Nevada Ed-Watch 8/30/18

The Ed-Watch series is designed to increase access to information on what decisions are being made regarding public education in Clark County and Nevada.

Thursday, August 30, 2018 
Nevada State Board of Education Meeting

Click here to see the meeting agenda | Click here to access supportive documents.

Board approves standards for districts on the development, implementation, and evaluation of professional development for teachers and administrators.  Click here for more details.

Computer course graduation requirement updated from “Use of Computers” to “Computer Education and Technology.” This reflects the fast-paced advancements in computer literacy, and embraces technology as an important component for student success. The refresh puts Nevada at the forefront nationwide for equitable access to computer and technology education.

Board approves minimum 3rd-grade reading scores to promote to 4th-grade. Students must score in the 31st-percentile or above (a level 2 or higher) on the Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBAC) test to be promoted– unless they are eligible for a good cause exemption, which would negate a retention decision. The state will provide a guidance to schools to communicate this, as well as an additional document for parents to understand the scoring. Read about it in the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Board approves a $5,000 incentive for teachers to transfer to a Title 1 or a 1- or 2- star school. Teachers must meet certain criteria to be eligible, and must not currently be at a Title 1 or a 1-2 star school.

Board approves moving funds from this fiscal year to next fiscal year for UNLV students in an intensive teaching program. Students eligible for the program graduated in the top 1/3 of their class, are an ethnic minority, and meet high-need licensure areas. A stipend is included in the program so students do not have to work.

Future Agenda Items:

Chronic absenteeism and teacher absenteeism– presentation from districts that exceed a normal range of teacher absences; and a report from the NVDOE Chronic Absenteeism Taskforce

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Nevada Ed-Watch 8/23/18

The Ed-Watch series is designed to increase access to information on what decisions are being made regarding public education in Clark County and Nevada.

Thursday, August 23, 2018 
CCSD Board of Trustees Meeting

Below are some discussion highlights that Trustees discussed or took action on during the regular board meeting on 8/23/18. Click here to see the meeting agenda.

Deal Made with CCEA Teachers’ Union for Teacher Pay

  • Pending teacher consent, a deal has been reached on the teachers’ union contract and pay increase.
    • Click here to read more in the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
    • Click here to read more in the Nevada Independent.

Two School Facilities Named

  • Canyon Springs HS Football Field has been named after Hernandez “Hunkie” Cooper.
  • Green Valley HS expansion has been named Richard and Linda Rivera Wrestling Center.

Agreement Reached for Alternative Disciplinary Practices that are Minimally Disruptive to Educational Opportunity

  • This Memorandum of Understanding creates a partnership between the Clark County School District, the Clark County Department of Juvenile Justice Services, and the Office of the Clark County District Attorney to work together to minimize disruption to a student’s education and provide an alternative to punitive disciplinary practices. This creates diversions away from the criminal court system.
    • Instead of receiving a citation for a misdemeanor, students receive a warning.

    • For students who are heading back to school from Juvenile Justice Placements or short term suspension, there is a transition plan in place for that student’s return.

    • Trustees also discussed opportunities to receive student feedback and engage a broader representation of the community. The next meeting of the Advisory Group is September 20th at 8:30am.

To see the Memorandum of Understanding, click here.

Agreement Reached for Landscape Conversion Rebate

  • Motion passes 6-0 to enter into a Landscape Conversion Agreement between the Clark County School District and the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) to allow CCSD schools to receive a rebate on funds for converting irrigated spaces into a space that can be used for gardens (drought-tolerant spaces).
  • This is an administrative clarification to change real-property agreements that support new school gardens at a number of schools– changing the signer to from the school to the District.

Other Discussion Items:

  • Exploring requesting a waiver from the state to not implement the Nevada Educator Performance Framework (NEPF) in exchange for another teacher evaluation process.
  • Consent agenda passes 6-0, including hiring Strategies 360 to execute Government Affairs work for the 2019 Legislative Session; two positions were eliminated in the department.

Potential Future Agenda Items & Trustee Reports:

  • Review and discuss the Naming of Schools and Education-Related Facilities policy. (Trustee Young)
  • Trustee Report
    • Trustee Garvey:
      • Providing reports and relevant information to Bond Oversight Committee.

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What are you looking forward to the most this school year?

Teacher leaders in our partner Fellowship programs are gearing up for the new school year and planning ways to apply their newly developed skills in their classrooms. Below, we capture some of their reflections.


Q: What are you looking forward to the most this school year?

Anthony Mooney, Lead Nevada Fellow: This year I am looking forward to watching a new school, Nevada Prep, come to life. I am also looking forward to helping new teachers develop into effective educators and delivering effective instruction that raises student achievement.

Kenny Belknap, Teach Plus Fellow: This should be a busy year between teaching a new class and working on my Teach Plus work. I’m excited to share the knowledge I gain with my students.

Jordana McCudden, Teach Plus Fellow: As a consulting teacher, I’ll have the opportunity to work side by side with brand new teachers, helping them navigate the complexities of teaching.

Stevie Johnson, Lead Nevada Fellow: I am most looking forward to  starting at a new school, Nevada Rise. I am excited about working with new staff, students and curriculum as grade chair lead.

Jen Loescher, Teach Plus Fellow: This school year is bursting with exciting opportunities for learning– about Nevada education policy, how to improve my craft of teaching, and building new relationships with my new role at RPDP.

Richard Wiley, Teach Plus Fellow: I look forward to making a significant, positive impact on the lives of each of my students. It will require leveraging every available resource and maximizing human capital to its fullest extent to improve our high schools.

Mary Ardoin: Lead Nevada Fellow: This year I am most looking forward to helping our new teachers create and implement a vision of excellence for themselves and students.

