Growing the number of high-quality public charter schools in Nevada.
Great Schools for Nevada Charter School Program
Great Schools for Nevada is a federal Charter School Program (CSP) Grant facilitated by Opportunity 180 to lead the launch and expansion of high-quality public charter schools across our state. As a public education champion and advocacy organization based in Southern Nevada, one key portion of our work is to seek out, vet, and support innovative leaders and high-performing school models.
The CSP Grant represents significant funds available to help Nevada expand opportunities for students to attend excellent public charter schools that prepare them for both college and career. The Great Schools for Nevada project has three objectives:
- Increase the number of high-quality new, replicated, or expanded public charter schools serving the most at-risk student populations;
- Establish Nevada’s charter sector as a leader in authorizing quality and academic performance;
- Evaluate, collect, and widely disseminate the successes and lessons of highly-quality charter schools to impact the broader public education system.
The CSP Grant provides financial assistance to State Entities to support charter schools that serve elementary and secondary schools in a given state. Under the program, the grant recipient (Opportunity 180) makes subgrants to eligible applicants for the purpose of opening new public charter schools, as well as replicating or expanding high-quality public charter schools. Grant funds may also be used to provide technical assistance to eligible applicants and authorized public chartering agencies in opening new charter schools and replicating and expanding high-quality charter schools, and to work with authorized public chartering agencies to improve authorizing quality, including developing capacity for, and conducting, fiscal oversight and auditing of charter schools.
The Great Schools for Nevada CSP, awarded to Opportunity 180 as Nevada’s State Entity, is a competitive grant process. To ensure alignment of efforts and avoid duplication of work for maximum impact, Opportunity 180 will consult quarterly with an Advisory Committee, which includes representatives from the Nevada Department of Education, the Charter School Association of Nevada (CSAN), and the State Public Charter School Authority (SPCSA). Opportunity 180 will fund only high-quality public charter school plans, and subgrant determinations will be made through a rigorous third-party peer review process. There is no guarantee that submitting a proposal will result in funding, or funding at the required levels. Proposals that do not meet a minimum score will not be funded. Awards are determined on need, which includes approved student enrollment at full capacity, facility’s ability to accommodate that number of students, and a school's score on the Great Schools Nevada CSP rubric.
Depending on the need and criteria being met, schools qualify for a percentage (up to $1 million in funds) and a percentage of the accelerator (up to $500,000). If you are interested in learning more, explore our “How to Apply for a Federal Charter School Start-Up Grant” section below.
How to Apply for a Federal Charter School Start-Up Grant
Great Schools for Nevada Federal CSP will provide subgrants to qualified public charter schools to provide financial support for the initial implementation of expanding, replicating, or opening a public charter school.
- “Expand” is defined as an increase in the student count of an existing school by a significant amount.
- “Replicate” means to open a new charter school, or a new campus of a high-quality charter school, based on the educational model of an existing high-quality charter school under an additional charter.
- A new public charter school is either a new start-up school that did not previously exist or a charter school that has substantially changed its model and/or staff in order to increase academic performance as part of a turnaround process.
Great Schools for Nevada CSP sub-grants are designed to be for a period of up to 18 months for planning and 24 consecutive months for implementation activities leading up to and following the opening of a new school, replication school, or expansion project. The process to apply begins with a high stakes letter of intent and eligibility review. Applicants that meet the letter of intent criteria and eligibility review will be invited to apply.
All federal definitions are included in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.
Is my school eligible?
Eligible applicants must have an approved Charter application from a Nevada authorizer in order to receive Federal CSP dollars under this program. This will be a condition of any subgrantee award if not already met. Use the following checklist below to determine if your school is eligible.
- Do you have an approved Charter application from a Nevada authorizer?
- Do you have an effective and clear school model to meet the needs of students in greatest need?
- Do you agree to be both incorporated in the State of Nevada as a non-profit entity and have received tax-exempt status (501c3) from the IRS (or proof of 1023 submission for IRS status) before funding is received?
- Do you have a demonstrated need for start-up funding for either an 18-month planning period (Year 0) and/or the first two years of operation (Year 1 and Year 2) for up to 24 months? Please note that the total number of months cannot exceed 42.
- Do you have an enrollment policy that meets the state and federal statutes?
- Do you meet the federal definition of a public charter school in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act to be eligible for grant funds under the CSP?
- If you represent a replication or expansion school, can you provide up to three years of academic data showing scores higher than the state averages for ELA and Math for growth and proficiency, as defined by ESSA and show approval to open an additional campus granted by an authorizer?
