2017-2018 Annual Report

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2017-2018 ESU 7 Annual Report



A Note from The Administrator...

Beliefs, Service Categories & Leadership Team


School Districts, Legislative Districts, Departments & SIMPL


Table of Contents


Our Services



2017-2018 Financial Summary


ESU 7 Board of Directors, Nebraska ESUs Map & Contact Information

ESU 7 2017-2018 Services Matrix

Data & Statistics

This annual report serves the following purposes:

  • To meet legal requirements set forth by §79-1228

  • To provide information about ESU 7 activities to member schools, and

  • To provide data by which decision can be made.

Educational Service Units (ESUs) were established in 1965 as a solution to the inequities of educational access and opportunities for not only rural school districts, but also for our more urban districts.  In the years since, ESUs have evolved to become necessary educational partners to school districts of all sizes. The Educational Service Unit 7 service area covers 3500 square miles, includes 19 member school districts, 11,654 students, 1077 teachers, 80 school district administrators, and 86 ESU 7 employees.

This annual report is an overview of the services provided to those school districts. ESU 7 works proactively to provide services and supports to each of its 19 member school districts. Using data, educational needs for the ESU 7 region are identified and prioritized, and services are developed and deployed by cultivating relationships and partnerships with each of our member districts. ESU 7 provides educational programming and services necessary for our member schools to meet the needs of their students and achieve their continuous improvement goals.

Nebraska Department of Education’s Rule 84 establishes performance expectations for ESU accreditation. The AdvancED accreditation of ESU 7 is based on national research-based protocol for intermediate agencies and meets the highest standards of the Nebraska Department of Education. ESU 7 participated in the external visit from the AdvancED organization in March of 2018 and continues to provide exemplary supports and services. 

Member school districts rely on ESU 7 for its expertise in special education, professional development, technology and infrastructure support, production, and grant facilitation. On behalf of the ESU 7 Board of Directors, I thank you for taking time to review this annual report. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

                                                                                     Larianne Polk

                                                                                      Chief Administrator     

2017-2018 ESU 7 Annual Report

From the Administrator


The mission of ESU 7 is to provide leadership and services supporting the improvement of learning and teaching.


2017-2018 ESU 7 Annual Report

"We walk behind our schools to keep them moving, beside them to help them stay focused and on track, and far enough in front of them to not only see where they are going, but to anticipate their needs." - Administrator Polk

9 Leadership Team Members

Larianne Polk - Administrator
Darus Mettler - Special Education Director
Marci Ostmeyer - Professional Development Director
Dan Ellsworth - Network Operations Director
Mark Brady - Professional Development Coordinator
Brooke Kavan - Professional Development Coordinator
Brooke Koliha - Professional Development Coordinator
Otis Pierce - Professional Development Coordinator
Laura Plas - Professional Development Coordinator


1. Professional Development
2. Instructional Resources
3. Technology
4. Special Education
5. Distance Learning
6. Federal and State Grant Facilitation
7. Production/Art Media
8. Leadership Support

8 Service Categories

Who we are and what we believe at ESU 7...

1. We Believe...all public school districts are a vital part of service planning.
2. We offering effective and efficient services to public schools.
3. We leading with trust and reliability
4. We hiring high quality and diverse staff
5. We collaboration between NDE, ESU 7 and districts to benefit all stakeholders.
6. We focusing on student and family learning to create productive citizens and adults.
7.We innovation

7 Beliefs

2017-2018 ESU 7 Annual Report

Boone Central, Central City, Clarkson, Columbus, Cross County, David City, East Butler, Fullerton, High Plains, Howells-Dodge, Humphrey, Lakeview, Leigh, Osceola, Palmer, Schuyler, Shelby-Rising City, St. Edward and Twin River.

19 School Districts

11 Departments

Administration, Cen7ter, Early Childhood, Grants, Migrant, Production, Professional Development, Psychology, Speech/Language, Network Operations, and Vision.




6 Legislative Districts

15 - Senator Lynne Walz
22 - Senator Paul Schumacher
23 - Senator Bruce Bostelman
24 - Senator Mark Kolterman
34 - Senator Curt Friesen
41 - Senator Tom Briese

Since 2015, ESU 7 has uses a data-driven services planning process called SIMPL (Service Implementation Model Process and Log) to systematically identify the needs of our districts and determine services to fill their gaps.  SIMPL comprehensively assesses the ESU's programming so as to allow for optimal implementation at the school district level.  Each fall, Superintendents and Principals engage in a process to determine services for the following year.  The process begins with a two-part data dig where a variety of data are used to identify priorities.  After key services are determined, each district has an individual consultation to customize their ESU 7 Service plan to meet their specific needs.  ESU staff then utilizes the SIMPL tool to log the services delivered at each district, the specific services accessed and the level of implementation of the service for each district.  This process allows for intentional service customization and development to best meet each district's needs.  Below is a diagram depicting the three stages of SIMPL:

2017-2018 ESU 7 Annual Report


Early Childhood

Early Childhood Intervention encompasses a variety of programs available for children 0-5 years of age including evaluation, intervention, and program planning for children experiencing learning difficulties and/or developmental delays.

