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Curriculum & Assessment


Nebraska City Public Schools is dedicated to a balanced Assessment system that is supported by a Curriculum that fosters growth for ALL learners.  The Board of Education has adopted the Nebraska State Standards and it is those standards that are
the foundation for "What we want students to know and be able to do!"  All students have the opportunity to learn, develop personal interests, participate in a variety of academic and extra-curricular activities, and to be successful.     We are proud to be in the business of providing a quality educational opportunity for ALL students and encourage stakeholders to continue to support our efforts of promoting a positive learning experience, in an effort of Giving our Best... Growing Success!

Teresa Frields
Educational Diagnostician 
Director of Assessment & Curriculum
School Improvement Chair
tfrields@nebcityps.org


ASSESSMENT

State Assessments 

  •    NeSA - Nebraska State Accountability:  

NeSA Assessment 2016-2017


  • In 2016-2017 Nebraska students will be assessed:
    • In grades 3-8 on NeSA-English Language Arts-aligned to the College and Career Ready Standards for English Language Arts. Standard setting for this assessment will occur in July of 2017.
    • In grades 3-8 on NeSA-Mathematics, aligned to the legacy mathematics standards and the Tables of Specifications that have been in use since 2010-2011.
    • In grades 3-8 on field-tested mathematics items, aligned to the Nebraska College and Career Ready Standards for Mathematics.
    • In grades 5 and 8 on the Nebraska Science Standards.
    • In grades 3-8 and 11-Alternate Assessment-aligned to:
      • Extended indicators of College and Career Ready Standards for English Language Arts. Standard setting for this assessment will occur in July of 2017.
      • Legacy extended indicators of Nebraska Mathematics Standards.
      • Field-testing of extended indicators of College and Career Ready Standards for Mathematics.
      • Extended indicators of Nebraska Standards of Science.

 

  • At grade 11 NeSA-English Language Arts, Math, and Science will not be administered in 2016-2017.

o   The passage of LB 930 establishes the administration of a standard college admission test at the high school level by 2017-2018.

o   Transitioning to an assessment that will measure the College and Career Ready Standards for English Language Arts, will field test the College and Career Ready Standards for Mathematics, and will do standard setting for NeSA-English Language Arts and then in the following year preparing students for a college entrance assessment creates excessive change in assessment for high school students over a two-year period.   

o   Nebraska Department of Education is currently writing a Request for Proposal for a college entrance exam for testing 11th grade in 2016-2017 and selected ACT.


  • NeSA-Writing at Grades 4, 8, and 11 will not be administered in 2016-2017


NeSA-Test Window for Grades 3-8


  • The NeSA testing window for 2016-2017 will be reduced by three weeks due to the elimination of the NeSA-Writing assessment at grades 4, 8, and 11. 
  • The NeSA-English Language Arts, Math, and Science window will take place March 20, 2017 to May 5, 2017
  • The seven-week window is being continued only because districts liked the flexibility of having six weeks to test and one week to complete all make-up tests. There will be no increased time for testing nor a NeSA test that will require three sessions.

Listed below are the NeSA tests and a link to the Nebraska Department of Education Website where they are defined.  

National Assessments

 These tests check to see how our students compare to other students nationally. 

These adaptive tests are used with 1-10th grade student's to identify reading, language, mathematics and science achievement and growth.  Teachers use the results to work with students on identification of strengths and weaknesses.

  • At grade 11 NeSA-English Language Arts, Math, and Science will not be administered in 2016-2017 due to the rationale offered below:

o   The passage of LB 930 establishes the administration of a standard college admission test at the high school level by 2017-2018.

o   Transitioning to an assessment that will measure the College and Career Ready Standards for English Language Arts, will field test the College and Career Ready Standards for Mathematics, and will do standard setting for NeSA-English Language Arts and then in the following year preparing students for a college entrance assessment creates excessive change in assessment for high school students over a two-year period.   

o   Nebraska Department of Education is currently writing a Request for Proposal for a college entrance exam for testing 11th grade in 2016-2017

       All 11th grade students will have the opportunity to take the ACT- free of charge and receive a college-reportable score*

       All students will receive preparation for ACT

       ACT has years of research based on actual student post-secondary performance behind the cut scores – NDE verified and wanted schools to know this.

