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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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, October 7, 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:
- Coral Academy – Eastgate Campus’ request for grade level modifications
- Pinecrest Academy’s new proposed campus
SPCSA Executive Director’s Report
Highlights from the report include:
- Initiatives Related to Serving All Students Equitably: Fourteen SPCSA-sponsored schools were required to submit recruitment and enrollment plans containing specific strategies aimed at serving students equitably, with a focus on students who qualify for free or reduced lunch. Those plans were due 9/30 and all 14 schools submitted. SPCSA staff has begun review of these plans, with several different approaches and strategies identified within them, and will share at a later meeting.
- Legislative Session & Interim Committees: The Interim Committee has concluded its work, and the agency’s requested budget has been submitted. SPCSA staff is tracking bill draft requests ahead of the legislative session.
- 2023 Proposed Board Meeting Dates: The October 2023 board meeting date has been moved back a week to October 13. Explore the 2023 meeting dates.
Board Discussed Academic Performance for the 2021-2022 School Year
The Board discussed an overview of the Nevada School Performance Framework (NSPF) data for SPCSA schools, as well as a preview of the SPCSA’s academic performance framework. The requirement for star-level school ratings has been waived by the U.S. Department of Education for the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 school years due to the pandemic, so the Nevada State Performance (NSP) Index has been utilized again.
Overall, SPCSA schools performed better than other schools in the state, with 79.5% of SPCSA schools earning a score higher than 50 on the NSP Index (the equivalent of a three-star or higher school), compared with the state’s 51.9% of schools earning a score higher than 50 on the NSP Index. Staff also reviewed proficiency trends and math/ELA growth percentiles and targets. Proficiency rates increased year over year for elementary and middle schools but decreased for high schools; student group proficiency rates followed a similar trend. SPCSA student groups generally outperformed their respective state student groups.
Staff also discussed the SPCSA Academic Performance Framework Overview. Schools earn points based on performance in different measures, and those points are totaled under indicators. The point total is tied to one of the four performance levels to determine a school’s rating. See below for an illustration of measures, indicators, and performance levels:
Slide courtesy of the Nevada State Public Charter School Authority
Board Approved School Contract Amendment Applications
The Board approved Coral Academy of Science Las Vegas’ request to eliminate sixth and seventh grades at the Eastgate campus and move those students to the Windmill campus or Cadence campus for the 2023-2024 school year. Enrollment caps of any Coral Academy campus will not be affected.
The Board approved Pinecrest Academy of Nevada’s expansion to a new campus, located at 4000 Meadows Lane, Las Vegas, NV, for the 2023-2024 school year, with additional conditions for community engagement for reaching students, providing SPCSA with proof that a lease for the campus was signed, and other stipulations.
The Board approved Pinecrest Academy of Northern Nevada to enter into an agreement with the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony Head Start program and change the school’s lottery preferences to include this agreement.
Board Reviewed Revisions to New Charter School Applications and Rubric
SPCSA staff provided an update regarding revisions to the new charter school application and rubric. Staff priorities were proposed, including ensuring alignment to the SPCSA strategic plan and needs assessment, consistency throughout the process, eliminating redundancy, ensuring statutory and regulatory requirements, and considering national best practices.
Board members were asked for feedback on prioritization, if any of the application components should stay as-is, and if any components of the application or rubric should be revised. Board members highlighted the importance of looking to best practices, creating a survey for feedback, and prioritizing diversity of leadership and teacher recruitment, among other ideas and suggestions provided.
Board Provided a Presentation on 2023 Academic and Demographic Needs Assessment
SPCSA staff provided the Board with an update on the 2023 Academic and Demographic Needs Assessment. By January 31 of each year, the SPCSA must conduct a needs assessment. There are three identified needs: demographic needs; academic needs of students in geographies with 1- and 2-star schools; and academic needs of students at risk of dropping out of school. A community working group provided feedback to consider incorporating information regarding needs of homeless students and students in foster care, as well as identifying and recruitment and outreach efforts to enroll and serve underperforming student populations.
Board members discussed several academic thresholds for applications, geography, transportation issues, and other potential areas of attention for consideration for the 2023 needs assessment.
Explore the presentation.
Board Reviewed and Approved the Charter School Contract Template
SPCSA staff presented the Board with an updated charter school contract template. The Board approved the template.
There are three charter school contracts, all of which will use the proposed template: the new charter school contract, amended charter school contract, and renewed charter school contract.
Explore the SPCSA Charter Contract Template.
Long-Range Calendar (next 3 months):
Agenda items over the next three SPCSA board meetings are anticipated to include:
- 2023 new school updates
- Overview of organizational performance framework
- Review of graduation data
- Review of enrollment and demographic data
Explore the calendar.
Public Comment #2
Public comment was heard on:
- Bullying at a charter school facility
- An upcoming amendment to increase enrollment at Discovery Charter School
The next Meeting of the SPCSA Board is scheduled for Friday, November 18, 2022 @ 9:00 a.m.