NESC newsletter
February 2022
NESC ConnectEd
Lessons with our outstanding state partners take place each Tuesday, 3:45 - 4:15 CT!
This project is supported in part by the North Dakota Afterschool Network's STEM Next Opportunity Fund Grant and a grant from the ND Council on the Arts, which receives funding from the state legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts.
The NESC at a Glance
NESC Partners to Support and Scale Standards-Based Learning Across North Dakota

Standards-based learning is a systematic approach to the planning and implementation of high-quality curriculum, instruction, and assessment. These practices meet the needs of students, educators, and families by promoting greater levels of clarity, communication, consistency, and effectiveness in teaching and learning. Using prioritized North Dakota content standards, learning time is maximized while learning progress is measured through the scaffolded demonstration of competency throughout the learning process. Standards-based learning is rooted in instructional research and serves to create a guaranteed and viable curriculum for all North Dakota students. 

Beginning in 2017, the Northeast Education Services Cooperative (NESC-Devils Lake), Central Regional Education Association (CREA-Bismarck/Minot), and South East Education Cooperative (SEEC-Fargo) partnered to support schools in their implementation of standards based learning.

Collaborative work among these Regional Education Associations (REAs) and with educators across the state produced the North Dakota Priority Standards, proficiency scales, and additional resources, all supported by the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction (NDDPI).
This collection of documents, aligned to the North Dakota State Content Standards, serves as a guide for schools as they refine their curriculum, instruction, and assessment frameworks and practices.

Funds Allow for New and Continued Work
In the Spring of 2021, the CREA, NESC, and SEEC submitted a proposal to the NDDPI for continued funding of this statewide effort. The proposal was awarded in Fall 2021 for a three-year term. 

Priorities within this proposal include 
  1. Revising the existing K-12 English Language Arts and Math proficiency scales; 
  2. Establishing K-12 Social Studies and Science Priority Standards and aligned proficiency scales; and 
  3. Creating a statewide professional development framework.  

Our team’s state scaling objectives are as follows: 
  • Increase equity for North Dakota K-12 students through access to teaching and learning of the State Content Standards 
  • Accelerate learning for North Dakota K-12 students through implementation of quality instructional frameworks aligned with the State Content Standards 
  • Increase equity for North Dakota K-12 educators and educational stakeholders through flexible access to comprehensive, scaffolded, and instructionally-focused professional development 
  • Set students up for success through support of K-12 educators, schools, and school districts through the implementation of 
  • Evidence-based instructional frameworks and 
  • Sustainable, high-quality professional development structures with entry points for schools of all sizes, locations, and readiness 

Our grant team is already busy structuring resources and planning professional development. Further, we’ve established a regular leadership communication to support schools in this important work! This work is implemented neither easily nor swiftly, and we find that it’s lead best in mutual company. Let us help you through the sharing of ideas and resources, trials and successes, partners, and opportunities. We’re working on this WITH you and cheering you on all the way!
Members at Work
Making Your Presentations Meaningful

More than 150 educators from numerous schools and agencies across North Dakota have been participating in a six-part webinar series, Making Your Presentations Meaningful. Locally, educational leaders from Devils Lake, Edmore, Langdon, Tate Topa, and the NESC have engaged in this learning. This event series was coordinated by the NESC.

Webinar presenter, Dr. Tammy Heflebower of Marzano Resources and Solution Tree, leads participants through strategies for planning, preparing, and delivering an effective message. This work aims to enhance professional development and communication effectiveness across the state. The series is supported by the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction and former Learning Forward ND.
March 7th-11th is School Social Worker Week.
March 4th is Maintenance Worker Appreciation Day.
We celebrate you and couldn't appreciate you more!

Jodi Erickstad, a teacher in the Starkweather school district, received the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction’s first teacher innovation grant! Congratulations!

Lakota has been awarded the North Dakota Systemwide Literacy Improvement Grant! They are one of eight rural school districts across North Dakota to be awarded this grant of up to $500,000 each to strengthen reading programs for their students and professional development for their teachers. Congratulations, Lakota!
NESC Learning Opportunities
NESC 2022 Regional Fall In-service
Tuesday, August 16, 2022
Lake Region State College, Devils Lake
Using the Visual Arts to Teach Life Science
All K-12 teachers are welcome to register!

Workshop Description:
The workshop will be fun and fast paced with many hands-on activities educators can use in their classrooms, discussion of classroom and curriculum integration, and identification of local resources. North Dakota resources, environment, and wildlife will be emphasized in this workshop. Field trips will be taken to demonstrate the use of natural areas as classrooms. Workshop participants will have the opportunity to experiment with different media including clay, watermedia, pastel, and colored pencil. No previous art experience is required for this workshop. All materials will be provided.

  • Identify art methods to teach life science concepts.
  • Provide meaningful art experiences by using integrated thematic instruction.
  • Acquire a basis for teaching ecological concepts and environmental stewardship to students through the visual arts.
  • Provide educational experience outside the traditional classroom.
  • Integrate resources and developed lesson plans into the existing curricula.
Dates: June 1-2, 2022

Times: 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM

Location: Devils Lake

Facilitator: Sherry Niesar, ND Game and Fish

Cost: Free

Registration Link:

Registration Deadline:
May 23, 2022
Prioritized Instructional Planning
Two Canvas, Self-paced Courses Available!

  • One for leaders of professional learning teams
  • One for individual educators

Content and format are the same for each course, but the design of the courses is tailored for facilitated team delivery or individual study and application of the content.

Module topics include:
  1. Determining What Students Sill Need to Learn
  2. Effective Planning for Teaching the Most Critical Content (Part 1)
  3. Effective Planning for Teaching the Most Critical Content (Part 2)
  4. Effective Monitoring of Student Learning (Part 1)
  5. Effective Monitoring of Student Learning (Part 2)
  6. Crosswalking Benchmark Assessment Data with the North Dakota Priority Standards
NESC Graduate Credit
The NESC is partnering with Valley City State
University to offer cafeteria graduate credit to member educators for NESC professional learning events.

Graduate Level
Professional Development
Credit Courses
(up to nine credits) for $275!
Purchase an annual subscription to gain access to online Graduate Level Professional Development Credit courses at a significant savings only available to NESC members. You'll be able to take one course each term for a total of three courses per year. 

Courses are offered through a partnership with University of North Dakota and Virtual Education Software (VESi). 
  • Three courses per year (up to nine credits) for $275
  • Learn online at your own pace from the convenience of your home
  • Choose from over 30 online courses for license renewal and salary advancement
View the full list of available courses, access course info/FAQs, and purchase the annual subscription at the following link:
Questions? Call 1-800-313-6744.
NESC Partner & North Dakota Learning Opportunities
Past NESC Workshops - Continued Support
Standards-Based Learning / Prioritized Standards

Learn how to get started with standards-based learning via a webinar from Dr. Phil Warrick of Marzano Resources:

Webinar: Prioritized Standards

This webpage will also lead you to the North Dakota Prioritized Standards for English Language Arts and Math plus additional resources to support you in your implementation of standards-based learning.
The NESC supports schools through leadership and collaborative opportunities.

The NESC positively impacts schools' capacity to offer high-quality education.