Skip to main content
Return to Tools & Curriculum

New Directors' Orientation Tutorial

The New Directors' Orientation Tutorial is made up of 14 self-paced modules to assist in learning basic program requirements. Each module is designed to be utilized based on a Director’s specific needs; there is not a set sequence for the tutorial to be completed. We encourage Directors to jump to the module that best fits their needs. Select a module below to view or download the corresponding materials.

Module 6 Icon

6. Program Planning – Comprehensive Needs Assessment

Section 1: Getting Started

Getting Started
3
In This Section
Tutorial Objectives
How to Use the Tutorial
Icons to Guide You
Key Readings and Resources
Tutorial Objectives
Module 6 will enable new state directors to
1. understand the legislative and regulatory requirements for the
Comprehensive Needs Assessment (CNA);
2. understand how the CNA lays the foundation for the Service Delivery
Plan (SDP) in a cycle of continuous program improvement;
3. implement a process for developing the CNA recommended by the
Office of Migrant Education (OME);
4. identify appropriate role and interest groups to jointly plan the CNA;
5. review their current CNA, and determine when and how to improve
the next CNA; and
6. create an action plan for developing a CNA for their state.
4
How to Use the Tutorial
For optimal benefit from the tutorial, you should
allow sufficient time to read the slides, reflect on the information, and
complete all activities on the slides or on the Quick Resource and
Reflection Sheets (QRRS) that can be downloaded as worksheets;
read each slide as well as the information referenced in the slides;
engage with the “What Do You Think?” slides to facilitate interaction
with the information (Answers will be provided directly following each
of these slides.);
5
How to Use the Tutorial
For optimal benefit from the tutorial, you should (continued)
pause to reflect on your state program at the “Check-in” slides
(A QRRS document will typically accompany these.);
complete the “Pop Quiz!” slides to reinforce key concepts;
review your state’s MEP documents and reports as directed;
develop an action plan using the worksheets provided;
add actionable items to your MEP planning calendar (See QRRS
14.2.); and
contact your OME Program Officer for follow-up questions.
6
Icons to Guide You
7
The following icons will guide you in making the best use of this tutorial:
What Do You Think?
Check-in
Pop Quiz!
Quick Reference and Reflection Sheet (QRRS)
Action Planning
Calendar Item
Key Readings and Resources
You should have these documents readily available while completing
the module, as the module will refer to these documents for more
complete information on various topics.
MEP Guidance on the Education of Migratory Children under Title I,
Part C of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965,
Chapter IV
Comprehensive Needs Assessment (CNA) Toolkit developed by the
Office of Migrant Education (OME)
Your state CNA and SDP
8

Section 2: What is Required

What is Required
9
In This Section
Basic Requirements for
Comprehensive State Plan
Required Components of
Comprehensive State Plan: Needs
Assessment, Service Delivery, and
Evaluation
Basic Requirements
States must ensure that the state and local operating agencies (LOAs)
identify and address the special educational needs of migratory
children in accordance with a comprehensive state plan that
(A) Is integrated with other programs,
(B) May be submitted as part of the consolidated application,
(C) Provides that migratory children will have an opportunity to meet
the same challenging state academic content standards as other
children,
(D) Specifies measurable program goals and outcomes,
(E) Encompasses the full range of available services,
10
Basic Requirements
(F) Is the product of joint planning among such local, State, and
Federal programs, including programs under part A, early
childhood programs, and language instruction educational
programs under part A or B of Title III, and
(G) Provides for the integration of services with other programs.
Section 1306(a)(1) of the ESEA, as amended
11
Required Components of
Comprehensive State Plan
State education agencies (SEAs) must develop and update a written
comprehensive state plan based on a current statewide needs
assessment that, at a minimum, has:
1. Performance targets* that the state has adopted for all children in
reading and mathematics, high school graduation, and the number
of school dropouts, as well as the state’s performance targets, if any,
for school readiness;
*If ED has approved a state’s request for a ESEA Flexibility, the updated performance
targets are referred to as Annual Measurable Objectives (AMOs).
12
Required Components of
Comprehensive State Plan
2. A needs assessment, which is an identification and assessment of
The unique educational needs of migratory children that result from the
children’s migratory lifestyle; and
Other needs of migratory students that must be met for migratory children
to participate effectively in school;
3. Measurable program outcomes (covered in Module 7);
4. Service delivery (covered in Module 7); and
5. An evaluation plan (covered in Module 8).
NOTE: This plan must be developed in consultation with the State parent advisory council
(PAC), or, for SEAs not operating programs for one school year in duration, in consultation
with the parents of migratory children. This consultation must be in a format and language
that the parents understand.
13
34 CFR § 200.83
Pop Quiz!
Instructions: Note whether the following statements related to
requirements for the comprehensive state plan are True or False
14
Statement
T F
1.
The comprehensive state plan must be the product of joint planning.
2. SEAs must base the comprehensive state plan on a statewide needs
assessment.
3.
The comprehensive state plan must include performance targets
developed only for migrant students.
4.
The needs assessment will identify only the unique educational
needs of migrant students that result from their migratory lifestyle.
5.
The comprehensive state plan must be integrated with other
programs.
Pop Quiz! - Response
Numbers 1, 2, and 5 are TRUE
.
Number 3 is FALSE the comprehensive state plan must include the
performance targets that the state has adopted for all children; in
addition to these, if the state has developed any other performance
targets identified for migrant children, it must include these as well.
15
Pop Quiz! - Response
Number 4 is FALSE the needs assessment must identify and assess
not only the unique educational needs of migrant students that result
from their migratory lifestyle, but also other needs that must be met
for migratory children to participate in school.
16
Comprehensive State Plan
The needs assessment may be incorporated in a single,
comprehensive state plan for service delivery, however most grantees
have submitted these components as two separate documents: a
Comprehensive Needs Assessment (CNA) and Service Delivery Plan
(SDP).
o For this reason, OME has developed technical assistance tools
that address each component separately.
17

