Education Forum

Wednesday, February 8, 2017 (All day) to Thursday, February 9, 2017 (All day)

2017 Education Forum
February 8-9, 2017
Younes Conference Center - Kearney, NE
**Pre-registration is now closed. Please visit the on-site registration desk to attend**

Wednesday, February 8

1:00 pm -   Registration Opens
2:00 pm -   Pre-Conference Workshops

  • Using the Gallup Student Poll to Build Engaged Schools
    Valerie Calderon, Gallup Education 
    Nearly 3,000 schools participated in the 2016 Gallup Student Poll across the U.S., and over 35,000 students participated from Nebraska schools.  Learn ways that schools can use student feedback data to build engagement, support their social and emotional learning goals, and create a more positive school culture.  Join us in identifying strategies and actionable ways to create impact around these important measures.
  • Public Relations and Promotion for School Districts
    Mike Lucas, York Public Schools, and Mike Murray, Foundation for Educational Services
    Your school district is the centerpiece of your local community.  Effective and timely communication with your patrons is always important for school districts.  Don’t overlook actively promoting it.  Good promotion can help set your district apart, increase pride and retention, and attract new interest.  Learn about the communication methods York Public Schools employs to engage parents, patrons, and business leaders to strengthen the school/community bond.  Foundation for Educational Services will share how you can create a compelling brand for your district and strategies for maximizing your social media presence and website.

5:00 pm -   KHS Tour
7:00 pm -   Hospitality Suites Open

Thursday, February 9

7:00 am -   Registration Opens, Continental Breakfast, Exhibits Open
8:15 am -   Welcome & General Session
                  "Dream Big, Dream Like a Champion!" - Coach John Cook
                Head Husker Volleyball Coach, John Cook, will discuss how he and his coaching staff build teams and players through the power of "Dreaming Big." He'll share his inspirational thoughts and philosophies on how you can build great teams, insight into working with this generation, how to build leaders, and lessons he's learned from coaching Nebraska Volleyball. In addition, John will cover goal setting, developing trust, leadership skills, and Dreaming Bigger!
9:30 am -   Break
10:00 am - Concurrent Session I
10:45 am - Break
11:15 am - Concurrent Session II
12:00 pm - Luncheon
1:00 pm -   Concurrent Session III
1:45 pm -   Break
2:15 pm -   Concurrent Session IV
3:00 pm -   Adjourn

Concurrent Sessions:
Session 1: 10:00-10:45 a.m.

School Board 101 and Beyond - Diamond 1
Justin Knight and Greg Perry, Perry Law Firm
Joining the school board can be both exciting and overwhelming.  There can be a steep learning curve for those board members who are not prepared for what lies ahead.  Veteran board members continue this steep climb. Boards must comply with FERPA, ESSA, NCLB, NASB, EHA, IEP, NDE, NPERS, CIR, RIF and many more acronyms. On top of this, your school board is required to supervise your superintendent, hold hearings on certain staff situations, determine employee benefits issues, and more. Don’t worry! Some board members who have served several terms continue to struggle with the ever-changing landscape of school board responsibilities and education law.  In this session, the Perry Law firm will walk through an overview of a school board’s duties, common questions (for both new and veteran school board members), and practical suggestions for your school board.

Bullying and Hazing in Athletics - Diamond 2
Nicholas Lesiak, Koley Jessen, P.C., L.L.O.
This session will discuss the legal implications of hazing and bullying occurring on and off school grounds in the context of athletics.  After a brief introduction, we will dive into recent case law and discuss the importance of prevention and enforcement in keeping students safe and schools out of trouble.

Instructional Coaching without an Instructional Coach – Diamond 3
Bobby Kelley and Tammy Schaefer, Cross County Community Schools
Instructional Coaching is one of the most beneficial job embedded professional development opportunities a teacher can receive to improve his or her skills in the classroom!  However, many districts do not have the funding available to hire a full time instructional coach. During this session participants will be provided with a blueprint on how to effectively implement an instructional coaching process into their school district without spending any more money!! This blueprint will include all necessary materials to immediately go back to your school and begin the process of instructional coaching.  This presentation is for all district and building level administrators along with any board member wanting to learn more about the benefits of instructional coaching!

