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The Chairman Senator Greg Adams speaks to the challenges ahead for K-12 education

Nebraska Council of School Administrators

February 2009

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2 Guiding Through the Maze BY SENATOR GREG ADAMS, District 24, Nebraska Legislature

3 National Standards: Let’s Get Serious BY DR. GERALD N. TIROZZI, Executive Director, National Association of Secondary School Principals

4 Is the High Deductible Health Plan with a Health Savings Account Right for You?

NCSA EXECUTIVE BOARD 2008-09 Chair . . . . . . . . . . . . .John Osgood Vice Chair . . . . . . . .Dr. Jon Habben NASA Representatives President . . . . . . . . . . . .Matt Fisher President-elect . . . . . .Bill Mowinkel Past President . . . . . .Dr. Jon Habben

BY SANDY ROSENBOOM, President, NASBO; Business Manager, Crete Pubilc Schools

NASBO Representatives President . . . . . . .Sandy Rosenboom President-elect . . . . . . . .Rick Feauto Past President . . . . . . . .Doug Lewis


EHA Hires Kurt Genrich as first Independent Plan Advocate


How Do You Know?

NAESP Representatives President . . . . . . . . . . . . .Mary Yilk President-elect . . . . . .Sarah Williams Past President . . . . . . .Mark Wragge

BY DR. MIKE LUCAS, Superintendent, Franklin Public Schools


NSASSP Announces 2008 Award Winners


NAESP Announces 2008 Nebraska Distinguished Principal of the Year


Create High Performance Learning Environment sand Get High Performance Results BY DAVE RAYMOND and DENNY VAN HORN, TRANE


Every Student, Every Day, a Success BY DR. STEVE JOEL, Superintendent, Grand Island Public Schools


NCSA Membership has Advantages Even as You Retire


Focus Turns to Legislation! BY DR. MIKE DULANEY, Executive Director and DR. DAN ERNST, Associate Executive Director

NASES Representatives President . . . . . . . .Ellen Stokebrand President-elect . . . . . . . .Jane Byers Past President . . . . . . . .John Street NSASSP Representatives President . . . . . . . . . . . .Ryan Ruhl President-elect . . . . . .Dr. Kent Mann Past President . . . . . . .John Osgood NARSA Representative President . . . . . . . . . . . .Kay Gordon NCSA STAFF Dr. Michael S. Dulaney Executive Director/Lobbyist Dr. Dan E. Ernst Associate Executive Director/Lobbyist Kelly Coash-Johnson Training and Development Director





NCSA Mission The mission of the Nebraska Council of School Administrators (NCSA) is to be an effective leader for quality education and to enhance the professionalism of its members. NCSA Today is a benefit of membership in the Nebraska Council of School Administrators, 455 South 11th Street, Suite A, Lincoln, NE 68508. Telephone 402.476.8055 or 800.793.6272. Fax 402.476.7740. Annual membership dues are $325 (active members) or $100 (associate members). NCSA Today is published quarterly. Send address changes to NCSA, Membership, 455 South 11th Street, Suite A, Lincoln, NE 68508. Copyright 2008 by NCSA. All rights reserved.

Cami Cumblidge Finance and Membership Coordinator Dr. Bill Kenagy NCSA Principal Liaison Angie Carman Executive Administrative Assistant Carol Young Administrative Assistant The opinions expressed in NCSA Today or by its authors do not necessarily reflect the positions of the Nebraska Council of School Administrators.





Guiding Through the Maze BY SENATOR GREG ADAMS, District #24, Nebraska Legislature


hirty-one years in a high school classroom, two years in the Legislature’s Education Committee helping to pass controversial learning community legislation, changes in our assessment methodology, and making significant changes in the state aid formula didn’t completely prepare me for the challenges of Sen. Adams being the Education Committee chair. Hence, I spent most of the interim period meeting with school officials from all across the state in an attempt to meet people, get to know localized educational issues, get a better understanding of the types of school districts we have in Nebraska, and to get a better understanding of the impact of the legislation that has been passed. Then, on January 7, I was designated the Education Committee chairman and though all of my preparation prior to assuming the position was necessary, I did not anticipate the immediate challenges that now face I believe that the the Education Committee and decisions … must be eventually our colleagues on the floor. debated and decided Just prior to the legislative seswithin a framework of sion beginning, the chair of the providing educational Appropriations Committee and I met with the Governor and budget opportunities for all office personnel to review the revNebraska students enue forecasts. The numbers weren’t good and we anticipate regardless of ability, that the February forecast may be socioeconomic status, worse. The new challenge for the Education Committee is to develop or school size. a plan to amend the state aid for2



mula to find savings in an attempt to help with the budget. The last thing I wanted to do as the new committee chair was to reduce aid going to schools. There are several key principles that must guide this difficult process. First, minimize as much as possible the impact on schools. Second, any reductions need to be made in a reasonable fashion within the basic structure of LB 988 (the current formula) and in a way that upholds the concept of equalization. Third, if changes are necessary it is the Education Committee’s responsibility to make changes, no one else. The proposed actions in LB 545 (2009) are a response to an ugly revenue picture but also an attempt on the part of the Education Committee to have control of what happens to aid to schools. Revenue challenges will probably frame this session and most of the actions we take. However, there are a number of other educational issues that need to be discussed, some of which are in front of the committee now in the form of proposed bills. Community colleges are critical to workforce development and they are an incontinued on page 16


National Standards: Let’s Get Serious BY DR. GERALD N. TIROZZI, Executive Director, National Association of Secondary School Principals This editorial is excerpted from NASSP’s NewsLeader, November 2007.



