The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

By Forrest Hershberger
Sidney Sun-Telegraph 

Assessment Shows Sidney Students Remain Ahead of State Average


January 18, 2019

On Dec. 21, 2018, the Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) announced the the state's public schools “are growing and improving in multiple measures.”

The report comes as a result of the Accountability for a Quality Education System Today and Tomorrow (AQuESTT) result from 2018. According to the NDE report, a breakdown of preliminary classification indicated that 141, 12.7 percent, of schools were rated as excellent, 427 (38.47 percent) as great, 386 (34.77 percent) as good and 156 (14.05 percent) were designated as in need of improvement.

Sidney school rated above the state average in nearly every subject.

For the 2017-2018 school year, Sidney schools had 1,332 students enrolled. Student count is conducted the last Friday of September. The latest figures for the 2018-2019 school year is a district enrollment of 1,241, down 40 students from last year. The assessment shows Sidney schools have a 95 percent attendance rate. The statewide attendance rate is 94 percent, and dropout rate is 1 percent.

The AqueSTT assessment classifies Sidney schools as “Great.”

The average class size for kindergarten through sixth grade is 20 students; 19 students for grades seven and eight, 18 for grades nine through 12 and 13 for college credit classes available at Sidney High School. At the time of the report, Sidney High School had an enrollment of 340 students, Sidney Middle School (grades 7-8) 194 students, West Elementary 210 students, Central Elementary 147, North Elementary 209 and South Elementary 224.

The data shows 2 percent of Sidney's students are English learners, about 35 percent are eligible for free or reduced lunches, 13 percent are classified as gifted and 11 percent in Special Education programs

“We are committed to ensuring all students have equitable access and opportunities,” said Matthew L. Blomstedt, Commissioner of Education. “This includes the resources and support they need at the right time, the right level, and with the right intensity to reach our high expectations for learning.

The report says Nebraska students continue to show growth and improvement across grade levels. The report goes on to say more than half of students are students are meeting or exceeding expectations in math, ELA (English Language Arts) and science.

In Sidney, the 2017-2018 report released to the school board Monday shows the pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade enrollment history since 2009 peaked in 2016 at 1,382. The 2017 school year followed with 1,353 and 2015 was third with 1,334. The official numbers for 2018, recorded in early September, are at 1,287.


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