2023 Nebraska Teacher of the Year Presentation

Renee Jones addressed the State Board for the first time as Nebraska Teacher of the Year. Renee introduced herself and filled board members in on her past and background.  She is an English teacher at Lincoln High School in Lincoln.

Jones will represent Nebraska throughout the year as Teacher of the Year.  She will present at conferences, travel the country attending national events and spreading her message on education.

Jones wants to focus on the need to build connections with students and staff inside school, especially since the pandemic.

 AQuESTT 101: An Introduction to Accountability in Nebraska

Nebraska Department of Education staff presented to the board on the background and structure of the AQuESTT accountability system for schools. AQuESTT goes beyond measuring against standard requirements to create a next-generation accountability system that supports and rewards continuous improvement for every student, school, and educator. The result is an innovative approach that views each student holistically, classifies all schools into four performance levels, and provides opportunities for every Nebraskan to get involved.

State and federal laws require each state to have an accountability system.


NSCAS Growth Assessment Proposal

A group of Nebraska superintendents and other educators joined the board to talk about the NSCAS Growth system and the state’s assessment plan. Board members proposed leaving the current assessment system as it is for the next school year with NSCAS being a summative test only in the Spring.  Currently NSCAS Growth is planned to be a through year model starting in a 2023-2024 school year.

The board voted 7-0 with one member abstaining to postpone moving forward with planned changes to NSCAS Growth assessment in 2023-2024, instead leaving it the same structure as the 2022-2023 school year.

Purchase Robotics Kits for Schools

In response to a request from the Governor’s office, NDE facilitated the repurposing of unspent NDE GEER I funding for a project involving the acquisition of robotics kits for Nebraska public and non-public school districts in Fall 2022. Demand for robotics kits exceeded available funding remaining through GEER I. Additional funding for robotics kits was identified as part of GEER II funds to fulfill unmet need remaining from the initial robotics kit project.

Robotic Kit Project

School-Based Health Support Funding

The Nebraska Department of Education received a two-year Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services/School-Based Health Support funding. This will support schools, where the pandemic has had a more damage on communities with a high social vulnerability, in purchasing telehealth equipment and technology.

Telehealth Mental Health Funding

Board Discussion on Commissioner Search

Board members took an opportunity to discuss the ongoing search for the next Commissioner of Education with the firm that is conducting the search. The firm worked with board members on developing criteria for the next commissioner and discussed how they plan to gather feedback from around the state on the preferred traits for the next person to lead the state.

Commissioner Search Process