Questions, Comments, or Corrections? Let us know!

Nebraska Educator Certification System Requirements

No Obligation of the State

Download these requirements as a PDF

 

This Request for Information (RFI) is an informational request and in no way creates any obligation on the part of the Nebraska Department of Education.

Request for Information:  The Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) is requesting information regarding Educator Certification Systems (ECS).  The State is seeking information from vendors regarding proposed solutions and estimated costs. The Nebraska Department of Education will use the information from this RFI to inform the development of a Request for Proposal to be released in Mid-2018 to seek a vendor to provide an Educator Certification System.

Introduction

The Nebraska State Department of Education (NDE) is responsible for credentialing and licensing Nebraska’s educators as governed by statute and legislative rules.  As with many departmental processes and procedures, the NDE has sought to reduce paper and timelines in processing requests for certification.  To do so, NDE created an information system designed to assist Educator Certification Analysts in processing and managing credentials for the state.  This system, as almost all do, has undergone several iterations in technology, process, and automation to lessen the administrative and financial burdens of managing licensure for the state.

Purpose and Objectives

The NDE is seeking a new, user friendly, secure and robust educator licensure system.  The system will have the capacity to efficiently serve all customers (internal and external users), both existing and new.  Existing educators will be able to access their record online, update, and renew their licenses, including processing of payment.  New educators will be able to create an account online, submit their application and payment; the system will seamlessly transition the record from the new educator process to licensed educator process as appropriate.

Project Description

The NDE would expect to release a competitive solicitation (RFP) approximately Mid-2018.  Award and contract finalization would occur by Fall-2018 with project start date to occur by Fall-2018.

  • Budget is to be determined.
  • Type of system (COTS, custom developed, etc…) are to be determined.

The new system would replace the existing Nebraska Department of Education Educator Certification System.

Project Description Details

The following are pertinent data points for the proposed Educator Certification System.

Licenses processed in 2017:

Total Licenses Processed11,490
Initial1,872
Renewals/Upgrades/Adding Endorsements/ Duplicates4,379
Revoked1
Permits/Other5,238

This would be the maximum number of concurrent users on line at one time:
Total Educator Licensure System Users          250-300

 

Approximate number of records in the database:
Total number of base Educator Records         115,881

The NDE issues but not limited to the following types/classes: Administration, Teaching, Special Services, Professional Standard, Initial, Provisional, State Substitute, Temporary, Conditional Permit Transitional, Local Substitute, Provisional Commitment, Provisional Re-Entry, Dual Credit, Career Education, Permit, Provisional Permit, Postsecondary Teaching Permit, Career Ed Teaching Permit, Alternate Program Teaching Permit, Trades

Educator Certification System High Level Process Flow

General System Usability and Navigation

The Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) will consider all types of solutions (COTS, custom-developed, Cloud, etc.) but prefers solutions that have already been developed, tested, and deployed, and that is also configurable to meet the NDE’s unique requirements.

The NDE will consider a system that is hosted or on premise or a hybrid.

The system must be fully accessible to all users, including international users, via the Internet using a well-designed graphical web interface, and be browser independent.

Summarize how your system

  • Provides on-screen or in-system user help.
  • Validates data.
  • Provides web-based application with wizard for candidate to manage applications status and renewals end-to-end.
  • Provides batch or API integration with state payment processing vendor.
  • View status of applicant’s payment for credentialing and fingerprinting fees and gate application processing based on completed and accurate payment.
  • Capture and store applicant’s personal and contact information, including social security number and former names.
  • Possible integrations with state pension or NSSRS Advisor systems for one source of truth.
  • Utilize a new Nebraska Unique Person ID system number that follows individuals from birth to retirement.
  • Capture and store applicant’s Personal and Professional Fitness (PPF) self-reported survey responses.
  • Receive assessment record data electronically in a standardized, machine-readable format for surfacing in the application in a consistent manner.
  • API integration with state higher education systems linked by Unique Person ID.
  • Receive data electronically in a standardized, machine-readable format (either PDF or PESC higher education data standard) for use in the application in a consistent manner.
  • Queue and filter applications based on fee payment status, age of application, application status.
  • Allow applicant to download a PDF of their current certification(s) – built in real-time from the end user application interface.
  • Search and view Nebraska staff data, including years of experience.
  • Email checklist to applicant of outstanding items required to complete processing.
  • Capture email correspondence history with applicant.
  • Allow external users to search for certificates on file with the Division of Educator Certification.
  • Allow external users to search for application status.
  • Provide ability to batch or bulk update record status to inactive using analyst administrative functions.
  • Ability to batch process annual renewals.
  • Provide checklist workflow for matching supporting documentation to certificate and permit requirements.
  • Reporting supports compliance, quality, and research objectives using role-based access to meet a broad group of stakeholder requirements while protecting data privacy and access.

