Application Area C

In Application Area C, ODE is working to improve access to student data, expand value-added to the teacher level, and develop an Instructional Improvement System (IIS) that will provide teachers with a tool to use daily to help improve instructional practices. View updates for this application area below.


Formative Instruction

  • Presentations were given to the Ohio School Improvement Institute, Ohio Council of Teacher Educators, Ohio Association of Secondary School Administrators, Rural Educators conference and Ohio’s State-Wide education Conference.
  • BFK is working on improving communications around the application modules in order to improve enrollment/usage of these modules.
  • Collaboration with Center for the Teaching Profession has resulted in planned “Designing Sound Assessments” modules, including a module regarding “Using FIP to Measure Student Growth” and modules on blueprints, rubrics, and assessment methods.


Ohio Instructional Improvement System Preliminary Schedule Released

Schedule and Resources

Download Ohio IIS Preliminary Schedule

Learn more about Ohio IIS

Contact Information

Marsha Ward

Ohio implementation of the IIS system

Rob Stealey

Thinkgate and the IIS system

(P) 877-845-4283, ext. 145

Thank you all for taking the time to complete and return the Ohio Instructional Improvement System commitment (IIS) form issued in May. The results of all the Ohio IIS commitment forms have been reviewed and processed and we are pleased that many of you have chosen to adopt the Ohio IIS, powered by Thinkgate LLC. As of today, 356 of the 437 participating Race to the Top school districts and community schools have elected to participate in the joint procurement of the Ohio IIS.

Just under half of the 356 districts and community schools selected June/July as their first choice for implementation. However, due to the temendous adoption rate of Ohio IIS we are unable to accommodate such a large volume during the first month of rollout. Using the results collected from the commitment forms we have created an implementation schedule to rollout the Ohio IIS throughout the upcoming school year.

The schedule has taken numerous factors into account and has distributed the rollout of the Ohio IIS to all participating districts and community schools across the upcoming school year. Schools were placed into cohorts of 10 and will progress through the process together, particularly for training.

Please take a moment to carefully read the preliminary rollout schedule (Preliminary IIS Implementation Schedule.pdf) and locate your school’s designated cohort and rollout date (listed in alphabetical order). This schedule is based on a conservative determination of the time it will take to set up school sites, validate data and train staff members. We are hopeful to be able to accelerate this schedule as we develop efficient processes over the first several months. If this happens, any affected schools will be contacted.

Steps for the Ohio IIS rollout:

  1. System set up
    (see Start Data on Preliminary IIS Implementation Schedule)

    • Thinkgate will create your site.
  2. Data integration with Student Information System (SIS)
    • Data extraction will occur.
    • Thinkgate will load extracted data into the system.
  3. Data validation
    • Once your site has been set up and your SIS data integrated, you will need to validate that your data is correct.
  4. Training
    (see Orientation, Checkpoint 1, Checkpoint 2 and Wrap-up on Preliminary IIS Implementation Schedule)

    • Thinkgate will train three staff members of your designation using a blended model. There will be four online training webinars (Orientation, Checkpoint 1, Checkpoint 2 and Wrap-up) with each webinar starting at the same time (see Webinar Time on Preliminary IIS Implementation Schedule). Thinkgate will also schedule in-person cross cohort regional meetings.
    • You will decide which three people are trained. Those selected for training will need to train the rest of your school or district (train the trainer), so please keep this in mind when selecting whom Thinkgate will train.
    • Thinkgate is currently developing a certification for ESC and ITC staff so that they may offer training services to you as well.

What we will need from you:

  1. Data validation
  2. Three trainees
  3. Patience

The start date listed in the schedule is the date Thinkgate will begin to generate your school’s site using your SIS data.

If you anticipate that your school or district will be unable to rollout the Ohio IIS by the start date listed for your designated cohort, please contact



As part of RttT, all participating RttT LEAs committed to having a qualifying IIS by school year 2013-2014. Therefore, all RttT LEAs must complete the IIS Commitment Form. Please download and fill out the information in this short survey and select which qualifying IIS your LEA will adopt. The Thinkgate IIS is available to all RttT schools, free of charge, during the RttT grant period (SY 2013-2014/SY 2014-2015). Thereafter, ALL schools will pay a per-student price based upon how many districts adopt the Thinkgate IIS.

