A Message from Dr. Bell  

August 03, 2017
I find it hard to believe that we are already finalizing plans for the August 14, 2017 All Staff Meeting here at ESU 10. It’s always good to have the entire crew in the room for this annual event. Much is accomplished and celebrations are in order as we continue down the path of responding to improvement priorities provided to us through the AdvancED Accreditation process. Positive change is in the works that will make us even stronger and more focused as we “partner with stakeholders to meet changing needs through professional expertise in providing services, learning opportunities and support”.   

The powerful practices identified at ESU 10 were shared in June. We also received four opportunities for improvement that we have been addressing since they were identified.  These opportunities include:

•   Develop and implement an agency wide policy tasked to provide a staff evaluation process that results in improved professional practices. Actually, we have some final decisions to make with staff during our August meeting and then the proposed plan will be presented the ESU 10 Board of Directors for approval. After board approval it will be submitted to NDE for actuation.
•   Develop and implement a clearly defined and comprehensive program evaluation system that measures effectiveness and guides ongoing adjustments in delivery. We have been working with Larianne Polk from ESU 7 and are in a pilot project with a process titled SIMPL. The process will be initiated with school districts in September and increase ESU 10 accountability to stakeholders.
•   Develop, design, and implement a long-range, agency based strategic plan that includes, but is not limited to, strategic resource management and operational initiatives in support of the purpose and direction of the agency. This plan will take some time to finalize and implement.
•   Develop and implement an agency policy that provides for the collection, analysis and use of a range of data sources related to program evaluation, strategic planning, and organizational conditions. Staff is already working on this and will have a policy in place by the end of the year.

In an effort to increase my skill set, I attended the Association of Educational Service Agencies Summer Leadership Conference. The focus of this event was centered on Leading Strategic Partnerships. Great information was shared and I will be working on ideas received from all of those in attendance. Dr. Duncan Simester, Professor, MIT Sloan School of Management had information that was especially pertinent to the ESU 10 situation. I hope to use his information to create a strategic framework that would create and capture value with strategic partnerships.  

All of this sounds so important, but I have another job to complete. I still have free books in the warehouse titled, “Chief Standing Bear of the Ponca” that need to be delivered to all fifth grade classrooms in the ESU 10 region. Many have already been delivered, but it’s time to gas up the ESU 10 van and make some house calls since some ESU 10 administrator eliminated delivery routes. Don’t be surprised to see me in a school near you!  

Here’s hoping you all had a great summer. Let anyone on staff at ESU 10 know what we can do to be of service. Our focus is on serving you!