collective implementation.

Objective 2: Collaborate to Determine Growth Areas and Professional Goals for ILT Members

Key Action Steps

Self-assess strengths and areas of growth

  • Use a self-assessment form to identify strengths and areas of growth (for individuals and the team as a whole) in multiple areas.
Refer to Onboard Team Leads if you haven't already begun the goal setting process for individual team members. »
Finalize growth areas and draft goals collaboratively 

  • Establish professional learning and leadership goals for each ILT member, using the language and indicators from the LEAD framework to formalize these goals.
  • Plan to check in regularly on progress and adjust as needed.

Making Connections


The LEAD growth and performance system is used to communicate performance levels, provide meaningful feedback to inform professional growth planning and guide professional learning for school leaders. ILT members can use modified versions of the LEAD Handbook’s tools to support goal setting and reflections.

  • Goal Setting and Professional Learning Plan
  • Self-Reflection Form / Supervisor Observation Form

Objective 3: Assess School-Wide Strengths and Needs to Develop Goals for Professional Growth

Key Action Steps

Assess teacher team strengths and areas of growth as a whole and individually

  • Ask each teacher to conduct a self-assessment of their strengths and areas of growth.
  • Reflect on the composition of teacher teams (both independently as Senior/Team Leads and collectively as an ILT), assessing their potential strengths and areas of growth. Start with questions such as:
    • Experience: How experienced are the teachers on the team? How many years have they taught in this subject area? Grade level? School?
    • Previous success: How did their students perform in previous years? What were their student perception survey results? How did each teacher perform in previous years? For new teachers, what were their strengths and areas of growth during their student teaching and interview?
    • Relationship: How does each teacher respond to coaching and feedback?
Draft team and individual goals for teacher growth and student learning connected to the schools’ improvement plan

  • Using teachers’ self-assessments and your own reflections, draft a set of team and individual goals for your teacher teams. Use the language of the LEAP framework to formalize the goals.
  • Plan to check in quarterly regarding progress toward goals
Refer to Invest in 1:1 Teacher Relationships for next steps to refine and further develop individual teacher goals. »