       Required by statute for 17-18    The ACT is not optional, it’s required.

       New ELA test in 16-17

       New ELA cut scores in 16-17

       Math is also transitioning

       At the local level revised curriculum two years in a row

       88% of Nebraska’s high school students participated in ACT in 15-16

       Nebraska’s average composite score for 2016 graduates was 21.4

       National average 20.8


The National Assessment of Educational Progress.  (NAEP) is the largest nationally representative of student achievement across the country and sponsored by the U. S. Department of Ed.  Known as The Nation's Report Card, NAEP looks to see what America's students know and can do in various subject areas.Tablets with keyboards and some paper/pencil  assessments are conducted periodically in mathematicsreadingsciencewritingthe artscivicseconomicsgeographyU.S. history, and in Technology and Engineering Literacy​. Nebraska City Public Schools has been selected to administer the NAEP tests for the 2016-2017 school year in the areas of Mathematics and Reading. 
Assessment Date:  3/2/2017 - Grade 8 - Mathematics and Reading

Academic and Behavior Goal Information

District Wide Academic Goal
All students will increase Reading and Math skills across content areas. 

District Wide Behavior Goal
All students will Be Safe, Be Respectful and Be Responsible.


Action Plan Building Target Goals - Academic

All teachers will incorporate the School Improvement Action Plan Target Goals.

K-2 Implementation of Reading Mastery, All students will increase phonemic awareness, phonics, word analysis, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension.

3-5 Implementation of Reading Mastery, All students will increase phonemic awareness, phonics, word analysis, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension.

6-8 All students will increase reading comprehension, vocabulary, and language skills. Students who need additional emphasis on reading skills will complete Corrective Reading Interventions or Reading Mastery where appropriate.

9-12 All students will increase reading comprehension, vocabulary, and language skills. Students who need additional emphasis on reading skills will complete Corrective Reading Programs.


Action Plan Building Target Goals - Behavior

Individual Goals are determined at each building and will be implemented on the School Improvement Action Plans.


- Goals are to be based on researched based instructional strategies

- Goals need to be measurable

- Goals will be tracked and evaluated by building principals 

- Goals will give baseline data and measurable outcome data


Determination of Goals and Improvement Efforts

Data is reviewed in various capacities throughout the district.  Reviews include NWEA – MAP data, NeSA results, Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Sills (DIBELS) Data, ACT results, and local assessment data including: Check 4 Learning (C4L), Reading Mastery and SAXON MATH Assessments, and Classroom Summative Assessments. Following independent, building and district reviews, plans for responding to needs are discussed and K-12 intervention strategies are presented and implemented. At Risk students are identified at the building level for possible intervention strategies. “Response to Intervention”, (RtI) is implemented at both the Elementary and Middle School levels for progress monitoring and a systematic approach for intensive intervention work.

NWEA MAPS testing is done in grades 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 two to three times per year. With the implementation of MAPS as our Norm Referenced Test, more timely and pertinent data is provided to students and teachers. Teachers review this data following test administration, and make determinations about student goals, often involving the students in their own goal setting. 

RtI - Response to Intervention teams review reading data and DIBELS results, which are administered two to three times yearly and determine interventions based on the information.  Time is scheduled during the day to provide these interventions to students needing additional support.

C4L - Assessments related directly to the state standards. Teachers in grades 3-11 have designated assessments to help determine student needs in mastery of the state standards. 

Individual buildings review data and through WFSG's (Whole Faculty Study Groups) and make determinations for respective Action Plans. These plans are reviewed annually. Working with goals can be done through the WFGS process individually and in teams. Administration monitors progress of goals and helps with the collection of documentation and data. The District Assessment Team, led by the Director of Assessment continues review and provide analysis of the data as needed for the buildings use. Each building reviews data led by RtI teams, building level School Improvement Teams and Leadership teams. Monthly meetings of the District’s School Improvement Council also discuss and review data.

