Coordinated School and District Support

The Office of Coordinated School and District Support (CSDS) was established in 2019 to provide coordination of school improvement and support efforts across the NDE and with various stakeholders, such as Educational Service Units (ESU) and community organizations, with the goal of ensuring meaningful support services and resources to schools at the right time and with the right intensity.

The CSDS is focused on delivering customized support to all schools, with a specific emphasis on supporting schools that have been identified to receive additional support, such as Needs Improvement, Priority, Comprehensive Support and Improvement, Targeted Support and Improvement, and Additional Targeted Support and Improvement.

While every school and district engages in continuous improvement activities, school identified to receive additional support may engage in school improvement activities. See the chart below to note the difference between continuous improvement and school improvement.

Shirley Vargas, Ed.L.D.
School Transformation Officer & Office Administrator
Derek Ippensen, Ed.D.
Assistant Administrator and Director of Accountability
Ryan Ricenbaw, Ed.D.
Director of Statewide Teacher and Principal Support
Julie Downing, Ed.D.
Educator Effectiveness Specialist
ESU #13 Professional Learning
Kelcy Sass
Excellence in Teaching Act Specialist
LaDonna Jones-Dunlap
Systems Involved Youth Specialist
Ariane Joens
Teach in Nebraska Today Specialist
Judy Thiem
Teacher Recruitment & Retention Act Specialist
Sherri Landis
Office Associate

Continuous Improvement

Any school or instructional-improvement process that unfolds progressively, that does not have a fixed or predetermined end point, and that is sustained over extended periods of time. The concept also encompasses the general belief that improvement is not something that starts and stops, but it’s something that requires an organizational or professional commitment to an ongoing process of learning, self-reflection, adaptation, and growth.

School Improvement

Dramatic and comprehensive intervention in low-performing schools. Involves turnaround leadership, culture shift, instructional transformation, and talent development.

Once we know the needs of each school, we are better able to identify the supports uniquely fitted to the school. CSDS coordinates both universal and targeted supports, from the NDE and its partners, based on the level of support needed by each school and district. CSDS is committed to providing targeted technical assistance to the identified lowest performing schools. The graphic below illustrates the levels of support based on school needs:

Nebraska School Accountability and Support System

School Improvement Core Beliefs

While NDE values accountability, we also value support to help low performing schools and districts make necessary improvements.

We believe:

  • …in the value of work already taking place in schools.
  • …all schools can improve.
  • …demography is not destiny.
  • …school improvement is fundamentally about equity.
Updated June 4, 2024 8:40am