Nevada Ed-Watch 12/11/2020

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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 publiccomment@spcsa.nv.gov, 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.

Click here for a list of all SPCSA Members.Click here for a list of all SPCSA sponsored schools.


Friday, December 11, 2020

State Public Charter School Authority Board Meeting

Click here to see the meeting agenda

What happened at this meeting? 

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

Board Heard Update on COVID-19 In-Person Learning Guidance

The board heard an update on the SPCSA COVID-19 In-person Learning Guidance from Director Feiden, who noted that there were no major changes in status following the update given at the December 5, 2020 meeting.

School leaders will continue to work diligently with local health officials on the COVID-19 response. Director Feiden recommended that the best course of action is to maintain the current in-person guidance. SPCSA staff will continue to communicate with schools regularly to provide needed supports and information. SPCSA will convene an emergency board meeting if there is a change in the Governor’s directive or an update from the Nevada Department of Education regarding the COVID-19 response prior to the next scheduled on January 22. 

Members of the board requested information about access to the COVID-19 vaccine for teachers and expressed concerns about meeting the needs of Special Education students.

Click here to read the recommendation.

Board Heard Update on Validated Demographic Enrollment Data

Each year on October 1, the Nevada Department of Education (NDE) takes a snapshot of student enrollment, known as Validation Day. Enrollment data is collected at the student level. The data is validated by Local Education Agencies (LEAs) and charter schools and used by NDE, SPCSA, LEAs, charter schools, and other stakeholders, for official federal and state reporting and funding. 

Report highlights:

  • A total of 53,223 students enrolled at SPCSA-sponsored schools for the 2020-21 school year — a 7.7% increase in enrollment from prior year.

  • Almost one-third, or just over 17,000 students, were enrolled in Title 1 schools.
  • Enrollment increased year over year for Asian, Black, and Hispanic/Latino student populations, as well as FRL, IEP, and ELL.
  • Despite the increase in diverse student populations, SPCSA schools enroll fewer Hispanic/Latino and American Indian/Alaska Native students, ELLs, and other special populations as compared to the state average.
  • The ELL enrollment rate for new SPCSA-sponsored schools that opened for the 2020-21 school year exceeds both SPCSA and state ELL enrollment rates.

Board members requested seat number data for new schools and a process to collect student exit data to inform strategies that improve student retention.

Click here & here to view the presentation materials.

Board Heard Update on 4-Year Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rates

The 4-Year Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate (ACGR) is the percentage of students in a school’s cohort of first-time 9th graders that will graduate within four years. The rate is increased when new students transfer into the school and decreased when students transfer out. 

Highlights on graduation rates for SPCSA-sponsored schools:

  • The 4-year graduation rate for the Class of 2020 is 84.2%–a 6.4% increase from prior year.
  • 10 schools reported a 100% graduation rate–more than double the prior year.
  • Year over year graduation rates increased for all student groups, including students identifying as Asian, Black/African American, White, Pacific Islander, or two or more races, as well as ELLs and students with disabilities.

Click here to view the presentation materials.

Board Reviewed Four (4) School Renewal Applications

SPCSA staff presented information to the Board about four school renewal applications, followed by Board discussion and an opportunity for each school to present before the Board.

  • Elko Institute for Academic Achievement: Approved 
    • Elko Institute for Academic Achievement (EIAA) was approved for a 5-year renewal term. The board shared the following highlights:
      • EIAA Middle School has held a 5-star rating since the 2017-18 school year.
      • EIAA most recently received a perfect score under the Organizational Performance Framework.

Click here to see the full EIAA application report.

  • Alpine Academy: Approved
    • Alpine Academy was approved for a 6-year renewal term. The board shared the following highlights:
      • Alpine has exhibited adequate performance, not earning less than a 3-star rating.
      • Alpine most recently earned a perfect score under the Organizational Performance Framework.

Click here to see the full Alpine Academy application report. 

  • Equipo Academy: Approved
    • Equipo Academy was approved for a 6-year renewal term. The board shared the following highlights:
      • Equipo High School is rated 4-stars with a 5-star rating at the middle school.
      • The board commended Equipo for its dedication to improving performance and for its high graduation and FRL rates.

