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

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By Forrest Hershberger
Publisher Sidney Sun-Telegraph 

School Board Reviews District Report Card


December 23, 2020 | View PDF

Each year the Sidney Public School District is assessed by the State. The District continues to earn a grade of “Great.”

“This is the one we do every year,” said Superintendent Jay Ehler. “We will remain in the ‘Great’ category this year as well.”

Schools are graded on a four-level scale: Needs Improvement, Good, Great and Excellent. The report card defines the number of students in the District, Facilities, staffing, and student achievements. Sidney students performed better than the average state scores in the Nebraska Student-Centered Assessment System (NSCAS) ACT. Sidney students performed at the 55 percentile in English Language Arts compared to 51 percent statewide. In Math, Sidney students were at 58 percent compared to 52 percent as the state average, and 56 percent in Science for Sydney students and 53 percent for the state average.

For the NSCAS testing, Sidney students were 55 percent compared to 52 percent statewide in English Language Arts, 78 percent for Sidney science students and 66 percent statewide, and Mathematics Sidney students were at 56 percent compared to 52 percent statewide.

Highlights of the District include Sidney High School recognized by the US Department of Education as a Blue Ribbon School in 2019. The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program recognizes elementary, middle and high schools based on their overall academic excellence, or their progress in closing achievement gaps among student groups, according to the U.S. Department of Education. The programs was started in 1982.

The District Report Card also notes 49 percent of students are in the Free and Reduced lunch program, compared to 46 percent statewide. The District has 12 percent of its students in Special Education programming while statewide the average is 15 percent. The Gifted program involves 10 percent of Sidney students and 13 percent of students statewide, and 2 percent of Sidney students are English learners compared to 7 percent statewide.

At the time of the assessment, Sidney had 1,217 students and 85 teachers. The District has 11 administrators, seven bus drivers, four business support employees, 12 custodians/maintenance and mechanic employees, 14 food service personnel and six counselors. There are three media and technology specialists, four nurses, 48 paraprofessional and Cool Kids Club staff, 8 ½ administrative assistant positions, 10 special education teachers and 75 regular education teachers, according to the Report Card.

The District expenditures amount to $15.3 million, according to the 2019-2020 report, with a system valuation of $674,255,913 and General Fund tax request of $7,079, 687.

There were 129 students enrolled at Central Elementary, 176 at South Elementary, 163 at North Elementary, 188 at West Elementary, 197 students at Sidney Middle School and 364 at Sidney High School. Central Elementary served Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten students, South grades 1 and 2, North grades 3 and 4, West grades 5 and 6, SMS grades 7 and 8 and SHS grades 9-12.

In other business, the board reviewed the 2019-2020 Audit Report by Rauner and Associates, a $200 teacher stipend and the 2021-2022 Comprehensive Agreement. Board members also recognized Steve Mattoon who competed 36 years on the school board before choosing not to seek re-election.


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