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 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, December 4, 2020
State Public Charter School Authority Board Meeting
What happened at this meeting?
Members of the public provided comment regarding:
- Requests to allow charter schools to return to full in person learning
- Concerns from teachers about returning to full in person learning
Members of the public also submitted public comment online:
Click here to view Public Comment #1
Click here to view Public Comment #2
Click here to view Public Comment #3
Click here to view Public Comment #4
Click here to view Public Comment #5
Click here to view Public Comment #6
Click here to view Public Comment #7
Click here to view Public Comment #8
Click here to view Public Comment #9
Click here to view Public Comment #10
Click here to view Public Comment #11
Click here to view Public Comment #12
Click here to view Public Comment #13
Click here to view Public Comment #14
SPCSA Executive Director’s Report:
- In Person Learning Update
- Director Feiden does not currently anticipate any changes to the in person learning guidance. Following the Governor’s order for Nevadans to voluntarily stay home and a rise in COVID-19 cases, many schools have reduced the scale of in person learning or temporarily returned to full distance learning. Ongoing supports are being provided to schools through weekly meetings, pass-through grants, and subsidized internet access for families. Click here to see the full update.
- Focus on Equity
- The SPCSA has made progress towards equity initiatives, including a survey for school leaders regarding diversity and inclusion training, updates to the new charter school application to include efforts to close opportunity gaps and disproportionate discipline practices, and reports from schools on their practices to combat systemic racism. Board members requested additional information on teacher, school leader, and board diversity of SPCSA sponsored schools. Board members also requested to further discuss the implementation of a common application to support more equitable conditions for students and families. Click here to see the full update.
- Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) Pilot Program and Project Award Grant
- The Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) is a framework that schools use to provide targeted support to struggling students. Nine SPCSA schools have opted into an MTSS program in collaboration with UNR.
- SPCSA Annual Initiatives
- The SPCSA is focused on three main goals for the 2020-2021 school year: provide families with access to high-quality schools, ensure every student succeeds, and increase the diversity of the student population. The Board heard an update on progress towards these goals, including the nine associated initiatives. Click here to see the full update.
Board Heard Strategic Plan Development Update
Adam Johnson, Executive Director of Democracy Prep at the Agassi Campus (DPAC), shared an overview of Democracy Prep Network’s timeline for the development of a strategic plan grounded in equity and anti-racism. This development includes a review of all DPAC campus systems and structures to ensure alignment with the needs of the school community and all students.
Click here to see the presentation.
Board Heard Presentation from Charter School Association of Nevada
The Charter School Association of Nevada (CSAN) shared information on the Association’s role in representing district and state sponsored schools. Their current projects include contracting with media firms to tell the stories of their member schools, outreach to elected officials and community leaders, and monitoring government agencies.
Board Heard Update on SPCSA Student Discipline Data
SPCSA staff provided an overview of discipline data and findings, collected by the Nevada Department of Education. Overall, SPCSA had a lower rate of incidents resulting in suspension compared to the state average. Similar to state and previous data, SPCSA students identifying as Black/African American or male — including those with a disability — are more likely to be involved in an incident resulting in a suspension compared to their peers.
Click here to see the presentation.
Board Approved Charter School Contract Amendments:
- Mater Academy of Northern Nevada – Addition of distance education component: The Board approved student credit retrieval and advancement of coursework through supplemental distance education options not currently offered in brick-and-mortar school for middle school students. Click here to see the full recommendation memo.
- Pinecrest Academy of Northern Nevada – Addition of distance education component: The Board approved credit advancement or retrieval for students for supplemental courses. SPCSA staff recommend approval with conditions including year end report of student performance and a student enrollment summary and courselog. Click here to see the full recommendation memo.
- Somerset Academy of Las Vegas – Facilities financing and acquisition: The Board approved an amendment for the Somerset Academy to gain ownership of the Aliante and Sky Canyon campus, which they currently occupy. This does not affect approved enrollment. SPCSA staff recommend approval with conditions on bond reporting. Click here to see the full recommendation memo.
- Sports Leadership and Management Academy – Addition of dual credit: The Board conditionally approved the addition of a dual credit program that provides both high school and college credits to students for successful completion of courses. Click here to see the full recommendation memo.
Board Heard Update on SPCSA Financial Performance Framework Ratings
The framework is used to determine if a school is financially viable and to inform high-stakes decisions. SPCSA Staff provided an overview of the development of the framework, and associated indicators, approved in January of 2019. As of December 4, audits have been performed. Final data will be presented to the Board on January 22, 2021.
Click here to download the presentation.
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