Behind the scenes

Alissa Slota, left, a sixth grade language arts teacher at South Sioux City Middle School gets her picture taken by photographer Mike Malone while Brittany Mascio assists with lighting.

Nebraska Loves Public Schools, an Omaha-based non-profit group that films documentaries highlighting positive aspects of Nebraska public education, spent part of last week in Cardinal Elementary and the South Sioux City Middle School.

The group was filming a documentary on the district's professional learning communities, or meetings between teachers, to see how they collaborate with each other and implement strategies to further student achievement.

“South Sioux, it's definitely meeting our expectations,” said Brittany Mascio, director of marketing for Nebraska Loves Public Schools. “It's a really complicated and sophisticated way of professional development. We've been really blown away by the teachers.”

The documentary focused specifically on comparing how third grade teachers collaborate at Cardinal Elementary with how teachers collaborate at the middle school.

“In middle school, you don't have just one teacher, so it gets more complicated,” Mascio said.

The documentary will be available online at their website,, on May 1.

“It feels amazing to be able to share our story to other in the community and Nebraska,” said Erica Somsky, assistant principal at the middle school. “Our teachers are collaborative, focused on learning, and we're excited to show some of the good things we are doing in South Sioux.”

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