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Guest Column: Update on proposed health standards

Guest Column: Update on proposed health standards

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At the State Board of Education meeting in Kearney, May 7, 2021, the AQuESTT Teaching, Learning, and Serving Domain Committee shared an update on the proposed Health Standards.

Starting the previous month, the committee recommended that the NDE begin to analyze the public input received. The committee previewed a preliminary draft of the qualitative data analyses from emails received between March 10 and March 29, which included 2,580 emails. The analyses also included open-ended survey data received between March 10 and April 26, which included 9,490 responses.

The top five themes from the data analyses include: Family; Family/parents; Gender/gender identity; Scrap/remove; and Community. The Committee recommended that NDE analyze the additional emails and to analyze the quantitative data from the public input survey.

The committee also recommended that the public input survey close next week, so data analysis can be completed to inform Draft No. 2. The standards input email will remain active, and members of the public are encouraged to send feedback on Draft No. 1 to one of the following: or submit comments online at

Last month, the committee also recommended the Commissioner outline a plan to develop Draft No. 2. The committee discussed the types of revisions that could be made for Draft No. 2. The types of changes discussed include:

• Changes responsive to common themes or concerns about specificity, developmental appropriateness, and delineation of parent/family responsibilities.

• Structural changes, which are changes to the structure of the standards, indicators, strands, etc.

• Removal and/or additions, which are changes that could include the removal or additions of strands, topics, words, phrases, etc.

• Rewording, which are changes that could include rewording topics, words, or phrases that might be confusing or misunderstood.

The NDE and the standards writing team will begin work this month on Draft No. 2 with a goal of Draft No. 2 being publicly available mid- to late-summer. Stakeholder input is an important part of the standards process, so once Draft No. 2 is available, a second public input survey will open. The Teaching and Learning Committee recommended that NDE simplify the survey design, thus making it easier for the general public to complete. Thank you to everyone who has either filled out the survey or emailed NDE with input on the proposed Health Standards.

These statements represent my personal views and not those of the State Board of Education.

— Lisa Fricke is a member of the State Board of Education, representing District 2, and is the chair of the AQuESTT Teaching, Learning, and Serving Domain Committee.

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