Linking the CNA and DIP/CIP

Hinsley & Associates, LLC

November 2022

10 Steps to Link the CNA and DIP/CIP

State and federal programs require that a Comprehensive Needs Assessment (CNA) process be used to determine needs and priorities. Those needs, along with strategies and resources (budget information) are included in the improvement plans. Budget expenditures are then added and should be directly linked to the strategies in the improvement plans.

Improvement Plans are intended to guide the school with focused effort and efficient use of resources to maximize student success.

Follow these 10 Steps and your plans will be effective, compliant, and make auditors happy!

STEP 1: Utilize Required Stakeholders

Stakeholders must be involved in the Comprehensive Needs Assessment process. Follow state and federal requirements, including your own local policies regarding the composition of decision-making committees.
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Follow Your Local Policies

District and campuses are governed by both LEGAL and LOCAL policies. Local policies have more detailed requirements than state policies.

You must know both!

  • BQ Legal & Local
  • BQA Legal & Local
  • BQB Legal & Local


BQ LEGAL states that an evaluation of the effectiveness of the district's planning and decision-making should occur every two years, and that the DIP/CIPs must be approved by the school board.

BQA (District Level) and BQB (Campus Level) LEGAL states the committee shall be composed of members who shall represent district- and campus-based professional staff, parents, businesses, and the community.

Required representation includes:

  • 2/3 of the elected members must be teachers (one being a teacher of students with disabilities, TEC 11.251)
  • parents
  • community representatives
  • business representatives
  • district-level representative

*SELECTION PROCESS* The selection process for the district- and campus-level committees must be conducted in a manner that provides for appropriate representation of the community's diversity (TEC 11.252(e), TEC 11.253(g)).

TEC 11.253 Campus Planning & Site-Based Decision-Making


(a) Each school district shall maintain current policies and procedures to ensure that effective planning and site-based decision-making occur at each campus to direct and support the improvement of student performance for all students.

(b) Each district's policy and procedures shall establish campus-level planning and decision-making committees as provided for through the procedures provided by Sections 11.251(b)-(e).

(c) Each school year, the principal of each school campus, with the assistance of the campus-level committee, shall develop, review, and revise the campus improvement plan for the purpose of improving student performance for all student populations, including students in special education programs under Subchapter A, Chapter 29, with respect to the achievement indicators adopted under Sections 39.053(c)(1)-(4) and any other appropriate performance measures for special needs populations.

STEP 2: Conduct a Comprehensive Needs Assessment (CNA)

Both state and federal guidelines require a comprehensive needs assessment to determine strategies, funding, and evaluation of programs and services. The required stakeholders must be part of the process.
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STEP 3: Identify Strengths, Needs, & Priorities

Identify both strengths and needs of the campus (or district). Use data to describe the needs as challenge statements.

For example:

There is a gap of 24% in reading between the Total ESL student group (29%) and the District average (53%) in All Grades ELA/Reading at Approaches Grade Level or Above.

Describe the process or method used to prioritize the needs of the campus or district. Some examples are:

  • recommendations from lead teachers/department heads,
  • survey responses,
  • largest gaps in data,
  • continuation of priorities from the previous year,
  • linked to district priorities, and
  • other methods...

STEP 4: Align District & Campus Goals

Goals should be written as broad statements. (Performance Objectives are measurable). The district and campus goals should be aligned. They can be the same (or something similar).
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STEP 5: Performance Objectives (SMART Goals)

Each campus can customize their own performance objectives (written as SMART goals) to reflect the grade levels, types of data, and needs of the campus.
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STEP 6: Strategies

Strategies should be evidence-based and aligned to the identified needs.
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STEP 7: Add Resources (Budget and FTEs)

The budget (local finance software program) should align to the strategies in the improvement plans.


It is not required but is considered a "best practice" to require a CIP strategy number from the campus improvement plan on purchase orders to make a tight connection between the CNA, CIP, and expenditures.

The funding sources should be linked to a strategy in your CIP. Add the funding sources and FTE's (Full Time Equivalents) for each of the special programs on the campus. Exact dollar amounts and FTEs for local and other programs do not have to be shown; however, the funding sources need to be listed to show "coordination of funds."

For example (you may not have all of these):

  • State Compensatory Education (SCE)...see more details below
  • Title I, Part A (Schoolwide) - Fund 211
  • Title I, Part C (Migrant) - Fund 212
  • Title II, Part A (Professional Development) - Fund 255
  • Title III, Part A (English Learners) - Fund 263
  • Title IV, Part A (Enrichment) - Fund 289
  • Title V, Part B (Rural & Low-Income) - Fund 270
  • TTIPS Grant
  • Targeted Support Grant
  • Any other grants your campus may have

State Compensatory Education (FASRG

The DIP and CIP, and instructional plan for open-enrollment charter schools, are one of the primary records supporting expenditures attributed to the SCE program.

