Continuous Improvement Planning
Comprehensive Needs Assessment and Continuous School Improvement
State and federal law both outline the requirement for schools to conduct a comprehensive needs assessment (CNA) as part of the planning and decision-making process. Texas Education Code (TEC) Sections 11.252(a)(1-2) and 11.253 related to campus planning state that “the plan must include provisions for a comprehensive needs assessment addressing student performance on the student achievement indicators, and other appropriate measures of performance. Campus-level committees must assess the academic achievement for each student in the school using the student achievement indicator system.”
The purpose of a CNA is to examine multiple sources of data to identify the priority needs and direction for the school. This critical process is the pre-work to the development of the charter and campus improvement plans and decisions regarding the justification for use of Title I and other funds. The data helps schools monitor and assess the impact of programs, instruction, and other resources related to student achievement by developing a school profile. When conducted thoroughly, the CNA tool provides schools with identified strengths and weaknesses and specifies priorities for addressing student achievement and meeting challenging academic and performance standards. Conducting a CNA is a process, not an event. While there may be specific times during the school year when targeted data analysis occurs, the data collection and analysis process is ongoing to ensure that progress toward the school’s objectives, goals, mission and vision are being realized.
This CNA process focuses on eight key areas including 1) school demographics, 2) student achievement, 3) school culture and climate, 4) staff quality, recruitment and retention, 5) curriculum, instruction and assessment, 6) family and community involvement, 7) school organization, 8) technology.
Comprehensive Needs Assessment Teams Defined
Demographics: The work of this committee focuses on looking at trends in our demographic data and recommending changes based on this information. The work of this team identified the need for a G/T program, which was implemented during the 2019-2020 school year.
Student Achievement: This team reviews student achievement data to identify areas for improvement across all groups. The academic achievement goals outlined in the Improvement Plan are developed, in part, through this team's work.
Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment: This group looks holistically at LAE's curriculum, instruction and assessment. They have recently led the school in our recent work to improve backward design and data driven instruction (based on the work of Paul Bambrick Santoyo).
School Culture and Climate: This committee reviews various data sources from our community to identify how to improve our culture and climate for students, staff and the greater learning community.
Staff Quality and Professional Development: This team focuses on staff recruitment and retention. In addition, they look at how to grow and support LAE's teachers. Their work has focused recently on reviewing data to compare teacher retention rates versus Haberman scores.
Family and Community Involvement: This team reviews feedback from our families and community from various data sources to inform their work. Data sources include annual surveys and input during family activities such as monthly Fruit with Families meetings.
School Context and Organization: This group focuses on reviewing our school's context and organization. Students serve on this committee to provide their perspective as well.
Technology: This committee focuses on technology and how to improve teaching and learning through the use of technology at LAE. The committee has recently developed a Technology Site and developed PD sessions for teachers/staff based on need.