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 once 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 email@example.com, 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.
Friday, July 29, 2022
State Public Charter School Authority Board Meeting
Access the meeting agenda and playback.
What happened at this meeting?
Public Comment #1
Public comment was heard on:
- Plan for the Safe Return to In-Person Instruction updates
- Retaliation against a student at a charter school facility
SPCSA Executive Director’s Report
Highlights from the report include:
- Initiatives Related to Serving All Students Equitably: Earlier in July, staff held a second working session for schools required to submit recruitment and enrollment plans. A third session is scheduled in August, and these plans must be submitted by schools no later than September 30.
- Language Access Plan: A draft has been submitted and posted online. Highlights include the general policy, appointing a language access coordinator, and training and implementation services. The public comment form can be accessed here.
- Legislative Session & Interim Committees: The Authority is submitting its second report regarding site evaluations ahead of its due date this weekend.
- Elko Institute of Academic Achievement’s (EIAA) New Facility: EIAA is deferring its application for its new facility for the 2023-2024 school year due to construction costs. Explore the memo here.
- Doral Academy of Northern Nevada’s New Campus: The SPCSA approved Doral Academy’s second campus, which included specific conditions which needed to be met by September 30. The Doral Academy Board met and declined to adopt those policies.
- Initial Action Steps in Response to 2021-22 Sponsor Survey Results: Updates will be made to communications on key topics and the Authority will also be improving its regular Wednesday email. It will also publish upcoming grant timelines, will continue building out a library of resources in Canvas, and will continue to improve communications regarding annual reporting requirements, among other changes to take place. View the briefing memo here.
- New School Application Process: Staff is currently in the process of evaluating four applications, and recently completed interviews; staff will be bringing recommendations to the August 29 Board meeting. Explore the update document here.
- 2022-23 School Year Site Evaluations: Slight changes will be made to the site evaluation manual and will be brought to the Board at the August meeting. Explore the list here.
Board Received an Update on New Charter Schools for the 2022-2023 School Year
- Battle Born Academy: Recruitment has seen dramatic progress in the last several weeks, with 143 students enrolled as of the Board meeting. More than 200 families attended the school’s open house this week, and the facility is ready to open August 8. Explore the update for Battle Born Academy.
- PilotED – Cactus Park Elementary: The school’s permanent facility received its permit, with an anticipated Temporary Certificate of Occupancy of October 13, 2022; the temporary facility is ready to open August 8. There are about 240 active applications for 200 available seats. Its open house is next week. Explore the update for Cactus Park Elementary.
- Sage Collegiate: As shared in the update, there is a small issue with the facilities, and the start date for the school is August 15, aligning with several other regional charter schools. 244 students are enrolled, and the wait list continues to grow. The school continues to host and take part in community events, and family orientation events are taking place at Discovery Children’s Museum and at the West Charleston Library. Explore the update for Sage Collegiate.
- Strong Start Academy: The SPCSA walk-through was conducted earlier this week. Kindergarten is currently full, with some space in Grades 1 and 2 available. Community outreach is ongoing. The facility is undergoing its final inspections to open on August 8.
- Young Women’s Leadership Academy: The school is 90% enrolled, with about 100 scholars. A wait list has been established for ninth grade students. A meet-the-team event for families has been scheduled. Construction delays have occurred at the school facility, and the school is requesting a good cause exemption to start the school year at a temporary facility, located at the Boys and Girls Club on Cottage Grove Ave. Explore the update for Young Women’s Leadership Academy.
Charter School Contract Amendment Applications
Nevada Virtual Academy was approved to relocate to a new facility, located at 8645 S. Eastern Ave., Las Vegas, NV 89123, with a tentative approval of the Special Use Permit and Certificate of Occupancy slated for September 20, 2022.
Young Women’s Leadership Academy was approved to relocate to a temporary facility to start the 2022-2023 school year, located at the Boys and Girls Club located at 920 Cottage Grove Ave., Las Vegas, NV 89119.
Board Received an Update on Nevada Connections Academy
Nevada Connections Academy presented unofficial results from its performance framework targets relating to ACT scores (6.5 for reading, 2 for math, and 2.5 for science), graduation rates (86.1% for four-year rates, and 81% for five-year rates), college and career readiness, student engagement, English language proficiency, and star rating. It also reviewed the school’s 2022-2023 school year goals, including assignment choice, student goals, essential standards, grading feedback, and events and community engagement opportunities.
Explore the presentation.
Board Approved the Updates to the SPCSA’s Local Plan for the Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services
The Board approved changes to the SPCSA’s Plan for the Safe Return to In-Person Instruction, as required by the American Rescue Plan. Changes include additional information and context on guardrails and oversight, additional information relating to COVID-19 testing support, approach to COVID-19 given the State of Emergency has ended, additional information relating to masks and mitigation measures, updated information on Multi-Tiered Systems of Support, and training to be provided during the 2022-2023 school year.
Explore the plan.
Board Received an Update on the Charter School Renewal Process
Staff reviewed key renewal dates and timeline, as well as the general approach to recommendations for renewal. Staff outlined the information and data used to make these recommendations, including academic and organizational performance, financial performance, site evaluation findings, and other information provided in the renewal application.
Explore the presentation.
Long-Range Calendar (next 3 months):
Agenda items over the next three SPCSA board meetings are anticipated to include:
- Charter school applications
- Academic Performance Framework
- Growth management plan
- School board demographics
- 2023 SPCSA board meeting calendar
Explore the long-range calendar.
Public Comment #2
- Retaliation against a student at a charter school facility
The next Meeting of the SPCSA Board is scheduled for Monday, August 29, 2022 @ 9:00 a.m.