Strategies for Completing a Comprehensive Needs Assessment

Purpose of Course

The Vermont Professional Learning Network (VT PLN) has created this self-paced course to support schools and school unions as they engage in a cycle of continuous improvement. It is designed for all Vermont educators, including teachers, principals, instructional coaches, curriculum coordinators, and other school leaders. It can be used by individuals, for teacher professional development, or shared learning with colleagues within Collaborative Learning Groups (CLGs), K-12 curriculum design, professional learning plans, and collaborative department meetings. It is valuable to engage in this work in collaboration with colleagues, even for those completing the course on their own.

This self-paced course is designed to address the implementation of Education Quality Standards with fidelity. Education Quality Standards (EQS) were developed to support the vision that “all Vermonters have the skills, knowledge and dispositions they need to thrive in economic and civic life" and “to ensure that all students in Vermont public schools are afforded educational opportunities that are substantially equal in quality.”

EQS is intended to reinforce a shift towards personalization first articulated in Act 77, which included the requirement for every student in grades seven through twelve to have a Personalized Learning Plan that outlines an individualized path to gaining proficiency over a new set of broad categories of knowledge and skills. Specifically, EQS addresses personalization through proficiency-based instructional practices, flexible pathways, multi-tiered support systems, and local comprehensive assessments. This course focuses on healthy data practices hat are part of the comprehensive needs assessment process, an important component of continuous improvement.

Course Goals

  • To provide an overview of completing a comprehensive needs assessment.
  • To learn, practice and reflect on strategies involved in completing a comprehensive needs assessment.

Educator Proficiencies Addressed by this Course

  • The teacher engages in ongoing professional learning and uses evidence to continually evaluate his/her practice, particularly the effects of his/her choices and actions on others (learners, families, other professionals, and the community), and adapts practice to meet the needs of each learner.
  • The teacher seeks appropriate leadership roles and opportunities to take responsibility for student learning, to collaborate with learners, families, colleagues, other school professionals, and community members to ensure learner growth, and to advance the profession

  • An education leader promotes the success of every learner by facilitating the development, articulation, implementation, and stewardship of a vision of learning that is shared and supported by all stakeholders.
  • An education leader promotes the success of every learner by advocating, nurturing, and sustaining a school culture and instructional program conducive to learning and staff professional growth.

Contributing Authors

Lori Dolezal, Vermont Agency of Education

Jesse Roy, Vermont Agency of Education

Donna Stafford, Vermont Agency of Education

Mary Mulloy, Vermont Agency of Education

MC Moran, Vermont Agency of Education

Carisa Corrow, Center for Collaborative Education