Future-Proof School Improvement
with the Connected Action Roadmap

The Connected Action Roadmap (CAR) helps school leaders focus on key elements of effective schools and the connections between those elements to operationalize existing research and utilize current knowledge about school improvement that actually results in desired change.  The CAR process incorporates teamwork to build collective teacher efficacy, which is the number one factor influencing student achievement.

The Components of CAR

Student Learning

CAR uses a set of guiding questions to focus everyone’s attention on the destination of education … student learning.


CAR promotes shared leadership for learning through engagement of teachers and school leaders in the collaborative examination of instructional practice in authentic PLCs, and moves them closer to the collective destination but only if their purpose is clear and their work leads to higher levels of student learning.

Standards & Student Learning Objectives

Curriculum is at the heart of the educational practice.  If educators are to be held accountable for student growth, the curriculum needs to be well-aligned with the standards students are expected to master.  Those standards must be unpacked into clear, specific, student-friendly objectives that every teacher in that grade level/content area uses as the objectives of their daily instruction. 

Effective Instruction

Curriculum must detail specific student strategies, instructional strategies, activities, and resources that will help students achieve their learning goals.  Textbooks and other materials are only resources.  Resources do not drive instruction … the standards do!

Formative & Summative Assessment

Classroom formative and summative assessments built into the curriculum serve as educators’ guideposts to student learning.   In order to enable students to continue learning, schools need a well-designed system of timely and targeted formative assessments to be used throughout the year to identify gaps in prerequisite skills and fill in gaps while learning progresses.

Climate & Culture

CAR establishes a community of learners for both students and adults, through the reinforcement of certain beliefs and values related to student learning, relationships, and leadership.

Shared Leadership

Leadership is not a solo activity.  Only through collaboration, distributed leadership, mutual accountability, and shared decision-making can both formal leaders and teacher leaders collectively impact instruction across grade levels and content areas, turning a “my students” culture in an “our students” one. 

Continuous Cycle of School Improvement

The CAR Rubric was designed as a tool for teams to determine their current reality, target areas of focus for beginning their work, and use as an ongoing means of determining growth.  This resource has also become an integral measure of support for district’s validated need of grant funding assistance.


What People Are Saying About The Framework

“CAR was the answer to several school and district needs to improve teaching and learning through: job-embedded professional learning for staff in unpacking and understanding standards; standards-based and aligned instruction; equity for learners across classrooms; a culture for collaborative instructional improvement and more effective use of Professional Learning Communities (PLC) time.  Underlying all of this is the current pressing need to address the opportunity gap and improve outcomes for under-served populations.”

Jeanine Lanphear

Supervisor of Math & Science, North Brunswick Public Schools

“It is true that in today’s current educational reality, teachers and administrators feel overwhelmed and inundated with change.  It is because of this fact that professional dialogues is critical.  A positive culture of collaboration is more essential now than ever. Unfortunately, however, ‘unstructured dialogue’ or traditional meeting formats often do not lead to educational gains.

The Connected Action Roadmap changes the conversation and focuses teachers on ways in which to keep the emphasis at all times on students and student achievement while removing the external barriers that often distract from personal and professional growth and development.”

Kristin O'Neill

Superintendent, Lindenwold School District


Janis E. Dismus Middle School’s CAR Journey


Ready to Improve Your School From Within?