The Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) recognizes the critical nature of partnerships in the work of supporting school districts in Nebraska.  Much of the capacity NDE needs to accomplish its work is provided by several external partners.  These partners rely upon the role NDE fills in accomplish their work as well.  For this reason, it is important to communicate, collaborate, and develop good working relationships between these partners.  The Project Management Office is responsible for much of the work around developing and maintaining the processes of the crucial partnerships.  It is anticipated that the work and role these partnerships play will continue to expand.  NDE will continue to identify other critical partners as time progress as well. 

Educational Service Units

  • Educational Service Unit Coordinating Council (ESUCC)
    • Two way monthly communication process between NDE and ESUCC
  • Educational Service Units (ESU) Professional Development Organization (PDO)
    • Participation in planning for quarterly meeting
    • Aligning content of PDO meetings with joint ESU and NDE work
  • ESU affiliates
    • NDE Attendance at affiliate meetings each month
      • Coordination of affiliate work and NDE work with districts

Data Cadre

  • Partner with ESUs to provide data support to Nebraska school districts
    • Perceptual surveys for district use
    • Data analysis for school improvement training
    • Prototypes for online data reports
    • Future online data literacy professional development
  • Link to data cadre resources on ESUCC site

Committee for Coordination of Systemic Improvement (CCSI)

  • Joint membership between NDE and ESU staff
  • Coordinates support offered to Needs Improvement Districts
  • Develop capacity to provide all districts with the same supports received by priority and needs improvement schools
  • Integrate previous work with Priority schools

Higher Education

  • Represented on the Data Cadre
  • Work with online data professional development modules


  • MOU for sharing of statewide MAP data for display on NDE data systems
  • File sharing of statewide MAP data
  • Report creation for MAP data housed in the Nebraska Education Profile

For more information about the NDE Partnerships contact Russ Masco at or phone 405-405-1748.







PMO Office Team

Project Management Office Team

Atwell Mukusha
Project Management Office Lead
Project Management Office
Direct: 402-471-4306


SuAnn Witt
State Erate Coordinator/IT Systems Support Spec
Project Management Office
Direct: 402.471.2085


Russ Masco
Business Partner Relationships and Systems of Support
Project Management Office
Direct: 402.405.1748


Lane Carr
Innovation Grant Manager
Project Management Office
Direct: 402.471.3138


Shawn Flege
Project Manager
Project Management Office
Direct: 402.471.2393


Swathi Mall
Project Manager
Project Management Office
Direct: 402.471.2784



The Department of Education Innovative Grant Fund and the Innovation Grant Program were created with the passage of Legislative Bill (LB) 519, effective August 30, 2015.  This competitive grant program provides funding opportunities to Local Education Agencies (LEAs) to support the development, expansion and investment in innovative best practices that improve:

  • Education outcomes for early childhood, elementary, middle school or high school students; 
  • Transitions between any successive stages of education; or
  • Transitions between education and the work force.

As provided in Nebraska Revised Statute (NRS) §79-1054, the State Board of Education establishes the Innovation Grant Program, with the Nebraska Department of Education administering the funds which consist of:

  • Transfers pursuant to NRS §9-812 (State Lottery Operation Trust Fund and Nebraska Education Improvement Fund);
  • Repayments of grant funds; and
  • Interest payments received in the course of administering the fund.

The State Board of Education awarded grants to projects deemed sufficiently innovative, with a high chance of success and statewide significance.  Grant recipients are required to generate evidence of the project’s effectiveness through a rigorous independent evaluation, culminating in the identification, validation, replication and potential “scale-up” of innovative best practices.  Funded projects must have the potential to be both replicable and scalable, with priority consideration given to those:

  • Serving “High Needs” students;
  • Serving students attending “Needs Improvement” schools;
  • Focusing on the tenets of Nebraska’s AQuESTT System; or
  • Leveraging technology to support instructional practice and professional development.

The program is fiscally structured on a Reimbursement Payment basis, with grantees reimbursed after making project-related expenditures.
Funded projects must be annually evaluated and report progress toward stated goals, measurable objectives and targeted outcomes.  Based on those reports, the State Board of Education will submit an Innovation Grant Program Annual Report to the Clerk of the Legislature by December 1st of each year.  Grantees must also submit a Summative Evaluation of Progress Report to the State Board and Legislature’s Education Committee by July 1, 2019.  

Project Management Office

PMO’s Mission:

The mission of the Project Management Office (PMO) is to provide project management best practices to NDE and its customers.  The mission is aligned to the NDE Strategic Plan Direction and Vision:

Goal 1.1: By 2018, NDE will be organized through personnel and processes to provide leadership in school support systems, regulations, interagency collaboration, data systems, fiscal responsibility, and evaluation that will enhance the success of educational systems in Nebraska.

PMO’s Vision:

It is PMO’s vision to create a culture where project management best practices and methodologies lead to successful project selection and outcomes throughout the NDE.