With reference to the academic goal, data encourages us to continue to target overall reading, specifically reading skills, however Math results have seen a decrease in recent years and has been added to the goal. Individual teacher goals will continue to be addressed through individual Building Action Plan Goals, with results reported to building administration. 

As a district, six teams have or are currently participating in the Marzano Academies. The teams comprised of the District's Administrative Team and representative teachers, have studied The Art and Science of Teaching as outlined and presented by Dr. Bob Marzano, Dr. Tammy Hefflebower, and Dr. Phil Warrick. In addition, staff members have participated in our local Marzano Series, where teaching strategies were presented by the ESU 4 staff developers, through a series of mini workshops. During the 2013-2014 and the 2014-2015 school years, Nebraska City Public Schools participated as a pilot school for the new NDE Teacher and Principal Performance Framework, using the Marzano Model for evaluation. Staff is currently implementing Marzano strategies to enhance and improve their instructional delivery and this work is supported by the ESU4 staff developers. 

Nebraska City Public is using the Marzano framework as our instructional model, and we have aligned the 41 elements to the Nebraska Educator Effectiveness standards. As a district, we listed the Effective practices:   Foundational Knowledge, Planning and Preparation, The Learning Environment, Instructional Strategies, Assessment, Professionalism and Vision/Collaboration. We provided the sequence of procedures, the Professional Learning Plan, a formal Evaluation Rubric, Pre-Observation Form, A document for the Individual Professional Development Plan and Record of Evaluation in a Document that contains the Improvement of Instruction Model Packet.  

The District Behavior goal is monitored at the building level and through PBiS (Positive Behavior Supports) … a systematic and individualized strategy for achieving important social and learning outcome while preventing problem behavior. The PBiS process helps us to achieve our Behavior Goals. Leadership teams use the PBiS model to provide consistency with regards to behavior intervention. The High School Model is somewhat different in that it has components specific to the High School determined needs. 

All goals and updates are documented in the School Improvement Profile. All data related to the school improvement Building Action Plan Goals, as they relate to the District Wide Goal, are provided to Central office by the end of the first week of May of each school year, for the purpose of district reporting and school improvement work. Building level teams will meet and report out to the district level team. Designated building level team members will serve on the District Steering Committee. All district programs and resources included for local, state and federal requirements are integrated. Educational opportunities fall under the umbrella, or in our case, a representative tree of Continuous and Integrated School Improvement.

Curriculum 

Nebraska State Standards and our own locally determined “Learner Wills”  reflect Nebraska City Public School Curriculum objectives.  Local curriculum is aligned and integrated with the Nebraska State Standards, which is Board of Education approved. Nebraska City Public Schools maintain that curriculum reviews and assessment is essential to the improvement of instruction process and aids teachers in determining student strengths and weaknesses. It is the district’s commitment to promote student achievement and maintain continued and integrated school improvement using data, while adhering to state and federal requirements. While state and federal requirements guide our process, it is our intent to make the process as meaningful and relevant to our students as possible.


Standards 

Nebraska State Standards are defined through the Department Of Education (NDE).   Several Nebraska City Public School Educators have served on the reviews, revisions and committees associated with the development of these state standards through NDE. Teachers teach and assess all the state standards.  It is the responsibility of everyone on staff to ensure that students have the opportunity to learn.   

Curriculum Advisory
Nebraska City Public Schools Curriculum Advisory Committee meets 4-6 times during the course of the school year.  The goal of this committee is to be informed about the "Big Picture" of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment in the Nebraska City Public Schools so that building discussions can be held about what is happening, where a particular process or strategy fits, and who is responsible for those events. This committee is made up of representative teachers, members of the Administrative team, Department Heads, Community members and parents.  


Nebraska Department Of Education - NDE

The Nebraska Department of Education  (NDE) is a constitutional agency approved by Nebraska voters. The Department operates under the authority of an elected board of education. Dr. Blomstedt was named Commissioner of Education by the State Board of Education.

