BEATRICE – Nebraska Public School Districts area learning how they’re performing, in a report being issued today by the Nebraska Department of Education.
Part of the report deals with whether districts need improvement, are doing a good job, a great job…or at the top of the list, are excellent.  


Assistant Superintendent for Beatrice Public Schools, Dr. Jackie Nielsen says a new feature of the report this year looks at designated student groups by categories such as race, special education or students eligible for free or reduced-price lunches.
Those groups are judged on whether they should be targeted for improvement…and to what extent.


School Districts are also learning score data and performance of students in subject areas. Nielsen says English language arts scores remained consistent with past performance. Middle school scores also remained consistent with the past.
Superintendent Jason Alexander points out that the scores a district receives is simply a snapshot in time.
Elementary Principal Betty Replogle says there’s a whole lot more that goes into how a student performs throughout their stay in school, than just a test score. She said that’s evident when it comes time for students receiving scholarships to further their education.


One area in which the Beatrice Public School District showed improvement, is proficiency on the ACT college entrance exam. High School Principal Jason Sutter said college readiness benchmarks in English Language Arts jumped from 41% proficient, to 52%. In Math, the percentage increased from 47, to 50. In Science, ACT proficiency increased from 49% to 55%
Sutter says the district has been taking specific steps in classes to improve ACT proficiency in all subject areas.


Replogle says overall improvement is a pre-kindergarten through senior year process.
Replogle says the district previously instituted intervention periods at the elementary level, to allow for more help for students who may be struggling in a particular area…producing individual plans to help the student. Nielsen says the district also expects to see improved performance and readiness to learn among students, because of a now more extensive preschool offering.


Nebraska Department of Education figures show the Beatrice Public School District has 52% of its student population eligible for free, or reduced-price lunches. That compares with a state average among school districts, of 45%.
In department performance data released today, BPS had 24% of student population receiving special education services, with the state average at 15%.
The district’s attendance rate is 94%, equal to the state average.


On proficiency scores, BPS students tested are 49% proficient in English Language Arts, compared to the 52% statewide average. In math, the district’s proficiency matches the state average of 52%. In science, Beatrice students register a 65% proficiency level, compared to the state average of 66%.
ACT percentages nearly mirror the state averages in English, math and science and the district’s college-going rate of 76%, also matches the state figure.


The Beatrice Public School District spending per pupil of $12,271 is slightly under the state average, but well below the peer district average of $17,871.