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Needs Assessment 2024-05-21T13:04:38-06:00




As a vital section of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Title II, Part A provides funding to support the recruitment, retention, and training of high-quality educators, focusing on professional learning that enhances teacher and leader effectiveness. This guidance outlines important questions and prompts to guide you through the needs assessment process.  Title II, Part A funds can support differentiated professional learning for school teams, focusing on key areas such as identifying root causes, leading change, goal setting, accountability, coaching, strategic planning, and data-driven decision-making.

Effective implementation of Title II, Part A funds requires a strategic approach to professional learning that addresses educators’ and school teams’ specific needs. Schools can enhance educator effectiveness and improve student outcomes by focusing on areas such as root cause analysis, change leadership, goal setting, accountability, coaching, strategic planning, and data utilization. The information below serves as a roadmap for maximizing the impact of Title II, Part A investments across key areas: student achievement data, equity access, and professional development/professional learning (PD/PL) data, human resources (recruitment, retention, and mentoring) and community engagement.


Student Achievement Data:

  1. Analyzing student achievement data:
  • Review standardized test scores, graduation rates, and other relevant academic indicators to identify areas of strength and areas of growth.
  • Examine subgroup data to identify achievement disparities among different student populations.
  • Qualitative data such as teacher observations and student work samples lend insights into student performance.


Equity Access:

  1. Ensuring equitable access to effective teachers and high-quality instruction:
  • Evaluate teacher distribution across schools and classrooms to identify any inequities in teacher quality.
  • Implement strategies to recruit and retain effective teachers in high-need schools and subject areas.
  • Provide targeted support and professional development opportunities to teachers working with historically underserved student populations.


Professional Development/Professional Learning (PD/PL) Data:

  1. Identifying areas of need:
  • Gather input from educators through surveys, focus groups, and interviews to determine areas where professional development is most needed.
  • Analyze teacher performance evaluations, self-assessments, and student feedback to identify strengths and areas of growth opportunity.
  • Align professional development priorities with school improvement plans and district goals.
  1. Effectiveness indicators for PD/PL:
  • Establish clear objectives and learning outcomes for professional development activities.
  • Collect participant feedback through surveys and evaluations to assess the relevance, quality, and impact of professional learning experiences.
  • Measure changes in educator practice and student outcomes resulting from professional development initiatives.
  • Utilize teacher performance data, such as classroom observations and student achievement gains, to evaluate the effectiveness of professional learning opportunities.
  1. High-Quality Instructional Materials (HQIM) and related Professional Development:


Human Resources – Recruitment:

  1. Strategies for recruiting highly qualified educators:
  • Develop targeted recruitment strategies to attract diverse, highly qualified educators.
  • To reach potential candidates, utilize various recruitment channels such as job fairs, social media, and professional networks.
  • Collaborate with colleges, universities, and alternative certification programs to recruit candidates with specialized skills and expertise.


Human Resources – Retention:

  1. Approaches for Retaining Highly Qualified Educators:
  • Implement competitive compensation and benefits packages to attract and retain highly qualified talent.
  • Provide professional growth and advancement opportunities through ongoing professional development and leadership programs.
  • Foster a positive and supportive work environment that values educator input, collaboration, and recognition.


Human Resources – Mentoring New-to-Career Teachers:

  1. Determining the number of new-to-career teachers and mentor selection:
  • Project the number of new-to-career teachers expected to be employed in the upcoming school year based on hiring trends and anticipated retirements.
  • Develop criteria for selecting mentors, considering experience, expertise, and compatibility with mentees.
  • Consider providing mentors with a stipend or additional compensation to recognize their time and expertise invested in supporting new teachers.


Community Engagement – Consultation:

  1. Engaging the community in decision-making processes:
  • Establish mechanisms for ongoing consultation with stakeholders, including parents, community members, and local organizations.
  • Hold regular meetings, forums, and focus groups to gather input and feedback on district initiatives and policies.
  • Collaborate with community partners to leverage resources, expertise, and support for educational programs and initiatives.


Conducting a thorough needs assessment is not just a step in the process, it’s a vital tool for informing the allocation of Title II, Part A funds and designing targeted professional development initiatives. By analyzing student achievement data, ensuring equitable access to effective teachers and high-quality instructional materials, and identifying areas for professional development, LEAs cannot only maximize the impact of Title II, Part A investments on educator effectiveness and student success, but also ensure the most effective use of resources.

Furthermore, conducting a needs assessment across human resources and community engagement domains is vital for effectively utilizing Title II, Part A funds. By creating supportive environments that promote educator growth and student success through strategies for recruiting and retaining highly qualified educators, establishing mentorship programs for new teachers, and engaging the community in decision-making processes, LEAs can make a significant difference. This guidance serves as a framework for districts to conduct a comprehensive needs assessment process and making informed decisions to support educator growth and student achievement, enhancing their educational programs and practices and inspiring student success.


LEAs may use their own customized form, or the Title IIA Needs Assessment template.



This guidance is provided as a resource for New Mexico Public Education Department administering the Title II, Part A Supporting Effective Instruction State Grant. It is intended to provide coordinators with uniform practices to govern professional activities and implementation of this Federal program. This guidance is not intended to replace the legislation, regulations, and U.S. Department of Education (ED) Non-Regulatory Guidance.

It is highly recommended that coordinators consult the appropriate resources available online for complete guidance and regulations. In addition, all LEAs and coordinators responsible for implementing this Federal program must abide by current laws, regulations, and administrative procedures, ED guidance, and the Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR). This guidance is considered a working draft and is reviewed and updated as policies and procedures change and, at a minimum, is reviewed yearly.

Page last updated May 21, 2024