School Improvement in Maryland

Step 4: Conducting CFIP

Applying these six steps enables school teams to use data to target re-teaching, implement enrichments and interventions where needed, and plan for instructional improvement in the next unit.

Step 4 Video Example:

Step 4 Resources:

STEP 4 (THE ACTION STEP): IDENTIFY THE INSTRUCTIONAL FACTORS THAT MIGHT HAVE CONTRIBUTED TO THE PATTERNS OF STUDENT WEAKNESSES. DETERMINE THE STEPS TO BE TAKEN TO ADDRESS THE PATTERNS OF NEED AND WHEN AND HOW RE-ASSESSMENT WILL OCCUR.

First, reflect on the reasons why the weaknesses occurred.

At this step of CFIP, team members reflect on their instruction on the skills and knowledge covered in the assessments under consideration. The CFIP Reflection Guide can help teams to structure this interaction. The goal is to identify a few critical instructional factors that might have contributed to the observed patterns of student performance. Knowing this is critical to determining the team's response.

This question could be used:

  • What instructional factors might have contributed to the patterns of student performance on these assessments?

Then, decide on and implement the next steps.

In response to the classwide weaknesses, the team could decide to:

  • Reteach the skill or content knowledge to the entire class using a different strategy before moving forward to new content, OR
  • Move forward in the curriculum with new content, and integrate additional instruction in the weak skill or knowledge on a regular basis as an important part of the new work, OR
  • Move forward in the curriculum with new content, and allow students to practice — with no additional instruction — the weak skill or knowledge through drills, warm-ups, "must dos," sponge time, etc., OR
  • Move forward in the curriculum with new content and no further work on the weak skill or knowledge, knowing that students will be exposed to it at a later date when it will occur again in the curriculum, OR
  • Divide the class into groups and provide enrichment opportunities to proficient students and re-teaching or additional practice in the weak skills to the non-proficient students

Criteria to be considered in making these decisions include:

  • Is student proficiency in the weak skill or knowledge essential at this time for all students in order for them to be successful with other content over the next few weeks or months?
  • Is the weakness widespread among many students?
  • Is there more than one data source indicating the weaknesses? (This is to guard against over-reacting to student performance on one or two items on a single standardized test.)

Questions such as the following may be used:

  • What steps will we take to address the patterns of class needs?
  • How and when will we re-assess to determine progress?

Teams should strive to identify the most powerful, high-leverage instructional strategy that all members will commit to implementing in the agreed-upon time frame. Combining the expertise of all team members in developing the intervention that all teachers will use will lead to greater success in its implementation. In this way, the CFIP dialogue contributes to increasing teachers' repertoire of effective instructional strategies.

After the re-teaching has occurred, teachers should reassess students and be prepared to report back on its success at a future CFIP meeting.

If re-teaching is to occur and there is time still remaining in the CFIP session, teams should continue their dialogue with Step 6, and then return to Step 5 at a later meeting after re-teaching.