You are here

Unified Improvement Planning

School Quality and Support Division Unified Improvement Planning

Update on Accountability for 2022-2023: 

State accountability. State accountability in 2022 is currently being shaped  through state legislation and State Board of Education rules process.

Accountability Statute for 2022.   The “Transition Back to Standard K-12 Accountability” bill (SB 22-137) was introduced in the Senate on February 16, 2022 and was signed by the Governor on April 13, 2022. The legislation requires the department to calculate frameworks in 2022-23, but suspends automatic advancement on the accountability clock. The percentage of students contributing to the growth indicator is added to the framework for informational purposes. The request to reconsider process will be offered and can be used to exit performance watch (i.e., move to “on watch,” exit the clock fully) if meeting certain conditions (e.g., Improvement plan type or higher, 90% total participation on state assessments). 

Public Comment on Noticed State Board Rules for Request to Reconsider. State Board of Education rules were noticed during the April 13th board meeting. A summary with more details can be found here. Draft rule language is available at the CDE website here (clean version) and here (version with changes redlined).  Note that the state board added a 90% total participation threshold for any school or district to be eligible to participate in the request to reconsider process.

To offer feedback on these rules during the public comment period, before rules are adopted in June, please use this form.  The deadline for submitting comments is May 23, 2022.  Public comments will be included in the department’s presentation to the state board in June.

Federal accountability. The U.S. Department of Education (ED) has invited State Educational Agencies (SEAs) to submit an addendum to modify their approved ESEA consolidated State plans for the 2021-2022 school year, in order to identify schools for support and improvement in fall 2022.  The proposed changes and feedback on these changes can be accessed here.  

2022 Accountability FAQ 

Link to common questions for accountability this year



Accountability Communications

Link to announcements regarding school and district accountability



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.


  • (04/29/2022)The UIP Submission Deadlines and Biennial Flexibility Spreadsheet lists the next UIP submission deadline for every school and district as well as biennial submission eligibility for the 2022-23 school year.
  • (04/18/2022) - The UIP Handbook and the UIP Online System User Guide have been updated for the 2022-2023 school year. The Quality Criteria and accompanying rubrics have also been updated for both schools and districts on the General Resources page. 
  • (08/20/2021) Data Analysis for Small Student Populations This guidance focuses on how to include analysis of data with small populations of students in the UIP.  This resources is appropriate for all users that need to report on small student groups, either due to size of the school/district or disaggregated data analysis. 
  • (08/20/2021) - The Guidance for Combined Plans resource outlines requirements and instructions for submitting combined improvement plans for districts serving fewer than 1200 students.
  • (08/05/2021)- 2021-22 Planning Considerations guidance is now available to support improvement planning in this year's unique context.
  • (06/09/2021) - The 2021-22 UIP Changes Document outlines additions and modifications to the UIP for the 2021-22 school year.


Quick Links



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.

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.