Nevada Ed-Watch 5/29/20

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.


State Public Charter School Authority (SPCSA)

What is the SPCSA & what are they responsible for? The SPCSA sponsors and oversees public charter schools across the State of Nevada. The Authority consists of nine appointed members responsible for overseeing educational and operational standards, and holding sponsored schools accountable to the academic achievement of students.

How often does the SPCSA Board meet? SPCSA members meet once monthly– on Fridays.

Click here for SPCSA meeting schedule and materials.

Can community members engage at SPCSA Board Meetings? All meetings are held publicly at the Nevada Department of Education building in Carson City and the Nevada Department of Education building in Las Vegas (1st floor boardroom). Members of the public are invited to attend at either location. A time for public comment is provided at the conclusion of each agenda item and at the conclusion of each Board meeting. There is a time limit of three minutes per speaker. Members of the community providing testimony must fill out a visitor card, available on-site the day of the meeting.

Alternatively, public comment may be submitted in writing at publiccomment@spcsa.nv.gov, and any such public comment received prior to the meeting will be provided to the Authority and included in the written minutes of the meeting.

Click here for a list of all SPCSA Members.

Click here for a list of all SPCSA sponsored schools.


Friday, May 29, 2020
State Public Charter School Authority Board Meeting

Click here to see the meeting agenda 

SPCSA Executive Director’s Report: 

Report Highlights: 

  • The SPCSA has identified nine agency-wide initiatives for the 2020-2021 annual plan. The plan includes developing a differentiated approach to grant monitoring and oversight and a long-term engagement strategy with a Growth Plan working group. Click here to view the full list of initiatives. 
  • SPCSA staff is planning for the fiscal impact of COVID-19 for the upcoming years. This includes planning for a 4% budget cut for FY19 and anywhere between  6%-14% budget cut for FY20. SPCSA is recommending that schools plan for the potential of significant cuts.  Click here to see the full update related to SPCSA’s COVID-19 response. 
  • In alignment with the Nevada Department of Education’s decision to carry over star ratings and school performance designations, the SPCSA will also carry over academic designations, including notices of concern. 
  • SPCSA received 13 Letters of Intent to submit charter applications in July. Additionally, there were five requests for amendments for the spring amendment cycle. 

Board Heard Updates & Approved Amendments from Charter Schools

SPCSA board members heard from school leaders & board members of four approved SPCSA schools that have not yet opened.

  • Pinecrest Academy of Northern Nevada shared updates related to enrollment, marketing, and transportation. Additionally, the board approved the school’s transportation plan, with conditions. Click here to view the  transportation plan and conditions. Click here to view the full update. 
  • Las Vegas Collegiate shared updates related to enrollment challenges and concerns with student safety related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The board approved the school’s request to defer opening until the 2021-2022 school year. Click here to view the request. 
  • Girls Athletic Leadership School shared updates related to their facilities and enrollment. The board approved addition of 7th grade for the 2020-2021 school year. Click here to view the full update.  
  • Explore Academy shared updates related to their temporary facility and enrollment. The school anticipates submitting an amendment request to add 8th grade for the 2020-2021 school year.

Board Approved Charter Contract for CIVICA Nevada Career and Collegiate Academy

The board approved staff recommendation to authorize CIVICA Nevada Career and Collegiate Academy, with conditions. CIVICA Nevada Career and Collegiate Academy will serve grades Kindergarten through 7th grade in 2021, and grow into K-12 school by the 2026-2027 school year.  Click here to view the staff recommendation and conditions.

Board Approved Three Charter School Contracts

The approved the contracts transition former Achievement School District Schools under the authorization of the SPCSA, effective July 1st.

Click here to view the contract for Futuro Academy
Click here to view the contract for Nevada Prep Charter School
Click here to view the contract for Nevada Rise Academy

Board Heard Updates on Site Evaluation Report

SPCSA staff provided an overview of the draft legislative report on Site Evaluations due to the Legislative Committee on Education by July 30th. The report includes an outline of the site evaluation process and analysis of findings. Since January 2019, the SPCSA has conducted 60 site evaluations at all sponsored schools’ campuses. 

