The AQuESTT Process  

August 31, 2015
I attended Administrators’ Days on July 29, 2015 to learn more about the Nebraska Department of Education’s initiatives for the 2015-2016 school year.  As our staff at ESU 10 prepares for the upcoming year, it is essential that we are up to speed on NDE’s initiatives. I always learn something new when I attend this summer conference.

The Nebraska Department of Education  rolled out  a new statewide accountability process called “AQuESTT” during their April  Conference. On July 29, we learned more about the AQuESTT process and heard about new components in the system. The next few pages of this report include an outline of the AQuESTT Process which includes:  
Evidence-Based Analysis (EBA)
AQuESTT Classification Report (ACR)
AQuESTT School Profile (ASP)
Support for Priority Schools
Plans For Continuous Improvement.  
I encourage you to learn more about these components  by investigating the AQuESTT website @ www.aquestt.com

I attended a session on state and federal legislation. One of the most important details that I learned is that LB 519 appropriation of lottery funds includes dollars for competitive grants through the State Board of Education. These innovation grants could be helpful to our ESU to provide regional services to our schools. Once these grants are available, I am interested in having our staff work with school districts to apply.  

Overall, I learned more about the AQuESTT model and how NDE plans to handle statewide accountability.  These changes impact the school districts that ESU 10 serves. It is our job to help schools interpret what NDE is asking of them and then assist with the implementation changes in their school districts. This sounds simple on paper but in reality change in school districts is very difficult.  

NDE Administrators’ Days is also an excellent opportunity for our ESU 10 staff to mingle with administrators and create relationships. The Teaching and Learning Staff had conversations with many of our school district administrators and  assisted them in making professional learning plans for the school year. Our staff is well-equipped to assist school districts as they transition to the new AQuESTT model.

-by Denise O’Brien, Teaching & Learning Director

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