resident Barack Obama will be filling top Cabinet positions in the coming months. Of particular interest and significance to educators is the appointment of Arne Duncan as the new U.S. Secretary of Education. As the new Secretary takes office, and No Child Left Behind (NCLB) will be high on the priority list, I strongly encourage Secretary Duncan to consider a major overhaul of NCLB including consideration of national standards. In 2014, all 50 states will steer their vessels to Lake Wobegon to celebrate their students’ universal proficiency in reading and math. The absurdity of universal proficiency aside (stay tuned for my December column), the celebration will be tempered by a simple and unavoidable reality: Each state has its own definition of proficiency based on its own set of standards—and those definitions vary widely. As Robert Linn, a noted education researcher and psychometrician, notes, “The variability in the stringency of state standards defining proficient performance is so great that the concept of proficient achievement lacks meaning.” Linn is not alone in his assessment. A recent Fordham Institute report, The Proficiency Illusion, is sobering and alarming in its conclusions that proficiency varies widely from state to state and provides vivid examples of how students achieving proficiency in some states would have missed the cut-off by a mile in others. The report

Sadly, some states have set their bars exceedingly low and have given their “proficient” students a false sense of achievement.Allowing states to hide behind low standards revisits what former U.S. Secretary of Education Richard Riley termed the “tyranny of low expectations” for student achievement. If Congress truly wants to drive an education agenda for higher academic standards, be competitive in a rapidly growing global economy, and address the inequality that exists for low-income and minority students, it must not be content with a “tinkering” reauthorizing of NCLB.

also notes that two-thirds of children in U.S. schools attend classes in states with mediocre (or worse) expectations for what their children should learn. The significant disparities among states leap from the page when state proficiency test scores are compared with National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) scores—currently the only national barometer available. According to Richard Rothstein and his colleagues at the Economic Policy Institute: Eighth grade mathematics students in Montana, who achieve far above their state’s proficiency standard, can walk across the border to Wyoming and, with the same math ability, fall far below proficiency in that state. In Missouri, 10 percent fewer students are deemed proficient on the state eighth grade math test than on NAEP, while in Tennessee, 66 percent more students are deemed proficient on the state test than on NAEP. Sadly, some states have set their bars exceedingly low and have given their “proficient” students a false sense of achievement. Allowing states to hide behind low standards revisits what former U.S. Secretary of Education Richard Riley termed the “tyranny of low expectations” for student achievement. If Congress truly wants to drive an education agenda for higher academic standards, be competitive in a rapidly growing global economy, and address the inequality that exists for low-income and minority students, it must not be content with a “tinkering” reauthorizing of NCLB. Rather, Congress should shift the law at its foundation to institute national standards and a national test in reading and math. I fully appreciate the myriad and complex issues related to national standards and testing—and I expect that such a movement would be unpalatable to policymakers (both Democrats and Republicans). But if Congress persists in its quest to have a significant federal role in public education, it must comprehend the major shortcomings of a national accountability system that allows for 50 different definitions of success. What of state control of schools? National standards and national testing are not intended to interfere with the conduct of schools—a function appropriately reserved for the states—but rather to articulate the nation’s expectations for its stucontinued on page 16 FEBRUARY 2009




Is the High Deductible Health Plan with a Health Savings Account Right for You? BY SANDY ROSENBOOM, President, NASBO, Business Manager, Crete Public Schools



or three years now the Educator’s Health Alliance has offered its members an alternative to the standard deductible health plan. Any district that chooses may offer its employees a high deductible health plan (HDHP) option in addition to the standard deductible plan option. An HDHP makes the employee eligible for a health savings account (HSA). The federal government introduced these plans to provide an attractive tax-free savings vehicle, the HSA, coupled with a specific medical plan design, the HDHP. With rising medical premiums, the goal was to offer a more affordable healthcare plan while at the same time introducing the concept of “consumer-driven healthcare.” What are the plan benefits of EHA’s HDHP plan? The EHA’s HDHP has a $1,250 single/$2,500 family deductible. Only comparing the deductibles and premiums will not give an accurate analysis of the HDHP plans.

The best benefit of the HDHP plan is that it has a routine care benefit of $500 per person that is paid at 100 percent. Routine care under the standard plan is subject to a co-pay and the deductible. Office visits or prescriptions in the HDHP have no co-pay, but the employee pays the full cost until the deductible is met. Under the standard plan office visits and prescriptions have co-pays equaling 25-50 percent of the cost. This co-pay does not count toward the deductible, so it effectively increases the employee’s cost above the amount of that deductible. Since the high deductible plan costs less, the District will save on the premiums and will either charge the employee less or deposit the difference in premiums into the employee’s health savings account (HSA). The employee may elect to contribute additional money, tax-free, to the HSA up the continued on page 5

EHA Hires Kurt Genrich as First Independent Plan Advocate




ffective February 1, 2009, the Educational Health Alliance (EHA) will begin a new effort to connect with those participants, administration, and board members who are interested in being more informed regarding the health insurance plan utilized by a majority of the educational profession in this state. EHA’s new effort centers around the hiring of an EHA Plan Advocate position. The EHA Plan Advocate position works on behalf of the EHA. The EHA Plan Advocate is not employed by Blue


Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska or representing any other interest other than EHA in this state. The EHA Plan Advocate position has been filled, and Kurt Genrich is now in place to visit with, and hear from, EHA participants, administrators and school board members regarding their questions about the health care benefits offered by EHA. In addition to this effort, EHA continues to publish a newsletter, which updates members interested in learning more about their health insurance plan. I

HEA LTH CARE maximum allowed. The money in the HSA rolls over from year to year, and the balance goes with you to another job or into retirement. For what can I use the money in the HSA? The money in the HSA can be used to pay the deductible, dental, vision, other out-of-pocket expenses, and for some over-the-counter medications. After retirement, money remaining in the account can be used to pay out-of-pocket medical costs, premiums for COBRA, qualified long term care insurance, Medicare Parts A and B, Medicare HMO, or your share of retiree medical coverage offered by a former employer. Funds cannot be used tax-free to purchase Medigap or Medicare supplemental policies. The money is taxfree going into the HSA and tax-free coming out when used for the above medical costs. An HSA is an excellent way to save for future medical expenses and pay for current expenses with tremendous tax advantages. In addition, some HSA account providers offer investment opportunities for the money saved that are unavailable through other reimbursement plans. Why would I elect the HDHP/HSA plan? There are three conditions that would make you a good candidate for the HDHP/HSA plan: • You want to begin to establish a savings account that grows tax-free and allows tax-free withdrawals for expenses that may occur in the future. The HSA has the advantage over the flexible spending accounts (FSA) of carrying forward to future years if the money is not all used in the current year. • You are in good health and want more control of how your premiums are spent OR your family has many office visits and prescriptions for which you currently pay co-pays that add up to be more than the difference in the deductibles on the two plans. • You have the financial means to accept some added risk knowing that you will have some District dollars to help offset the additional risk. What must the District do to offer the HDHP/HSA option? The District must first understand the plan rules and possible benefits to its employees. With many of the rules dictated by the IRS, the plan rules are somewhat different from the standard plans. Educational meetings must be held to explain the plan design. BCBS is willing to assist with these informational meetings. Having copies or resource information available will allow employees to analyze the plans in relation to their particular cir-