AYP Information

Nebraska City Public Schools is committed to informing our parents and patrons of important issues affecting our schools. Like almost all schools in Nebraska, Nebraska City Public Schools did not meet AYP (100% mastery in meeting the standards for ALL groups of students, as required by the Federal Government in "No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB)."  Nebraska City Public Schools is however, fully committed to ALL students in reaching their goals and full potential. We are proud of our students and staff and the efforts they make to achieve. 


Nebraska City Public Schools are dedicated to providing all students with the educational foundation necessary to be successful in school and out.  To ensure your child’s success, we have set high standards that are reflected in what is taught in our classrooms.  The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) requires that adequate yearly progress (AYP) in Reading and Mathematics be measured annually for each school in Nebraska.  AYP is based primarily on the results of the Nebraska state assessments (NeSA) given to students in grades 3 through 8 and grade 11.  Schools must meet the state’s academic proficiency benchmarks, as well as other indicators such as test participation and attendance/dropout rate, to ensure AYP growth status.  Nebraska City Public Schools are identified as not meeting the 100% requirement and letters such as this one below have been sent out from each school.  

     


Dear Parents:


Nebraska City Public Schools are dedicated to providing all students with the educational foundation necessary to be successful in school and out. To ensure your child’s success, we have set high standards that are reflected in what is taught in our classrooms. The No Child Left Behind Act  (NCLB) requires that adequate yearly progress (AYP) in Reading and Mathematics be measured annually for each school in Nebraska. AYP is based primarily on the results of the Nebraska state assessments (NeSA) given to students in grades 3 through 8 and grade 11. Schools must meet the state’s academic

proficiency benchmarks, as well as other indicators such as test participation and attendance/dropout rate, to ensure AYP growth status. These benchmarks increase on an incremental basis every three years. Based on results, Nebraska City Middle School is in year four of not meeting the AYP requirements and year three of school improvement. Hayward and Northside are in year two.The schools are continually working diligently to meet the needs of all students and showing improvement. 


If a school doesn’t make AYP for two or more  consecutive years in the same content area (reading and mathematics) that school is identified as a school in need of improvement. In addition to measuring each school, NCLB also requires the Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) to annually review the progress of each school district. For the 2014-2015 school year, AYP State Goals required that 100% of all students at all levels would be proficient in both Reading and Math. Middle School, Hayward and Northside didn't meet the AYP goal. 


    2011-2012 NeSA State Accountability - Reading and Math Scores with State Comparisons

Nebraska City Public Schools 2014-15

Grade 3

Grade 4

Grade 5

Grade 6

Grade 7

Grade 8

Grade 11

Nebraska City Public Schools Reading

73%

71%

75%

68%

79%

79%

71%

State Average Reading

77%

77%

76%

75%

77%

73%

64%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nebraska City Public Schools Math

65%

62%

79%

67%

60%

63%

54%

State Average Math

72%

72%

75%

68%

68%

62%

56%

    2012-2013 NeSA State Accountability - Reading and Math Scores with State Comparisons

Nebraska City Public Schools 2014-15

Grade 3

Grade 4

Grade 5

Grade 6

Grade 7

Grade 8

Grade 11

Nebraska City Public Schools Reading

78%

71%

80%

67%

69%

78%

62%

State Average Reading

77%

79%

78%

77%

80%

78%

67%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nebraska City Public Schools Math

72%

65%

78%

67%

55%

44%

56%

State Average Math

74%

73%

75%

67%

70%

66%

58%

    2013-2014 NeSA State Accountability - Reading and Math Scores with State Comparisons

Nebraska City Public Schools 2014-15

Grade 3

Grade 4

Grade 5

Grade 6

Grade 7

Grade 8

Grade 11

Nebraska City Public Schools Reading

74%

74%

72%

73%

80%

69%

67%

State Average Reading

79%

78%

77%

79%

81%

78%

70%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nebraska City Public Schools Math

78%

78%

70%

66%

63%

52%

59%

State Average Math

76%

77%

76%

72%

72%

66%

61%

    2014-2015 NeSA State Accountability - Reading and Math Scores with State Comparisons

Nebraska City Public Schools 2014-15

Grade 3

Grade 4

Grade 5

Grade 6

Grade 7

Grade 8

Grade 11

Nebraska City Public Schools Reading

75%

78%

80%

79%

75%

79%

63%

State Average Reading

82%

81%

83%

81%

82%

79%

69%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nebraska City Public Schools Math

74%

79%

74%

68%

76%

54%

69%

State Average Math

78%

77%

76%

72%

73%

68%

61%



Public School Choice: The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act requires each school identified for Title I School Improvement to offer Public School Choice to all students who attend the identified school. Our students do not have another choice of schools within our district and as a result our students do not qualify for Public School Choice.


