Continuous Improvement in Districts and Schools

Creating Consistency and Coherence through Continuous Improvement

Educators are familiar with continuous improvement. Teachers are constantly assessing needs of students, implementing strategies to better support them, and making adjustments as context or student needs change. Continuous improvement happens in the classroom; it also happens among teacher teams, within school sites, at a district level, or even among educational stakeholders and communities.

The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) is pleased to share a process for continuous improvement that can be used within any context or level of the preK-12 education system. 


We developed this process to encourage districts and schools to look across their programs for focus, coherence and connections using the lens of equity and the key components of continuous improvement. Our goal is to help districts reflect on their current work with a growth mind set, focused on improving “how” they implement change to improve. The document below contains a brief summary of the five-step continuous improvement process in addition to more detailed information about the overall purpose of our work.

Read our one-page summary of the process.

Overview of Framework

The continuous improvement framework contains these four parts; it can help guide your work at the local level:
  1. A one-page introduction to the process.
  2. A visual representation of the continuous improvement five-step process.
  3. A chart of the key components of continuous improvement.
  4. Guiding questions and tasks aligned to each step of the process.
We have gathered these four components into one overview document; feel free to use them to initiate or continue conversations around continuous improvement in your school or district.

Continuous Improvement Framework Overview

Resource Guide

This is a collection of resources to help districts and schools work through a continuous improvement process.
These resources have been organized around potential scenarios within the five steps of the Continuous Improvement Framework.  These resources could be used to generate conversations, provide guidance and suggest actions to move the continuous improvement process forward. 

Continuous Improvement Resource Guide

Evidence-Based Practices, Programs and Policies (EBPs)

Stakeholders requested a list of EBPs to be used by districts and schools when selecting one or more practices for implementation in their school improvement plans. Use of this list is most effective if it is part of an overall continuous improvement process informed by a comprehensive needs assessment.

This list is not intended to be exhaustive.

List of Evidence-Based Practices, Programs and Policies (EBPs)

School Improvement Strategies in Identified Schools

Minneapolis Public Schools and Saint Paul Public Schools receive grant funds from the Minnesota Department of Education to administer school improvement activities. One of the requirements of receiving these funds is to publicly disclose the improvement activities that Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI) schools are working on in their school improvement plans. The school improvement strategies from all CSI in Minneapolis Public Schools and Saint Paul Public Schools are listed in the documents below. 

Saint Paul Public Schools CSI School Improvement Practices
Minneapolis Public Schools CSI School Improvement Practices