cumstances. The human resources staff must also be willing to answer individual employee’s questions about either the HDHP or the HSA part of the plan. The District must also make the commitment to deposit the difference in the cost of the two plans into the employee’s health savings account. Benefits to staff need to be equal regardless of the plan they elect. Employees who are willing to investigate the plan and find it advantageous for them will appreciate the availability of a second option for their health insurance benefits. At Crete Public Schools the HDHP plan has been offered as an alternative for two years. Most employees who elect the plan have stayed with it and like the benefit structure. Currently 33% of employees with health insurance have selected the HDHP plan. Here are some websites that have information about the HDHP/HSA plans: This list of questions and answers is very complete, especially as related to the HSAs. This Department of Treasury website gives the latest contribution limits and general rules about the plans. Specific plan design is found on the EHA website. I FEBRUARY 2009




How Do You Know? BY MIKE LUCAS, Superintendent, Franklin Public Schools


ow do school administrators know what kind of success they are having at any point during a school year or their career? Everyone has a different definition of “success.” For some, it is a board meeting with no visitors, or passing a levy override, or getting a five percent raise, or having their student enrollment increase. As a former third grade teacher and high school football and basketball coach, I must admit I miss the immediate feedback I got from my students’ scores on local, state, and national assessments or from the scoreboard on Friday night to see if our new defense worked in shutting down our opponent. In the classroom and on the field and court of competition it seemed I had weekly, if not more frequent, feedback that all of my hard work was paying off or that it was still not enough. It is much more difficult to have such meaningful and consistent feedback in educational administration. However, it is not impossible. Some of the things we do here in Franklin that are successful are: • Establish, communicate, and display individual leadership goals each year so all staff, students, and community members know what we are trying to accomplish as educational leaders. All of our stakeholders will then have the opportunity to grade us on our performance as educational administrators. • Give out student, staff, and community surveys in an anonymous format to get feedback on our school as a whole but also on our administrators. Perception scores from this year can be compared to last year or five years ago. You can look for themes that develop as strengths or things to game plan for and improve. Are your communication skills perceived to be better now than they were in 2005-06? What strategies are part of your communication game plan?

The measurable goals allow us to see what the score is…to know if we did or did not reach that we were shooting for… to go back to the drawing board or to increase that goal for next time.




• Establish, communicate, and display “measurable goals” each year for the entire school district to strive towards. We don’t like goals that say “we will improve reading scores.” We work with goals that say “80% or more of our students will read at or above grade level based on CBM and ITBS scores” or “90% or more of our 7th-12th graders will be involved in at least one extra-curricular activity.” • Our board has set some measurable goals as well as we have definite benchmarks that we shoot for financially, academically, politically, etc. Do we have more money in depreciation now than we did in September 2003? What is our allocation of funds plan? Have we increased the number of college credit courses for our students? The measurable goals allow us to see what the score is…to know if we did or did not reach what we were shooting for…to go back to the drawing board or to increase that goal for next time. The surveys force us to have a thick skin. There is a “fear factor” involved when you give people an anonymous forum to ‘grade’ you and your school. However, we feel it is important to know what the perceptions are out there about our performance and school system overall. People are going to talk about school, its leaders, and so on. We might as well know what some of those thoughts are. The surveys help us identify themes and to verify our own thoughts and keep a pulse on our students, staff, and community. School leaders need to have a hand in defining “success” for their building and district. If you begin the school year without a set plan of what you want to accomplish, and what you will accept as evidence that it is getting accomplished, you will never know where you are at or where you are headed. More importantly, those that look to you for leadership will never know where you are at or where you are headed. I


Nebraska State Association of Secondary School Principals Announces 2008 Award Winners







he Nebraska State Association of Secondary School Principals is proud to recognize Stephen Morton, Principal at Norfolk High School, as the Distinguished Service Award winner for 2008. Ryan Ricenbaw, Principal at Waverly High School, has been selected as the Outstanding New Principal, and Josh Cumpston, Assistant Principal at Hastings High School, is the NSASSP Assistant Principal of the Year. In addition, previously announced award winners, Dr. Michael Wortman, Principal at Lincoln High School, the High School Distinguished Principal of the Year, and Doug Kluth, Principal at Columbus Middle School, the Middle School Distinguished Principal of the Year, were recognized. All received their awards at the Nebraska State Association of Secondary School Principals state conference in Kearney in early December. Stephen Morton has been selected as the Nebraska State Association of Secondary School Principals recipient of the Distinguished Service Award. Steve received his education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Bachelor’s and Master’s) and Wayne State College (Educational Specialist). Mr. Morton has served his entire educational professional career at Norfolk High School. He has been the Principal at Norfolk High School since 1996. Prior to that, Steve was the Assistant Principal (1992-96) and he was also a classroom instructor at Norfolk prior to his appointment as the Assistant Principal. Steve is active in many professional organizations and community leadership positions such as the National Association of Secondary School Principals, the Nebraska Council of School Administrators, and the Nebraska State Association of Secondary School Principals. Mr. Morton has held several offices in these positions, including State President and Executive Board member of the NSASSP, Vice Chair of the NCSA, and NSASSP Region III President for two terms. Steve also represented Nebraska and the region on the National Task Force on the Individual Disability Education Act with the National Association of Secondary School Principals. In the Norfolk community, Mr. Morton has served as a member of the Faith Regional Hospital’s Citizen Advisory Board and its Physician Recruitment Committee, the Norfolk YMCA