At a minimum, payroll costs attributed to state compensatory education must be shown at the summary level (total number of FTEs) in the district and/or campus improvement plan or charter instructional plan, as appropriate.

In addition, personnel paid with SCE funds must have payroll documentation, such as a class schedule (should include number of students and number of minutes), job description, or time and effort to support charges.

Auditable documentation must also be maintained to substantiate the cost of all SCE funded FTEs, supplemental contracts and extra-duty pay. (Refer to the Financial Accountability System Resource Guide, Section )


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STEP 8: Implement and Monitor

Follow the district timelines for implementation. Monitor and adjust strategies as needed.

*NOTE*. Only the Performance Objectives are approved by the board. Changes to the plans do not require additional board approval, as long as the Performance Objectives stay the same (unless a local policy requires additional approval).

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STEP 9: Evaluate Programs and Services

Each program requires a written evaluation. Evaluations should be conducted for:
  • federal title programs
  • grant funds/programs
  • State Compensatory Education
  • dyslexia
  • G/T
  • CTE
  • special education
  • any other special programs you may have
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STEP 10: Keep Documentation

If selected for an audit or random validation, the following documentation will be needed:
  • meeting agendas,
  • sign-in sheets,
  • minutes,
  • description of the comprehensive needs assessment process, including how needs were prioritized,
  • school board meeting agendas and minutes,
  • list of committee members, showing roles (teacher, parent, community member, etc.)


What are the plan requirements?

TEC 11.253 lists the following.

(d) Each campus improvement plan must:

(1) assess the academic achievement for each student in the school using the achievement indicator system as described by Section 39.053;

(2) set the campus performance objectives based on the achievement indicator system, including objectives for special needs populations, including students in special education programs under Subchapter A, Chapter 29;

(3) identify how the campus goals will be met for each student;

(4) determine the resources needed to implement the plan;

(5) identify staff needed to implement the plan;

(6) set timelines for reaching the goals;

(7) measure progress toward the performance objectives periodically to ensure that the plan is resulting in academic improvement;

(8) include goals and methods for violence prevention and intervention on campus;

(9) provide for a program to encourage parental involvement at the campus; and

(10) if the campus is an elementary, middle, or junior high school, set goals and objectives for the coordinated health program at the campus based on:

(A) student fitness assessment data, including any data from research-based assessments such as the school health index assessment and planning tool created by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention;

(B) student academic performance data;

(C) student attendance rates;

(D) the percentage of students who are educationally disadvantaged;

(E) the use and success of any method to ensure that students participate in moderate to vigorous physical activity as required by Section 28.002(l); and

(F) any other indicator recommended by the local school health advisory council.

(e) In accordance with the administrative procedures established under Section 11.251(b), the campus-level committee shall be involved in decisions in the areas of planning, budgeting, curriculum, staffing patterns, staff development, and school organization. The campus-level committee must approve the portions of the campus plan addressing campus staff development needs.

(f) This section does not create a new cause of action or require collective bargaining.

(g) Each campus-level committee shall hold at least one public meeting per year. The required meeting shall be held after receipt of the annual campus rating from the agency to discuss the performance of the campus and the campus performance objectives. District policy and campus procedures must be established to ensure that systematic communications measures are in place to periodically obtain broad-based community, parent, and staff input, and to provide information to those persons regarding the recommendations of the campus-level committees.

(h) A principal shall regularly consult the campus-level committee in the planning, operation, supervision, and evaluation of the campus educational program.

Board Approval


(a) The board of trustees of each independent school district shall ensure that a district improvement plan and improvement plans for each campus are developed, reviewed, and revised annually for the purpose of improving the performance of all students.

The board shall annually approve district and campus performance objectives and shall ensure that the district and campus plans:

(1) are mutually supportive to accomplish the identified objectives; and

(2) at a minimum, support the state goals and objectives under Chapter 4.

Need Help Pulling it All Together?

On-site assistance is available to support both the campus and district levels.

Let me know how I can assist!

Vist Hinsley & Associates, LLC Website!

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Glenda Hinsley

Glenda Hinsley, Grants Specialist

  • ESSA/ESSER, State & Federal Grants
  • Comprehensive Needs Assessment
  • State Compensatory Education (SCE)
  • District/Campus Improvement Plans

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