Jeanine Zelik, Teach Plus Fellow: Every year I look forward to creating relationships with students. I am fortunate to watch my former students continue their educational journey and help them achieve their goals as they look at their future post-graduation.

Justin Brecht, Building Excellent Schools Fellow & Founder of Nevada Rise:  I look forward to the vision of Nevada Rise becoming a reality. Most importantly, I look forward to delivering on the promise we have made to each individual family as we begin the our journey on the path to college.

Mary Enwemaya, Lead Nevada Fellow: I’m looking forward to better understanding how to align the new state (MAP) testing to advance student learning and adjust to their needs and desires.

Q: How will your Fellowship program help you achieve your objectives and make a bigger impact?

Anthony Mooney, Lead Nevada Fellow: Lead Nevada Academy has given me the knowledge, skills and abilities to be successful through participation in rigorous coaching and role play activities that have driven me to develop and hone specific skills.

Kenny Belknap, Teach Plus Fellow: The Teach Plus Fellowship is providing me with the tools I need to help elevate my voice and learn the several different paths available to make change or influence policy makers.

Jordana McCudden, Teach Plus Fellow: At Teach Plus, I have gained an understanding of the “how” and “why” behind education policy. Celine Coggins, founder of Teach Plus, says if you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu. I am now ready to sit at the table with stakeholders in affecting the change I feel will directly impact student achievement and teacher retention.

Stevie Johnson, Lead Nevada Fellow: Since my school will be new and we will have a small staff, there are many opportunities to take on leadership roles. Lead Nevada Academy will help provide me with the framework and skills to develop me as a leader.

Jen Loescher, Teach Plus Fellow: Teach Plus has provided a concrete platform to learn about education policy and how to advocate and get my voice to the table.  My confidence has grown, helping me choose to step outside my comfort zones and grow my network.

Richard Wiley, Teach Plus Fellow: The Teach Plus Fellowship keeps me apprised about what other schools in Nevada are doing to continually improve, and provides a vehicle for professional collaboration opportunities with high quality educators in other districts.

Mary Ardoin, Lead Nevada Fellow: Lead Nevada Academy is already a part of my achievement, as I realized during our summer work that the best way to prepare teachers for success is to first help them envision what a high achieving classroom will look like. Then, provide them the tools that will help them accomplish their goals.

Jeanine Zelik, Teach Plus Fellow: This fellowship allows me to dive deeper into the issues happening within education in Nevada, not only Clark County. It also allows me to help better educate and explain the status of particular issues without bias, just a deeper understanding of what is going on.

Justin Brecht, Building Excellent Schools Fellow & Founder of Nevada Rise: The BES Fellowship helps keep my focus on the principles of our mission, and the details that will help drive toward meeting the mission. Our partnership with BES ensures we implement precise practice and feedback on many levels and provides a strong network of support.

Mary Enwemaya, Lead Nevada Fellow: Lead Nevada Academy will allow me to look through dual lenses, as a classroom instructor and administrator. On the micro level, I can engage with data in my classroom by looking at individual students and focus their glows and growths. On a macro level, as an administrator, I hope to gain an overview of trends from K-2 and understand the shifts that occur in instruction, data, etc.


Wishing each of our program Fellows, and ALL Nevada educators, a strong start to a new school year!

Nevada Ed-Watch 8/9/18

The Ed-Watch series is designed to increase access to information on what decisions are being made regarding public education in Clark County and Nevada.

Thursday, August 9, 2018 
Interim Legislative Committee on Education

The committee decided on Bill Draft Requests (BDR’s) that they will propose for the 2019 legislative session. A BDR is the first step in getting a bill heard during the legislative session, with the ultimate goal to get signed into law.

During this work session, the committee supported the proposals listed below. The item numbers in parenthesis correspond to the items in the work session document.

(item 1)

  • Create a long-term stakeholder group to develop a statewide vision and comprehensive system of education.

(item 3)

  • Develop an Equity Allocation Model (details to implement have not been finalized).

(items 12, 13, 14, 18, 18, 19)

  • Include Alternative Route to Licensure (ARL) for school building staff; expedite teacher licensure for military spouses; use of military training as credit towards trade licenses for veterans to qualify for jobs with school districts.
  • Clarify teacher licensure renewal, student teaching requirements, and exploration of a tiered structure for teacher licenses.

(items 21,22)

  • Improve data collection and reporting and increase level of detail reported for student discipline incidents across the state.

(31, 33, 34, 35)

  • Expand the definition of English Mastery to include students who are least proficient in english (but not second-language learners); extend the term of the English Mastery Council to further study learning English in the state.
  • Allow charter school authorizers discretion to determine the term of renewal contracts.
  • Increase school districts’ flexibility to award credits for diplomas for homeless and foster youth.

Thursday, August 9, 2018 
CCSD Board of Trustees Meeting

The board approved the gender diverse policy in a 4-3 vote. The policy defines terms like Gender Expression and Gender Identity, and establishes a Gender Support Team. Gender Support teams are created when a child identifies as being gender diverse. The Team is responsible for designing a plan to address the rights and needs of students with diverse gender identities or expressions.

This policy also codifies additional rights of gender diverse students, such using the students preferred name and gender in all unofficial school documents, and allowing students to wear uniforms that correspond with their gender expression.


Supporters of the policy discussed the policy’s alignment to nationally recognized models. Washoe County School District enacted a similar policy in 2015. Opponents of the policy argued that it is a violation of the rights of students whose gender identity and expression are consistent with that assigned at birth, and had concerns of transparency around the policy itself.


Click here to read the policy.
Click here to see the agenda or watch the meeting.

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