Nevada Ed-Watch 12/9/2021

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 5 pm both virtually and at the Edward A. Greer Education Center Board Room (2832 E Flamingo Rd, 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. Currently, members of the public can submit comments on agenda and non-agenda items through email or voice recording. Public comment can be provided in person, via email, or via voice recording. Email comments should be submitted to Boardmtgcomments@nv.ccsd.net. To submit a voice recording on items listed on the meeting agenda, call 702-799-1166. Voice recorded public comment is limited to 1 minute 30 seconds.

Thursday, December 9, 2021

Clark County School District Board of Trustees Meeting

Click here for the meeting agenda.

Find the meeting playback on Facebook and CCSD EduVision.

What happened at this meeting?

Public Comment #1 on Non-Agenda Items

Members of the public shared comments regarding: 

  • Concerns about adequate medical coverage and support for CCSD staff through Teachers Health Trust (THT) pharmacy benefits via CerpassRx.
  • The increase in medication costs and decrease in medication coverages.
  • The increase in medical care costs, which dissuades some teachers from seeking medical attention.
  • Concerns from a student about the use of pepper spray by campus police and health-related side effects, as well as a request to ban CCSD’s use of it in schools.
  • Staffing shortages and the weight absorbing extra classes places on teachers.
  • Concerns about CCSD staff being subjected to weekly COVID testing.
  • Concerns about education supports for students and the community of District C.
  • Concerns by students that students are graduating high school without adequate education or a post-secondary plan.
  • Requests by a student regarding listening to students and teachers who often feel ignored, providing additional instructional time, promoting available resources, informing a community-wide system, and setting high expectations for students with the aid of others instead of pushing them to the point of resistance.

Click here to view written public comment on non-agenda items submitted online.

Consent Agenda Highlights:

Members of the public shared comments on this agenda item regarding:

  • The need for more transparency around the implementation of CCSD Policy 6120, Multi-Tiered System of Supports.
  • Concerns about the focus on funding professional learning over the focus on utilizing wraparound services and motivating students.
  • The amount of funding allocated for the Building and Implementation of the human capital management system given its current deficiencies.
  • Gratitude for CCSD’s investment into Community High School’s new campus.
  • Concerns regarding bullying toward special education students in schools.
  • The need for the District to evaluate the leadership at the principal level to ensure principals know how to work with culturally and linguistically diverse students and students with disabilities, and engage with parents.
  • Support of the Prevention, Advocacy, Choices, and Teamwork (PACT) Coalition grant and Leader in Me program at Cynthia Cunningham Elementary School.

Click here to view a detailed list of all consent agenda items.

Board Approved Transfers of Responsibilities under NAC 388G (Formerly AB 469, Section 16 of the 2017 Legislative Session) (6-1)

CCSD has a deadline of January 15 to meet strategic budgets that are moving forward. This agenda item is related to a 2018 decision of the board of trustees to approve transfers of responsibilities for specialized central services using service level agreements (SLAs). This included restrictions that required schools to purchase services from the central office under SLAs and required any future changes that risk job loss to be approved by the board of trustees. 

During the September 30, 2021, joint meeting of the Nevada State Board of Education and CCSD, board members and trustees heard a presentation on why the SLAs in place did not meet all of the requirements of state regulations.

This agenda item was brought before the board with the purpose of 1) bringing CCSD into compliance with NAC 388G as it relates to SLAs, and 2) completing full transfers of responsibilities for items that the Superintendent recommends be carried out by schools under the full authority of the principal.

In order to correct the compliance with NAC 388G, CCSD must either bring the existing SLAs into compliance which would allow principals to opt-out of the service, or remove the SLAs. The District’s position is that it’s not in the best interest of students or principals to opt out of most of these services, and the right path would be to remove the agreements. This would give the District the ability to implement SLAs only in cases where the agreements can be implemented in support of providing equitable and adequate services to all students and schools in partnership with principals, with the advice of SOTs, and in full compliance with NAC 388G.

CCSD central office presented the following four recommendations based on feedback from stakeholders and compliance with NAC 388G: 

  • Recommendation 1: The transfer of responsibility to schools to carry out English Language Learner Placement Testing Personnel services without the requirement to purchase services from the District under a service level agreement.
  • Recommendation 2: The transfer of responsibility for Utilities and Trash Disposal from schools back to central office and the implementation of an energy conservation rebate program to encourage efforts to conserve energy at all schools
  • Recommendation 3: The transfer of responsibility for Landscape Maintenance to rural schools with principals who accept the responsibility without the requirement to purchase services from the District under a service level agreement and the transfer of responsibility for Landscape Maintenance from all other schools back to central office.
  • Recommendation 4: The transfer of responsibility for all remaining responsibilities currently transferred to schools under a service level agreement from schools back to central office.

