NC Rotary Club learns about ESU 4 services

Julie Davis
Nebraska City News-Press

The 17 Educational Service Units (ESUs) across Nebraska help provide school districts with services the districts cannot provide for themselves.

Otoe County schools, including Nebraska City Public, Lourdes Central Catholic, Syracuse-Dunbar-Avoca, and Palmyra-Bennet, are part of ESU 4, which is headquartered in Auburn.

ESU 4 Administrator Gregg Robke discussed the role ESU 4 plays in southeast Nebraska education during the Sept. 22 meeting of the Nebraska City Rotary Club.

Robke said he first became affiliated with ESU 4 when he was a teacher in Pawnee City. He then became the director of technology for ESU 4, and then the unit’s administrator.

ESU 4 serves 700 teachers and 7,000 students in 11 school districts and three parochial schools in Otoe, Nemaha, Pawnee, Johnson, and Richardson counties, said Robke. It employs 70 people between two locations in Auburn and the Nebraska Center for the Education of Children who are Blind or Visually Impaired (NCECBVI) in Nebraska City.

The two Auburn locations include the unit’s new main office at 2301 Dahlke Ave. (the former Carson Bank Building at the corner of Business Highway 75/J Street and 23rd Street) and a Learning Center at the corner of Central Avenue and R Street in Auburn that provides a behavioral program for districts that do not have their own programs (i.e., the NCPS Impact Program at the central office in Nebraska City). 

Currently, the Learning Center serves students from Johnson-Brock, Humboldt, and Pawnee City, said Robke.

The unit’s services include student health screenings for vision, dental, hearing, height and weight, and blood pressure; special education services; technology and network services; and teaching and learning to support curriculum, instruction, and assessment in the districts and parochial schools.

Robke said ESU 4 has just received a mental health grant to help screen students for mental health issues. It will be used to train staff in how to conduct the screenings, he said.

ESU 4 also recently received the Governor’s Wellness Award from Gov. Pete Ricketts.

The Nebraska City Rotary Club meets at noon Wednesday at Valentino’s, 1710 S. 11th. Guests pay $9 for lunch.

The speakers for tomorrow (Sept. 29) are scheduled to be Kelly Bequette and Doug Grimm, who will provide an update on the downtown flower basket and bumpout projects.

Cole Sharp is the club president. Call (402) 873-0530 for more information.

ESU 4 Administrator Gregg Robke speaks during a meeting of the Nebraska City Rotary Club.