Needs Mapper Overview

The RyeCatcher Family Needs Mapper is a 13-question survey that schools use to gather information about students and their families. It can be completed on-line or in-person and is designed to be easy for families to complete on their own. Available in English and Spanish, most people complete the Needs Mapper in three to five minutes.

Needs Mapper survey questions help schools learn about a student’s life at home, behaviors, and areas where help and support are needed or desired.  Insights gathered from Needs Mapper questionnaires enable schools to develop interventions and to connect students and families to social support services. It is typically completed at the start of the school year by a parent, guardian or student.


  • Thirteen-question survey available online, via Web, tablet, and mobile device, and in print in both English and Spanish.

  • Data gathered online is available in real time in aggregate and for individual students via RyeCatcher’s secure online platform.

  • Captures information about conditions at home, demographics, risk factors, and academic, non-academic and social-emotional learning needs.`

  • An in-class version can be completed by students, individually and in groups.

  • Easy-to-understand questions expressed in clear language.

  • Needs Mapper surveys can be retaken at any time to reflect changes in a student’s or family’s circumstances.

  • A RyeCatcher account not required to complete the questionnaire.

Benefits of RyeCatcher Software’s Needs Mapper

  • Identify students who have critical needs, who engage in high-risk behaviors or who come from family settings that exhibit various risk factors.

  • Determine whether a student requires dental or vision care.

  • Supplement the registration and enrollment process with valuable additional information without little extra effort.

  • Survey data can be used to satisfy data reporting requirements.

  • Provides baseline data that can be used to measure the impact of interventions over time.

  • Serves as a way for charter schools to quickly get to know their community when opening a new school.

What Schools are Saying: Needs Mapper in the Aspire Public School System

The Aspire Public Schools system has used RyeCatcher software since 2013.  Hannah Epstein, School Social Worker at Aspire Public Schools in Los Angeles, distributed the Needs Mappers at parent orientations at the beginning of the school year. Hannah says that the information gathered was “organized beautifully and showed a really helpful data picture of our student body and their academic/social/emotional needs.”

She continues:

Looking at the results from the data helped us think about what groups we would want to create for the year (anger management, anxiety, etc.), and the truth is, most of the students who had potential concerns on their Needs Mapper ended up coming to us anyway, for one reason or another. So, overall it has been a helpful tool!