State Board Report
Sign Language Across the State
Two Nebraska elementary students, Whitney Mertens and Reese Pedersen, presented to the board on what they have been learning about American Sign Language in school. The students would like ASL to be available as a class at more schools across the state.
Purple Star Schools Program
NDE staff provided updates to the Board on the first-year implementation of the Purple Star Schools Program. The Purple Star Schools Act was signed into law in 2021 and recognizes schools making a commitment to supporting the needs of military-involved students and their families.
Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Funds
Congress passed three separate stimulus packages to prepare for, prevent, and respond to the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic – The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act, and the American Rescue Plan. In total, Nebraska K-12 public education will receive an influx of nearly $854 million. As part of this allocation, the NDE may set aside 10% for statewide uses. The board received a high-level overview of Nebraska’s allocations, priorities, and investments to date, as well as detail the support being provided to schools as they navigate the one-time funds.
Accept the Resignation of Patricia Timm from the State Board of Education
Patricia Timm resigned from the State Board of Education after 17 years of service. Timm was first appointed to represent District 5 by Governor Mike Johanns in 2004. Since then she has worked tirelessly to serve her district and students across the state. Governor Pete Ricketts will appoint a new board member to represent District 5 for the remainder of the term which is up for election in November 2022.
ReadyRosie is a birth through third grade family resource tool that utilizes video modeling and mobile technology sent from teachers to parents to provide research-based and standards-aligned content that supports the growth and development of the child outside of the school setting.
The board authorized a contract with the Nebraska Children and Families Foundation to provide technical assistance and implementation services for ReadyRosie to school districts, Head Start/Early Head Start Grantees, and select community-based early childhood education and care programs statewide.
Youth Tobacco Initiatives
The Nebraska Department of Education will partner with the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) in their goal to educate youth on tobacco prevention efforts by supporting a fulltime position for the management and coordination of youth tobacco prevention programs and resources.
COVID-19 Statewide Messaging Campaign
The state needs a clear, strong, consistent message from healthcare officials and pediatricians on the safety and efficacy of vaccines and necessary safety protocols. The board authorized a partnership with Children’s Hospital and Medical Center to create messaging directly to parents, families, students, and other caregivers needed to ensure the continued safety and continuity of learning.
Project Aware Grants
The board approved a COVID Project AWARE-SEA Grant to address the high level of mental and behavioral health needs of school-aged children in Lexington Public Schools, Nebraska City Public Schools, and Valentine Community Schools.
The next regularly scheduled meeting of the State Board of Education will be held on
Friday, November 5, 2021 at 9:00 a.m.
A work session may be held on Thursday, November 4, 2021 if needed. Times will vary by month.
For detailed information about the work session or business meeting,