Continuous Improvement Process

School Improvement

Welcome to Elm Creek

Elm Creek Schools is a PK-12 district located 14 miles west of Kearney. The K-6 elementary school contains a pre-school offering with a morning session for 3 year olds and an afternoon session for 4 year olds. The 7-12 school is contained in a building, which was built in 2010. The district maintains small class sizes and offers a robust curriculum with courses in Agriculture, Business, Technology, Health Sciences as well as the traditional classes in the areas of Math, Language Arts, Science and Social Science. We take great pride in our Band, Chorus, Speech and One Act, Fine Arts programs and Athletics. We compete in the Fort Kearny Conference. Elm Creek Schools offers dual-credit college courses, ranging from Chemistry and English Composition to Spreadsheets and Sales Communication. We have an agreement with the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture allowing students to earn college credits culminating in a Diversified Agriculture Certificate. ECHS has a 7-12, iPad learning initiative.

Data and Assessments

Elm Creek Schools initiated the MAP test in the fall of 2012. The tests were administered seasonally in the fall and spring. In addition, the K-6 grades began administering the AimsWeb assessment. The third assessment given was STAR reading and math assessments (Ren Learn) at the elementary level. In 2013 the district changed to PowerSchool SIS in order to provide better data access to teachers, administrators as well as to students and their parents. In 2014 Elm Creek enrolled as an early adopter for the NDE Data dashboard implementation. In order to be a more data informed school, ECPS with the help of ESU 10, created a MTSS team that has created a sharper focus on student achievement and how educator actions impact student learning.

Elm Creek is also proud to be the first school in the state of Nebraska to require the passage of the US Citizenship test for graduation.

Technology Integration

Elm Creek Schools first technology integration project was the networking and upgrading of district printers and copiers. In the spring of 2013 all teachers were given a new Macbook Pro and an i-Pad. Elementary teachers were also given a mac desktop for their rooms. In 2014 the district moved to a 1 to 1 learning environment featuring i-Pads. The following year the elementary computer lab was updated with new Mac desktop computers and each classroom was given a set of iPad minis. Rooms were also equipped with new “short-throw” projectors. In fall of 2015, the district became part of the NDE Blended Learning project.


Our school has seen many additions and changes to the curriculum over the past five years. At the elementary level we added a preschool four years ago. We also restructured our schedule to create blocks of time dedicated to reading, math, writing as well as science, social studies and an enrichment block. All K-6 teachers also have a planning period as well as a teaming period. We partnered with ESU 10 schools to create a curriculum map for Reading complete with instructional units aligned to standards. Currently our district is diving deeper into ELA standards at the elementary and secondary levels.

Program Information

Five years ago reading classes were introduced for all 7th and 8th graders. In addition, a semester of speech was pulled out of 9th grade English and made a stand-alone semester course. Our SPED philosophy shifted from a pull-out model to more of an inclusionary model. We also added an agricultural program while partnering with Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture (NCTA) to offer a wide range of course for college credit. Those course were English Composition, Advanced Composition, Chemistry, Advanced Chemistry, Spreadsheets, College Algebra, American History, Agribusiness and Animal Science.

Math courses were also restructured. Additional math course were created in the 5th and 6th grades allowing for 8th graders to take Algebra. This was a much needed change in order to create the correct scope and sequence throughout grades 9-12

ECPS has implemented Marzano’s instructional model as our instructional language, with a focus on student engagement. In addition, we have partnered with ESU 10 to implement the Adolescent Literacy Project and instructional rounds. We have teachers in various ALP cohorts.

School-wide Discipline Model

ECPS used the Behavioral Intervention Support Team (BIST) model to help students make good behavioral choices. We have employed a consultant for the past five years. All teachers have been trained and we have created a BIST Vision Team that helps create expectations and delivers practical ideas for all teachers in the district.

Our Mission:

At Elm Creek Public Schools we will:

· Be Kind

· Be Respectful

· Be Responsible

· Be Trustworthy

· Be Accountable

· Be Honest

· Give Great Effort

Live Blue, Love Gold


Operating Principles

In order to fulfill our mission, we embrace the following operating principles:

As an educational community we know children learn when…

*they are actively engaged in a variety of tasks including exploration, play, reading, research, conversation, and invention;

*they are in an environment where they feel safe and supported, where their physical, intellectual, emotional, and social needs are where their physical, intellectual, emotional, and social needs are met, and where they are not afraid to fail knowing they will be given more chances to succeed;

*they have a personal connection to or interest in what they are learning and can see how it applies in the world in which they live;

*they are encouraged to think for themselves, to reflect upon their work, to make appropriate choices and to build connections to prior learning;

*they receive ongoing feedback, see and share models of expected outcomes, feel competent and not overwhelmed, and are provided with time for monitored practice;

*they are exposed to a wide variety of learning experiences, materials, technologies, and environments.

In responding to how children learn, our classrooms will be…

*child centered, flexible learning environments with multiple resources and technologies, and full of displays of student work;

*learning communities where children feel respected, safe, and well-known

*environments that enhance communication, collaboration, engagement and enjoyment;

*flexible, but with established routines and shared norms, and a balance of learning activities;

*comfortable places for students to ask questions, learn to make choices, and engage in both individual and group work;

*utilizing authentic and performance assessments in order to modify and adapt instruction and reporting student progress to parents in ways that are easily understood and reflect student development;

*inviting to parents, family members, and our communities as they too are valued resources in the learning process.

To support such classrooms, our schools will be…

*filled with the voices of kids and where their natural excitement and curiosity is nurtured and accepted;

*places where teachers are encouraged to collaborate and are provided time to do so, hold consistent beliefs on how children learn and share a collective responsibility for the welfare of all students;

*exemplified by a climate of mutual respect and trust among all community members, focused on positive behavior as opposed to punishment;

*exemplified by a climate of mutual respect and trust among all community members, focused on positive behavior as opposed to punishment;

*flexible in terms of age-grouping, schedules, classrooms, and curriculum, all based on student needs;

*focused on the whole-child, her/his physical, intellectual, emotional and social well-being;

*filled with exhibitions of student work and activities in all areas with regular times for school-wide gatherings and celebrations;

*concerned with more than just test scores, knowing that every child is more than a test score;

*open and welcoming to all parents, encouraging their active involvement;

*supportive of teachers, providing focused professional development to help teachers create, develop, and expand child-centered, thought provoking and engaging classroom practices using a wide range of instructional strategies and educational technologies

The district in support of these schools, is committed to…

*nurturing and encouraging a purposeful, common vision across our district through focused goals and action plans that allow for staff to do their work well;

*utilizing available resources and searching for additional resources to support this common vision as well as to provide appropriate staffing, teaching resources (including technology, texts, materials, and access to the world outside of school), and time for teachers to collaborate;

*listening to and responding to the needs of staff to carry out shared visions;

*supporting the development of an infrastructure where teachers and students have access to current technologies, learning tools, and the world beyond the schools;

*encouraging and expecting that staff will take unique and flexible approaches to our shared goals and visions;

*providing a focused, district-wide professional development program consistent with our vision that is effective, meaningful, and sustainable;

*communicating with our community and with policy makers about our schools’ programs, successes, and needs;

*supporting the economic and civic health of our community;

*communicating regularly with our educational community in ways that include all staff and provides the information necessary for collaborative decision making.