A Comprehensive Needs Assessment that Informs School Transformation
Catapult Learning’s Collaborative Quality Analysis (CQA) is a holistic needs assessment designed to identify school strengths and areas for improvement. This shared exploration between a team of Catapult Learning’s expert coaches and school-based leadership is focused on analyzing the effectiveness of the school for the purpose of sustained improvement in student achievement. The CQA process promotes the collection and analysis of multiple pieces of evidence in order to answer the five essential questions presented below. The range of responses to these questions, aligned to the five strands of our school design for exemplary schools, serve to assist the team in assessing the performance of a school. The entire process builds a rich picture of the school by viewing it from three perspectives: Structured Reflection, Stakeholder Perceptions, and Student Impact Measures.
At the heart of the CQA process lies a series of audit activities that serve to build an evidence base upon which the Alliance team evaluates the school using Catapult Learning’s Alliance School Development Rubric (SDR). The SDR is designed to help schools at all levels of performance assess the strengths and limitations of their instructional practices and organizational conditions against proven best practice.
- The School Document Review identifies the process, structures, and procedures that allow the school to effectively lead and manage change.
- The Lesson Plan Review determines to what extent teachers are using a consistent, structured lesson-planning framework that deliberately plans to meet the needs of all learners.
- The Climate Walk assess how well the school promotes and fosters environments that support learning and motivation.
- The Student Work Review informs how student learning is represented over time; the ways that teacher feedback promotes learning and prompts next steps in the learning process.
- The Student At-Risk Record Review and Discussion identifies the documents and procedures that are in place to determine the effectiveness of the school’s systems for supporting all learners.
- Stakeholder Focus Groups solicit the perceptions of the main strengths and challenges within the school.
Following the audit activities, the Catapult Learning team reconvenes with school leaders to further analyze and reflect on the data collected in order to identify key themes, potential short- and long-term goals, and “quick wins.” The CQA summary report is a compilation of the team’s findings and includes both quantitative and qualitative data, painting a comprehensive picture of where the school is and offering suggestions for where it may want to go next.