Section 3: Continuous Program Improvement Cycle

Continuous
Program
Improvement
Cycle
18
In This Section
Continuous Improvement Cycle
Making Connections in the
Planning Process
Continuous Improvement Cycle
19
Making Connections in the Planning Process
Program planning is a continuous cycle of needs assessment,
planning services, and evaluating implementation and results.
The Comprehensive Needs Assessment (CNA) informs and guides the
development of, the Service Delivery Plan (SDP) to ensure that all
services target specific needs identified through data collection and
analysis. In addition, the SDP must include a plan for how the services
will be evaluated.
20
Making Connections in the Planning Process
While the diagram illustrates a cycle, all components are interrelated
and can simultaneously influence and can be influenced by one
another.
The CNA and SDP should be updated as significant changes occur in
the program, needs, and/or demographics of migrant students.
The evaluation will inform the SEA of necessary revisions to the
previously assessed needs of migratory children (CNA) and any
necessary improvements to the services being delivered (SDP).
21

Section 4: Setting the Context for the Comprehensive Needs Assessment

Setting the
Context for the
Comprehensive
Needs
Assessment
22
In This Section
Purpose of the Comprehensive Needs
Assessment
Key Terms
Purpose of the Comprehensive Needs
Assessment
The CNA:
1. Guides the overall design of the MEP on a statewide basis,
2. Identifies the statewide special educational needs of migrant
children,
3. Identifies the gap between the performance of the migrant children
and the performance of all children in relation to the state’s
performance targets, and
4. Prioritizes needs for the most effective allocation of resources.
23
Key Terms
A needs assessment is a systematic assessment and decision-making
process with a defined series of phases to:
Determine needs,
Examine their nature and causes, and
Set priorities for future action.
MEP Guidance, Chapter IV, A2
24
Key Terms
A needs assessment:
Focuses on outcomes to be achieved, rather than the process to
achieve desired outcomes;
Gathers data using procedures and methods that fit the purposes and
context;
Sets priorities and determines criteria for solutions;
Sets criteria for how to best allocate available money, people,
facilities, and other resources; and
Leads to action that will improve programs.
MEP Guidance, Chapter IV, A2
25
Key Terms
A needs assessment is comprehensive if it:
Includes both needs identification and assessment of potential
solutions,
Addresses all relevant performance targets established for migrant
children,
Identifies needs at a level that is useful for program purposes,
Collects data from appropriate target groups (i.e., students, parents,
teachers),
Examines data disaggregated by key subgroups, and
Is conducted on a statewide basis.
MEP Guidance, Chapter IV, A3
26
Check-in
To what extent does your states CNA meet the criteria for a
comprehensive needs assessment?
27
See QRRS 6.1 Does My State CNA Meet All the Basic Criteria?
Key Terms
For the purposes of the CNA, a need is a discrepancy or gap between
the present state (“what is”) and the desired state (“what should be”).
Desired states (“what should be”) might refer to:
State performance targets,
Behaviors or circumstances that facilitate full participation in school
(e.g., no school absences), and
Implementation of instruction or educational support (e.g., parents
reading to preschool-aged children).
28
Key Terms
Illustration of the gap between “what is” and “what should be”
29
Current State Desired State Need Statement
(What is) (What should be) (Gap)
3
rd
grade migrant
students receive only
150 days of instruction
in reading per school
year due to family
mobility.
3
rd
grade students
receive 180 days of
instruction in reading
per school year.
3
rd
grade migrant
children must obtain 30
days
of additional
instruction in reading
each year.
150 days 180 days -30 days
What Do You Think?
Which of the following do you think is a strong statement of need to
guide MEP planning?
30
Sample Need Statements
1.
Very few preschool-aged migrant children are exposed to picture books
or early literacy activities prior to enrollment.
2.
The MEP needs more funding for preschool activities.
3. Approximately 55% of migrant children who enroll in preschool recognize
their letters and numbers; this percentage needs to increase to 95% over
the next three years to meet the State Performance Target.
What Do You Think? - Reflection
If you selected #3, you probably noted that it was specific, based on
data, and measurable. It also shows the discrepancy between “what
is” and “what should be.” This was your best option.
#1 is a statement or observation that does not express a specific
need or gap. There is no data to support the current state (“what is”)
or the desired state (“what should be”).
#2 is a general expression of need that cannot be addressed in an
MEP plan.
More information on Need Statements is included in Slide 53 of this
module.
31

