Develop an Action Plan

Purpose of Plan

Explore alternate solutions to identified problem(s).

Open informal communication among various community groups.

Share information and resources and avoid duplication of efforts.

Ensure that program improvement and changes are relevant to the community.

Steps to Follow

Consider the probable community response.

  • Is the political climate receptive to improvements in this area?
  • Have there been previous efforts?
  • What is the general community’s attitude toward this problem?

Identify influential leaders to be involved. Make sure the group is balanced and no special interests dominate. Ensure that participant’s time and talents are utilized effectively. Consider representatives from the following groups:

  • Parents of preschool and school-aged children;
  • Students, teachers and school administrators;
  • School board members;
  • Media representatives;
  • Professionals in the field, such as health, welfare, social services;
  • Key people from public and private agencies serving children and families;
  • Business and civic leaders;
  • City, county and/or state officials;
  • Representatives from the religious community; and
  • Community volunteers and other interested persons.

Set specifics of initial meeting:

  • Date, time, place;
  • Identify chairman and secretary;
  • Establish meeting format and agenda; and
  • Assign hospitality responsibilities including coffee/tea/sodas, name tags, and sign-in sheet.

Prepare and send letters of invitation to potential participants. Include the following in letters:

  • Meeting purpose;
  • Invitation to participate;
  • Date, time, place and directions;
  • Due date and contact person for response;
  • Preliminary agenda; and
  • List of invited participants.

At the meeting:

  • Review identified problems/leadership needs/goals;
  • Determine whether any existing school and/or community programs deal with the problem;
  • Analyze existing beliefs, attitudes, circumstances, etc., in the community regarding the problem;
  • Determine what changes could cause things to be different (e.g., beliefs, attitudes, circumstances, laws, time, money);
  • Develop a tentative action plan;
  • Brainstorm ideas;
  • Prioritize action (may include immediate and future action);
  • Examine obstacles to plan implementation;
  • Decide whether ideas presented are feasible;
  • Identify available group resources (e.g., people, enthusiasm, dollars);
  • Identify obstacles that will prevent effective action;
  • Remove obstacles and/or develop alternatives for each part of the plan;
  • Determine if additional information is needed;
  • If necessary, schedule another meeting in order to obtain additional information;
  • If any obstacle cannot be removed, select an alternative action; and
  • Assess alternatives for potential obstacles.

Develop a final action plan (Final Action Plan):

  • List all steps needed to carry out the plan;
  • Identify the person responsible for each step;
  • Establish the time frame for each step;
  • Identify budget needs including amount and sources;
  • Obtain necessary approvals;
  • Obtain letters of support from appropriate community individuals, organizations and agencies if outside funding is required;
  • Identify evaluation method for each step;
  • Set date for project completion and final evaluation; and
  • Determine whether the agreed-upon goals and objectives are met.

Take the action plan to the PTA board and general membership for final approval.

Implement the Action Plan

Through the evaluation process, show to what extent the group can be a viable community force.


  • To ensure the action plan is being implemented.
  • To make modifications to the plan, if evaluation data indicates changes are needed.

Steps to Follow

Monitor progress of the action plan through regular reports.

Modify the action plan as necessary. Be flexible.

At a meeting of the group, review:

  • Action taken;
  • Time and funds spent;
  • Difficulties encountered;
  • Successful experiences; and
  • Unmet objectives.
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