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.
Included below are recaps from both the State Board of Education and the Clark County School District Board of Trustees meetings on 10/11/18.
Nevada State Board of Education
What is the State Board of Education & what are they responsible for? The Nevada State Board of Education adopts regulations based on Nevada laws, which are in turn passed down to individual school districts in Nevada to implement. The Board has 11 total (7 appointed and 4 publicly elected) members.
How often does the State Board meet? The Nevada State Board of Education meets once per month on Thursdays at 9:00AM. Click here to see the 2018 Board Meeting Schedule. Click here to visit Hope For Nevada’s #NVEd Calendar.
Can community members engage at State Board Meetings? A time for public comment is provided at the beginning (for agenda items) and at the conclusion (on any matter) 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.
Thurs, October 11, 2018
Nevada State Board of Education Meeting
What happened at this meeting?
Fingerprinting & Background Checks for School Volunteers & Visitors
“Regular volunteers” who are either unsupervised or come in contact with students are required complete fingerprinting and a background check. State Board Members have adopted a regulation that now defines a “regular volunteer” as someone who volunteers at least four times in one month, or once per week for four or more consecutive weeks.
There are exceptions for students in higher education who are at the school as part of a class, and for those who have already been background checked through another public entity.
The Board approved new regulations for student performance standards in art courses like dance, music, and visual arts. The standards shift from mastering skills in the specific art to higher level tasks, such as relating art to personal life experiences.
Alternate Diploma Criteria
The Board approved a new diploma type. This diploma aligns to standards for all students, but is differentiated for the learning needs of students who have significant cognitive disabilities. The Alternative Diploma replaces the former certificate of attendance.
Nevada Educator Performance Framework (NEPF)
The Board approved simple language updates to the Nevada Educator Performance Framework.
Science Cut Scores
New cut scores were approved for the Nevada Alternative Assessment in Science. Cut scores are ranges of points earned on a test that are used to determine whether a student is on grade level in the subject area.
The approved cut score are as follows:
Nevada Achievement School District (NV ASD) Updates
An update was provided on charter schools authorized (or “sponsored”) by the NV ASD. Part of the presentation included an overview of the fastest improving Rising Star schools (schools that are struggling to meet expectations for student achievement and school performance). See data snapshot below.
Parent Petitions (a process for parents to advocate for changes at their school to improve student outcomes) are due by November 15th, and will be reported to the State Board by November 30th.
The Board approved a quarterly report on variances for class-sizes. This report includes information on elementary schools that received variances, meaning they were not able to meet the required teacher-to-student ratio (due to funding limitations, difficulty hiring teachers, facility limitations, or other justification).
What’s Next? Potential Future Items (Nevada Department of Education):
- Developing a feedback process to capture input from school districts on the Nevada School Performance Framework (the rating system the state uses to assess school performance annually). The feedback process will help the state make strategic decisions about adjustments that need to be made to the performance framework.
- Discussion about teacher absenteeism.
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.
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.
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.
Thurs, October 11, 2018
Clark County School District Board of Trustees Meeting
What happened at this meeting?
Field Trip: Discovery Children’s Museum
The district secured a field trip partnership with Discovery Children’s Museum for 21,000 third graders in Title 1 schools.
Resolution to support Fund Our Future Nevada
The parent group HOPE for Nevada and Education Nevada Now led a presentation about the purpose of Fund Our Future Nevada, a statewide coalition that is advocating to change the way Nevada funds public education for all students. The board passed a resolution to join the Fund Our Future Nevada coalition.
Performance Evaluation and Compensation Plan for Executive Cabinet
Trustees did not to take action on a resolution that outlines performance evaluations and compensation plans for the Superintendent’s executive cabinet. The proposed plan would only go into effect after all employee bargaining units have settled agreements and the full budget of the district has been realized.
Annual Report of Charter School Performance
A resolution was passed to accept the Annual Report of Charter School Performance on the charter schools that CCSD authorizes. Trustees discussed the importance of accountability across all CCSD schools, whether charter or traditional zoned neighborhood school.
Trustees also discussed options for moving forward regarding underperforming CCSD Charter schools. CCSD can do the following:
1) Terminate the schools’ charters
2) Put the schools in receivership
3) Reauthorize the schools under the state
4) Require the schools to develop remediation plans.
A recommendation on the final decision will be brought to the Trustees by the Superintendent at the October 18th Trustees meeting.
Potential Future Items (CCSD Board of Trustees):
- Presentation on the development of sex-ed curriculum
- Follow up report on a pilot energy saving program
- Review of utilization of school facility policy by community partners
- Review challenges with guest teachers, including shortage of guest teachers and pay
- Discuss custodian vacancies
- Review information regarding the bus driver shortage
- Policy regarding changing a school’s name
- Review impact of charter schools on nearby traditional neighborhood district schools
- Assess the costs of Communities in Schools
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