Improving Systems, Practices and Outcomes

SSIP Phase III Process Guide

The online version of this guide is available at:

The Part C State Performance Plan (SPP) and Annual Performance Report (APR) Indicator Measurement Table describes the requirements of the State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP) Phase III as:

"Phase III: Implementation and Evaluation. In Phase III, the State must, consistent with the evaluation described in Phase II, assess and report on its progress in implementing the SSIP. This will include data and analysis on the extent to which the State has made progress toward and/or met the State-established short-term and long-term objectives for implementation of the SSIP and its progress in achieving the State-identified Measurable Result(s) for Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities and their Families. If the State intends to continue implementing the SSIP without modifications, the State must describe how the data from the evaluation support this decision. Also, the State must provide a rationale for any revisions that have been made, or revisions the State plans to make, in the SSIP in response to evaluation data, and describe how stakeholders were included in the decision-making process."

In Phase III, states move to implementing and evaluating the SSIP that was developed with input from stakeholders during Phase II. This plan, which was based on the data and infrastructure analyses, theory of action, and coherent improvement strategies from Phase I, serves as the guide for SSIP implementation. Improvement strategies with associated activities are being implemented, and data are being collected to assess progress in implementing the SSIP and in determining improvements in outcomes for infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families. Analyses of process and outcome data from Phase III-Year 1 (June 2015 – July 2016) will be used to inform modifications that will need to be made to the plan and reported in the April 2017 submission. Figure 1: SSIP Components illustrates the connections between the three phases of the SSIP, and Figure 2: SSIP Timelines specifies with timelines for submitting required components for each phase of the SSIP.

This SSIP Phase III Considerations and Resource Guide includes key considerations and resources to support states in implementing the SSIP and evaluating implementation progress and outcomes. The guide is organized according to the following sections:

The term "the plan" refers to the SSIP Phase II Plan and includes the set of activities, steps, and resources described in the Part C Indicator Measurement Table. As SSIP Phase III unfolds and additional resources are developed, they will be added to this online guide.

Figure 1: The components included in Phase I, II, and III of the SSIP and the connection between the Phases

Figure 1. Figure 1.
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Figure 2: Timelines and Descriptions of Each Phase of the SSIP, adapted from the Part C Indicator Measurement Table

Year 1 – FFY 2013 Delivered April 2015

  Phase I: Analysis
  • Data Analysis
  • Description of State Infrastructure to Support Improvement and Build Capacity
  • State-identified Measureable Result (SIMR)
  • Selection of Coherent Improvement Strategies
  • Theory of Action

Year 2 - FFY 2014 Delivered April 2016

  Phase II: Plan
  • Phase I Content/Updates
  • Infrastructure Development
  • Support for EIS Program and/or EIS providers in Implementing Evidence-Based Practices
  • Evaluation Plan

Years 3-6 - FFY 2015-2018 Due April 2017-2020

Phase III: Implementation and Evaluation
  • Phase I and Phase II Content/Updates
  • Progress toward short- and long-term outcomes
  • Revisions to the SPP and evaluation data to support decision(s)

What States Need to Submit to OSEP

The Office of Special Education Programs Performance Accountability Implementation Team has developed a State Systemic Improvement Plan Phase III Organizational Report Outline to assist states in developing their SSIP Phase III submission due to OSEP on April 3, 2017. This is an optional report outline developed in response to State requests for a Phase III writing guide or template.

Continued Focus on Stakeholders

In the Part C Indicator Measurement Table, OSEP stressed the importance of stakeholder engagement throughout the SSIP process. Some considerations related to engaging stakeholders in SSIP Phase III process include:

  • Educate and engage stakeholders in the implementation and evaluation of the plan developed in SSIP Phase II.
  • Involve stakeholders in meaningful ways in the implementation and evaluation processes.
  • Use multiple opportunities and formats (e.g., websites, newsletter, state conferences) to share information and gain input about ongoing implementation and evaluation of the plan.
  • Create opportunities for stakeholders to share information with their communities. Consider the “messaging” for the participating local programs.
  • If the state uses planning or implementation teams, engage stakeholders not included on these teams in a discussion about how they would like to get information, provide input into updating the plan, and discuss potential implications for future learning.
  • Document the input received from stakeholders on implementation and evaluation processes and how the state has responded.
  • IDEAs that Work: Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education

The ECTA Center is a program of the FPG Child Development Institute of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, funded through cooperative agreement number H326P170001 from the Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education. Opinions expressed herein do not necessarily represent the Department of Education's position or policy.

Project Officer: Julia Martin Eile     © 2012-2019 ECTA Center

  • UNC Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute