Comprehensive Needs Assessment

The Comprehensive Needs Assessment (CNA) provides a framework which:

  • provides districts and schools with a clear view of their strengths, areas for improvement, challenges, and successes;
  • enables a systematic review of practices, processes, and systems within a school district;
  • assists district and school leadership in determining needs, examining their nature and causes, and setting priorities for future action;
  • guides the development of a meaningful district or school plan and suggests benchmarks for evaluation; and
  • most importantly, it is a corner stone of continuous improvement, ensuring the best possible outcomes for all students.

The rubrics and materials that underpin the third-party Comprehensive Needs Assessment may be used by any school to strengthen the School Improvement Planning process. Six dimensions are evaluated during the Comprehensive Needs Assessment Process using the school or district rubric. 


Pre-CNA Orientation
Schools that participate in a Comprehensive Needs Assessment (CNA) receive an overview of the entire CNA process during an orientation conducted by an Instructional Review Coach (IRC). Leaders receive a copy of the Notes of Guidance which details the CNA process.

Schools also complete a Self-Evaluation Form (SEF) prior to the on-site assessment. This provides an opportunity for school staff to prepare for discussions that will take place during the school visit, along with informing the review team about the school’s established systems, processes, and identified strengths and barriers.  

Find additional Orientation materials to prepare for the CNA on the CNA Orientation for School Leaders Canvas hub.

Post-CNA Training Resources 
After the CNA, District and Regional Support staff provides training for schools centered on the Comprehensive Needs Assessment report. This includes Unpacking the CNA, which provides school staffs a deep dive into their CNA report and opportunities to collaborate in crafting specific action steps to improve student outcomes.

Additional Services 
Other professional development topics include: 

  • Cultural Responsiveness
  • Identifying and Developing School Culture
  • Effective Family, Community, and School partnerships


For more information about the CNA process or other services, please contact Susan Silver, Diagnostic Services Lead at 984-236-2021 or