Board of Directors, is a Leadership Norfolk graduate and he also serves on the Stewardship Committee for Christ the Servant Lutheran Church. Mr. Morton’s other honors include being selected as the NSASSP Region III Principal of the Year in 2003. He has also presented at several state conferences, and has represented Nebraska at the National Leadership Conference and at the First National Summit on Education by the Learning First Alliance, both in Washington, D.C. Dr. Randy Nelson, former Superintendent of the Norfolk Public Schools, states: “As one of the most experienced and talented secondary principals in the state, Steve prides himself on being a role model and mentor to other aspiring administrators. Steve Morton is a proven leader who has demonstrated his abilities and skills as an educational administrator. Likewise, Mr. Morton is a man of integrity and high morale values. He genuinely cares about the people he works with – particularly the students.” Chris Mueller, a member of the Norfolk faculty, says: “Stephen continually communicates his vision for Norfolk Senior High School to staff members and the community. He has worked hard to improve our school and guide us into the 21st century. He is an approachable person who makes himself available to anyone who has a comment, question or concern.” Caroline Alexander-Garder, former Norfolk student and parent of children who attend NHS states: “As a parent, I entrust my children to the quality education that I knew they would receive by attending Norfolk Senior High. My children are being educated in a high achieving environment that promotes problem solving techniques necessary today. Mr. Morton encourages students to pursue the arts, sports and other interests they have, as well as academics. When I look back on my educational experience, Mr. Morton is top on my list of role models, even after 27 years. He continues to teach me about the importance of children having a positive educational experience that promotes service learning in a safe environment that encourages all to be successful.” Ryan Ricenbaw was selected as the NSASSP Outstanding New Principal for 2008. He has been the Principal at Waverly since 2007. During his tenure at Waverly, Ryan has led his staff through professional development continued on page 8 FEBRUARY 2009



NSAS SP AWARDS based on the Professional Learning Communities model and serves as the district curriculum area coordinator for Social Studies, Foreign Language and Vocal Education. In addition, Mr. Ricenbaw created a Building Leadership Team and collaborated with them for the efficient operations of all aspects of Waverly High School. Dr. Phil Warrick, former Waverly Superintendent, praised Mr. Ricenbaw, noting, “In my opinion, Mr. Ricenbaw has embraced his role of principal and instructional leader as well as anyone I have ever worked with. His enthusiasm for constant improvement has been contagious within our entire administrative team and within our school district.” Daniel M. Jensen, Waverly History teacher, states, “Ryan not only makes meaningful connections with others, but he also helps others develop and improve on their strengths. Ryan believes every person can be successful, and by learning about others and their interests, he also finds their strengths.” Parent Tami Lambie writes, “We have had the privilege of seeing many fine principals in our schools. Mr. Ricenbaw has been the best person and by far the best new principal we have had the pleasure of working with. He is very professional and seeks out the opinion of parents when there is something he is looking to implement. He

is seen throughout the school with a smile on his face and honest, valid concern for the students.” Zachary Kassebaum, Assistant Principal at Waverly High School notes, “Mr. Ricenbaw empowers his staff to continually challenge themselves to improve student learning within each classroom, while providing the necessary support and guidance to move forward as an entire school. Ryan is committed to excellence.” Mr. Ricenbaw is a 1998 graduate of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln (Bachelors) and Doane College (Masters in Educational Leadership). Ryan served as the Assistant Principal for two years at Waverly High School prior to accepting the Principal’s position. He previously taught Social Sciences at Waverly Middle School and at Aurora High School. He assumed the duties as Principal in the fall of 2007. Mr. Ricenbaw is a member of the Nebraska State Association of Secondary School Principals, the Nebraska Council of School Administrators, and the National Association of Secondary School Principals. Ryan serves on the Administrator Planning Days committee and is an active member of Region I of the NSASSP. He is also a member of the Community Prevention Coalition of District #145 and is a member of the Waverly Kiwanis.

The Nebraska State Association of Secondary School Principals is proud to recognize Stephen Morton, Ryan Ricenbaw, and Josh Cumpston. In addition, previously announced award winners, Dr. Michael Wortman and Doug Kluth, were recognized. All received their awards at the Nebraska State Association of Secondary School Principals state conference in Kearney in early December. 8



Josh Cumpston has been recognized by the Nebraska State Secondary School Principals as the 2008 Assistant Principal of the Year. Mr. Cumpston has served as Assistant Principal at Hastings High School since 2004. He has also served as the 7-12 Principal at Blue Hill Public Schools and taught at Hastings

Middle School prior to his tenure at Blue Hill. Mr. Cumpston is a member of the Nebraska State Association of Secondary School Principals, the Nebraska Council of School Administrators, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, and the Region IV Principals Association, where he has been named as the Region IV Assistant Principal of the Year. Locally, Mr. Cumpston has served on the Crossroads Rescue Mission as a Board member, is a Leadership Hastings graduate, has served as a youth coach in several sports and has served as a Board member for the Hastings Force Wrestling Club. Mr. Jay Opperman, Hastings Senior High Principal states, “When dealing with students who are having struggles with attendance or behavior, Mr. Cumpston assists students in a manner that is focused on problem solving and developing the skills to be more successful at school and as a person.” Tracy Douglas, Hastings High School Assistant Principal writes, “Josh has been instrumental in developing and guiding policies to help improve our school. His driving commitment for excellence has produced many positive changes at Hastings High School. He is always looking at ways we can become more successful.” Hastings Social Studies teacher, Peter Theoharis, noted, “Mr. Cumpston has proven to be one of the most professional and well-versed administrators I have worked with.” Yadira Hernadez, current Hastings High senior student states, “There have been many times, in fact too many to count, that I have seen Mr. Cumpston interacting with different students about their classes and how to improve. He is not the type of person to do his job because that’s what he gets paid for. His passion is helping students improve and achieve their goals.” NCSA has also been notified that Josh Cumpston has been named as a National Assistant Principal of the Year Nominee. I