Section 5: Conducting the Comprehensive Needs Assessment

Conducting the
Comprehensive
Needs Assessment
32
In This Section
Five Steps to Conduct the Comprehensive
Needs Assessment
Five Steps to Conduct the Comprehensive
Needs Assessment
1. Conduct Preliminary Work
2. Explore What Is
3. Gather and Analyze Data
4. Make Decisions
5. Transition to an SDP
The Comprehensive Needs Assessment Toolkit developed by OME contains additional
details on each of the steps.
33
Step 1: Conduct Preliminary Work
The purpose of Step I is to plan an efficient and effective CNA process.
Step 1 activities:
Conceptualize the big picture and identify time and resources needed.
Establish a Needs Assessment Committee (NAC)
Identify expertise to support the work of the NAC
Create a migrant student profile based on existing data
Note: You will want to customize the process for the size of your state’s MEP.
34
Step 1: Conduct Preliminary Work
Conceptualize the big picture
Consider the following questions:
What is the time frame for conducting the CNA?
Who needs to be notified of this initiative?
What resources will be needed?
What staff will be involved? Will you establish a management team or
a project leader?
35
Step 1: Conduct Preliminary Work
Consider the following questions (continued):
How will you make the process reflect joint planning?
How many and what types of meetings will you conduct (face-to-face,
online, phone consultation)?
How will all data and information be filed during the planning process?
Who will write the CNA report (if there will be a separate written report
from the SDP)?
36
Step 1: Conduct Preliminary Work
Establish a Needs Assessment Committee (NAC)
Select members representing as many of the following interest groups
as possible:
37
Federal program administrators
from the SEA
Local program coordinators
Migrant recruiters
Teachers
Parents
Representatives from state
initiatives in relevant areas (e.g.,
school readiness, dropout
prevention)
After school program
administrators
Service providers
Step 1: Conduct Preliminary Work
Expand the expertise of the NAC
You will want to ensure that you have the best guidance on data
collection and analysis, and on identifying research-based services.
Consider including on the NAC:
o Program evaluation expert,
o A data specialist, and
o Content-area experts (e.g., reading/language arts, mathematics).
38
Check-in
Which people representing key interest groups do you need to include
on the NAC for your MEP?
39
See QRRS 6.2 Key People to Serve on the NAC
Step 1: Conduct Preliminary Work
Develop a Migrant Student Profile
The purpose of the Migrant Student Profile is to provide a starting point
for the NAC.
Possible items to include:
Information from state migrant databases
Consolidated State Performance Report (CSPR) data and other State
performance data
See Step 1.C. in Comprehensive Needs Assessment Toolkit developed by for more
information on creating a profile of migratory children.
40
See QRRS 6.3 Data for a Migrant Student Profile
Step 1: Conduct Preliminary Work
The purpose of the Migrant Student Profile is to provide a starting point
for the NAC (continued).
End-of-year and monitoring reports from LOAs
Survey data
41
Step 2: Explore What Is
The purpose of this step is for the NAC to identify concerns for migrant
children and youth, which will form the basis for data collection.
Step 2 activities:
Identify Areas of Concern
Develop Concern Statements
Develop Need Indicators
42
Step 2: Explore What Is
A Word on Alignment
The CNA process takes a broad area of concern and eventually leads
the group to develop a specific and data-based articulation of need.
Each step of the process leads to the next.
43
Area of Concern
Concern Statement
Need Indicator
Step 2: Explore What Is
Identify Areas of Concern
An Area of Concern is a broad category of challenges a group faces
that suggests root causes of the challenges.
OME recommends using the following Seven Areas of Concern as a
framework for identifying needs of migrant children and youth in your
state. States may use these and/or any others that they feel are
relevant.
Seven Areas of Concern:
Educational continuity,
Instructional time,
School engagement,
English language development,
44
Educational support in the home,
Health, and
Access to services.
Step 2: Explore What Is
Develop Concern Statements
Concern Statements are clear and consistent interpretations of the
preliminary data, which identify particular areas that require special
attention for migrant students.
The NAC should develop Concern Statements that:
o Are stated concisely,
o Reflect a specific goal area or area of concern identified by the NAC,
o Are based on possible reasons why migrant students are not doing well in
school,
o Reflect the preliminary data or expertise of the NAC, and
o Be presented in a way that can lead to targeted services and
interventions.
45
Pop Quiz!
Instructions: Determine which of the following are strong Concern
Statements.
46
Check Sample Concern Statements
1.
We are concerned about educational continuity for migrant
students.
2.
We are concerned that migrant high school students are not
accruing enough credits in the core content areas to enable them
to graduate on time.
3.
We are concerned that migrant students in high schools perform
28 percentage points lower than other high school students in the
state.
Pop Quiz! - Response
#2 is the strongest Concern Statement because it proposes a reason
for lack of on-time graduation, which can be further explored with
data.
#1 merely introduces a general topic. It does not convey information
about what specific issues are related to educational continuity.
#3 is a restatement of the data and does not indicate a specific
challenge or reason for poor performance.
47
Step 2: Explore What Is
Develop Need Indicators
A Need Indicator is a measure that can be used to verify that a
particular gap exists for migrant children.
Need Indicators:
o Should be developed for each Concern Statement,
o Provide a measurement for the need,
o Define a specific group for which the need exists,
o Identify a time frame for data collection (and identify the type of
