Nebraska Continuous Improvement
The Nebraska Framework Model was originally released in July 2012 by the Nebraska Department of Education’s Accreditation and School Improvement Section. This initial model focused on four components: “Creating the Profile, Setting the Goals, Planning to Improve, and Implementing the Plan”.
Since the original Nebraska Framework model, there have been multiple state and federal changes that have changed educational practices in Nebraska. In 2019, the Accreditation Section of the Office of Accountability, Accreditation, and Program Approval which oversees compliance with NAC 92 Rule 10 and provides guidance on Continuous Improvement, began studying the connection between regulations for state statutes and agency requirements for operating schools in Nebraska.
Continuous Improvement (CI) is broadly defined as the process of ensuring ongoing improvement “through incremental and breakthrough improvements.” Another framing of CI defines it as “the act of integrating quality improvements into the daily work of individuals in the system.” The term and concept come from the field of quality control and assurance and are commonly used across many sectors and industries and for many goals within an organization. Continuous Improvement: Review of Literature and Practice, Hanover Research, August 2021.
Increasingly, state, district, and school-level leaders are using components of a Continuous Improvement (CI) cycle to support student achievement and achieve school improvement goals. While some may view it as a trend driven by directives from Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the core components of CI have been shown to produce meaningful and sustainable positive change in K12 setting.
Legislative Bill 438 was adopted into law in April 2014, changing the accountability system for schools and districts under the Quality Education Accountability Act. The Accountability for a Quality Education System Today and Tomorrow (AQuESTT) was established to integrate components of accountability, assessment, accreditation, career education, and data into a system of school improvement and support. AQuESTT Timeline Graphic. In October of 2019, the State Board of Education voted to adopt revised Position Statement S2 which included additional tenets and indicators. AQuESTT Tenets 2020.
Since 2019, collaboration between Accreditation and NeMTSS have focused on identifying similarities between the 2012 Nebraska Framework and the NeMTSS problem solving model. For the years of 2020-21 and 2021-22 NeMTSS Regional Leads, Accreditation Staff, and ESU partners have provided Continuous Improvement workdays to empower educators to utilize materials from both models to best serve students.
Specific efforts to combine the 2012 Nebraska Framework model and the NeMTSS problem solving model for Continuous Improvement is known as coherence work. These revised processes, procedures and materials developed for Nebraska Continuous Improvement will become available for implementation for the 2022-23 school year.
Section 009 of NAC 92 Chapter 10
AQuESTT Tenet: All students experience success through a continuous improvement process that builds student, parent/guardian/family and community engagement in order to enhance educational experiences and opportunities for all students.
To maintain Accreditation in the State of Nebraska, school systems comply with all regulations set forth in Rule 10. Specific regulations required for Continuous Improvement are found in Section 009 and are as follows:
009.01A The school system develops and implements a continuous school improvement process to promote quality learning for all students. This process includes procedures and strategies to address quality learning, equity, and accountability. In public schools, the process incorporates multicultural education as described in 004.01F. In all school systems, the continuous improvement process includes the following activities at least once within each five years.
009.01A1 Review and update of the mission and vision statements.
009.01A2 Collection and analysis of data about student performance, demographics, learning climate, and former high school students.
009.01A3 Selection of improvement goals. At least one goal is directed toward improving student academic achievement.
009.01A4 Development and implementation of an improvement plan which includes procedures, strategies, actions to achieve goals, and an aligned professional development plan.
009.01A5 Evaluation of progress toward improvement goals.
009.01B The school improvement process includes a visitation by a team of external representatives to review progress and provide written recommendations. A copy of the school system’s improvement plan and the written recommendations of the external representatives are provided to the Department. The external team visits are conducted at least once each five years.
009.01B1 The AdvancED External Review may be used by a school system to fulfill the requirement for an on-site visitation if all the requirements of Section 009 are met.
009.01B2 The Progress Plan developed by a public school designated as a priority school as outlined in Subsection 010.02D of this Chapter shall be included within the continuous improvement requirements of Section 009 of this Chapter for the district in which the priority school is located.