Click here to view the draft report.

Board Heard Update From Schools Under or Previously Under Receivership

Quest Preparatory Academy:

  • Litigation with CSP Bridger regarding school properties has been settled. 
  • Progress has been made with reconstituting the school’s board. Six potential board members, including two parents, have been submitted to the SPCSA for approval. 

Discovery Charter School: 

  • School leaders anticipate a low teacher turn-over rate for the 2020-2021 school year.  
  • School leaders are prepared to be responsive to changes to the school model based on health and safety standards related to COVID-19. 

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Nevada Ed-Watch 5/18/20

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.


Clark County School District Board of Trustees 

What is the Board of Trustees & what are they responsible for? The CCSD Trustees are publicly elected decision-makers for the school district. They are responsible for providing oversight to the Superintendent and establishing District-wide policy. Trustees are accountable to work with their communities to improve student achievement.

Click here to learn more and see a list of current Trustees

Click here to Find your Trustee District

How often does the Board of Trustees meet? Trustees meet twice per month (second and fourth Thursdays) at 5pm at the Edward A. Greer Education Center (Board Room): 2832 E. Flamingo Road, Las Vegas, NV 89121.

Click here for a full list of Trustees meetings and agendas

Click here to visit Hope For Nevada’s #NVEd Calendar

Can community members engage at Trustee Meetings? Decision-making bodies benefit greatly from hearing public input and multiple perspectives. Community members can sign up to speak after the agenda has been posted– by calling the Board Office at (702) 799-1072 at least 3 hours before the scheduled meeting, or signing up in-person at the beginning of the meeting. Prior to each agenda item being voted on, speakers can share their perspective after the Board’s discussion and prior to the vote.


Thursday, May 18, 2020

Clark County School District Board of Trustees Special Meeting

Click here to see the meeting agenda

What happened at this meeting?

Public Comment

Members of the public submitted comments online. Public comment was not read directly into the record, and rather an oral summary of each comment was provided to Trustees.

Click here to see public comments on agenda items. 

Click here to see public comments on non-agenda items.

Trustees Adopted the 2020-2021 Final Budget

A Final Budget was presented to Trustees prior to submission to the Department of Taxation, as required by law. While the budget includes some predictions of revenue changes, there are still uncertainties about statewide funding cuts and federal assistance related to COVID-19, as well as student enrollment. 

CCSD’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) presented a budget that projects a $38 million shortfall for the 2020-2021 school year, with consideration of a revenue increase from property taxes, as well as reductions in the Local School Support Tax, Government Service Tax, the Distributive Schools Account (DSA). Additionally, the shortfall accounts for pay increases from collective bargaining agreements across five different units. 

The budget also includes an unassigned ending fund balance of 2.25% ($55 million). It was noted that this is not a rainy day fund. Rather, the ending fund balance drives bond ratings and is required by law. 

CCSD’s CFO and leadership anticipate the majority of budget cuts will come from school’s strategic budgets, with decisions being made by school principals and School Organization Teams (SOTs). This process will occur in the Fall when student counts are completed. The District is pending additional guidance and information from the state regarding budget adjustments. 

Click here to see the presentation. 

Click here to read about this in the Nevada Independent. 

Click here to read about this in the Las Vegas Review-Journal.


Requests for Future Agenda Items:

  • Ongoing updates about how CCSD Government Affairs is collaborating with state and county decision-makers to address the financial impact of the pandemic on the district. 
  • Presentation on cuts made to school strategic budgets.

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Nevada Ed-Watch 5/14/20

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.


Clark County School District Board of Trustees 

What is the Board of Trustees & what are they responsible for? The CCSD Trustees are publicly elected decision-makers for the school district. They are responsible for providing oversight to the Superintendent and establishing District-wide policy. Trustees are accountable to work with their communities to improve student achievement.

