AQuESTT score for PCS junior-senior high raised from initial rating

When the Nebraska Department of Education released the AQuESTT scores for schools across Nebraska this fall, Perkins County Schools, as a district, rated as a “Great” school. 

AQuESTT, which stands for “Accountability for a Quality Education System Today and Tomorrow,” is an evaliuation tool to ensure all students across backgrounds and circumstances have access and opportunities for success.

 AQuESTT annually classifies schools and districts across the state as Excellent, Great, Good, or Needs Improvement.

Since the district was rated as Great and the elementary was rated as Great, the Needs Improvement rating for the junior and senior high perplexed school administrators and board members alike. 

Almost immediately, the school requested a review of their rating.

As part of the AQuESTT evaluation, each school completes an Evidence-Based Analysis that is sumbitted to NDE.  This  processs looks at six specific areas of performance—Positive Partnerships, Relationships and Success; Transitions; Educational Opportunities and Access; College, Career and Civic Readiness; Assessment; and Educator Effectiveness.

Each of the six areas have five key indicators that determine overall proficiency. 

 Principals Nicole  Long and Ben Jones, along with Curriculum Director Deann Bishop coordinated the review process. 

To validate the school’s performance, they had to cite five examples of efforts taken by the school for all five indicators in each of the six areas. 

Jones, who is in his first year as junior-senior high principal, said the time frame for submitting the rebuttals was quite short as well as time consuming. 

For instance, they provided five examples of each of the five key indicators measuring Educator Effectiveness.

One area covered teacher evaluation. Jones said they cited the various methods they use to evaluate teachers. They noted PCS has developed its own instructional review model, based on study and research.

Their efforts paid off. This week, NDE announced PCS was among 50 schools that received an upgrade in their rating to Good. A total of 64 applied for review. 

Jones credited Long and Bishop for their efforts in completing the review. He said the new rating better depicts the school and its efforts.


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