SET: Complete a Needs Assessment
Once the school vision is set, a needs assessment needs to be conducted. A needs assessment is a systematic process that is used to identify strengths and challenges within the context and constraints of the organization and dig deeper into the root causes of these challenges. It’s important to note that an authentic needs assessment takes time and needs to ensure that all the necessary stakeholders are included. In this section of the website, there are tools and resources focused on facilitating an impactful and equitable needs assessment.
Within the Future Ready Planning Portal, schools are required to examine multiple layers of data as they work through the needs assessment. A challenge for schools is determining what data is needed to address their challenges. To effectively and efficiently assess needs, schools are encouraged to begin their needs assessment process through a decision-driven thinking process. The school teams need to define their questions and use the questions to collect more pertinent data that will help them uncover the answers and analysis of data for decision-making.
Pennsylvania has adopted the PA Essential Practices as a framework for formative feedback and informing school improvement efforts. While the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) highly encourages all schools to use the PA Essential Practices for Schools and their Communities, schools designated for Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI) and Title I schools designated for Additional Targeted Support and Improvement (A-TSI), and the districts that support and manage them, are required to use the PA Essential Practices for Schools as an integral part of a comprehensive needs assessment.