Implementing Drone Technology In Your School - Diamond 6
Cameron Hudson, High Plains Community Schools
A drone is a great way to implement new technologies in your school that is fun, hands on, and impacts many different curriculum areas.  In this session I will present how to get a drone for your school, its educational uses, rules and regulations that need to be followed, and our plans for future use of the "Stormcopter" in our school.

Career Pathways Institute, Adapting and Advancing - Diamond 7
Daniel Phillips, Grand Island Public Schools
The evolution of the Career Pathways Institute from conceptual design to the present.  Focus will be on what we've learned, how we've adapted, what we'd do all over if we could, and how we're impacting students' lives, and the community of Grand Island.

On a Clear Day You Can See Tomorrow: Building the Vision for a New High School -  Diamond 8
Andy Rikli, Patti Conway-Boyd and Jason Schwartz, Papillion La Vista Community Schools
The Papillion La Vista Community School District is the fourth largest system in Nebraska with over 11,000 students spread across 19 schools.  The District continues to see rapid growth in student enrollment which will necessitate expanded high school facilities in the coming years.  This session will focus on the visioning process the school district used to frame the need, define the parameters, engage the community, and develop shared goals for the new facility.

Session 2: 11:15 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Standing (or Not) on Principle – Diamond 1
Josh Schauer, Perry Law Firm
Can a public school require students to stand for the national anthem?  The answer is likely not as cut and dried as you may think.  While the actions of professional athletes brought this matter to the forefront, it also highlights a number of other important and potentially controversial topics.  Can a public school regulate political speech?  Can it control what employees and students say and do off school grounds?  Is the use of certain pronouns discriminatory?  What are the rules on speech issues ranging from religious activity in schools to dress codes?  In this session, Jeanette Stull and Josh Schauer of the Perry Law Firm will address these issues, from both a legal and public relations perspective.

Hot TopicsDiamond 2
Bobby Truhe, KSB School Law
We've got a new President, new members of Congress, new members of the Nebraska Unicameral, and soon a new Supreme Court now what?  This presentation will take you through the most important school law cases and issues schools and boards will face in 2017 and beyond.

Not Exactly a Wrecking Ball: Making Accountability Work!Diamond 3
Teresa Frields and Scot Davis, Nebraska City Public Schools
This session isn't exactly about a music star or a wrecking ball.  It’s about translating requirements for accountability into opportunities to ensure student success and validate school efforts to provide well-rounded, quality education for all students.  Explore ways to use the AQuESTT tenets and evidence-based analysis (EBA) to support school improvement efforts that reach beyond classifications.  As educators, we all want to provide the best for our kids.  Let's take what is required and turn it into something meaningful.

Community Studio - Engaging School and Community – Diamond 6
Derek Lahm, Lyons-Decatur Northeast
Needing ideas on how to creatively develop and engage young people and your community? Looking for ways to utilize the innovative ideas of your students to better your school and/or local community?   We want to introduce you to Community Studio, a project that is a sure-fire way to garner those positive relationships between school and community in ways that cost the school little or no money. It is simple enough for any teacher to begin in their classroom. We will show you real-life and current examples of student projects that were completed in school including a mini-project entitled "Senior Spotlight" that partners a senior student with a senior citizen from the community. This project culminates in a walking tour with student presentations. Please allow us some of your time as we share with you how this Community Studio project and "Senior Spotlight" can transform your school, your community, and most importantly, your kids.

New Opportunities in Work-Based Learning (PresentationDiamond 7
Rich Katt, Nebraska Department of Education
This session will introduce the new Work-Based Learning website and materials for schools to create or enhance work-based learning opportunities for students. The Departments of Education, Labor and Economic Development have worked together to create new opportunities for student internships in manufacturing, construction and other industries. New materials will be presented to assist schools with insurance, liability protection, teacher qualifications and student preparation for work-based learning experiences.