data that will be appropriate), and
o Include details for what will be measured.
48
Step 2: Explore What Is
Example of a Need Indicator:
Concern Statement: We are concerned that migrant high school
students are not accruing enough credits in the core content areas in
order for them to graduate on time.
o Need Indicator (a measure to determine the level of need):
Percentage of migrant students who enrolled in the 9th grade in
Fall 2010 and have two or fewer graduation-required credits in
each of the four core content areas at the end of SY 2012.
Note: A Concern Statement may have several Need Indicators to create a more extensive
picture of the concern.
49
Step 2: Explore What Is
Example of Multiple Need Indicators
Notice how multiple
indicators can lead
to the exploration of
possible reasons for
non-graduation.
50
Step 3: Gather and Analyze Data
The purpose of this step is for the NAC and data experts to develop a
plan to collect data on the Areas of Concern, using the Need Indicators
developed in Step 2, and to analyze the data.
Step 3 activities:
Develop a data collection plan
Develop Need Statements
Prioritize Need Statements
51
Step 3: Gather and Analyze Data
Develop a Data Collection Plan
The NAC and data experts should develop a data collection plan for
each Area of Concern and its Need Indicators.
The plan should include:
o Data source,
o Collection procedures,
o Timeline, and
o Persons responsible.
See the Comprehensive Needs Assessment Toolkit developed by OME for a Data
Collection Plan template.
52
See QRRS 6.4 Practice Developing a Data Collection Plan
Step 3: Gather and Analyze Data
Develop Need Statements
Data should provide concrete evidence of the gap between “what is”
and “what should be.
o What is: e.g., current level of performance, current
implementation level of a service
o What should be: e.g., state performance target, desired
implementation level of a service
The NAC should develop Need Statements that articulate a
measurable gap.
53
What Do You Think?
What would you suggest for a Need Statement based on the following?
What Is What Should Be
54
What Do You Think? - Reflection
If you indicated something similar to the following, you are on target:
An additional 60% of migrant students enrolled in Algebra I need to
successfully complete the course with a C or better.
Note: A Need Statement should be specific and measurable and should
articulate the gap between what is and what should be.
55
Step 3: Gather and Analyze Data
Revisiting Alignment
Note how all parts of the process align
so that the Need Statements reflect
the earliest explorations of the NAC.
56
Step 3: Gather and Analyze Data
Prioritize Need Statements
Once the NAC has developed Need Statements, it should prioritize them
based on the following factors:
Magnitude of the gaps between “what is” and “what should be”;
Critical nature of the need;
Special needs of PFS students;
Degree of difficulty in addressing the need;
Risk/consequences of ignoring the need; and
External factors, such as state and district priorities and goals.
57
Step 4: Make Decisions
The purpose of this step is to make recommendations for solutions to
address the Need Statements prioritized in Step 3.
Step 4 activities:
Identify research-based solutions.
Prioritize the solutions to recommend for inclusion in the SDP.
58
Step 4: Make Decisions
Identify Research-Based
Solutions
The NAC should research
and/or invite experts in the
areas of the Need
Statements to ensure that
proposed solutions are
grounded in data and results.
Expert Work Groups, which
include those who specialize
in the specific areas of need,
may provide valuable
guidance for strategies to
close the gaps identified for
migrant students.
59
Step 4: Make Decisions
Prioritize solutions
The NAC should prioritize a list of solutions it will recommend for inclusion
in the SDP.
Criteria to consider:
o The severity of the need (size of the gap),
o Likelihood the solution will reduce the gap,
o Feasibility of implementing the solution,
o Extent to which the solution addresses a root cause,
o Extent to which the solution can supplement existing programs, and
o Extent to which the outcomes of the solution are measurable
60
Step 5: Transition to a Service Delivery Plan
The purpose of Step 5 is to review the results from the CNA to inform
the development of the SDP.
Step 5 activities:
Summarize the results of the CNA to guide the SDP process
Determine with whom to share the CNA
Develop formats appropriate to specific audiences
61
Step 5: Transition to a Service Delivery Plan
Develop a written report* for the CNA
Suggested components of the report:
Executive summary,
Purpose and scope,
Updated migrant student profile,
Methodology (work of the NAC, data collection and analysis, use of
expert work group or consultants),
Results and implications (prioritized needs, proposed solutions), and
Next steps (how this work will guide the planning for services).
*This information may be included as part of the comprehensive service delivery plan, or
be written as a separate document.
62
Step 5: Transition to a Service Delivery Plan
Determine with whom to share the CNA
Reasons for sharing the findings of the CNA:
Program planning,
Accountability,
Collaboration, and
Advocacy.
63
Step 5: Transition to a Service Delivery Plan
Suggested stakeholders with whom to share the CNA:
SEA administrators;
Federal program coordinators;
State-level service agency administrators (e.g., housing, health, social
services);
Administrators from programs that serve migrant students (e.g., HEP,
CAMP);
Local school district superintendents;
School and district administrators that serve migrant students (e.g.,
principals, counselors, ELL specialists)
64
Step 5: Transition to a Service Delivery Plan
Suggested stakeholders with whom to share the CNA (continued):
LOA coordinators;
Parent Advisory Councils (PACs); and
Preschool program administrators.
65
Step 5: Transition to a Service Delivery Plan
Develop formats appropriate to specific audiences
Consider:
Time they have available for reading the CNA,
Key messages or information they need,
Literacy level, and
Native language.
66

