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Needs Assessment

Cross State High School Collaborative

Needs Assessments

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires schools identified in need of comprehensive improvement to conduct needs assessments to identify current areas of challenge and areas where evidence-based improvement strategies need to be applied.
To support high school redesign the needs assessment process must be both more tailored and comprehensive than traditionally has been the case.

Evidence-based high school redesign needs to be built upon a deep understanding of

  • the educational challenges the school will face,
  • the existing system which leads to current outcomes,
  • the prior reform history of the school, and how the perceptions of students, school staff, and
  • the community of current challenges and desired outcomes may or may not align.

The video below provides a high level overview of the needs assessment process for high school redesign recommended by the Cross-State ESSA High School Redesign Collaborative.

Below you will also find a summary of available student and staff surveys which could be used to supplement existing surveys or as the primary means to gather student and school staff input on key school success factors.


  • Needs Assessments for Low-Performing High Schools this report covers a wide-range of topics, such as: logic of school improvement, how school redesign differs from school improvement, how ESSA needs assessments need to be different for low-performing high schools, what is the goal of needs assessments in supporting high school redesign, and many more!
    Download the Report (PDF)
    Download the Report (MSPPT)
  • Needs Assessments Survey Options an outline of 11 surveys, what they measure, logistics of the survey, along with contact information.
    Download the Report (PDF)