Phase 2: Starting (Planning and Piloting)

Start by watching the brief introductory video below or reading its transcript, then explore helpful resources on this page. To download a customizable work plan, please click here.


District Leadership through the Domains of the UDL-SICC

Support Recommendations for Phase 2

Driving Questions and Suggested Steps

  1. To support change and ensure that UDL takes root in your system, set goals and a corresponding theory of action that target the key areas that support the domains and elements of the UDL-SICC. Remember to tie these efforts to your new inclusive vision, mission and values. Use the areas of growth identified in Phase 1 to guide your goal setting and theory of action. Below are some possible examples of places where goal and strategy development may be helpful:
      1. Student and staff perceptions of belonging and inclusion within the district
      2. Growth in educator understanding and ability to implement UDL across all levels of the system
        1. Chief executive 
        2. District teaching and learning staff 
        3. Site leaders 
        4. Support providers 
        5. Teachers 
      3. Policy and procedural shifts aligning to UDL - resource allocation protocols, student referral practices, classroom design, etc. 
      4. Goals for district transformation and student achievement - what new systems do you want UDL to usher into the system? How will UDL implementation align with inclusion rates for students with IEPs, English learner programmatic design, discipline data, student achievement achievement, and SEL integration?
  1. Develop plans for rolling out UDL within your district that have built in progress monitoring strategies. Areas of planning may include, but are not limited to:
    1. Communication cycles for key stakeholder groups:
      1. Internal messaging timelines for when and how UDL will be rolled out- How will people learn about the UDL movement and its application to their roles?
      2. External messaging to your community about UDL -  how will your community learn what UDL is? How will you listen to them to learn their thoughts on implementation? 
      3. Global messaging on implementation progress to school board and greater district
      4. Strategies for gathering feedback from internal and external stakeholders regarding elements of your district’s UDL rollout
        1. Establish communication plans for sharing these learnings and changes coming from your internal and external stakeholders
    2. UDL implementation and expert learner practice expectations from chief executive to school leader to teacher to students - Are we asking each other what we are learning? When faced with a challenge, do we give up or blame others or do we see it as an opportunity for learning? When are we calling out behaviors and language that exemplifies having a growth mindset personally?  
    3. UDL Team - gather a team of site and district leaders who craft a theory of action and corresponding rollout plan for UDL. 
      1. Within the plan, name how UDL integrates with other initiatives within the district supportive of expert learning, equity, and inclusion values. 
    4. Gather and empower a cohort of schools committing to pursuing UDL-SICC to support schoolwide implementation. What is our theory of action and/or strategy for supporting these schools to change their practices? 
      1. Interview these school leadership teams to find the conditions they need from their district to feel supported and equipped for their journey to pilot using the UDL-SICC to support schoolwide implementation and use what you learn to create these structures and systems.
    1. Survey the landscape of UDL training options and find trainers to support your district’s UDL journey. Also identify and equip individuals within your district to develop internally as UDL experts. Some examples of professional development to adopt or develop may include, but are not limited to:
      1. Trainings equip educators in the following ways:
        1. Application of universally designed goal setting values, theory, and strategies 
        2. Implementation of lesson success criteria tied to state standards - including rubric building 
        3. Integration of CAASPP accessibility support strategies in daily lessons
        4. Strategies for weaving UDL with other equity based initiatives such as MTSS
        5. Finding UDL within learning experiences
        6. UDL based changes to site and district improvement processes 
        7. Data driven continuous improvement strategies
      2. Professional development is multi-faceted and models UDL continuously:
        1. Goal driven but flexible in how participants achieve learning expectations 
        2. Aligned with UDL-SICC criteria 
        3. Ties to the UDL principles, guidelines, and checkpoints 
        4. Answers staff’s questions and addresses staff concerns related to UDL integration
        5. Refers to staff as expert learners
        6. Included options which are job-embedded and applicable to real life lesson design
        7. Offer staff members opportunities to set their own goals, develop their own strategies, and monitor their own progress related to UDL implementation
        8. Provides mastery oriented feedback related to areas of educator strength and growth
    2. Support schools to use the growth areas identified in Phase 1 using the UDL-SICC Self-Assessment to set goals and integrate implementation plans with their improvement processes. Supports schools to customize the UDL-SICC Goal Setting and Planning Tool to meet their needs.
    3. Based on the audit of systems done in phase 1, consider needed changes to policies, and procedures to determine alignment with comprehensive UDL implementation. 
      1. School and district communication strategies
      2. Assessment and grading policies and practices
      3. Discipline policies
      4. District data systems
      5. Professional development and instructional resources
        1. Quality of professional learning
        2. Quality and/or opportunity for job embedded coaching
        3. Training and time for peer to peer collaboration 
        4. Curriculum resource review and acquisition processes
        5. Policies behind technology both for learning and district infrastructure
        6. Initiative crosswalking for coherence
      6. District fiscal practices and policies
      7. Human resource policies
      8. Communication practices
      9. Family partnership practices
      10. Teacher evaluation processes
      11. ***This list can and should grow. Remember part of the expert learning process is seeing how one’s knowledge and skills related to UDL grow when applied to new contexts. 