Section 6: Wrapping Up

Wrapping Up
In This Section
Key Points
Action Planning
Resources
67
Key Points
The CNA should:
Be conducted at least every three years so that it remains current
updated more frequently if needed;
Be jointly planned, with representation from a broad array of
stakeholders, including parents;
Begin with discussion and exploration of identified concerns that will
guide the data collection to identify gaps between what is and what
should be (needs);
Result in a prioritized list of documented needs and proposed
solutions; and
Provide a strong foundation for the development of the SDP.
68
Action Planning
Consider the following questions:
When was the current CNA developed? When do you need to develop
a new CNA?
How long do you estimate the process will take?
What resources internal and external will you need? When do you
need to arrange these?
o Who needs to be involved and when do they need to be
contacted?
69
Action Planning
Consider the following questions (continued):
To what extent will the CNA process recommended by OME work for
your state?
How will you customize this process for your state (size of your state,
number of migrant students, and resources available)?
Add any actionable items to your MEP planning calendar.
See QRRS 6.5 Comprehensive Needs Assessment Action Planning
70
Resources for the Comprehensive Needs
Assessment
MEP Guidance on Education of Migratory Children under Title I, Part
C, of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965
Explanation of guidelines to implement the laws and regulations
related to the MEP
Comprehensive Needs Assessment Toolkit developed by OME
Suggested step-by-step guide with tools and templates to develop the
CNA
71
Migrant Education Program Resources
MEP Officers List of OME contact information
(https://results.ed.gov/about/contact)
Glossary of Terms Alphabetical listing of key terms applicable to
migrant education (https://results.ed.gov/idr-
manual/section/glossary/glossary)
72