Nebraska Association of Elementary School Principals Announces 2009 Nebraska Distinguished Principal of the Year


usan Anglemyer, Principal of Wilma Upchurch Elementary School in Millard, has been selected by the Nebraska Association of Elementary School Principals as the National Distinguished Principal from Nebraska for 2009. This honor comes after years of outstanding service to the children of the Millard Public Schools, the community of Millard, and across the Anglemyer state of Nebraska. Mrs. Anglemyer has been an active education leader throughout her distinguished career at Millard Public Schools. Susan is described as someone who exemplifies the qualities of an excellent leader and role model for her students. She is a Dr. Keith Lutz and Dr. Dan Ernst with NAESP National Distinguished Principal from Nebraska, Susan Anglemyer. dedicated professional, self-starter, self-motivator and an advocate for served as Region II President (2003-04) and as a State children and learning. Most importantly she is someone President of the Nebraska Association of Elementary who goes above and beyond to ensure that all students School Principals (2005-06). Her contributions to the will reach and perform to the best of their abilities. It is children of this state have come through her active insaid that Susan’s passion for her students is demonvolvement in the following professional organizations: strated through the way she adNational Association of Elementary School Principals vocates for EACH individual, (NAESP), Association of Supervision and Curriculum DeSusan’s passion for her regardless of the circumstance, velopment, and the Nebraska Council of School Adminisstudents is demonstrated and gives freely of her time and trators (NCSA). She is actively involved in the community talents, regardless of the day or at large through the church community, various Booster through the way she time. Clubs and the Kiwanis. advocates for EACH During her tenure in Millard Mrs. Anglemyer was recognized on February 9th durshe has been actively involved at ing a presentation ceremony at Wilma Upchurch Eleindividual, regardless of the district level, lending her mentary School in Millard. She will also represent the circumstance, and input and expertise on several Nebraska Principals in Washington, D.C. in the fall of gives freely of her time district-wide committees so all in 2009. the district can benefit. She was Other regional winners of this award include; Beata and talents, regardless of previously chosen to open MilBudloff, Creighton Community Schools; Teresa Schnoor, the day or time. lard’s newest elementary school Central Elementary School-Kearney; and Brent Jeffers, and has successfully completed North/South Elementary Schools-Sidney. These individuone full semester at the new site this school year. als will be honored at the NAESP State Convention on Susan has held leadership positions on the local and February 25-26 at the Cornhusker Hotel. I state levels within her professional organizations, having FEBRUARY 2009




Create High Performance Learning Environments and Get High Performance Results BY DAVE RAYMOND and DENNY VAN HORN, TRANE


he primary goal of every Nebraska K-12 educator is that of helping each student reach their highest potential. In essence, educators are creating high performance learners. Critical to this effort is the physical environment of the classroom. Certainly, quality instruction is the key determinant in creating high performance learning environments. However, often the impact of the physical environment on teaching and learning is ignored. According to a 1999 study conducted by the U.S. Department of Education, approximately 40 percent of public schools report less than satisfactory environmental conditions. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that 53 million children and 6 million adults, one in five Americans, spend a portion of each day in a school building. The EPA goes on to state that a significant number of students and teachers suffer with the distractions presented by noise, glare, mildew, lack of fresh air, and cold or hot temperatures. American schools are aging and have not always been afforded the proper maintenance and upgrading due to budgetary constraints. The average U.S. school is 42 years old according to the 1999 U.S. Department of Education study previously cited. More than 73 percent of schools were constructed prior to 1970. The need for retrofitting and upgrading schools to provide a quality learning environment is real. The research is clear related to the impact of the physical environment and the achievement of students. A 2000 survey of New York State school nurses found 71 percent of school nurses reporting knowledge of students whose health learning or behavior was negatively impacted by 10



the physical environment of their school. The Council of Educational Facility Planners International indicates that the condition of facilities may have a greater impact on learning than the combined influences of family background, socioeconomic status, school attendance and behavior. A study conducted in the Washington D.C. schools found that school building conditions may be negatively affecting student performance and postulates that improved classroom physical environments could lead to a 5.5 percent to 11 percent improvement on standardized tests A quality physical environment supports quality teaching and learning. A classroom that has quality indoor air, lighting, and other attributes provides the optimum environment for teachers to teach and students to learn. A high performance classroom will benefit high performance teaching and learning. Improving air quality and lighting are two key components of a high performance classroom. Classrooms that are comfortable and supply sufficient fresh air and at the same time do so with high efficiency thus reducing energy consumption and costs, provide high performance for teachers and students and the taxpayers. Replacing outdated lighting with new and more efficient lighting provides a brighter and more productive classroom while once again reducing the consumption of energy thus reducing the operational costs. Windows that increase natural light and at the same time insulate to prevent heat and cold from exiting the classroom or infiltrating from the exterior increase the comfort and productivity of the classroom and at the same time decrease energy consumption. Control systems that utilize current tech-

nology to ensure consistent and comfortable temperatures, sufficient fresh air, and central control are essential to high performing schools. So it seems simple that investing funds to produce improved classroom environment and student achievement and also result in savings is the appropriate thing to do. However, the most difficult part of the equation is how do you fund the upgrades in HVAC, lighting, windows, etc. which in turn will save operational dollars and improve classroom environments? Although the answer isn’t always easy, it is logical. The savings created by the upgrades will fund the cost of the project over a few short years. According to the Sustainable Buildings Industry Council, school districts can achieve a 20 to 30 percent reduction in utility costs by renovating schools using high performance designs and construction methods. At the same time the learning environment is greatly enhanced and reduced energy consumption equates to better stewardship of the environment. The Nebraska Legislature has given school districts budgetary tools that could be of help in funding the facilities upgrades needed to produce high performance learning environments. These financial tools include, but are not limited to, voter approved bonds, bonding using the Qualified Capital Purpose Undertaking Fund (QCPUF) and Performance Contracting. Use of these tools separately or in combination may provide the funding equation needed to create high performance learning environments. There will be no better time to begin the process of upgrading school facilities to produce high performance classrooms and students. I


