Reflection Insights and Tools

Where are you now?

The question promotes reflection on your current situation, leading to a shared understanding of the system’s strengths and weaknesses, pointing the way toward improvement priorities. A thorough understanding starts with gathering appropriate quantitative and qualitative data, i.e., a needs assessment, that looks at several areas:

  • Community
  • Order, discipline and climate
  • Achievement and growth
  • Teaching and learning systems
  • Curriculum and Instruction


For more on needs assessments and these categories. please refer to The Handbook for SMART School Teams (2nd Edition): Revitalizing Best Practices for Collaboration starting on page 252. The use of Friendly Observers (page 254) can augment the needs assessment process.

One of the most effective reflection tools is our SMART School Self-Assessment. This rubric can be used to create a baseline understanding, a periodic update, and a measure of progress. The Self-Assessment includes 9 questions organized by the elements of our Framework: Focus, Reflection, Collaboration and Leadership Capacity.

SMART School Self-Assessment

Our SMART District Self-Assessment can be used in a similar manner.

For more information about how we can help you reflect on where you are now, please contact Kiett Takkunen, Director of Opportunities: