Continuous School Improvement

State Policy Framework for Personalized Learning

The state supports the continuous improvement of all schools with transparent, dynamic systems that empower local leaders and their communities to diagnose, analyze and address the needs of all students in real-time. An effective school improvement system supports the continuous growth of all schools and prioritizes resources for schools with the greatest need for improvement. High-quality personalized learning strategies are embedded in school transformation efforts, ensuring that all students have access to personalized learning.


The Goal: The state has established a system of continuous school improvement that empowers all districts to identify and address conditions impacting performance while giving local leaders the autonomy to implement improvement plans that increase personalized learning experiences for students.

Support Actions:

  • The state engages education stakeholders to identify a core set of school improvement principles that advance high-quality personalized learning opportunities for students and uses those principles to structure its technical and financial supports to districts.
  • The state’s school improvement system identifies schools most in need of improvement and builds district capacity to conduct a thorough needs assessment and to implement evidence-based personalized learning strategies that maximize student academic and social-emotional growth.
Strategic Question: How can the state support the continuous growth of all schools while ensuring schools most in need of support benefit from high-quality personalized learning approaches?


The Goal: The state supports all schools interested in implementing high-quality personalized learning strategies while prioritizing additional technical assistance and funding flexibility for district and community partnerships to implement personalized teaching and learning models in schools most in need of improvement.

Supporting Actions: 

  • The state prioritizes federal and state resources for districts that submit high-quality plans to implement personalized learning models and strategies in schools identified for comprehensive and targeted improvement under ESEA, including ESEA Title IV dollars for programs and strategies that improve the social-emotional and physical health of students.
  • The state partners with educators, district leaders and community partners to improve real-time diagnostic supports and has begun to provide funding flexibility to pilot these strategies in select districts across the state, particularly districts with schools identified for comprehensive and targeted support.
Strategic Question: How can the state establish peer learning networks to leverage insights from districts and schools that have achieved significant growth after implementing personalized learning models?

Statewide Transformation

The Goal: The state has empowered district and community partnerships with additional expertise, resources and real-time data so regions can work together to proactively address student needs and scale personalized learning practices with the greatest potential to maximize student success.

Supporting Actions:

  • The state develops a proactive and responsive school improvement system that supports schools and builds the capacity of districts, communities and stakeholders to analyze comprehensive data on student learning and development in real-time and to implement strategies that ensure all students benefit from a high-quality personalized education.
  • The state aligns educator preparation, credentialing, professional development and evaluation systems to ensure all school leaders and educators have the expertise to diagnose students’ academic and social-emotional needs and design aligned interventions that advance personalized experiences for students.
Strategic Question: How can the state build capacity of communities and regions to design, implement and monitor systems that support the continuous growth of all schools?

Read About an Early Adopter

In Rhode Island’s ESSA plan, five core principles—personalized learning, innovation, flexibility, shared ownership and diverse stakeholder engagement—guide school improvement efforts. The state has also launched a School Redesign Program that empowers communities and schools with greater flexibility and autonomy to design school improvement efforts. Districts, in conjunction with Community Advisory Boards and schools, may select or develop a school improvement plan that best meets their local needs.

Download a PDF version of this page.

Twelve policy conditions are necessary for a successful statewide transformation to personalized learning.