2017-2018 ESU 7 Annual Report

Our Services

Professional Development

ESU 7 provides professional development support and technical assistance related to curriculum, instruction, assessment, standards and school improvement to enhance learning, teaching and school/district planning.

Instructional Resources

ESU 7 provides instructional materials through a regional center to support curriculum standards and instruction including information literacy and skill development.


ESU 7 Provides technology support, consultation, assistance, training and skill development for hardware and software in addition to cost-savings for Internet services and software purchases.

ESU 7 also provides organized implementation of technology aligned to and supportive of the School Improvement Process.


Behavior Specialist

Special Education

Behavior Specialist Services focus on working with administration, teachers, paraprofessionals, psychologists, students and families to provide strategies assisting students to develop positive social-emotional behavior skills.

ESU 7 provides contracted Special Education services to districts including: Psychology, Speech and Language, Vision, Hearing, Early Childhood, Resource Coach, Behavior Specialist and Program Supervision.

Distance Learning

ESU 7 coordinates courses for Kindergarten-12 students and professional development for educators using an alternative method of delivery.

Federal and State Grant Facilitation

Our Services (Continued)

2017-2018 ESU 7 Annual Report


The ESU 7 Vision Team provides resources, services and support in collaboration with schools, families and community agencies to children/youth who have a visual impairment.

Production/Art Media

ESU 7 Offers efficient and cost-effective production and art media services including copying, collating, stapling, laminating, binding, folding, letters and symbols, fill color poster printing as well as lamination of materials to support instruction.



ESU 7 provides comprehensive school psychological services to students, schools and families, helping students be successful in academic achievement, social skills acquisition, behavior functioning and positive social-emotional development.

A teacher of the Hearing Impaired provides deaf education services and/or consultation for students verified as deaf or hard of hearing.  Deaf Educators work with an audiologist to ensure appropriate aural rehabilitation services.

Program Supervision

The ESU 7 Special Education Department offers leadership and service in collaboration with our school districts in several areas.


Speech and Language

Speech/Language Pathologists (SLPs) address evaluation, consultation and intervention for children experiencing speech/language difficulties. SLPs also provide support for children with articulation disorders, voice problems, and dysfluency.

Resource Coach

Resource Coaches work with teachers/other district staff to provide guidance, training, resources and strategies for working with students/utilize programming and materials.

ESU 7 facilitates state and federal grants including: ESU 7 Title I Cooperative, ESU 7 Title IIA, ESU 7 Migrant Education (Title IC), ESU 7 Title III, Carl Perkins, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Early Learning Connection (ELC), Planning Region Team (PRT), Transition and Improving Learning for Children with Disabilities (ILCD).

2017-2018 ESU 7 Annual Report

We cannot live without our ESU because...

...we save money on services by sharing resources with other ESU Schools.  We receive services we would not be able to due to our size.  Specifically, teacher and staff training at professional development events, Special Education, transition, Life Skills Cen7ter and consortiums. - Chip Kay, Shelby-Rising City Schools and assistance with many vital functions, including technology professional development, curriculum and standards alignment, and media/production.  In addition, the professional networking with other Administrators throughout the area us extremely valuable. - Joel Bohlken, Palmer Public Schools

...of all the support services that we receive from them at a much more efficient cost versus hiring the same services on our own. - Brent Hollinger, Cross County Schools

...of the early childhood services and special education support provided to our students.
- Chad Denker, David City Public Schools

...they provide services that our district could not afford on our won.  Special Education, life skills Cen7ter, speech, school psychology services, technology and internet services, professional development, teacher mentoring, curriculum development, school improvement supports and legal updates.  These are not all inclusive as there are other services not mentioned.  Without ESUs, schools would struggle to provide these services. - Steve Rinehart, Osceola Public Schools

...they provide so many services that we could not provide on our own.  We would have to send staff further away for training.  ESU 7 staff provide valuable training for our students and staff. - Aaron Plas, Lakeview Community Schools

Data & Statistics


11,654 Public Students

80 Public Administrators

1,077 Public Teachers

2017-2018 ESU 7 Annual Report

2017-2018 Financial Summary

2017-2018 Receipts

2017-2018 Expenditures

Total: $8,580,792.32

Total: $8,952,452.45


Educational Service Unit 7
2657 44th Avenue
Columbus, NE 68601
North: 402-564-5753
South: 402-564-0815
Fax: 402-563-1121

2017-2018 ESU 7 Annual Report

Nebraska's ESUs

Notice of Nondiscrimination can be found on the ESU 7 website at in Policy 1.17: Compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.

ESU 7 Board of Directors

President, Don Ellison
Vice President, Terry Fusco
Secretary, Doug Kluth