On Wednesday, October 9 the Nebraska Department of Education released the state’s AQuESTT classification of all schools in the state of Nebraska. AQuESTT stands for Accountability for a Quality Education System, Today and Tomorrow. AQuESTT was created in response to President Barack Obama signing into law the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education ACT (ESSA) in December 2015. This legislation replaced NCLB, the No Child Left Behind Act. The rationale for these pieces of legislation is to ensure a quality education for every child across the land and to create a formal accountability system for all school districts.
AQuESTT has four classifications for each school; Excellent, Great, Good, and Needs Improvement. In the next few days you may read in one of the local newspapers or hear on the radio that the Chambers School District has been identified as a Great District. Last year’s rating was Needs Improvement.
The AQuESTT rating is determined by several indications such as test scores, graduation rates, progress for students learning English, and reduction in absenteeism. The most significant indicators for students at Chambers School are the state mandated tests; NSCAS (Nebraska Student-Centered Assessment System) for students in grades 3-8 and the ACT test for students in the eleventh grade. These tests are administered during the spring of each year. The NSCAS tests students in English Language Arts, Math, and Science and the ACT tests students in English, Reading, Math and Science. The ACT for 11th grade students and NSCAS for 8th grade students is administered on one day lasting approximately four hours. The NSCAS for students in grades 3-6 is administered for several hours over a span of five days.
The improvement in the school classification can be traced back to the hard work and dedication of the school faculty and to the commitment of using the school improvement process. The school improvement process examines local and state data to develop improvement goal areas each year. Over the last 18 months the area of improvement was in reading and interpreting science graphs and charts. The school improvement team will be meeting to determine if the current goal needs to remain or should be adjusted based on the data collected.
The improvement is also due to the support of the parents of the children attending. Parents understand the importance of having students in class every day and working with their teachers to provide support both at home and in the classroom.
Our overall district information can be found at https://nep.education.ne.gov/. Your child’s individual test results will be sent home with their report in the next few days.
If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me either by email, firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone, 402.482.5233. I am also available to meet individually by appointment. I encourage you to attend our parent meeting on Tuesday, October 22 at 5:00 pm. I will also be available to answer questions at the superintendent coffee on Tuesday, October 22 at 95 West at 8:00 am.