  1. This step is all about establishing how your district will measure UDL integration and growth within your district. Remember it is important to have visible and actionable data and to build continuous revision cycles into your planning. First, empower schools to use and customize tools that accompany the UDL-SICC like the Self-Assessment, and the Goal Setting and Planning Tool. The UDL-SICC process is an especially helpful way to empower principals and school leadership teams to start their own individualized journey with UDL integration. Next, work with district leadership teams to capture ways elements from the above tools can be generalized to district levels. Some examples of considerations for progress monitoring include:
    1. Identifying and measuring UDL implementation indicators based on the UDL-SICC - how will you equip teams to know what UDL looks like within your district? 
    2. Assessment audits - how do you measure the degree your assessment practices align with UDL? 
    3. Identify a cadence for feedback cycles and protocols for making changes to your district plans based on what is working and what isn’t 
    4. Data dashboard creation - how will you create a way to visualize district and site progress in implementation of UDL? 

Collaboration and Community:

Many folks in your position seek to speak with others in the same situation – if that’s true for you, consider joining a greater community of practitioners driving UDL implementation in their schools and districts across California. Reach out to to find a network near you or look below to find county offices leading this work within California! 

The CA UDL Coalition

The California UDL Coalition, a grassroots consortia of state programs, county offices of education, and nonprofit organizations. The Coalition runs the CA UDL Network, a community of practitioners and organizations across the state that are either implementing UDL or supporting the implementation efforts of others. They meet virtually several times a year.

To learn more about the CA UDL Coalition and how they individually and collectively support UDL, you can email 

Markers Showing You’re Ready for Phase 3:

Clear goals and related data metrics defining where you would like your district to be related to UDL implementation

       Metrics targeting growth goals in student achievement, LRE placement, etc. and the ability to disaggregate data based on student identification factors (e.g. race, socioeconomic status, foster homeless, IEP, home language, etc.)

       Establishment timelines for progress monitoring and decision making based on predetermined data metrics

       Establishment of a data dashboard housing data that is utilized regularly within UDL implementation planning conversations (meetings, town halls, professional development, etc.)

 A Theory of Action aligned to your UDL goals outlining your district’s strategy for UDL integration

Data establishing your district baselines for staff and student perceptions of belonging within the district

 District policies and procedures showing shifts toward UDL – e.g. new resource allocation protocols, student referral practices, classroom design based on flexibility and options

  UDL along with the term “Expert Learner” is built into both internal and external district communications

  Clearly established communication and idea gathering strategy and correspondingly assigned personnel tasked with gathering feedback and revision ideas on the UDL rollout

 Establishment of a district UDL Team tasked with rolling out and monitoring UDL theory of action and supporting school sites working toward UDL-SICC certification and those who are not

 A gathered set of school leadership teams using the UDL-SICC to improve UDL implementation

      A plan for supporting these school leadership teams based on needs they have communicated to the district regarding UDL-SICC implementation

      These teams have completed the process defined by the UDL-SICC Goal Setting and Planning Tool

  A completed survey of UDL trainings done within your district that align with UDL-SICC criteria and utilized a range of instructional methods, allowing for educators and your district community to have options in how they are equipped with UDL understanding

      An identified list of key district personnel most knowledgeable in UDL to be thought leaders for district wide implementation and serve on district UDL team

All schools in your district have completed the UDL-SICC Self-Assessment 


Resources to Help You:

We’ve gathered resources from a variety of sources, both here in California as well as nationally. Our intent is to provide you with options that you can choose from to best suit your needs and context. 

Creating Goals and Success Criteria; Plan Development

 Professional Learning


Engagement and Communication


Progress Monitoring


Download a Customizable Work Plan

Enter your information below to download a work plan you can customize to your needs. 

Download the Phase 2 Work Plan
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