School Districts and Their Foundations, Maximum Impact RelationshipsDiamond 7
Traci Skalberg, Grand Island Public Schools Foundation
Why does your school district have a foundation?  Is your school foundation a partner or an afterthought?  What kinds of opportunities are you missing?  Traci Skalberg, Executive Director of the Grand Island Public Schools Foundation and partners from the Nebraska Association of Public School Foundations will discuss maximum impact relationships.   The presentation will dive into policy, philosophy, personal and entity relationships, big projects, public-private partnerships, and daily business.  The presenters will share their focus of collaboration, credibility, and opportunity, from both sides of the relationship, resulting in maximum impact for students.

Session 3: 1:00-1:45 p.m.
From Alcapulco Gold to the Deathstar: Recent Developments on Marijuana and Related Issues in Schools – Diamond 1
Jim Gessford, Perry Law Firm
In spite of federal laws, more and more states either have or are in the process of legalizing medical or recreational marijuana, or both.  As a result, whether it's students or staff, schools officials are now forced to deal with it and related issues on a more frequent basis.  The Perry Law Firm will review the various legal developments and offer practical and relevant policy recommendations to assist schools in dealing with this new phenomenon.

Open Meetings Gone WrongDiamond 2
Bobby Truhe, KSB School Law
This presentation will walk through a collection of common and unique pitfalls that boards and administrators run into regarding the Open Meetings Act over the last year.

There's No Such Thing as a Free Textbook….Or is There?Diamond 3
Heather Phipps and Ken Fossen, Millard Public Schools
Creative Commons copyright law is revolutionizing the way school districts work.  A new view of who owns intellectual property is allowing for more collaboration between teachers, schools, districts and educational communities. In this session, traditional copyright law will be compared to Creative Commons, and its value to districts will be explored.  One district’s experience using Creative Commons and Open Source material to create textbooks for a mathematics adoption will be shared.  The financial savings can be significant. The session will include examples of modern copyright Board Policy as well as samples of Creative Common materials.

Millennials to Boomer: The Need for a Personalized Approach – Diamond 6
Enid Schonewise, Westside Community Schools; Virginia Moon, Kearney Public Schools, Annette Eyman, Papillion La Vista Community Schools
This session will examine the need for a personalized approach to a multi-generational workforce. This approach will create engaged employees who are better equipped to engage their students and positively affect student achievement. We will address the unconscious bias between different generations as well as strategies to bridge the gaps to create positive work and learning environments.

Small Learning Communities at a GlanceDiamond 7
Jay Dostal and Angie Fransk, Kearney Public Schools
In this session, you will learn how Kearney Public Schools is moving Small Learning Communities (SLCs) from theory to reality. The District has developed a K-12 framework for Career Education for all students. The ultimate outcome manifests itself in preparing students for living, earning, and learning.

Benefits of Contracting Food Service: Columbus Public Schools Experience – Diamond 8
Troy Loeffelholz, Columbus Public Schools and Deni Winter, Lunchtime Solutions Inc.
What are the benefits of contracting out a school's food service program?  This session will discuss what a management company can provide for a district including food quality, government regulations navigation, facts and fiction, financial outcomes, and more.  You'll also have a chance to ask questions of a superintendent who has experience with contracted food service.

The Solution to Efficiently Manage Your Board Meetings and Materials – Ruby
Craig Caples, Sparq Data Solutions
In chemistry, the mixture of two or more substances is a solution. Find out how the mixture of existing and new enhancements in the world of paperless board meetings can provide you the solutions you and your board are looking for. As technology evolves to make life simpler, our everyday tools are becoming more and more automated. This includes how you can run your board meetings. Whether you’re new to the world of digitizing your board meetings, or have been on board from the start, this session will educate and update everyone on the future of paperless board meetings. During this session, you will see and experience how to efficiently create and deliver all needed board materials and the cost savings that come with going paperless.

