A Message From Dr. Bell  

February 06, 2018
ESU 10 staff members have hit the ground running with new and improved methods as we use the continually evolving SIMPL tool developed by Larianne Polk at ESU 7 in Columbus to guide our school visit process. We have become much more strategic in our approach after our latest AdvanceED External Review noted this as an improvement priority.  We are pleased with this comprehensive program evaluation system that measures effectiveness and guides ongoing adjustments to delivery. The increased use of data sources helps us to better evaluate programs, strategic planning, and organizational conditions. 

Ravenna Public Schools was the first one who participated with us this year. The conversations were rich and deep. If this is any indication, this tool will be a great asset for ESU 10 and will allow us to do an even better job of “partnering with our stakeholders to meet changing needs though professional expertise in providing services, learning opportunities and support.” We appreciate school district participation. We value the time shared with us and enjoy this congenial and dynamic working relationship. We have already had some schedule changes due to inclement weather and appreciate school district flexibility as we monitor and adjust to get all of the right parties involved in the process.    

The Nebraska Legislature is already on day 15 of the 60 day session as I write this article. April 18 is the final day of the session. This is just a reminder to get involved in the process. These people are not all professional educators and need your expertise when they tackle complex educational issues. You do make a difference.

 It has been interesting to watch the ebb and flow of ESU programs and services over the years. Many programs have come and gone. The one thing I will note today is the fact that our role has become more systemic and long range when it comes to working with school districts. I mention this because the statewide ESU group has decided to embark on a process to “redesign” our statewide system. We’ll see what evolves from this effort and I will report results later in the spring. If Senator Murante’s effort to eliminate the State Board of Education gains traction it might significantly alter the purpose and role of ESUs. See what I mean about staying vigilant when it comes to legislation!

It’s time for me to go do some MBWA leadership. This is one of my favorite aspects of the job. It’s great watching a quality staff work in an effective and efficient manner. Here’s my final thought for the month from the American writer and public speaker, Allan Johnson. He said, “This moment is a gift; that is why this moment is called the present; enjoy it!”