Information associated with the Title 1 Requirements are listed along with possible activities:
 
Committees have been or will be formed to develop an improvement plan that identifies areas of need because of this status.   The staff is putting programs/activities in place to help increase student achievement.  This will be a plan to help each subgroup measured attain growth towards the goal.  The plan includes strategies to promote increased parent involvement.
 
The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act requires each school identified for Title I School Improvement to offer Public School Choice to all students who attend the identified school. Our students do not have another choice of schools within our district and as a result our students do not qualify for Public School Choice.
 
Parents are an integral part of ensuring the academic success of their children. We welcome your involvement at our schools. There are many ways to participate including offering your input to the School Improvement Team, volunteering, and attending parent conferences with your child’s teacher(s). Other ways to support your child’s success are to assure that your child is prepared, attends school each day, and has completed their homework.
     
You are encouraged to contact your School Principal for further information to find out how you can become involved in school improvement        
         efforts. Helping children become academically proficient is everyone’s responsibility. The Nebraska City Public School District will continue to develop and implement its improvement plan to improve status. We look forward to working with parents and the community to help increase the academic achievement of our students. The Nebraska Department of Education website provides information and a letter from Nebraska’s Education Commissioner discussing the Federal requirement.

    

·           Math Specialists have been enlisted to provide additional guidance with Math skills and are working with directly with 
        individual Math teachers to make changes in instruction and delivery (6-12).

·           NWEA’s MAP testing data is being reviewed to determine individual student academic levels in Reading and Math. 
        This is a computerized adaptive assessment. 
 
·           Class periods for Math allow additional instruction time to cover and review material more adequately. The math curriculum 
        is being reviewed by the Math Department with supplemental math curriculum considerations being identified. Math Data is 
        being reviewed from the SAXON program during WFSG (Whole Faculty Study Groups) on a regular basis to identify student
        strengths and weaknesses (K-5).

·           DIBELS (Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills) testing and ongoing reviews of the data it provides helps identify
        students that need additional supports in the area of reading, this includes progress monitoring for those students not meeting
        benchmarks in grades K-5.

·           Reviews of Reading Mastery and SAXON data will be used to make decisions about students in reading and math. 
        Grade level teams will review the data as a collective group in order to discuss student needs.
 
·           Response to Intervention (RtI) is being implemented at the Middle School and both Elementary buildings.  
        RtI uses high quality instruction; and evidence-based interventions to help those children that are not making benchmark
        in Reading and Math.  Teams have been established and the training for this team is provided through the Educational Service Unit. 
 
·           Enlist specialists to work with the staff, along with ESU 4 Staff developers to provide additional assistance in Math.  
        In addition, Dr. Erica Lembke has worked with the Middle School staff on progress monitoring, in order to select 
        appropriate strategies for students in order to provide additional assistance when benchmarks aren’t being met. (6-12)

·           Additional support through researched-based strategies for all students, but specifically with populations in the most 
        need such as ELL and SPED are a focus.

·           Working with staff one on one with a new emphasis on specific skill sets is being done this school year.  
        This process includes observations, modeling, reviews of methods and implementation of new strategies through direct feedback.

·           Utilizing certified staff to work with students that are identified through the SAT process to provide additional support.

·           Professional Development using Marzano’s Researched Based “Classroom Instruction that Works” with additional support 
        from ESU 4 Staff Developers and the Marzano Academy will provide focus on specific instructional strategies. Teachers are
        required to implement strategies that are included in their evaluation process.