Click here to see the full Equipo Academy application report.

  • Silver Sands Montessori: Approved
    • Silver Sands Montessori was approved for a 6-year renewal term. The board shared the following highlights:
      • In almost every year Silver Sands Elementary has earned a minimum 3-star rating.
      • The board commended the Silver Sands team for their dedication to transforming its middle school from a 2-star to a 5-star rated school.

Click here to see the full Silver Sands Montessori application report.

Board Heard Recommendation on TEACH Las Vegas Application

The board denied a new charter school application for TEACH Las Vegas for the 2021-22 school year following recommendation by the SPCSA staff. Staff noted concerns that the application fails to satisfy NRS 388A.249, shows limited evidence of established community partnerships or how the school will meet the needs of the target population. The board also noted areas of strength in the application including a clear mission, a plan to continue parent engagement, a strong emphasis on data and individual student achievement, and a robust professional development plan.

Click here to see the TEACH Las Vegas application report.

Board Heard Update on 2021 Academic and Demographic Needs Assessment

The Academic and Demographic Needs Assessment is an evaluation of student demographic information, the academic needs of students, and the needs of students who are at risk of dropping out. The SPCSA board first approved the needs assessment at the July 26, 2019 meeting.

Proposed updates to the needs assessment for this year will include limited technical changes, dropout and graduation rates, enrollment and demographic information, and the addition of a new section to focus on the implementation of the needs assessment.

The updates aim to aid the SPCSA in assessing its impact and telling the public the story about the work the SPCSA is doing. The assessment will be brought to the board for possible action at the January 28 board meeting.

Click here to view the Academic and Demographic Needs Assessment.

Click here to view proposed updates.

Long-Range Calendar

In the coming months, the SPCSA board will engage in conversation on the pre-opening process for new charter schools, and expected new schools will provide an update on their work. At the request of board members, SPCSA will also consider rescheduling the March 26 and May 28 meeting dates that fall on or near CCSD’s spring break and Memorial Day respectively.

Click here to see the long-range calendar.


Sign up to receive a notification when a new Ed-Watch post is published:

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 publiccomment@spcsa.nv.gov, 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.

Click here for a list of all SPCSA Members.Click here for a list of all SPCSA sponsored schools.


Friday, December 11, 2020

State Public Charter School Authority Board Meeting

Click here to see the meeting agenda

What happened at this meeting? 

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

Board Heard Update on COVID-19 In-Person Learning Guidance

The board heard an update on the SPCSA COVID-19 In-person Learning Guidance from Director Feiden, who noted that there were no major changes in status following the update given at the December 5, 2020 meeting.

School leaders will continue to work diligently with local health officials on the COVID-19 response. Director Feiden recommended that the best course of action is to maintain the current in-person guidance. SPCSA staff will continue to communicate with schools regularly to provide needed supports and information. SPCSA will convene an emergency board meeting if there is a change in the Governor’s directive or an update from the Nevada Department of Education regarding the COVID-19 response prior to the next scheduled on January 22. 

Members of the board requested information about access to the COVID-19 vaccine for teachers and expressed concerns about meeting the needs of Special Education students.

Click here to read the recommendation.

Board Heard Update on Validated Demographic Enrollment Data

Each year on October 1, the Nevada Department of Education (NDE) takes a snapshot of student enrollment, known as Validation Day. Enrollment data is collected at the student level. The data is validated by Local Education Agencies (LEAs) and charter schools and used by NDE, SPCSA, LEAs, charter schools, and other stakeholders, for official federal and state reporting and funding. 

Report highlights:

  • A total of 53,223 students enrolled at SPCSA-sponsored schools for the 2020-21 school year — a 7.7% increase in enrollment from prior year.

  • Almost one-third, or just over 17,000 students, were enrolled in Title 1 schools.
  • Enrollment increased year over year for Asian, Black, and Hispanic/Latino student populations, as well as FRL, IEP, and ELL.
  • Despite the increase in diverse student populations, SPCSA schools enroll fewer Hispanic/Latino and American Indian/Alaska Native students, ELLs, and other special populations as compared to the state average.
  • The ELL enrollment rate for new SPCSA-sponsored schools that opened for the 2020-21 school year exceeds both SPCSA and state ELL enrollment rates.

