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Unified Improvement Planning


Unified Improvement Planning was introduced in 2009 to streamline improvement planning components of state and federal accountability requirements. Based on the Colorado Achievement Plan for Kids (SB212-08), the primary purpose of improvement planning is to align efforts to: Ensure all students exit the K-12 education system ready for post-secondary education, and/or to be successful in the workforce, earning a living wage immediately upon graduation.

Colorado schools and districts can improve student learning and system effectiveness by engaging in a cycle of continuous improvement to manage their performance. To support this purpose, the Education Accountability Act of 2009 requires each Colorado district and school to create an annual improvement plan.

The intent is that schools and districts create a single plan that has true meaning for stakeholders, ultimately reducing the total number of separate plans required. With that in mind, the Colorado Department of Education has developed a unified improvement planning template and processes to support schools and districts in their performance management efforts.

The UIP template has been designed to meet state, federal, and program accountability requirements.


  • The School Improvement and Planning team is getting ready to head out, conducting in-person sessions to support district and school leaders in understanding and leading accountability and improvement planning efforts. See more information and sign up here
  • 2023-2024 UIP Submission, Resources and support: In late August following the public release of initial ratings , the 2023-2024 school and district pre-populated reports will be updated in the Unified Improvement Plan (UIP) Online System under the “School/District Requirements & Information” tab of the UIP. All school and district UIPs will be due for public posting and/or CDE review on October 16, 2023. 
  • The UIP Handbook, Quality Criteria, and Guidance for Combined Plans have been updated for the 2023-2024 school year on the General Resources page. A new resource is also available to support users with categorizing their UIP elements via the new dropdowns in the UIP template. 


In Colorado's accountability system, district and schools are assigned ratings or plan types. There are different requirements for submission and plan content based on the plan type that can be found in the UIP Guidance documents. The Code of Colorado Regulations for the administration of statewide accountability is also available and provides the official accountability and accreditation rules as passed by the State Board of Education.

The UIP, the UIP handbook, and this website are designed around the four components of improvement planning (in the table below). Tools and resources are included to provide greater detail and recommendations for leading the planning process, help schools and districts understand UIP requirements, and support facilitation of the continuous improvement cycle.

Continuous Improvement

The diagram depicted here illustrates the theory of action behind Colorado's approach to improvement planning. By engaging in a continuous improvement cycle to manage performance, districts and schools will improve their effectiveness and the outcomes for students.

  • Focus attention on the right things (performance indicators);
  • Evaluate performance by gathering, analyzing, and interpreting data about performance;
  • Plan improvement strategies based on performance data, root cause analysis, and evidence-based strategies
  • Implement planned improvement strategies.

Evaluate Plan Implement

Gather and Organize Data - Accessing DataReview Current Performance - Trends and Performance ChallengesDescribe Significant Trends - Trends and Performance ChallengesPrioritize Performance Challenges - Trends and Performance ChallengesIdentify Root Causes - Root CauseSet Performance Targets - Target SettingIdentify Major Improvement Strategies - Action PlanningIdentify Interim Measures - Action PlanningIdentify Implementation Benchmarks - Action PlanningUnified Improvement Planning Process Map

Interactive UIP Process Map

This UIP process map contains interactive links to resources available to support each step of the unified improvement planning process. By clicking on a step in the map, you will be directed to the support page for that step in the process. You may also use the links on the left-hand navigation bar to access these resources. Click on either "Unified Improvement Planning" at the top at the process map, or "Unified Improvement Planning" on the left-hand navigation to return to the UIP homepage.

For More Information

Please contact Lisa Medler, or 303-866-6993.