Click here to learn more and see a list of current Trustees

Click here to Find your Trustee District

How often does the Board of Trustees meet? Trustees meet twice per month (second and fourth Thursdays) at 5pm at the Edward A. Greer Education Center (Board Room): 2832 E. Flamingo Road, Las Vegas, NV 89121.

Click here for a full list of Trustees meetings and agendas

Click here to visit Hope For Nevada’s #NVEd Calendar

Can community members engage at Trustee Meetings? Decision-making bodies benefit greatly from hearing public input and multiple perspectives. Community members can sign up to speak after the agenda has been posted– by calling the Board Office at (702) 799-1072 at least 3 hours before the scheduled meeting, or signing up in-person at the beginning of the meeting. Prior to each agenda item being voted on, speakers can share their perspective after the Board’s discussion and prior to the vote.


Thursday, May 14, 2020

Clark County School District Board of Trustees Meeting

Click here to see the meeting agenda

What happened at this meeting?

Public Comment

Members of the public submitted comments online. Public comment was not read into the record, and rather a summary of comments was provided to Trustees. Click here to see public comment submissions. 

Consent Agenda Highlights: 

Trustees Approved a Resolution to Advocate for Federal Funding for Public Schools 

The resolution is in conjunction with The Council of the Great City Schools. It asks for $200 billion in federal relief for public schools nationwide to mitigate learning loss caused by COVID-19 closures, and to accelerate student outcomes.

Click here to see the resolution.

Trustees Heard a Presentation about Improving CCSD’s Special Education

The Council of the Great City Schools (CGCS) worked with CCSD to assess Special Education in the district. A report was developed that outlines opportunities to improve outcomes for students receiving special education services. The report includes data such as: 

  • In the 2018-2019 school year, 9.8% of students with Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) were on grade level in math, and 12.5% were on grade level in reading. 
  • The graduation rate for students with IEPs is 68%, compared to 85% for students that do not have IEPs.
  • Black students with IEPs are 3.39 times more likely to receive an out-of-school suspension than other students with IEPs.   

The report outlines the following 10 focus areas for the district to improve outcomes for students receiving special education services:

  1. Multi Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) 
  2. Referral/eligibility data and determination practice to address overrepresentation of student subgroups receiving special education services (Black, Hispanic, those who are eligible for Free or Reduced-Price Lunch, and English Language learners)
  3. The use of achievement, education environments, graduation, suspension, and absenteeism data to address disparities between local data and national data 
  4. Academic instruction and positive behavior support for students with disabilities 
  5. Parent support and engagement
  6. Interdepartmental collaboration within the district
  7. Student Support Division operational structure and regional alignment 
  8. School-based special education administration instruction and service support 
  9. Compliance, transportation, and fiscal management and accountability 
  10. Internal project management

Trustees and CGCS discussed challenges to improving outcomes for students with disabilities– including overcrowded classrooms, lack of strong Tier 1 instruction across the district, and lack of professional development to build the capacity of educators. 

Click here to see the presentation.

Click here to see the report.

Trustees Heard Updates on CCSD’s Human Capital Management System (HCMS) 

To address major payroll issues with its HCMS system, CCSD brought in a consultant to identify and resolve the issues. CCSD was able to recover $700,000 in continued support from the consultant company that built the system. 80% of necessary fixes have been implemented. 

Trustees requested a follow up presentation when all issues have been identified and addressed.

Click here to see the presentation.

Superintendent’s Report 

Report Highlights:

  • Superintendent Jara announced new principals: Andrea Hill (John Dooley Elementary) and Jaime Witte (Sue H. Morrow Elementary).
  • Regarding COVID-19 closures, a final decision on graduations will occur during phase 2 of the Governor’s reopening plan. All plans will follow the governor’s orders and the district will maintain social distancing protocols. 

Requests for Future Agenda Items:

  • Information about policies related to Librarians in schools  
  • Information about the selection criteria for forming the Reopening of Schools Committee, and ongoing updates 
  • Updates on work related to the Special Education Report developed by The Council of the Great City Schools

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Nevada Ed-Watch 5/7/20

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.


