ESU 6 Admin Report

(Some of) The February 2023 News You Can Use from ESU 6

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Governor Pillen Declares February 'Nebraska Mentoring Month'

Governor Jim Pillen was joined by senators and representatives from mentoring programs across the state to declare February "Nebraska Mentoring Month" and unveil a new major mentoring initiative. Governor Pillen announced he has included an annual $5 million competitive grant program within his budget request (subject to Legislative authorization) to encourage and facilitate mentorships within Nebraska schools. While nearly a dozen state and regional mentoring programs were present at the Governor's press conference, TeamMates has a particular focus on School-Based mentoring of a background check-authorized and trained TeamMates mentor with a student mentee who is in grades 3 through 12. TeamMates has expanded over the '90s and its inception to now have chapters in five different states. The impact of mentoring has been repeatedly shown to increase school attendance, academic achievement, and students' sense of well-being. More information will be forthcoming on how the requested grant funding to support mentoring programs in Nebraska will be disbursed to support the establishment of new and strengthening of existing mentoring programs. ESU 6 will continue to track this issue and partner to support school-based mentoring programming.

Currently, 11 of 16 ESU 6 area districts have active TeamMates Mentoring program chapters.

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Numerous bills in Legislative session address roles, funding of Nebraska ESUs

The Legislature is moving from full-day Committee Hearings now and transitioning into morning general session (floor debate) followed by ongoing afternoon committee hearings on proposed Legislation. There are over 800 bills proposed in the current 90 Day (long) session, which is projected to conclude in June. A number of these bills are particularly important to Nebraska Educational Service Units, including but not limited to the following:

  • LB48 proposed by Senator Dorn, which would be a restorative measure to replenish core service funds for Nebraska ESUs. Its hearing will be held March 15.
  • LB527 sponsored by Senator Frederickson, which would appropriate $12M for reimbursable mental health services from schools and ESUs.
  • LB638 sponsored by Senator Albrecht which would establish the Nebraska K-12 Cybersecurity and Data Protection Act, which would support and establish a scope of duties for Nebraska ESUs to fulfill in enhancing cybersecurity and network protections to schools.

Nebraska ESUs also annually host a legislative outreach day inviting State Senators and their staffs to come across from the Capital building for a continental breakfast or boxed lunch and learn more about the highly qualified personnel and vital programs offered by Nebraska's ESUs. This year's ESU Legislative Day sponsored by ESUCC will be held at the State Bar Association Conference Room on South 14th Street on February 14. ESU delegates from across the state will showcase items and information from their respective ESUs to share information with Senators and their staff. ESU 6 will be featuring our CTE programming through the Perkins consortium.

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UNHS, others, present at ESU 6 Digital Learning Solutions Day

ESU 6 hosted a Digital Learning Solutions Day on January 30 attended by over a dozen representatives of seven different districts to learn about the latest courseware available in online and hybrid delivery platforms. The presenters included Dr. Jeff Stoehr, Principal of University of Nebraska High School, and Dr. Barbara Shousha, the Director of UNHS (pictured).

Other presenters who traveled to ESU 6 from out of state to share their product line information included Jeff Lancial of Pearson Connexus and Casey Morris of Imagine Learning / Edgenuity.

Imagine Edgenuity brochure

Pearson District Partnerships profile

UNHS browse courses

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February is American Heart Month

It’s American Heart Month—show your heart some love by building sustainable habits with support from our wellness partner, WeightWatchers®. Choosing heart-healthy foods, prioritizing relaxation, and fitting exercise into your day can help keep your heart going strong.

Ready to make a change? Join WeightWatchers through EHA Wellness for as low as $8.48. Become a WeightWatchers member by February 28 and get a free WW Bluetooth® body weight scale.** Learn more at Then get your scale!

Photo source

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United States Secretary of Education Cardona visits Omaha, ESU #3

United States Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona visited Educational Service Unit 3 in Papillion on Wednesday, February 8 as part of an Omaha visit that included a visit to Omaha Bryan High School to examine model Career and Technical Education programs and speak with students.
At ESU 3, Secretary Cardona spoke with a small panel of mental health professionals and Student Services experts from ESU 3 and the Omaha metropolitan area. The focus of the conversation was on sustaining comprehensive school mental health models in the post-pandemic era.

Congratulations to Dr. Dan Schnoes, ESU 3 Administrator, and the ESU 3 team on the opportunity to showcase these integral programs supporting area schools and to uplift the importance of Social Emotional Behavioral Learning as a vital aspect of effective educational programming. USDOE media advisory:

Dr. John Skretta, ESU 6 Administrator

Dr. Skretta is the Educational Service Unit #6 Administrator. ESU 6 serves almost 1,000 teachers and its 16 public school districts educate over 14,000 students annually. Dr. Skretta serves as the direct liaison and contact for consultation and support to school district superintendents and oversees the provision of core and elective service areas by the ESU 6 Directors and their respective departments. Dr. Skretta serves on the Information Resources Committee and chairs the Legal Committee of the ESUCC.

Educational Service Unit #6

ESU 6 serves the educational needs of our 16 member school districts in five different counties, offering students and staff a comprehensive program of services, including:

  • Professional Development
  • Student Services
  • Technology
  • Production and Design

The highly qualified team members of ESU 6 will work directly with you and your staff to determine how we can tailor services to best meet your school's needs. ESU 6 is here to ADVOCATE, COLLABORATE, & COMMUNICATE with educators and systems across the ESU 6 area. ESU 6 Staff and Specialty Areas Can be Found on our Website at