Session 4: 2:15-3:00 p.m.
School Property & Casualty Insurance 101: What is Important?Diamond 1
Pat Ryan and Sheri Shonka, Public Risk Management
Background: With  a combined 60 years experience with public school property and casualty insurance including hundreds (if not thousands) of insurance proposals, educational meetings, loss control meetings, claims reviews, various presentation and the authoring of "White Papers" defining what is covered; Pat Ryan and Sheri Shonka of Public Risk Management are of a mind that many school officials and board members are concerned about their ability to make good decisions regarding what is most important in selecting carriers and coverage.  This competency issue is exacerbated by constant turnover in staff and board members. This presentation is designed to help them identify what is important by the presentation of:     
      1. Who needs to be included as insureds?     
      2. What is generally excluded from coverage?     
      3. What limits and lines of coverage are necessary?     
      4. What are some important considerations not generally addressed?      
      5. Questions and answers

Title IX at the K-12 LevelDiamond 2
Matt Dunning, Nebraska Association of School Boards
This session will provide an introduction to basic legal requirements relating to Title IX, and identify resources and recommended steps to safeguard students, and remain in compliance.

Mental Health First Aid Diamond 3
Mike Goos, Columbus Public Schools
Mental health challenges – such as depression, anxiety, psychosis and substance use – are shockingly common in the United States.  In fact, more than one in five American adults will have a mental health problem in any given year.  The National Council for Behavioral Health certifies individuals throughout the nation to provide Mental Health First Aid courses to prepare their communities with the knowledge and skills to help individuals who are developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. Identified on SAMHSA’s National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices, the training helps the public better identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses in both adults and youth.

Creating the Positive Ripple Effect in Your Community: The Power of MentoringDiamond 6
Hannah Miller, TeamMates Mentoring
This interactive session will teach participants the importance of mentoring in our communities. Studies show children with mentors are twice as likely to hold leadership positions in organizations or sports. They're 55% more likely to be enrolled in college. Those students are also 78% percent more likely to volunteer in their communities. TeamMates mentors meet their mentees at school during the academic year for about 30 minutes to an hour. Matches play games, a physical activity, craft or talk. Consistently caring about a child can create a ripple effect for generations. To learn more about TeamMates, go to!

NCAPS Sandy Creek Schools – Diamond 8
Jason Searle, Levi Gorsuch, Jeremy Borer, and Crystal Hassenstab, Sandy Creek Schools; and Randall Gilson, South Central NE USD #5
Selected staff members from Sandy Creek Schools will take you on a journey that we have experienced to create a collaborative environment among the teaching staff to enhance opportunities for students. Students will be able to gain skills for high demand jobs in many different areas. They will create personalized projects that connect school and community, establish business partners creating exposure to careers and internships, while earning high school and college cr
edit. (NCAPS = Nebraska Center for Advanced Professional Studies)

EHA Health Insurance Update – Diamond 8
Kent Trelford-Thompson, Blue Cross Blue Shield of NE; and Greg Long, EHA Field Representative
Greg and Kent will discuss the 2017/18 EHA Health Insurance plan, they will discuss the rates for active as well as early retiree’s.  We will discuss any plan design modifications as well as any required ACA compliance updates.  We will conduct an overview of creating new subgroup accounts and how the discount and surcharges are determined.

Lodging Information
Holiday Inn
(308) 237-5971

Comfort Inn
(308) 236-3400


LaQuinta Inn
(308) 237-4400

Fairfield Inn
(308) 236-4200

Any cancellation request must be received no later than Friday, February 3, 2017

*A 48 hour (2 business day) cancellation policy is in place for all events. To avoid being charged the full registration fee, please submit any requests to cancel your registration before the cancellation deadline. Please contact Michelle, michelle@ncsa.orgwith all cancellation requests and inquiries. Please note: your registration fee will be refunded or waived ONLY if an event is cancelled due to inclement weather. Otherwise, the 48 hour (2 business day) cancellation policy remains in effect for all events.


Upcoming Events

NCSA/NDE School Safety and Security Summit

October 17, 2018
Kearney Holiday Inn

A statewide event to provide meaningful education from local and national experts on prevention, preparedness, and response protocol.  Look for registration and more information in August.

We Love Public Schools!