All RttT LEAs must fill out the complete commitment form and save the completed survey in your LEA’s assigned Technology folder on the Collaboration Center by May 15, 2013. This commitment form will help us to develop the Thinkgate IIS implementation schedule. Implementation of the IIS system will begin to districts as early as June 2013.

Click here to visit the ODE Ohio IIS webpage. If you have any questions, please contact your Regional Specialists or email


The RFP Evaluation Team is deep into the selection and negotiation phase, and hopes to award the IIS contract soon. We are also working with the Ohio Board of Regents on a collaborative effort that will strengthen the IIS environment as well as provide rich instructional resources directly through the IIS.


Facilitating Formative Instructional Practices: A guide for facilitating conversations about formative instructional practices in teacher teams

The Ohio Department of Education has made a suite of formative instructional practices online learning modules available for free to all Ohio educators through Race to the Top. These modules are powerful tools when combined with thoughtful and collaborative job-embedded professional learning.

Formative instructional practices are the heart of effective teaching. Through this professional learning opportunity, teachers will discover ways to effectively plan for instruction and assessment of new standards, and build assessment literacy skills that are aligned with the Ohio Standards for the Teaching Profession.

Facilitating Formative Instructional Practices is a guide designed to help FIP Facilitators, professional development coordinators, teacher leaders, and others with leadership or coaching responsibilities focus teachers’ collaborative time on learning about formative instructional practices by taking the online learning modules and putting the information into action.

There are facilitation materials that correspond with each of the five Foundations of Formative Instructional Practices modules. These materials include teacher team agendas, participant handouts, and detailed answer keys and tips for facilitators.

The facilitation materials for each module are organized into three sections:

Section I: Confirming Our Learning

  • Ensures teachers have met the learning targets of each module.

Section II: Confirming Our Practice

  • Facilitates reflection and discussion about teacher practice.

Section III: Confirming Our Commitment

  • Helps teachers set goals and take action based on what they’ve learned from each module.

Learn More
Access the new facilitation guide on the Battelle for Kids Ohio Student Progress Portal, click on “Guides for Facilitating Formative Instructional Practices with Teacher Teams” to learn more.

Learn more about FIP Your School® Ohio FIP Facilitator Trainings and the formative instructional practices online learning modules by visiting



We are well into the vendor selection process for the State IIS and are currently on target to award the contract by the end of August. As soon as we make an award, we will begin getting the news out to everyone. We will publish information here, as well as schedule webinars to discuss and begin to demonstrate aspects of the selected system as well as provide pricing information. This will be well in advance of the time in which you will have to make a commitment regarding your IIS selection.

We hope everyone has been working on completing their Gap Analysis, especially if you plan to use your existing system(s) as a qualifying IIS rather than adopting the State IIS. The Gap Analysis will be required in those cases, but is beneficial even if you are planning to adopt the state system. We hope that it will help you identify possible redundant systems that could be retired, freeing up some funding to pay for the state system.


  • Providing an affordable IIS for LEAs after RttT ends is of high priority to the RttT team.
  • RttT will cover software costs through 2014-2015. The first payment by LEAs will be July 2015.
  • Software training costs will be covered by RttT. Districts will be responsible to cover travel and substitute teacher costs.
  • RttT is scheduled to award a contract to a provider by 8/30/2012.
  • RttT anticipates the first IIS pilot to begin in March 2013. Pilots will be chosen from LEAs whose current SOW activities include piloting an IIS.

Instructional Improvement (IIS) Gap Analysis Tool Update
ODE has introduced the IIS Gap Analysis Tool to assist Local Education Agencies (LEAs) in evaluating their existing tools against what has been included in the Request For Proposal (RFP) for the State’s IIS. It is now available in the ODE Collaboration Center in a new folder named Technology (Race to the Top > “Your LEA Name” >Technology). LEAs that have an approved scope of work and remain committed to participating in the IIS do not need to complete this tool; however, we feel it is a good exercise to help identify any LEA tools that may be retired when the State IIS is implemented. The document is an Excel file that with 7 tabs at the bottom. Please select the tab labeled Information and follow the instructions for completing the tool. There are five separate worksheets that require your input. For those LEAs who have not made a commitment to the State IIS, ODE is requesting that you complete your Gap Analysis Tool by May 31, 2012.



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