Every Student, Every Day, a Success BY DR. STEVE JOEL, Superintendent, Grand Island Public Schools


rand Island Public Schools is a thriving and high-performing district, where each of our 18 schools achieved Adequate Yearly Progress last year. We are blessed with wonderfully trained and committed educators, and a supportive Board of Education that encourages us to seek out programs and interventions that make a difference in the lives of each of our 8,500 students. Yet we all know there are children who need extra time and attention to succeed even in the best of environments. Peer tutoring is one of the extra-time strategies GIPS has used successfully to reach these below-proficient students. Impressed with the research and results we observed in other districts, we launched a pilot reading program three years ago with second- and third-grade tutees and fifth- and six-grade tutors. Every participant— tutors included—was selected because he or she was below grade level in reading fluency and comprehension. Once the word got out that students in the program were doing better than their classmates in reading achievment, other schools asked if they could join in. Our Reading Together intervention now operates in nine elementary schools, impacting nearly 300 students each year. Only the first of the four goals in our mission statement—though clearly the primary one—is academic: teaching students to communicate, problem solve, acquire and apply knowledge, and demonstrate mastery. We have found peer tutoring to be highly effective in raising achievement for both tutee and tutor, doubling the impact of our resources. The program is designed around structured and purposeful interactions between students, taking advantage of the powerful influence that socialization experiences with peers can have on academic achievement, motivation and self-esteem. Second- and third-grade tutees are catching up, or nearly so, to their grade-level peers by the end of 30 lessons. Because of the work that goes into preparing for tutorials, tutors are outperforming their peers: fourth-grade tutors averaged 812 on the SRI, compared with a District average of 692, while fifth graders averaged 917, verses the District average of 819. The remaining three goals in our mission statement are just as important as academics: treating children with dignity and fairness; helping them experience a

sense of belonging, contribution and success; and encouraging responsibility and respect for others as well as themselves. We have found that peer tutoring helps us accomplish all three. In nurturing one-on-one relationships, students find a sense of belonging and mutual respect that helps them reach their potential. Tutors especially feel they have made a contribution to their community, and enjoy the respect that success brings them. We’ve seen self-confidence, leadership and peer relationship skills blossom as students learn cooperatively. As one of our tutors put it: “Tutoring makes me happy. I like helping little kids. Tutoring helps me, too, because when I get stuck in the classroom I can do what I learned in Reading Together.” We chose the Reading Together curriculum because it had proven academic results in other districts, but also because of its built-in training and on-going support for tutors. As many as 15 tutors work with one coordinator for an hour before each 30-minute tutorial; the coordinator models good reading, and then tutors review the scripted lesson, role-play their interactions and practice reading strategies such as predicting, rereading and retelling until they understand them well enough to teach them. Each lesson ends with tutors reflecting in their journals and debriefing with the coordinator, both powerful tools for cementing understanding and providing ongoing tutor support. I

2009-2010 National Convention Dates ASBO – March 19-23 – Pittsburgh, PA NAESP – April 2-6 – New Orleans, LA CASE – July 9-11 – San Francisco, CA AASA – Febr. 11-13, 2010 – Phoenix,AZ NASSP – March 12-14, 2010 – Phoenix,AZ NAESP – April 8-12, 2010 – Houston,TX









Membership has Advantages Even as You Retire


lose to retiring? Think that there is nothing more that NCSA can offer in this stage of your career? Please think again. In 2007 the NCSA Executive Board voted 3 years active membership preceding retirement to join NARSA (Nebraska Association of Retired School Administrators). If retiring more than 18 months before the age 65 and you need continued health insurance direct bill with EHA (Blue Cross / Blue Shield School Health Insurance) needs to be set up. Direct bill requirements; 1) EHA coverage five years prior to retiring (in most cases this applies to dependants as well) and 2) be between 50 and 64. The direct bill annual Special Service Dues are $240 per insured member. If you and your spouse get two single policies it would be $240 each. For the 2008-2009 year it is cheaper to have two single policies than it is to have one member and spouse policy. The cost of the insurance for the 20082009 year is $512 a month for single insured member. One lifetime NARSA membership of $170 will allow you and your spouse to pay half of the Special Service Dues reducing the $240 to $120. Other NARSA benefits include; continued education updates, conferences for the cost of meals (unless it is a joint conference with NASB), and fall and spring social events. If you decide to retire and then return to work in another school administrator position, you need to rejoin as an active member. When you decide to retire again contact NCSA to change your status back to retired no payment necessary. If you have not retained your NCSA membership, you can pay NCSA membership dues for the three years that you missed and your retired dues at the same time. For the 2008-2009 year it is $1,115 to get $120 off of your annual Special Service Dues.

Special Service Dues Insurance NARSA Dues

Non-NARSA Single $240 annually $512 monthly $170 one time

NARSA Single $120 annually $512 monthly

For clarification please contact: Cami Cumblidge, Finance & Membership Coordinator 402-476-8055 800-793-6272 FEBRUARY 2009




Focus Turns to Legislation! BY DR. MIKE DULANEY, Executive Director; and DR. DAN ERNST, Associate Executive Director