Members of the public shared comments on this agenda item regarding:

  • The exclusion of names of the individuals and schools that participated in the feedback to allow for follow-up.
  • Opposition to Section 4 and the need to provide as much autonomy as possible to schools so that decisions are made with individual students in mind.
  • Gratitude that recommendations are being brought forth in an effort to make progress.
  • Concerns about the position rural schools with be put in based on the recommendations.
  • Lack of clarity around why these recommendations are coming forth at this particular time.
  • Concerns about the low number of survey participants.

Trustees and presenters discussed the need to clarify that the Section 4 recommendation refers only to the specific agreements outlined in the supplemental document, the implications on cost savings, potential challenges if the agenda item did not pass, and the implications on strategic budgets due to principals on January 15.

A motion passed 7-0 to approve a call for the question.

A motion passed 6-1 to approve the transfers of responsibilities in Recommendations 1-3 as written as well as in Recommendation 4 with a friendly amendment to specifically state that the recommendation is applicable only to the agreements presented in the supplemental document.

Click here to view the transfer of responsibilities supplemental document.

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

Click here to view written public comment submitted online.

Trustees Adopted the 2021-2022 Amended Final Budget

In accordance with NRS 354.598005(9), CCSD must file an amended final budget no later than January 1 of each year. The final budget will be submitted to the County Auditor and filed with the Department of Education, the Department of Taxation, and the County Clerk. The Board heard a presentation on the modifications from the 2021-2022 final budget.

Highlights:

  • There are still uncertainties related to the COVID-19 fiscal impact, enrollment, and strategic objectives related to the use of ESSER III federal funding – CCSD will continue to monitor and evaluate these uncertainties.
  • Student enrollment is predicted at 302,000 students for FY2022.
  • CCSD has spent/allocated the following federal funds: $84 million under ESSER I, $346 million under ESSER II, and $778 million under ESSER III.
  • The pupil-centered funding plan is in place. The plan has two main elements: 1) the base funding amount allocated for every K-12 student, and 2) the weighted funding amounts allocated for students at risk of not graduating with their cohort, English language learners, and students in gifted and talented programs. Programs funded outside of the pupil-centered funding plan include federally funded programs such as special education, National School Lunch State Match, Career & Technical Education, Title grants, and non-K-12 programs including Pre-K and the Teach Nevada Scholarship.
  • The 2022 budget includes a significant increase in funds from the previous fiscal year budget due to monies moved in that were previously grant-funded as well as additional funding from the per-pupil funding plan. The increased funding will be utilized for employee raises, increases in medical benefit contributions, increasing the unassigned fund balance, and operational needs.

Click here to view the presentation. 

Click here to view the budget narrative.

Public Comment #2 on Non-Agenda Items

Members of the public shared public comments regarding: 

  • Gratitude to trustees and the superintendent.
  • Concerns regarding support staff pay.
  • The need for the district to support teachers with tools necessary to support students in cultural competency.
  • Wonderings about whether the Nevada Educator Performance Framework (NEPF) has helped with Nevada’s national ranking and concerns about measures outlined for educators.
  • Lack of classroom supplies for teachers.
  • Concerns with the new grading policy.

Sign up to receive a notification when a new Ed-Watch post is published:

Nevada Ed-Watch 12/3/2021

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? Considered one of Nevada’s school districts, the SPCSA sponsors and oversees public charter schools. The Authority consists of seven 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? The SPCSA typically meets one a month, generally on Fridays. 

Click here for SPCSA meeting schedule and materials.

Can community members engage at SPCSA Board Meetings? While all meetings of the SPCSA are typically 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), all meetings are now held virtually due to the COVID-19 crisis. Members of the public may view the meeting online via the link on the SPCSA’s Public Notice web page and the agenda and any supporting materials can be found here. Public comment may be given on any agenda item at the beginning of the meeting, or public comment regarding any matter that is SPCSA-related may be given at the conclusion of each Board meeting. Members of the community giving public comment can utilize the following conference call line: 1-312-584-2401; extension 3952176# with a time limit of three minutes per speaker. Alternatively, public comment may be submitted in writing to 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, December 3, 2021

State Public Charter School Authority Special Board Meeting

Click here to see the meeting agenda

What happened at this meeting? 

Board Heard Overview of the Organizational and Financial Performance Frameworks

In addition to the Academic Performance Framework, the Authority reviews each school’s financial and business/operations health aligned to the Financial and Organizational Performance Frameworks. The authority rates schools across these frameworks to ensure they are in compliance with laws, regulations, and the Authority’s policies. These are taken into consideration for charter school contract renewal. Schools that do not meet standards can be moved to the following interventions: Notice of Concern, Notice of Breath, and Notice of Intent to Revoke. 

Schools will receive their preliminary rating reports in mid-December, with a full presentation of results coming before the Authority board at the January 28th meeting. 

Click here to view the presentation. 