If you answered yes to all of these questions, you are eligible to apply for the CSP Grant. Please note that eligibility is reviewed and ultimately decided by the CSP management team.
My school is eligible. Is there additional criteria?
Yes. The Great Schools for Nevada CSP Subgrant has a rigorous Request for Application (RFA). The RFA seeks to identify qualified, high-quality eligible applicants that have the capacity to meet the objective of the CSP grant to serve more students, especially those who are educationally disadvantaged. In order to demonstrate the ability to create a high-quality charter school, the eligible applicant will submit a complete application, follow and meet the criteria of the Great Schools Nevada CSP Rubric that is included in the RFA, and submit any supplemental information outlined in the application process in the timeline provided below.
What is the Application process? When will it happen?
The competition for funding will launch April 3, 2023 and close at 11:59 p.m. May 8, 2023. Please read the Request for Applications document containing eligibility requirements, and outlining the application process in detail. Schools can apply for the Great Schools for Nevada CSP Subgrant if they have an authorizer-approved charter or plan to have an authorizer-approved charter by the time award funds are dispersed in November 2023. Below outlines the stages of our application process:
- Eligibility and Letter of Intent Stage - Schools should submit an eligibility form via our online application portal, and the evaluative letter of intent by 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, May 8, 2023. Schools that do not submit a letter of intent and eligibility form will not be eligible to apply for CSP funds in this cycle. Schools will be notified if they are invited to apply on May 24, 2023.
- Application Stage - Schools that have been invited to submit an application, or declined to enter the application stage, will be notified on the morning of May 24, 2023. The application will be available for schools to edit and upload documents through June 22, 2023. All elements of the application should be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on June 23, 2023, Pacific Standard Time.
- Review Stage - Applications will be in review from June 30, 2023 through August 1, 2023.
- Applicant Capacity Interviews - Applicant Capacity Interviews are 90 minutes and are an opportunity for reviewers to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the school’s founding team and the school in detail before final decisions are announced. This process supplements the initial application review and influences reviewers’ final scores. Applicant Capacity Interviews will be held from August 8 to August 11, 2023.
- Award Notification - Schools will be notified if they have received the award on August 22, 2023.
- First Awardee Reimbursement - Schools who receive the CSP award will submit their first reimbursement request by October 10, 2023 and reimbursement funds will be dispersed by November 15, 2023.
Materials to Utilize for the Application
The Great Schools for Nevada CSP Informational Webinar will take place on May 1. Registration will open as the date approaches.
Overview of Grant Application Timeline
- April 3, 2023 - LOI & eligibility form live
- May 1, 2023 - Subgrant pre-applicant info session. Sign up for this session by emailing email@example.com.
- May 4, 2023 - LOI & eligibility office hours
- May 8, 2023 - LOI & eligibility forms due
- May 24, 2023 - Applicants are notified if moving to application stage/ applications open
- May 31, 2023 - Subgrant budget technical assistance
- June 22, 2023 - Subgrant application due (application portal closes)
- August 8 - 11, 2023 - Capacity interviews
- August 18, 2023 - CSP Award & Decline letters issued
- August 25, 2023 - SPCSA will announce school decisions
- August 28, 2023 - CSP subgrant awardee intro call
- September 6-8, 2023 - Funds release meetings with subgrantees: goals and budget review
- September 14 or 15, 2023 - Basecamp training
- October 10, 2023 - First reimbursement due
- October 12, 2023 - Post-award Technical Assistance
- October 20, 2023 - Post-award tasks due
- November 15, 2023 - Reimbursement dispersed
Interested in reviewing CSP applications? Join our Peer Review Panel.
To ensure subgrants are awarded to the most capable applicants, each proposal for a CSP subgrant will be reviewed by an external Peer Review panel. The Independent Peer Review Panel will be composed of teams of reviewers, selected through an application process. These reviewers will receive training on the effective use of a Peer Review Rubric to rate sub-grant proposals. Individuals selected as peer reviewers must be well informed regarding education, education policy, evaluation, and operations of public charter schools. If you are interested in becoming a peer reviewer in the future cycle, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Your email should include an attached resume (in PDF format) with a cover letter in the body of your email. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis in concurrence with the current Grant Application timeline.
CSP Technical Assistance Resources
Download the CSP TA Schedule (Past Sessions).
Interested in learning more about the CSP application? Please email email@example.com.