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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


State Assessments 

  •     - Nebraska State Accountability Formerly known as NeSA will now change to an assessment yet to be named for the 2017-2018 School year.  
  • For the purpose of this posting, the former NeSA will be referred to as NWEA Summative. 
  • The State Tests have changed considerably this past year and reflect newly revised standards that are more reflective of College and Career Ready emphasis.  In addition, the ELA test included a TDA - Text Dependent Analysis which included having students read text, respond to a writing prompt based on what they read, and write to develop a comprehensive response while providing evidence to support the response.  This was extremely difficult for many of our students, particularly if they had any weaknesses understanding language or had challenges with reading comprehension.  We will continue to work on this as part of our general curriculum, however it has been determined that this will no longer be included in the state test, including the current year.  

NWEA Summative and ACT Assessments 2017-2018

2017-18 Testing Dates

NWEA Summative English Language Arts, Math, Science Window 

Grades 3-8, General - March 19 - April 27, 2018

Grades 3-8 & 11, Alternate- March 19 - April 27, 2018

  • In 2017-2018 Nebraska students will be assessed:
    • In grades 3-8 on NWEA Summative-English Language Arts-aligned to the College and Career Ready Standards for English Language Arts. 
    • In grades 3-8 on NWEA Summative-Mathematics, aligned to the College and Career Ready Standards for Mathematics
    • In grades 5 and 8 on NWEA Summative - the Nebraska Legacy Science Standards.
    • In grades 3-8 and 11-Alternate Assessment-aligned to:
      • •    NeSA-College and Career Ready English Language Arts (No TDA*)

•    NeSA-College and Career Ready Mathematics 

•    NeSA-Science (Legacy Standards) 

  • *No Text-Dependent Analysis will be included on the statewide summative assessment in spring 2018. 

ACT - 

All Nebraska City High School 11th Graders will take the ACT paper/pencil. 

                  April 3, 2018  Paper/Pencil

                  April 24, 2018 Make Up

                  April 3-17 Paper Accommodations (Tues., Wed., Thurs. only)


  • At grade 11 The ACT will be administered in the spring of 2017-2018.

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

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. 

NWEA-MAP - 2017-2018   We will still continue to administer NWEA-MAP in grades 1-10  fall, winter and spring.  

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.

  • Testing Explanations provided from Nebraska Department of Ed

       All 11th grade students will 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, this caused a significant drop in proficiency and included a Text Dept. Analysis which was difficult for students with specific needs.

       New ELA cut scores in 16-17

       Math is transitioning

       At the local level revised curriculum two years in a row

       ACT averages will now include All students, including a great percentage of students that previously didn't take the ACT 

      Accommodations were not allowed for students with ELL status and SPED accommodations were limited

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 not been selected this year. 

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: TestWiz, Reading Mastery and Go 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 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.

TestWiz, formerly C4L - Assessments relate directly to the state standards. Teachers in grades 3-11 have designated assessments to help determine student needs in mastery of the state standards and can access a test bank of items to replicated state standard testing. 

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. In the fall of the 2017-18 School Year, Mitzi Hoback from Solution Tree, a consultant for Dr. Marzano provided two days of inservice training to the entire staff on the New Art and Science of teaching.  

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.  Each teacher was provided the text, "The New Art and Science of Teaching" at the beginning of the 2017-18 school year, to transition into those components. 

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.


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.


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.

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.

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 Go Math 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 Go Math 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


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.

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.

                        Assessment, Curriculum, School Improvement Wiki