Clark County School District Board of Trustees 

What is the Board of Trustees & what are they responsible for? The CCSD Trustees are publicly elected decision-makers for the school district. They are responsible for providing oversight to the Superintendent and establishing District-wide policy. Trustees are accountable to work with their communities to improve student achievement.

Click here to learn more and see a list of current Trustees

Click here to Find your Trustee District

How often does the Board of Trustees meet? Trustees meet twice per month (second and fourth Thursdays) at 5pm at the Edward A. Greer Education Center (Board Room): 2832 E. Flamingo Road, Las Vegas, NV 89121.

Click here for a full list of Trustees meetings and agendas

Click here to visit Hope For Nevada’s #NVEd Calendar

Can community members engage at Trustee Meetings? Decision-making bodies benefit greatly from hearing public input and multiple perspectives. Community members can sign up to speak after the agenda has been posted– by calling the Board Office at (702) 799-1072 at least 3 hours before the scheduled meeting, or signing up in-person at the beginning of the meeting. Prior to each agenda item being voted on, speakers can share their perspective after the Board’s discussion and prior to the vote.


Thursday, May 7, 2020

Clark County School District Board of Trustees Emergency Meeting

Click here to see the meeting agenda & Addendum

What happened at this meeting?

Public Comment

Members of the public submitted comments online. Public comment was not read into the record, and rather a summary of comments was provided to Trustees. Click here to see public comment submissions. 

Consent Agenda Highlights: 

Trustees Heard Updates about the District’s Response to COVID-19

Presentation Highlights: 

  • All CCSD buildings remain closed through phase 1 of Governor Sisolak’s reopening plan. Employees who are currently working at school sites will continue working. Other personnel will return to in-person work as phase 1 of the reopening plan proceeds. 
  • Meals: CCSD will continue to provide meal services for students (including on Memorial Day) until June 30th, or until the Federal Government’s state of emergency is lifted (whichever comes first). To date, CCSD has distributed 2 million meals. 
  • Attendance: During the week of April 20th, approximately 251,000 students were considered present. CCSD is continuing to conduct wellness checks for students that were not successfully contacted since the transition to distance learning. Out of the target of 2,362 students, 1,280 students were successfully contacted. There are 10 attendance officers and 50 social workers doing door-to-door contact. 
  • Chromebooks: 85,000 students have received Chromebooks. CCSD has 157,000 Chromebooks left to deploy. 
  • Professional Development: Over the summer, CCSD will be offering online professional development for educators to strengthen their distance learning skills. Additionally, CCSD is deploying  learning opportunities for parents to support their children’s learning at home. 
  • Summer School: Extended learning will be available throughout the summer on CCSD’s website and at food distribution sites. Extended School Year (summer school) will also be offered via distance education for credit-deficient 6th-12th graders. Summer school prices have been reduced to $70 per half credit. Students should reach out to their school counselors to apply for available fee waivers.
  • Reopening: CCSD is convening a Reopening Our Schools Working Group. Trustees directed staff to ensure that parents, educators, and support staff are each represented in the working group. The guiding principles of the group are as follows:
    • Ensure the safety and well-being of all students and employees. 
    • Promote equity and accessibility to learning for all students.
    • Provide instructional delivery systems to meet the needs of all students.
    • Foster positive relationships and interactions. 
  • Funding:
    • The Nevada Department of Education will release an application for districts and LEA’s to apply for federal emergency funds on May 12th. 
    • There are $26 million in additional education funds at the state level that have not yet been allocated.
    • CCSD is working with the federal delegation to advocate for a $250 billion request for additional funding for K-12 schools in the U.S. to serve the needs of at-risk students populations. 
  • PPE: CCSD is coordinating with the state and Superintendent Ebert’s task force to secure Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

Public Comment: Members of the public provided testimony regarding:  

  • Concerns for the safety of students and staff
  • Concerns about the academic success of students

Click here to see the presentation.

Trustees Discussed a Proposal to Increase Substitute Teacher Pay 

CCSD’s Chief Human Resource Office and Director of Substitute Services presented a proposal to increase pay for substitute teachers across the district. There are currently 4,264 active substitutes.

