Needs Assessments

A woman at a whiteboard

There will be different types of Needs Assessments based on the level of support a school district needs.

  • Traditional Needs Assessment (TNA)
  • Customized Needs Assessment (CNA)
  • Segmented Needs Assessment (SNA)

For a TNA, the CEEL will lead the district through a 7-step process. 

  1. Pre-populate the TNA with readily available data (e.g., demographics, student outcomes, enrollment trends).
  2. Initial interview with District Leaders to determine the scope of the TNA.
  3. Gather survey data from various stakeholder groups using a survey tool at CEEL.
  4. Review data and compile into an easily digestible format.
  5. Onsite review to gather more data, analyze existing data, and determine findings and initial action items.
  6. Create summary of findings with recommendations for planning steps moving forward.
  7. Set time for CEEL follow-up for implementation support and accountability.

The CNA will follow a similar process but may include more detailed supports that are specific to the school district that may include more detailed in-person focus groups, data analysis, meetings with leadership, and customized leadership trainings.

The SNA is used when the district wants to assess a specific area of the district, such as the special education department. This does not require an assessment of the entire district and may not be as comprehensive.

The process for all forms of Needs Assessments will be customized to the individual district, and include details that will lead to a flexible district and building action plan that may include:

  • The district establishing a strategic planning team that will work with CEEL through the process.
  • Identifying and understanding the current district academic structure, including varying reform initiatives underway,
  • A review of communication systems and strategies being employed,
  • An analysis of the Strategic Plan and various analyses of its implementation and effectiveness.
  • An analysis of the learning environment including multiple measures of success,
  • A review of organizational structures.
  • An evaluation of district finances.
  • Community engagement and demographics.
  • Facility needs
  • Other needs identified.

Upon completion of the Needs Assessment, CEEL will broker talents and services for the district to ensure a successful implementation of the strategic plan, including services from;

  • Staff from CEEL.
  • University of Kansas faculty and staff.
  • Staff and resources from the Achievement & Assessment Institute at the University of Kansas.
  • Kansas State Department of Education, including the Technical Assistance Systems Network (TASN).
  • Educational Service Center.
  • Kansas Association of School Boards, United School Administrators, the Kansas Leadership Center, and the Ewing Kaufman Foundation.

Finally, CEEL will provide follow-up services to the district with the goal of supporting them through the implementation phase and ensuring a commitment to the process. Based on recommendations from the field, having a level of accountability from the CEEL would be valuable to the district leadership team in order to carry plans through implementation. As one superintendent shared during one of the initial visits, “accountability without support is harassment.”

In addition, the CEEL will ensure that the district strategic plan is aligned to the Kansas Education Systems Accreditation (KESA) process and meets the requirements for the Kansas legislatures statutory requirements for a comprehensive needs assessment.

School districts interested in engaging the center should email