Annual review of Priority School Progress for Isanti Elementary, Middle, and High School

Staff presented an update on the progress at Isanti schools. All three Isanti schools are listed as Priority Schools. Priority Schools identified through AQuESTT are required to submit an annual review of the progress plan to the Nebraska State Board of Education. This review illustrates the level of progress and identifies whether modifications are needed. Each Priority School is required to submit a Progress Plan for approval by the State Board of Education. The purpose of the Progress Plan is to identify: goals and areas for growth and improvement; measurable indicators of progress; strategies and actions to achieve improvement; associated timelines and resources; and evidence to monitor progress. The Progress Plan serves as the primary improvement plan for the Priority School and is also part of the continuous improvement plan for the district in which the Priority School is located.

Standard Setting Process Presentation

Staff presented information to board members on the standard setting process. Standard setting describes levels of performance and identifying ranges of test scores associated with those levels. The Nebraska Department of Education has identified three levels of performance: Developing, On Track, Advanced. Standard setting is conducted following the first year of a new assessment, a test changes significantly, or when policy makers want to adjust expectations. ELA has a new assessment measuring new standards. Math is addressing questions regarding the consistency of the process between ELA and Math. Science has an opportunity to validate the cut scores with new data from the 2023 Spring NSCAS Science assessment. Following a standard setting review, results will be shared with the Nebraska State Board of Education for final approval.

Safe2Help Funding

Safe2HelpNE is a report system designed for students, staff, and parents to anonymously report concerning behavior which could impact the safety of students or schools across Nebraska. The legislature voted to continue to fund the program and the call center at  Boys Town.

Safe2Help Program

Approve the Commissioner’s Position Description

Board members voted to update the position description and the essential functions of the Commissioner of Education.

Commissioner Position Description

Essential Functions, Indicators and Evidence

Early Childhood Education Program Grants

Funds for awarding new and expansion Early Childhood Education Program grants are available. Based upon the availability of state funds, grants will be provided to the identified public school districts to provide collaborative early childhood programs to serve at-risk three and four-year-old children. The purpose of the Early Childhood Education Grant Program is to improve equity of access to early childhood education/prekindergarten programs.

Early Childhood Education Grants

reVISION Action Grants for 2023-2024

The purpose of the reVISION Action Grant is to improve, modernize, and expand career and technical education (CTE) programs to align with Nebraska’s economic priorities and workforce demands. The reVISION Action Grant program provides Perkins funds for eligible secondary and postsecondary recipients to help implement the action steps developed and identified throughout the reVISION local needs assessment process.

reVISION Action Grants

Homeless Children and Youth Grants

Pearl Strategies will provide professional development  and technical assistance to Nebraska school district homeless liaisons, other educators, and community partners with the goals of improving the provision of education and services to children, youth, and families experiencing homelessness and using McKinney-Vento subgrant and American Rescue Plan funds strategically.

Pearl Strategies Contract

Local Food for Schools Grants

The USDA provided approximately $1.5 million for distribution to schools operating the National School Lunch and/or Breakfast Program.

Local Food for Schools Grants

ESSA Plan Amendment

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, states were afforded flexibilities to their current state ESSA plans. The NDE successfully applied for an addendum in April 2022 and implemented the transition accountability system in the fall of 2022 with the designation of CSI, ATSI, and TSI schools. One stipulation with the approval of the addendum was a formal amendment to the ESSA plan. The state now must update the plan with those changes. The amendment captures adjustments made to the filter process, chronic absenteeism, inclusion of science proficiency, and shifts in designation timelines. The amendment was available for public comment from May 8, 2023, through May 23, 2023.

Revisions to Rules 20, 21, and 24

In an effort to create more pathways to teaching and to eliminate barriers to the profession, board members voted to revise certain aspects of Rules 20, 21, and 24.

Rule 20 includes the regulations for the approval of educator preparation programs. The purpose of the revision to Rule 20 is to incorporate changes to educator preparation program requirements. Changes include: removal of the basic skills competency requirement for admission into an educator preparation program due to the passage of LB 1218, the addition of educator preparation administrative program requirements, the addition of a Pilot and Processes section, and ensure the science of reading is included in educator preparation programs.

Rule 21 includes the regulations for the issuance of educator certificates and permits. The purpose of the revision to Rule 21 is to incorporate state statute changes from LB 389 and LB 1218 and include revisions in line with the Nebraska State Board of Educations regulatory priorities. Revisions include changes to the military permit, alternative program teaching permit, conditional permit, local substitute permit, creation of the Nebraska entry permit, provide clarity to existing language, technical edits, and other changes.

The purpose of the revisions to Rule 24 is to incorporate changes to certificate endorsement requirements. Proposed revisions related to endorsements contained in the Rule include: changes to the Elementary Education endorsement to remove redundancies, revisions were made to the Social Studies endorsement to remove Anthropology from the endorsement as Nebraska has had zero Anthropology candidates in the last several years, the World Languages endorsement was modified to add additional options to demonstrate proficiency, changes were made to the English Language Arts and Secondary English endorsements to reflect current best practices in addressing foundational reading skills, and changes were added to allow out-of-state teachers to not take a content test if they have 2 or more years of teaching experience in their content area.