Board members requested seat number data for new schools and a process to collect student exit data to inform strategies that improve student retention.

Click here & here to view the presentation materials.

Board Heard Update on 4-Year Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rates

The 4-Year Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate (ACGR) is the percentage of students in a school’s cohort of first-time 9th graders that will graduate within four years. The rate is increased when new students transfer into the school and decreased when students transfer out. 

Highlights on graduation rates for SPCSA-sponsored schools:

  • The 4-year graduation rate for the Class of 2020 is 84.2%–a 6.4% increase from prior year.
  • 10 schools reported a 100% graduation rate–more than double the prior year.
  • Year over year graduation rates increased for all student groups, including students identifying as Asian, Black/African American, White, Pacific Islander, or two or more races, as well as ELLs and students with disabilities.

Click here to view the presentation materials.

Board Reviewed Four (4) School Renewal Applications

SPCSA staff presented information to the Board about four school renewal applications, followed by Board discussion and an opportunity for each school to present before the Board.

  • Elko Institute for Academic Achievement: Approved 
    • Elko Institute for Academic Achievement (EIAA) was approved for a 5-year renewal term. The board shared the following highlights:
      • EIAA Middle School has held a 5-star rating since the 2017-18 school year.
      • EIAA most recently received a perfect score under the Organizational Performance Framework.

Click here to see the full EIAA application report.

  • Alpine Academy: Approved
    • Alpine Academy was approved for a 6-year renewal term. The board shared the following highlights:
      • Alpine has exhibited adequate performance, not earning less than a 3-star rating.
      • Alpine most recently earned a perfect score under the Organizational Performance Framework.

Click here to see the full Alpine Academy application report. 

  • Equipo Academy: Approved
    • Equipo Academy was approved for a 6-year renewal term. The board shared the following highlights:
      • Equipo High School is rated 4-stars with a 5-star rating at the middle school.
      • The board commended Equipo for its dedication to improving performance and for its high graduation and FRL rates.

Click here to see the full Equipo Academy application report.

  • Silver Sands Montessori: Approved
    • Silver Sands Montessori was approved for a 6-year renewal term. The board shared the following highlights:
      • In almost every year Silver Sands Elementary has earned a minimum 3-star rating.
      • The board commended the Silver Sands team for their dedication to transforming its middle school from a 2-star to a 5-star rated school.

Click here to see the full Silver Sands Montessori application report.

Board Heard Recommendation on TEACH Las Vegas Application

The board denied a new charter school application for TEACH Las Vegas for the 2021-22 school year following recommendation by the SPCSA staff. Staff noted concerns that the application fails to satisfy NRS 388A.249, shows limited evidence of established community partnerships or how the school will meet the needs of the target population. The board also noted areas of strength in the application including a clear mission, a plan to continue parent engagement, a strong emphasis on data and individual student achievement, and a robust professional development plan.

Click here to see the TEACH Las Vegas application report.

Board Heard Update on 2021 Academic and Demographic Needs Assessment

The Academic and Demographic Needs Assessment is an evaluation of student demographic information, the academic needs of students, and the needs of students who are at risk of dropping out. The SPCSA board first approved the needs assessment at the July 26, 2019 meeting.

Proposed updates to the needs assessment for this year will include limited technical changes, dropout and graduation rates, enrollment and demographic information, and the addition of a new section to focus on the implementation of the needs assessment.

The updates aim to aid the SPCSA in assessing its impact and telling the public the story about the work the SPCSA is doing. The assessment will be brought to the board for possible action at the January 28 board meeting.

Click here to view the Academic and Demographic Needs Assessment.

Click here to view proposed updates.

Long-Range Calendar

In the coming months, the SPCSA board will engage in conversation on the pre-opening process for new charter schools, and expected new schools will provide an update on their work. At the request of board members, SPCSA will also consider rescheduling the March 26 and May 28 meeting dates that fall on or near CCSD’s spring break and Memorial Day respectively.

Click here to see the long-range calendar.


Sign up to receive a notification when a new Ed-Watch post is published:

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