Commissioner’s Update on the Start of the School Year

Commissioner Blomstedt updated Nebraska State Board of Education members on the opening of schools.  He said there have been challenges and isolated outbreaks, but overall schools have been rising to the challenge of mitigating Covid-19. He also praised teachers for going above and beyond to keep their students and themselves safe. The commissioner also talked about how health protocols continue to evolve and improve as the year progresses to keep students and staff healthy and to keep schools open.

Equity Scorecard

The board granted the commissioner the authority to contract with a provider to develop an equity scorecard, support resources, and trainings for the Nebraska Department of Education (NDE), Educational Service Units, districts, and schools. This tool will offer Nebraska school districts a snapshot of the inequities and successes that exist in each district. Individual districts will be able to use this as a catalyst for equity-centered conversations about their data, and the policies and practices that contribute to outcomes they want to see. The NDE can use this tool to prioritize opportunities for exemplar case studies and areas in need of technical support.

Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Grants

Nebraska schools will receive more than $2.2 million in federal funds for fresh fruits and vegetables. Money will be awarded to 111 schools through the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Grant Award Program (FFVP). The FFVP is a nationwide program that began in 2008 and operates in elementary schools in every state.

FFVP Nebraska Locations

Homeless Assistance Grants

Every state educational agency must ensure that each child who is homeless has equal access to the same free, public education, including a public preschool education, as other children.  With the approval of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance grants the NDE will provide more than $360,500 to districts across the state to support and serve students who are homeless.

List of Schools Receiving McKinney-Vento Grants