NSCAS Presentation

Nebraska Department of Education staff presented the state’s new Nebraska Student-Centered Assessment System (NSCAS) to board members during the March work session. Board members learned about the new system designed to give schools valuable information about student learning and help teachers prepare students for success through a series of formative, interim, and summative assessments and professional development opportunities.



School Safety Update

State School Security Director Jolene Palmer also updated the board during the work session on the efforts being taken across the state to keep students safe following the February 14th school shooting in Florida. Palmer talked about the progress of school security assessments and the requirement that every district submit a plan to NDE. Palmer also highlighted threat assessment training being offered by NDE including the use of the “I Love U Guys” protocols.



Special Presentations

The board welcomed several special presentations in March. Secretary of State John Gale was presented a resolution for all of his hard work and dedication to educating students about government and encouraging civic readiness. South Sioux City Middle School teacher Jon Pickinpaugh was officially honored by the board for winning the 2017 Milken Educator Award. Nebraskans For The Arts gave a presentation on the importance and impact of arts education across the state. And representatives from Schuyler community Schools shared their thoughts on Schuyler Central High School’s designation as the state’s newest Priority School under AQuESTT.

Assistive Technology Contracts

The board granted the Commissioner authority to approve contracts with several ESUs to provide assistive technology services to students. The contracts are funded with federal funds through the Special Education and Vocational Rehabilitation offices and will provide professional development, training, and awareness involving assistive technology services in Nebraska.


School Improvement Grants

The board also authorized the Commissioner to approve School Improvement Grant (SIG) Supplemental Funds awards. NDE was notified of additional SIG funds from the U.S. Department of Education and held a competitive grant application. The additional $110,000 will be awarded to Lincoln High School for Success Coaching and to Umo n Ho n Nation Elementary for a guided reading program and professional development.


Workforce Investment Partners Data System

The board granted the Commissioner authority to enter into a contract with the Nebraska Department of Labor to accept a federal grant to create a collaborative Workforce Investment Partners data system. NDE will receive up to $400,000 from the Department of Labor to complete this project.