ach year beginning in January the greater share of our time and attention is directed to the Legislature. The 101st Legislature, First Session convened on January 7, 2009 with sine die scheduled for June 4, 2009. The 90-day session will have the potential to address 679 bills (a reduced number from previous years). NCSA is currently involved with 87 bills that are related to education and school administrators. The NCSA Legislative Committee composed of representatives of each NCSA affiliate met in late January to discuss and determine legislative positions on bills. The committee elected Dr. Keith Lutz, Superintendent of Millard Public Schools to chair the group this year. You may review bill summaries and much more legislative information on our NCSA Legislative Information website ( Please take the time to view the website and we also invite you to complete the short survey to provide us with feedback in order to improve legislative service and information to members. There are certainly a great number of important issues that will be addressed this session. One issue and most important to education will be the successful passage of the 2009-11 biennium budget. The national economy has been in recession for fourteen months. Nebraska has been able to withstand the economic slowdown better than most states but is now beginning to see the effects at the state and local levels. The Nebraska Economic Forecasting Advisory Board will meet in February and again in April to provide updated tax receipt forecasts for the current and next two fiscal years. It is predicted that tax receipts will be less than established from prior predictions even when those predictions were thought to be conservative. Senator LaVon Heidemann, Chair of the Appropriations Committee, suggests the shortfall may be $377 million. This information will help to assess current conditions for the state and will benefit state senators as they consider the biennium budget. Governor Dave Heineman at a recent NASB legislative conference told those in attendance that we must tighten our belts. That said, he went on to discuss his proposed budget that would provide an increase of $100 million over the biennium, which represents 4.3% or $35 million for fiscal year 2009-2010 and a 7.9% increase or an additional $65 million for fiscal year 2010-2011. In addition, his recommendation for special education fund-



ing includes a 3% or $5.5 million increase for fiscal year 2009-2010 and an additional 6.1% or $11.3 million increase for fiscal year 2010-2011. Governor Heineman has proposed a transfer from the Cash Reserve Fund of $80 million to the General Fund to assist with TEEOSA school aid financing. The Cash Reserve Fund is projected to have an ending balance of $593 million. The biennium budget as proposed suggests $200 million from the Cash Reserve Fund to be designated for contingent budget liabilities such as water-related litigation, possible loss of funding for the Beatrice State Development Center, public retirement plan investment losses, and for other budget uncertainties. It is anticipated that with recent investments losses, funding may be necessary to meet retirement plan liabilities. While reviewing the totality of this budget and Governor Heineman’s discussion, the following points are noted: • 85 percent of new dollars to K-12 and Higher Education ($148 million) • 13 percent of new dollars to Health and Human Services • Every other agency is proposed for a 0 percent increase or a reduction We are understanding of the tough economic times and the need to practice fiscal restraint and at the same time are disappointed that education may not be funded in accordance to formula needs. We are appreciative of Governor Heineman’s efforts to consider education as a high budget priority and remain dedicated to meet our responsibility, challenge, and opportunity to work together with all elected leaders to best educate the students of Nebraska. We are grateful for the leadership of Senator Greg Adams, who now “mans the helm” of the Education Committee at perhaps one of the most difficult times in our recent history. We also welcome the occasion to work with our partners in the education community as never before, including the NSEA (Mr. Craig Christiansen, Executive Director), NASB (Dr. John Bonaiuto, Executive Director), NRCSA (Dr. Alan Katzberg, Executive Director), ESUCC (Mr. Matt Blomstedt, CEO), and others. Our representative organizations are a strong force when united through adversity. I

CALENDAR OF EVENTS FEBRUARY 2-3 2 4 4 12-13 18 25-26

Labor Relations NASA Executive Board NSASSP Region III NAESP Region III NASES/NDE Joint NAESP Region II NAESP State Convention

1:00 p.m. 6:00 p.m. 2:00 p.m. 2:00 p.m. 1:00 p.m. 5:00 p.m. 1:00 p.m.

Holiday Inn Holiday Inn Lifelong Learning Center Lifelong Learning Center Holiday Inn Grisanti’s Cornhusker Hotel

Kearney Kearney Norfolk Norfolk Kearney Omaha Lincoln

9:00 a.m. 5:30 p.m. 10:00 a.m. 10:00 a.m. 9:00 a.m. 6:00 p.m. 12:00 p.m. 8:30 a.m. 2:00 p.m. 9:30 a.m. 9:00 a.m.

Lincoln Admin Bld Seward Country Club LaVista Jr. High ESU #10 Community Center Holiday Inn TJ’s Cornhusker NCSA Offices WNCC WNCC

Lincoln Seward Papillion Kearney Bridgeport Kearney Norfolk Lincoln Lincoln Sidney Sidney

NASA Region III NASES Region I NSASSP Region IV NCSA Executive Board NASBO Golf Tournament NASBO Convention NASA Region I NSASSP Region II NAESP Region IV GRIT NASA Region V NAESP Region I NAESP Region II NAESP Region III NSASSP Region III NASES Region IV NASES Legislative Conference NSASSP Region I NE Data Conference

9:00 a.m. 9:30 a.m. 3:00 p.m. 9:00 a.m. 1:00 p.m. 8:00 a.m. 4:00 p.m. 5:30 p.m. 12:00 p.m. 8:00 a.m. 9:30 a.m. TBD 5:00 p.m. 6:00 p.m. 5:00 p.m. 12:00 p.m. 1:00 p.m. 5:30 p.m. 1:00 p.m.

Wayne State College Waverly Public Schools ESU #10 NCSA Offices Kearney Country Club Holiday Inn York Country Club Tiburon Golf Course Drew Heady’s House Cornhusker Hotel ESU #13

Wayne Waverly Kearney Lincoln Kearney Kearney York Omaha Hastings Lincoln Scottsbluff

Justin Thymes’s Fairplay Golf Course Fairplay Golf Course ESU #10 Cornhusker Hotel Evening w/ Friends Holiday Inn

Ralston Norfolk Norfolk Kearney Lincoln Milligan Kearney

NASES Region II NASES Region III NASA Region II Jim Grant Workshop

9:00 a.m. 12:00 p.m. 11:30 a.m. 8:00 a.m.

Millard Admin Bld TJ’s Pines Country Club GI Public Schools

Millard Norfolk Valley Grand Island

9:00 a.m.

