Nebraska Public School Advantage News

Nebraska Public School Advantage News

By Tyler Dahlgren Jill Bates admits that this is an interesting way to end a memorable career at Educational Service Unit 8--one that spanned 37 years--occupying one of six squares on the screen of a virtual web conference in the middle of a historic pandemic. This setting has grown almost too familiar since mid-March, when COVID-19 forced school closures across the globe. Bates, ESU 8’s...Read More
By Tyler Dahlgren Adhering to the one-word action plan made famous by best-selling author Jon Gordon, Drew Harris’s selection last summer before his first year as ESU 9 Administrator ended up being not only remarkably fitting, but absolutely necessary. “My guiding word was opportunity , and I picked that at the start of the school year,” said Harris, who assumed his new role at the service unit...Read More
By Tyler Dahlgren This story, of how a service unit in Northeast Nebraska coordinated services for its 23 school districts in the face of a pandemic that threw a school year in an unprecedented flux, starts with an old mask analogy. And, no, not that kind of mask. The airplane oxygen mask analogy. You’ve heard it from attendants on every single regional flight you’ve ever boarded. “Put your...Read More
By Tyler Dahlgren Before joining a panel discussion centered around pandemic relief and held, like most everything these days, on Zoom, Geraldine Erickson, Patty Finney and Misty Wroblewski put together a bulleted list to help retrace their steps since early March. The list, which detailed the different types of support ESU 17 provided its five districts located in the northern central region of...Read More
By Tyler Dahlgren After 22 years of efforts in attracting, training and mobilizing distance learning teachers, BJ Peters woke up one morning in mid-March and, voilà!, there they were. “I spent two decades trying to recruit distance learning teachers, and I had a thousand of them dropped into my lap all at once,” Peters says in half-jest. Peters was hired on at ESU 13 in the late 1990s after the...Read More
By Tyler Dahlgren Nathan, like many nine-year-olds, isn’t one to spend his summers cooped up inside idling on neutral. He loves animals and playing under the sun. If given the chance, he’ll run, run, run until his legs give out. And then he’ll run some more. His personality is big, happy, and just plain fun. “He’s the kind of kid that just sparks a fire when you spend time with him,” said his mom...Read More
By Tyler Dahlgren To be proactive or reactive? With COVID-19 cases spiking and spreading further west from Nebraska’s main metropolitan areas and east from Colorado’s, the answer was a no-brainer for ESU 16’s administrative team. “We were getting squeezed in the middle as the virus progressed,” said ESU 16 Administrator Deb Paulman. “It became apparent that we needed to reach out to our districts...Read More
By Tyler Dahlgren At the end of each conversation Raymond Central superintendent Derrick Joel shared with his staff in the two weeks following his school district’s closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic lived an unwavering goal. “We had to find out what was going to work to support all of our families and all of our students,” said Joel, in his fourth year at RC. Through all of the collaboration...Read More
By Tyler Dahlgren This isn't exactly the type of May the Class of 2020 had in mind. The last leg of the journey through high school is supposed to be spent together. Memories are supposed to be made in bunches. Standing on the final peak of a course that was surely filled with its share of ups-and-downs. "The situation with the pandemic and school closures has really heightened the fact that our...Read More
By Tyler Dahlgren For all the places senior year has taken Sydney Erickson, from Capitol Hill to sunny southern California and Dallas, Texas, her high school days are winding down with a morning walk around a quiet lake in her hometown. While she misses the normalcy of school, her teachers and her friends and the building excitement around prom and graduation from Pierce High School, this walk is...Read More

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