Programs and Services
Improved performance begins with understanding where you are today, to set the stage for future growth, but schools and districts often lack the time or in-house expertise to pursue this understanding. Our Needs Assessment and Audits can help you fill that gap.
Needs assessments use specific questions about where things currently stand in schools, districts or systems to find gaps that may exist between current and desired states. They enable clients to surface findings that may otherwise have gone uncovered, and their data supports informed decision-making about future areas of focus.
What makes LCI's needs assessments different from others?
Collaborative. Clients are consulted about and engaged in co-shaping the focus area, and are involved in developing the supporting questions and planning for implementation.
Learner-focused. For clients, the needs assessment process is, in itself, a professional learning opportunity. We support leaders and others in understanding needs assessment design, the data generated and how to use it.
Leverage a variety of data-gathering techniques. Strategies may include meeting with administrators, participating in school walkthroughs, conducting classroom observations, convening focus groups, and analyzing artifacts and documents.
We also provide formal, comprehensive audit services for clients responding to external needs and expectations.
With a renewed focus on the importance of SEL in the schools comes the need to understand how organizations are positioned to build these skills in their students and to shape school cultures that promote social and emotional learning in everyone. LCI has the tools to help you surface SEL-related needs and readiness in your school and district.
SEL Survey Suite. The SEL suite of surveys captures your school community's perceptions related to Social and Emotional Learning. Versions for students, parents, and educators provide an image of student self-management, self-awareness, social awareness and relationship skills informed by multiple perspectives. The survey also taps the community's perceptions of the authenticity and meaningfulness of the curriculum and learning experiences of students. Click to see sample data generated by the student survey, or an example of a report that highlights our findings about existing SEL support for students.
Survey of Interactions. A school's climate and culture play an important role in how effectively they can support and implement SEL initiatives. LCI's Survey of Interactions captures important cultural data that provides a window into how the staff views the school as an organization, whether they perceive their work as collaborative or isolated, and the degree to which they feel supported in their work. Click to see sample data from the survey of interactions.
Additional downloadable SEL tools are available in our Resources section.
LCI can help you understand the depth, breadth, alignment and effectiveness of your curriculum, assessment and instruction systems and practices. Common areas of focus include:
Assessment System Review
As districts move to common, formative or benchmark assessments, documenting the quality of the assessments can be overlooked. Using established NCTE standards for quality assessment and test design (ie, AERA, NCTE), LCI’s Assessment System Review provides schools with a complete and detailed review of their assessment system. This includes reviewing the physical tests themselves for issues around reliability, analyzing student data for validity and documenting connections or gaps between the tests and the curriculum.
Does your assessment and grading-reporting system promote the use of multiple measures? An LCI Multiple Measures Needs Assessment is designed to assist school districts in ensuring that the tools and documents used by teachers to plan for instruction and assessment are of high quality and aligned to the tools and documents used to grade and report. It provides feedback on how teachers use these documents to plan, assess and report on student performance.
Schools are increasingly faced with a need to incorporate new outcomes including SEL and 21st century skills into their curriculum. Our curriculum review helps school leaders to find opportunities within the school's curriculum to integrate these new outcomes. This approach lead to greater coherence, quality, focus and rigor.
ARCS Assessments. These assessments are designed to help leaders answer questions such as:
- How aligned are the leaders’ and their staff related to the vision, goals and work in the school?
- How focused are the professional interactions among staff on student needs and instructional priorities?
- What is the organizational capacity of the school and its leadership?
The ARCS assessments include a Survey of Interactions that helps pinpoint how a school can use existing capacities, expertise, and structures to engage in continuous improvement. The survey captures important cultural data that provides a window into how the staff views the school as an organization, whether they perceive their work as collaborative or isolated, and the degree to which they feel supported in their work.
They also include an assessment of School Culture and Organizational Capacity, with different versions for teachers and school leaders. This survey captures key facets of school culture, including the alignment of the school’s vision and mission to the work of the school, the role of different stakeholders in informing and contributing to the work the work of the school, and the approaches used to promote improvement.
LCI's Curriculum Equity Audit offers educators an opportunity to examine the efficacy of the selected curricula in relation to the needs of the school’s student population. Curricula can serve as a nexus of change within a school. Through curricula, students have the opportunity to learn more about themselves, their communities and the diverse experiences of the world. Well-structured curricular documents offer access to students of all abilities.
In this review, ELA curriculum documents are examined to determine how well they uses the attributes of a quality curriculum described in Ensuring High Quality Curriculum: How to Design, Revise or Adopt Curriculum for Students Success to address issues of equity.
There are three steps for the curriculum review: onsite visit, off-site analysis and on-site presentation of results.
On-Site Visit: The on-site visit consists of small focus-group meetings with school leadership, teachers and students, and classroom walk-throughs. During these meetings, LCI gathers information from the various stakeholders on the taught, assessed and learned curriculum. This information sets the context for the off-site review of the written curriculum.
Off-Site Review of Curriculum Documents: One grade level curriculum for grades K – 5, which is selected following the on-site visit, is reviewed.
On-Site Presentation of Results: The results of the review are shared at an on-site presentation. The school also receives a executive summary that identifies what was learned and provides recommendations for next steps. The executive summary includes an overview of the common themes, patterns or trends that were uncovered, instructional implications of these findings, and a series of appendices that outline grade/content area specific patterns.