Proposed pay increases: 

  • Day to Day Substitute – $110 per day (+$20/day) 
  • Day to Day Early Hiring – $120 per day (+$40/day)
  • Long Term Substitutes – $130 per day on day 11 (+$30/day) 
  • Long Term Early Hiring – $140 per day on day 11 (+$20/day) 
  • Vacancy Substitutes – $140 per day (+$30/day) 
  • Vacancy Early Hiring $150 per day (+30/day)  
  • Special Education and Hard to Fill – $150 per day starting on day one, rather than on day 21

Trustees agreed that while this was an appropriate starting point, additional considerations for increased pay, eligibility for health benefits, and sick leave are necessary. Trustees also suggested establishing a policy that ensures non-union employee pay keeps pace with collectively-bargained pay increases. Superintendent Jara stated that providing additional pay and exploring the cost of providing benefits is a budget priority. 

Public Comment: Members of public provided testimony regarding:  

  • Support for increased pay for substitute teachers
  • Concerns that the current proposal does not include benefits or sick leave
  • Concerns that the substitute shortage will grow if wages are not increased

Click here to see the presentation.

Trustees Approved a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with ESEA

At the April 16th board meeting, Trustees approved agreements with the Education Support Employees Association (ESEA) that temporarily allows employees to “donate” unused sick leave to other employees impacted by COVID-19. Additionally, trustees approved additional pay for ESEA support staff who are actively serving the public. The new MOA extends these polices through December 21, 2020 and May 20,2020. 

Click here to see the ESEA additional pay agreement.

Click here to see the ESEA sick leave donation agreement.


Requests for Future Agenda Items:

  • A strategic plan to reach newly-adopted student ratios for school psychologists and counselors 
  • Additional information about access to summer school

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Nevada Ed-Watch 5/5/20

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.


State Public Charter School Authority (SPCSA)

What is the SPCSA & what are they responsible for? The SPCSA sponsors and oversees public charter schools across the State of Nevada. The Authority consists of nine appointed members responsible for overseeing educational and operational standards, and holding sponsored schools accountable to the academic achievement of students.

How often does the SPCSA Board meet? SPCSA members meet once monthly– on Fridays.

Click here for SPCSA meeting schedule and materials.

Can community members engage at SPCSA Board Meetings? All meetings are held publicly at the Nevada Department of Education building in Carson City and the Nevada Department of Education building in Las Vegas (1st floor boardroom). Members of the public are invited to attend at either location. A time for public comment is provided at the conclusion of each agenda item and at the conclusion of each Board meeting. There is a time limit of three minutes per speaker. Members of the community providing testimony must fill out a visitor card, available on-site the day of the meeting.

Alternatively, public comment may be submitted in writing at publiccomment@spcsa.nv.gov, and any such public comment received prior to the meeting will be provided to the Authority and included in the written minutes of the meeting.

Click here for a list of all SPCSA Members.

Click here for a list of all SPCSA sponsored schools.


Tuesday, May 5, 2020
State Public Charter School Authority Board Meeting

Click here to see the meeting agenda 

What happened at this meeting? 

Board Approved Litigation Dismissal and Contract Renewal for Nevada Connections Academy

SPCSA staff shared updates and recommendations regarding the resolution of Nevada Connections Academy v. Nevada State Public Charter School Authority.

The SPCSA board denied an application for the contract renewal of Nevada Connections Academy’s middle and high schools, which resulted in litigation against the SPCSA. SPCSA staff recommended that the litigation be resolved with approval of a three-year contract for Nevada Connections Academy high school. The Nevada Connections Academy elementary and middle schools will close at the end of the 2019-20 school year. 

Under the new contract, the school’s enrollment will be capped at 850 students, with an enrollment freeze for 11th and 12th-grade students. If the school receives a 1-star rating on the Nevada School Performance Framework (NSPF) for either the 2020-2021 or the 2021-2022 school year, the school must close. 

Click here to see the settlement agreement. 

Click here to see a recommendations memo.


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