Board Heard Overview of SPCSA Student Demographics

Presentation highlights on SPCSA enrollment rates:

  • Total enrollment in SPCSA-authorized schools for the 2021-22 school year is 55,415 students, a 4.1% increase over the prior school year, making the SPCSA Nevada’s 3rd largest Local Education Agency (LEA) behind Clark and Washoe Counties.
  • 43% of students in SPCSA-authorized schools are eligible for free or reduced lunch. 
  • Enrollment in SPCSA-authorized schools increased for students identifying as Asian, Black/African American, Two or More Races, or Hispanic/Latino, as well as for students qualifying for free and reduced lunch (FRL), students with disabilities (IEP), and English Language Learners (ELLs).
  • Enrollment decreased for students identifying as White.
  • Despite increased enrollment in student groups, when compared to the State, the SPCSA enrolled fewer students identifying as Hispanic/Latino, FRLs, IEPs, and ELLs, though the agency is making progress toward that goal.

Click here to view the presentation on student demographics.

Click here to view 2021-22 student enrollment data by school.

Board Heard Graduation Rates for SPCSA Class of 2020-2021

The 4-year graduation rate for students who graduated from SPCSA schools in May or June of 2021 was 86.8%., with 16 SPCSA schools reaching a graduation rate of 95% or higher. SPCSA students across all racial/ethnic categories, FRL, IEP, and ELL outperformed their peers across the state. 

Click here to view the presentation on graduation rates.

Click here to view 2020-21 graduation rates by school.

Board Approved Charter Renewals 

The following schools have been renewed for a six-year term: 

The following schools have been renewed for a four-year term: 

Board Approved Changes in Enrollment Lottery Policies for Schools

Futuro Academy Elementary & Equipo Academy Middle School may enter into an agreement that allows Futuro Academy students preference in the enrollment lottery at Equipo Academy.

Pinecrest Academy of Nevada will implement a weighted lottery giving 5.0 preference for students who qualify for free or reduced-price lunch. Click here to view the recommendation memo. 

Founders Classical Academy will implement a weighted lottery giving 3.0 preference for students qualifying for free or reduced-price lunch, and a weight of 4.0 for students with disabilities. Click here to view the recommendation memo.  

Board Approved Battle Born Academy’s Application for Revolving Loan Fund

Loans via the SPCSA’s Revolving Loan Fund are provided to schools for year 1 start-up funds aligned to NRS 388A.435(2)(a), “preparing a charter school to commence its first year of operation.” Battle Born Academy’s Revolving loan fund application for $124,000 was approved by the authority board. The school is required to pay the loan back via 24 payments beginning in year two of operations at an interest rate of 3.25%.

Click here to view the Battle Born Academy recommendation memo.

Board Approved Updates to Plan for the Safe Return to In-Person Instruction 

The Plan for the Safe Return to In-Person Instruction was initially introduced in and approved in June 2021 as a requirement to receive federal funds to facilitate the reopening of schools during the pandemic. One condition of the requirement is that plans are revisited regularly. The key changes to the document are aligned to updates to testing and masking protocols, which have changed or expanded since the initial plan was adopted. Additionally, the Authority will review and provide an update to the plan at a minimum of every six months.

Click here to view the plan. 

Academic & Demographic Needs Assessment

The SPCSA is conducting its 2022 Academic and Demographic Needs assessment, which prioritizes the needs that the SPCSA will look for schools to meet in order to be approved. SPCSA is gathering input from various stakeholders including a community working group, school districts, and the Department of Education

Board Members provided input to Authority staff on what to consider in the needs assessment including foster and homeless youth, zipcodes that only have traditional district options (with consideration of available facilities), and transportation needs. Board members also discussed the need for schools to not only have plans for how they would serve students with needs, but also demonstrate that they are recruiting and serving those students.

Click here to view the needs assessment presentation. 

Click here to view the 2021 Academic and Demographic Needs Assessment.

Board Heard a Presentation on SPCSA’s Grant Monitoring Protocols

The SPCSA facilitates two types of oversight monitoring: 1) Authorizing Oversight related compliance with state and federal statutes, school performance monitoring, and site evaluations; and (2) Federal and State Program Oversight related to compliance with state and federal regulations; monitoring grants for effective use and implementation, and onsite grant evaluations.

Pursuant to 2 CFR § 200.332, SPCSA responsibilities include ensuring grant sub-awards are clearly identified for the schools; evaluating the risk of noncompliance of each school; monitoring schools to ensure grants are used as authorized; ensuring schools are audited; and taking enforcement action when necessary to help schools comply with federal statutes, regulations, and sub-award terms and conditions.

SPCSA facilitates risk-based monitoring, differentiated monitoring based on the context of each school and the likelihood that the school will have a compliance or performance issue. For example, schools with lower risk receive less monitoring, which allows the SPCSA to be more efficient. SCPSA monitors the use of grant funds by schools to ensure health in the areas of student services and well-being, sound financial stewardship, and legal compliance.

Click here to view the grant monitoring presentation.

Long-Range Calendar (next 3 months)

Agenda items over the next three SPCSA board meetings are anticipated to include:

  • Financial and Organizational Performance ratings
  • Charter school application resubmissions
  • Contract amendments related to expansions
  • State of the SPCSA
  • Updates from schools slated to open for the 2022-23 school year
  • Interim legislative session updates

Click here to view the long-range calendar.