 Technology

The aging technology is a limiting factor for NDE’s overall upgrade strategy and schedule, and portions of the code base are outdated. NDE is committed to continuing with a computer-based system for the long term Nebraska is seeking information from interested vendors that demonstrates an understanding of specific issues that can occur with computer-based assessment and offers multiple, evidence-based solutions that include strong support for district staff.

System Security

The NDE requires system security that incorporates stringent security and various user roles.  Security must include the ability to define user roles and assign security levels by group and/or individual user. The NDE expects a licensure system to allow external users access to specified information, such as a public lookup.

Summarize how your system:

  • Handles security administration.
  • Allows public access to certain information about educators that must be available through the State website to all citizens.

Reporting and Analytics

Summarize your system’s query/search and reporting capabilities.

Summarize and provide examples of:

  • Any available standard reports.
  • The types of reports that are available and any filter criteria that exists for each report.
  • Ad-hoc reports the system is able to create.
  • Analytic functions for metric reporting.
  • Export formats, including but not limited to Microsoft Excel, CSV, XML and others.

Archiving Information

Summarize how your system:

  • Archives records including all necessary identifying codes and supporting records.
  • Recalls and uses archived data.

Training and support

Summarize the system training that is provided to new customers.

Data Conversion

The NDE expects that all records within our existing Educator Certification System will be securely transitioned into the new system without loss or skewing of records or the information contained within.

Summarize the data conversion process from an older, different system to your system.

 System Flexibility

The Certification application guidelines change periodically as rules, regulations or guidelines are changed by the Federal Department of Education and Nebraska Board of Public Education

Summarize how your system provides flexible configuration and the creation/alternation of business rules to allow for change in rules, regulations or guidelines and note whether or not vendor involvement is needed.

Important Notice:

This RFI does not constitute nor guarantee that the State will proceed with a formal solicitation for the requested services.  The State is not responsible for any cost associated with the preparation of any response to this request.

Response Information

Interested vendors are invited to submit a letter of interest that includes a response to the following priorities.  Provide succinct summary response to each item and identify any constraints or efficiencies for NDE consideration.

Response Deadline

Friday, April 13, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. Central Standard Time

All questions related to this RFI should be directed to nde.pmo@nebraska.gov.

Responses are to be sent as letters or electronic letters and must be received electronically at nde.pmo@nebraska.gov or by mail at

Attn:  Dr. Dean Folkers
Nebraska Department of Education
301 Centennial Mall Box 94987
Lincoln, NE 68509-4987

Please limit attachments to 25 MBs and use multiple emails if necessary.

Note: Please send an email to nde.pmo@nebraska.gov with no attachments, indicating you have submitted a response by mail.

Partnerships

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

NWEA

  • 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 russ.masco@nebraska.gov or phone 405-405-1748.

 

 

 

 

 

 

PMO Office Team

Project Management Office Team

Atwell Mukusha
Project Management Office Lead
Project Management Office
atwell.mukusha@nebraska.gov
Direct: 402-471-4306

 

SuAnn Witt
State Erate Coordinator/IT Systems Support Spec
Project Management Office
suann.witt@nebraska.gov
Direct: 402.471.2085

 

Russ Masco
Business Partner Relationships and Systems of Support
Project Management Office
russ.masco@nebraska.gov
Direct: 402.405.1748

 

Lane Carr
Innovation Grant Manager
Project Management Office
lane.carr@nebraska.gov
Direct: 402.471.3138

 

Shawn Flege
Project Manager
Project Management Office
shawn.flege@nebraska.gov
Direct: 402.471.2393

 

Swathi Mall
Project Manager
Project Management Office 
swathi.mall@nebraska.gov
Direct: 402.471.2784

 

About

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
nde.pmo@nebraska.gov
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. 

 

 

 

 

E-Rate

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 • suann.witt@nebraska.gov

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 suann.witt@nebraska.gov