U.S. Department of Education identified in ESSA Non-Regulatory Guidance: Using Evidence to Strengthen Education Investments that state education agencies (SEAs) and local education agencies (LEAs) should engage in stakeholder consultation to review and interpret data to understand the most pressing needs of students, schools, and educators. The guidance highlights that analyzing student achievement data and other factors that may affect student outcomes is only the first step. SEAs and LEAs must then take the critical next step to identify root causes and determine collaboratively how to address the most pressing needs.
Recognizing that Delaware LEAs use various sources of data to make many different important decisions, the Delaware Department of Education (DDOE) collaborated with several different groups, including internal staff, LEAs, national experts, and other SEAs to develop a needs assessment template. The needs assessment template is used to collect and analyze relevant data to understand the most pressing needs of students, schools, and/or educators; determine root causes, and then prioritize strategies to address an LEAs greatest needs.
As part of DDOE's continuous improvement model, the needs assessment prepares for planning and improvement utilizing data and stakeholder feedback to inform priorities, strategies, and goal setting.
Needs Assessment Resources
- Needs Assessment—Overview of the Template – PowerPoint presentation developed for technical assistance training (updated April 20, 2017)
- Needs Assessment Template (Excel) (PDF) – Access the Excel version to complete the needs assessment template (updated April 20, 2017)
- Priorities Planning - Excel document to be completed by LEA for Identified Priorities (updated March 21, 2017)
- Sample Planning Process (posted March 20, 2017)
- REL – Root Cause Webinar (posted March 20, 2017)
- Addressing the Root Causes of Disparities in School Discipline (posted March 20, 2017)
If you have any questions about the needs assessment template or process, please contact PM@doe.k12.de.us.