PMO’s Objectives:

  • Provide decision support information that underpins the project delivery mechanisms by ensuring that all business change in NDE is managed in a systematic way.       
  • Deliver successful project support to NDE and its customers by providing guidance in project management processes and methodologies in a manner that is efficient, consistent, and standardized.
  • Mentor and coach in an effort to raise the project management maturity level of the organization.
  • Build and maintain value added relationships with internal and external stakeholders.

PMO’s Services:

  • Governance: ensuring that decisions are taken by the right people, based on the right information. The governance role can also include audit or peer reviews, developing project and program structures and ensuring accountability.
  •  Transparency: providing information with a single source of the truth. Information should be relevant and accurate to support effective decision-making.
  • Reusability: stopping project teams from reinventing the wheel by being a central point for lessons learned, templates and best practice.
  • Delivery support: making it easy for project teams to do their jobs by reducing bureaucracy, providing training, mentoring and quality assurance.
  • Traceability: providing the function for managing documentation, project history and organizational knowledge.


For more information and/or assistance with NDE Project Management Office, Please Contact:

Atwell Mukusha, Project Management Office Lead
Nebraska Department of Education
Phone: 402-471-4306

Innovation Grant

Expanded Learning Opportunities Design Challenge -$893,565
Nebraska’s Expanded Learning Opportunity (ELO) Design Challenge is a partnership designed to provide a statewide coalition of districts, community partners and key education and community stakeholders with opportunities to design and test new models of ELO curriculum that support Nebraska Career Readiness Standards. 

Educational Service Unit Coordinating Council (ESUCC) – $1,640,839
The Data-driven Ecosystem Enhancing Teaching and Improving Learning for Students (DE2TAILS) project will enable the ESUCC to incorporate multiple online educational and data-collection systems into one statewide, secure, single sign-on portal. The goal is develop, implement, and sustain an integrated ecosystem to allow relevant teaching and learning applications and tools to integrate sharing data                             elements for the imporvement of student learning and reporting. 

Plattsmouth Community School District – $107,089
Plattsmouth High Schools  (PHS) will use the Wall-to-Wall Career and College Readiness project to refine its wall-to-wall academy program into a model for Nebraska’s schools. the PSH model is based on student interests, learning preference, and career goals and involves extenisive partnerships with community businesses and educational programs. 

Scottsbluff Public School District – $ 827,913
Scottsbluff Public Schools’ Wall-to-Wall Career Academy model will include six career academies, As students progress through middle school and their freshman and sophomore years, they will be provided with instruction and experiences that will help them determine areas that interest them. Then, as juniors and seniors, they will select and refine their focus in Foundational Academies. 

Westside Community Schools (WCS) – $896,993
The Personalized 21st Century Learning Initiative will use instruction tailored to meet each individual students’ needs, skills, knowledge, and learning interests, The project includes an overarching goal of promoting the academic performance of all WCS students through personalized learning opportunities with particular emphasis on those experiences which leverage technology. 






Welcome to Nebraska Department of Education’s E-Rate Page

2015 Form 471 Step-by-Step

The new online Form 471 has a new look and feel with elements that you will need to be prepared for.  Special thanks to Lorrie Germann, State E-rate Coordinator from Ohio, who created and shares with us this Step-by-Step PDF of the new form.  Click here to access the PDF.

Regional E-Rate Workshops  

Nebraska Department of Education along with the Nebraska Office of the CIO and Educational Service Unit partners held regional workshops December 1 through 8, 2014 covering recent changes in the E-Rate program and preparing participants for the Funding Year 2015 application process.

Click here for a PDF of the PowerPoint slides used during the workshop.
Click here to select and view sections of the workshop recorded December 2, 2014.

For more information contact: SuAnn Witt • 402-471-2085 •

E-Rate Modernization Order Summary
FCC Order Released July 23, 2014

Also see: FCC E-rare Modernization Order released July 23, 2014 (FCC 14-99)

Internet Safety Policies, CIPA, and Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act:

2012 Requirements of CIPA

FCC guidance to Schools and Libraries, implementation of the Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act:

Entity Compliance Guide

The following statement in the last paragraph of the compliance guide reads:

When schools certify their compliance with CIPA, by filing FCC Erate Forms 486 or 479, they will also be providing a certification that their Internet Safety Policies provide for the education of minors about appropriate online behavior. In order to make this certification, they will have needed to update their Internet Safety Policies with the plan they are using to provide education about appropriate online behavior.

Your policy may point to a plan that exists in your curriculum guide or other location.

The NDE Curriculum/Instruction Standards Instructional Tool provides resources that teachers may use as part of their lesson plans addressing the new requirements.  Curriculum guides and teacher lesson plans may point to Language Arts, any grade level, section LA (gr).4.1.c.

Curriculum/ Instructions, Standards Instructional Tool 

E-Rate Validation Report

The Erate Validation Report provides the Official Fall Membership and Free and Reduced lunch counts that are used to calculate the percentage of discount when applying for Erate funding. 

E-Rate Validation Report Instructions

For questions regarding E-Rate and/or the E-Rate process contact SuAnn Witt at 402.471.2085 or

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