·           Hayward has implemented using XtraMath, a web program that teaches addition, subtraction, multiplication, and 
        division facts, which are critical to success in Math. During Friday assembly time, flashcards will be projected up in 
        front of the student body and friendly competition activities will be incorporated to support math fact retention.

·         Implementation of programs that encourage building relationships with students. PBiS  (Positive Behavior intervention and Supports) training
        for staff is being done so that teachers will use the model with fidelity and encourage students to increase the 

       desire to learn and do their best.

·           Review of weekly Reading Mastery and Math data will be used to make decisions about student placement and skill concerns
        in reading and math. Grade level teams will review the data as a collective group in order to discuss student needs during
        Whole Faculty Study Group times.

·       Implementation of programs that encourage building relationships with students.  Pioneer Family Time - (Building relationships and sense of community), Watch DOGS - (Dads of Great Students) are programs, that along with PBiS (Positive Behavior intervention and Supports) should encourage students to increase the desire to learn and do their best. An “Impact Room”, housed at Northside Elementary, provides additional support for students with specific behavior needs.  This program integrates the concepts of intervention moving towards transition back into a regular class setting, following behavior management techniques.


·       A review and realignment of the ELA and the Math standards are being done this fall to ensure that all standards are being addressed.


·       “Corrective” reading will be used at Hayward as an intervention with students during RtI time when achievement indicates a need and is supported by data.


·       Training and implementation of “Learning L2 together” to help raise student achievement is being added this year.  This will help align reading and math interventions to meet student needs. Provides additional support through researched-based strategies to all students, but specifically focus on those populations in the most need.


·       Utilizing certified staff to work with students that are identified through the SAT process to provide additional support.


·       Title 1 and specialty teachers are working with identified students for 10-15 during Language time to provide intensive support.



·       Implementation of programs that encourage building relationships with students. PBiS  (Positive Behavior intervention and Supports) training for staff is being done so that teachers will use the model with fidelity and encourage students to increase the desire to learn and do their best.




Technical Assistance:

• NWEA’s MAP testing data & State NeSA data is being reviewed and analyzed to determine individual student

academic performance in Reading and Math. Progress monitoring is being implemented this year.

• Professional Development using Marzano’s Researched Based “Classroom Instruction that Works” with additional

support from ESU 4 Staff Developers and the Marzano Academy provides focus on specific instructional

strategies. Teachers are required to implement strategies that are included in their evaluation process. An additional

team has been added for Middle School and is attending the Marzano Academy for this school year.

• Anita Archer – Explicit Instruction Training was provided to the staff during the opening two in-service days.

Instructional strategies learned through this training are being implemented, with support given by ESU 4 staff

developers, as they are scheduled to meet with teachers to help with goal setting and implementation.

• The building is piloting a 1:1 technology program using Chromebooks to enhance instruction, make better use of

online support materials in our programs of instruction and move to change the curriculum delivery model.


Corrective Action Plan:

• Implementing new curriculum and curriculum supports – Online curriculum, Chromebook support, new

research based strategies as presented by educational specialists providing in-service and training to staff.

• Restructuring the internal organization of the school – Additional time for Math, Progress monitoring and RtI.

• A committee has been assembled to develop an improvement plan that identifies areas of need because of this

status and staff is putting programs/activities in place to help increase student achievement. This plan addresses

each subgroup measured attain growth towards the goal. The plan includes strategies to promote increased parent

involvement.


Supplemental Educational Services:
Supplemental education services (TUTORING) are available for students that qualify for free/reduced lunch status.
The Middle School, Hayward and Northside offer Free onsite tutorial services. Please contact Building principals if you wish to take advantage of tutoring for your child. Teachers may also refer students and may contact you. In addition, the SES Providers
List of State approved providers is available at the Middle School or at the following link.
http://www.education.ne.gov/federalprograms/Title_1_Part_A_SIG.html

Publication of Actions:

Learn more about NCLB requirements and Title I by accessing the Nebraska Department of Education website at:

http://www.education.ne.gov/ http://www.education.ne.gov/documents/SOSR.html

Additional information about AYP can also be located on the website by building. Please check the website for final

AYP results as they become available based on the 2015-2016 data.




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