NCSA Offices


MARCH 6 11 11 11 12 18-19 20 23 25 31 31

NASES Region II NSASSP Region I NSASSP Region II NASA Regon IV NASES Region V Balanced Leadership NASES Region III NSASSP Legislative Conference NAESP Region I NAESP Region V NSASSP Region V

APRIL 1 8 8 9 14 15-16 15 15 21 22 22 22 22 22 22 23 27-28 29 30-1

MAY 8 8 19 27


NCSA Executive Board




PERSPECTIVES (CONTINUED) Guiding Through the Maze continued from page 2 creasingly valuable pathway into post secondary education. The committee will continue to review the funding formula for community colleges to ensure that it reflects cost and mission. The metro learning community model is in its infant stages. The committee will be monitoring the learning community, making needed technical changes, and assessing its impact on diversity and achievement. Small rural schools need the attention of the legislature. The committee spent the interim studying the teacher pay issue and though the bills before the committee don’t solve all of the problems, they do attempt in a reasonable way to get at some of the issues. Assessment is not on the agenda for this session but our implementation progress and results are important to me and it is my intention to stay in touch with NDE. It is

also my pledge to maintain a continual dialogue with NDE. Commissioner-designate Breed and I have already had numerous constructive conversations about a broad range of educational issues of importance to Nebraska. I believe that the decisions we make on education related issues, in the Education Committee and on the floor of the Legislature, must be debated and decided within a framework of providing educational opportunities for all Nebraska students regardless of ability, socioeconomic status, or school size. Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the chair of the Education Committee to guide the committee and colleagues on the floor through the maze of emotion, ideology, and parochialism that can so often surround education issues and keeps the discussion within that framework. I

National Standards: Let’s Get Serious continued from page 3 dents in reading and math. Or, in the words of Chester Finn and Frederick Hess, “Washington should trust states to turn around their own schools, but all schools should be measured against a single set of national standards and uniform national tests, at least in the core areas of math and reading.” Reading is reading, regardless of the state in which you live, and no state legislature can change the defining principles of mathematics. A national panel of researchers and educators should be able to develop reading and math standards and the related assessments. And with clear, meaningful targets, states would remain free to spend their time, resources, and dollars on instructional programs, curricula, professional development, and intervention strategies to assist low-performing schools and students.

We as a nation have no aversion to national standards. We set them for everything—food, cars, toys, pet food, gas consumption, and on and on. Why not national standards for all students in reading and math? There are, of course, a number of problems that national standards and assessments won’t solve. The mere establishment of standards and tests won’t lead to their attainment. Dollars need to accompany the mandates, and we continue to hope against historical precedent. But at least we’ll know that, come 2014, whatever success we’re celebrating is genuine success. NASSP strongly urges Secretary Duncan to consider a standards-based approach to accountability as the reauthorization of NCLB unfolds. I

NCSA Administrators’ Days July 29-31, 2009 Holiday Inn Kearney, Nebraska 16



Gold Sponsorships Ameritas

National Insurance

School Fusion

Al Eveland 5900 O St., 1st Floor Lincoln, NE 68510 402-467-6968

Mike Boden 9202 W. Dodge Rd., Ste 302 Omaha, NE 68114 800-597-2341

Jane Kelleher 999 18th St., Ste 2150 South Tower Denver, Co 80202 800-906-0911

Learning Together Julie Smith 5509 B W. Friendly Ave. Ste 201 Greensboro, NC 27409 866-921-0000

National Institute For TRANE Direct Instruction Kurt Engelman PO Box 11248 Eugene, OR 97440 541-485-1973

Danny Szegda 5720 S. 77th St. Ralston, NE 68127 402-935-9040



Barry Ballou 455 S. 11th St. Lincoln, NE 68508 402-705-0350

Thomas Champoux 4435 O St. Lincoln, NE 68510 402-434-7252

Horace Mann Cindy Dornbush 11329 P St, Ste 122 Omaha, NE 68137 402-331-0509

Silver Sponsorships Pickering Creative Group Jason Peterson 800 S. 13th St. Lincoln, NE 68512 402-423-5447

School Beacon David Hahn PO Box 83672 Lincoln, NE 68501 402-403-1176

Bronze Sponsorships ARCHI + ETC. LLC Stacy LaVigne 6500 Holdrege St., Ste 007 Lincoln, NE 68505 402-429-7150; fax: 402464-6810

DLR Group Pat Phelan, Whitney Wombacher 400 Essex Ct. Omaha, NE 68114 402-393-4100; fax: 402-393-8747

Union Bank and Trust Charity Kuehn PO Box 82535 Lincoln, NE 68501 402-323-1460; fax: 402-323-1195

Awards Unlimited Larry King 1935 O St. Lincoln, NE 68510 402-474-0815

LifeTrack Services, Inc. Cassie Dunn 1271 Port Dr. Clarkston, WA 99403 800-738-6466; fax: 509-758-2162

University of Nebraskaâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;Lincoln Patricia Fairchild 114 Ag Hall Lincoln, NE 68583 402-472-9184; fax: 402-472-9024

Nebraska Public Agency Investment Trust Becky Ferguson PO Box 82529 Lincoln, NE 68501 402-323-1334; fax: 402-323-1286

US Bank Tim Schlegelmilch 233 S. 13th St. Lincoln, NE 68508 402-434-1134; fax: 402-434-1007

Cannon Moss Brygger & Associates, P.C. Bradley Kissler 2535 Carleton Ave., Ste A Grand Island, NE 68803 308-384-4444; fax: 308-384-0971 D.A. Davidson & Co. Paul Grieger 1111 N. 102nd Ct., Ste 300 Omaha, NE 68114 402-392-7986; fax: 402-392-7908

Virco, Inc. Matt Kirkland PO Box 6356 Lincoln, NE 68506 402-328-8031; fax: 402-328-8162

Nebraska Council of School Administrators 455 So. 11th Street, Suite A • Lincoln, NE 68508-2105 RETURN SERVICE REQUESTED

ch m y t e r t s I n a et? g d Q: H ow c u b e c r u res o e d u c a t io n A:

CMI provides: • Building controls & energy saving solutions • Lower utility bills, freeing up resources for students • Services to 30+ Midwest school districts & growing

Control Managemen Management, nt, Inc. ((4402) 571-9454 • www. (402) Locations in Omaha & Lincoln, L NE


Profile for NCSA

NCSA Today Magazine, Spring 2009  

NCSA Today Magazine, Spring 2009

NCSA Today Magazine, Spring 2009  

NCSA Today Magazine, Spring 2009

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