The SIS Network supports social learning and networking for school improvement facilitators nationwide. Through our partnership with the International Society for Performance Improvement, the SIS Network also provides a professional association, a home for school improvement practitioners to learn and collaborate.


SIS: A New Profession

The School Improvement Specialist is a relatively new role in K-12 education which has evolved from the advent of education accountability. The role is performed by professionals assigned by state education agencies to assist schools in improving educator and student performance; regional education agencies which provide support to school districts and schools; school district leaders and staff assigned to support school improvement, and school leaders, including Academic Coaches and other teacher leaders.

What is a “Profession”?

A role is recognized as a profession when the following have developed, typically through a professional association or other entity that:

  • Maintains Standards of Practice.
  • Maintains a Code of Ethics.
  • Provides continuing education.
  • Provides professional certifications and designations
  • Provides a membership in a professional home/association that supports and advances the role.
  • Speaks with a unified voice for the role.

Does the SIS Profession Meet Those Requirements?

Standards of Practice

The School Improvement Specialist role has standards of practice, the Certified School Improvement Specialist™ Standards developed by Dr. Judith Hale, Senior Consultant and co-founder of the Institute for Performance Improvement in 2010.

The CSIS™ standards are:

  • Analyze and Apply Critical Judgement
  • Facilitate Deriving Meaning and Engagement
  • Focus on Systemic Factors
  • Plan and Record
  • Organize and Manage Effort and Resources
  • Guide and Focus Collaborative Improvement
  • Build Capacity
  • Demonstrate Organizational Sensitivity
  • Monitor Accountability and Adoption
  • Implement for Sustainability

Code of Ethics      

The School Improvement Specialist Code of Ethics is part of the Certified School Improvement Specialist™ Application process. Applicants attest to adherence to the code of ethics in their performance and demonstration of their proficiency in the CSIS™ standards.

Continuing Education

The Institute for Performance Improvement provides continuing education for school improvement practitioners.

The LAUNCH!™ Learning and Development Experience is designed for state, local and regional education agency staff, school leaders, academic coaches and other teacher leaders. Aligned to the the Certified School Improvement Specialist™ standards, the course helps participants to apply the standards in practice to their day-to-day school improvement facilitation efforts. Participants practice with coaching and social learning, and provide evidence in proficiency of facilitation of a systemic, collaborative school improvement process that gets results and is sustainable. The program is rigorous, job-embedded and evidence-based. Successful program completion earns a verifiable digital badge.

The Institute offers a wide range of development programs to support school improvement facilitators. Visit

The LAUNCH!™ National Development Cohort Starting Spring 2019

The Institute for Performance Improvement will accept 30 participants in its national, intensive The LAUNCH!™development program over a one-year period. This performance-based program develops school improvement practitioners to facilitate a proven school improvement process, that is systemic, practical and sustainable. Those who successfully complete this rigorous program receive a globally verifiable digital badge for their demonstration of proficiency in practice of the ten Certified School Improvement Specialist standards.  Participants work on their real work in schools guiding school improvement through-out the program. Participants will:

  • Participate in a blended development program, participating in live classes, virtual sessions, peer-to-peer learning, and coaching of job-embedded assignments with assessment.
  • Participate in learning, peer-to-peer coaching, and assignments in the Promote Learning and Performance platform.
  • Complete assignments which demonstrate proficiency in practice in the work of the CSIS standards.
  • Review their assignments and evidence of proficient practice with their supervisors for review, support and approval.

Applicants Considered:

  • State, regional and local education agency staff engaged in school improvement
  • Principals, assistant principals, school leadership team members and academic coaches
  • Staff of non-profit and for-profit school improvement providers

The cost of this one-year program is $5995 per person, plus any related travel costs and purchase of the course guide, the School Improvement Specialist Field Guide, available from Corwin Press.

To apply, download the Application for the National LAUNCH 2019 – 2020 and forward to Institute Registrar Pam Henderson at  All participants will be notified of acceptance in the program by February 26, 2019. Questions? Contact SIS Network Concierge Erin Wagner at Teams are encouraged to apply, as well as individual school improvement leaders and facilitators.

Purchase orders will be provided upon request. Payment is accepted by PayPal or check and is due upon acceptance.

2019-2020 Schedule

The schedule for the program includes an online orientation and initial training provided through the Promote Learning and Development Platform.

Online orientation:  May 21  at 4 pm EST

2.5 days of live development in the Atlanta, GA area – June 19 – 21, 2019, 2019 with emphasis on analysis, engagement and choosing and vetting solutions and initiatives.

2.5 days of live development in the Atlanta area – September 23 – 25, with emphasis on planning and management of school improvement initiatives.

2.5 days of live development in the Atlanta area – March 2 – 4, 2020, with emphasis on planning and management of school improvement initiatives.

Regional and Local Cohorts

To arrange a cohort in your school district, region or through a professional association, contact Deb Page at

Membership in a Professional Association

The Institute for Performance Improvement partners with the International Society for Performance Improvement (www.ISPI) to provide the SIS Network within ISPI to link school improvement practitioners in learning and networking. ISPI membership provides SIS Network members access to proven practices, tools and experts in performance improvement; national and regional conferences, research, periodicals and other resources to support their practices.

To join The International Society for Performance Improvement click the link below.

After joining the ISPI Network members will be contacted by Client Concierge, Erin Wagner via email.

Certifications and Designations

The Institute provides a fully evidence-based Certified School Improvement Specialist™ Certification. Applicants document their school improvement facilitation efforts and results. The process requires three to five years of experience guiding school improvement.

Applications require triangulated data to show the correlation of school improvement efforts, changes in performance, and student achievement. Attestation is required by a supervisor, clients or others who can verify the accuracy of the application.

The application is processed via a double-blind review process. Successful applicants are awarded a verifiable digital badge, good for three years.

If you would like to apply please click here: Certified School Improvement Specialist Application

For more information contact Certification National Director, Dr. Jean Quigg at