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Does Your School Need an Update? Start with a Needs Assessment!

Updated: Sep 14, 2021

Kids are back in school this month and back to having fun on the playground. Making sure students have outside play time to connect with their peers by playing together and socializing is so crucial especially since a lot of those opportunities were lacking over the last year. Recess also gives kids a break from the rigors of the classroom and it offers cognitive, social, emotional, and physical benefits. The American Academy of Pediatrics believes that recess is a crucial and necessary component of a child's development and should not be withheld for punitive or academic reasons. Miracle Playsystems understands this and wants to make sure schools have the tools they need to provide a safe, creative and fun outdoor play environment.

Start with a Needs Assessment!

Miracle Playsystems is experienced in helping school districts update their various school playground equipment with approved funding. However, many school districts face some sort of funding challenge which can hinder their plans for playground updates. We can help school districts navigate these funding challenges by offering our services to preform a Needs Assessment. A Needs Assessment is often the first step in learning what needs to be repaired, replaced or added to each individual school in a district. Our playground experts are versed in all things playground including safety standards, trends, and observing the needs of each unique school. Working together with the school district we are able to provide a valuable document with all the information needed to help allocate funding or apply for funding for the various needed improvements.

What is a Needs Assessment?

A Needs Assessment is a valuable tool to help you establish an understanding of your long-term playground planning needs and the cost to make such upgrades. With a Needs Assessment you will have a budget estimate to drop into your future budgets. Perhaps the most valuable part is that it can set you up to apply for and receive new funding! You can use it to apply for grant or bond funds. It can also be used to solicit donations from community organizations. Nearly 71% of our clients who use this assessment successfully secure the funds needed to replace outdated and unsafe play structures.

Using Bond Funds to Update your Equipment

Now is a great time to take inventory of your playground's equipment and assets to determine which are most in need of upgrades or replacements. This is no small task but luckily, Miracle Playsystems offers Needs Assessments that will essentially do this work for you! With a Needs Assessment Proposal in your hand, you can determine what improvements are most needed and allocate the Bond funds towards those improvements first. Brentwood USD is a great example of how a Needs Assessment helped them allocate their Bond Funds towards an entire District playground update. See below!

What is Included in a Needs Assessment Proposal?

We've included an breakdown below of everything that is included in a standard Needs Assessment. We start with your learning your Goals, then we review our standard Objectives with you, from there we give you an Assessment Breakdown, and finally provide a Schedule for improvements and Cost Estimate for each site.

Next Steps and Other Areas for Improvement

Playgrounds are just the beginning. Site Amenities are also needed to round out a school campus. Benches are needed at middle schools and high schools so students have a space to sit, catch up with their friends between classes or eat lunch. Buddy Benches are great additions to an elementary campus where kids are learning how to play together and be kind to others. An outdoor amphitheater or stage can have multiple uses at all levels of schools. It can be used for lunchtime, drama classes, or outdoor learning. Outdoor Music is a wonderful addition to a school, especially near a playground. The instruments can add energy to a playground and bring together students of all abilities with a common appreciation of music. We can't forget P.E.! Adding an outdoor fitness cluster makes outdoor physical activity time fun and engaging for all students and gives them a love for physical activity thru what looks like playtime. We can't forget Shade! Shade is a must, especially for these warm California days. Shade protects students from the elements, whether it be sun, rain or wind. It's so important, now more than ever, to not forget about shade especially with more classroom activities going outdoors for safety concerns and social distancing.

Check out our Site Amenities page on our website for more fabulous ideas!

Whatever the need, we can help! Contact Miracle Playsystems today!

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