TIES Inclusive Education Roadmap

Step 5A: Conduct Continuous Learning (Plan, Do, Study, Act)

The complex change of building a sustainable inclusive system of education will not be achieved without ongoing project management and attention to the change process. In Step 5A, the focus shifts to ensuring that the well-thought out Inclusive Education Action Plan is effectively rolled out and consistently implemented.

IER Action Plan Goals, Activities and Data

Routine Review of the IER Action Plan

At least once every two months, the EILT reviews each SMARTIE goal and the corresponding activities to understand what has been accomplished and consider next steps. By reviewing the Annual Plan as a regular part of the EILT meetings, a culture of continuous learning and accountability for change becomes the way that the team "does its work."

  • There are different approaches for how to do this. Teams may review one goal a month and rotate the goals they discuss or they could review the whole action plan every other month. As a goal is reviewed, current implementation data and outcomes both for the adults and students is shared.
  • When implementing a goal and its activities are progressing as expected and the data is showing progress, teams should celebrate the work that is being accomplished and the positive difference it is making for students.
  • If current implementation data and outcomes are not showing progress, then there is a need to understand why by digging deeper to understanding the challenges and barriers so changes can be made to the plan.

PDSA Continuous Learning Cycle which consists of four phases:

  1. Plan
  2. Do
  3. Study
  4. Act

Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA)

When a portion of the plan has stalled in its implementation or is not showing the intended results, the EILT pauses to consider and understand the issues. Running into barriers is a regular occurrence in system change processes. Some barriers are fairly straight-forward; some are more complex because they connect with multiple parts of the system. Expecting that along with the successes, barriers and hiccups will happen helps to reduce frustration when it does happen. The response is to problem-solve and address these barriers and work to improve implementation.

Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) is the continual learning cycle that the EILT uses to problem solve the challenges and barriers to achieving the intended results (Deming, 1986). The PDSA cycle consist of four phases:

  1. Plan. At this point, the EILT has an initial Inclusive Action Plan to guide its work, including identifying the long-range goals; specified activities, leads and timelines; success indicators so it is clear what is meant by success; using multiple data points to ensure implementation and meaningful outcomes.
  2. Do. The is the project management part of the work where the activities are carried out as they were initially planned.
  3. Study. At this point, the EILT reviews the data to determine what has been accomplished, discusses what has worked / is not working, and considers if any modifications are needed to the activity plan to support implementation.
  4. Act. With understanding the data completed, the EILT determines if changes to the plan are needed to improve implementation. This PDSA cycle is iterative. It becomes how the EILT “does its work” and accomplishes the outcomes that have been established. As each goal and activity is reviewed, the PDSA cycle is followed. Notes are taken on any changes to the plan and the leads for those activities take responsibility to implement the changes to the plan.

Collecting both Implementation and Outcome Data

It is important to collect both implementation data (e.g., What is the saturation level of the activities with the targeted audience? Are there parts of the plan being implemented more fully than other parts? Why? What is the fidelity of implementation for specific evidence-based practices?) and outcome data (e.g., What are the outcomes for the students? What are the outcomes for the system?) Data cannot be collected on everything all of the time, but ensuring some data (quantitative and qualitative) in both areas is critical for ensuring that the team knows not just what is happening, but how it is happening. The table describes in more detail these two focal areas that the EILT monitors.

Data Focus

Inclusive Education System Capacity

Inclusive Education Evidence-based Practices (EBP)


  • The extent that the components of the IER (based on Implementation Science) are developed and sustained
  • The extent that the Action Plan is implemented, monitored, and the data used to inform the Plan
  • Consistent use of the PDSA Cycle
  • The core components of the chosen EBP(s) are implemented with fidelity within the context of the general education classrooms


  • The system is flexible to adapt to changes in the environment
  • The inclusive system of education structures and processes are sustained even as
    • New students enroll
    • Changes in staffing occur
    • Changes in administration occur
  • Greater staff expertise and efficacy related to inclusive practices
  • Greater instructional team expertise and collective efficacy to implement inclusive education
  • Greater number of students with disabilities, including students with significant cognitive disabilities, accessing learning within grade-level, general education curriculum
  • Greater number of students with disabilities, including students with significant cognitive disabilities, demonstrating growth in communication, self-advocacy and essential skills.

What's Next?

  • Complete Step 5A, identifying a review schedule for the 3-year goals, activity plans, and implementation and outcome data every two months, as well as the date for the annual review and revision of the entire Inclusive Education Action Plan.
  • Progress to Step 5B to deepen the communication plan to keep all stakeholders updated and provide ways to gather feedback from them.