Nevada Ed-Watch 12/17/19

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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? The SPCSA sponsors and oversees public charter schools across the State of Nevada. The Authority consists of nine 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? SPCSA members meet once monthly– on Fridays.

Click here for SPCSA meeting schedule and materials.

Can community members engage at SPCSA Board Meetings? All meetings are 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). Members of the public are invited to attend at either location. A time for public comment is provided at the conclusion of each agenda item and at the conclusion 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.

Alternatively, public comment may be submitted in writing at 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.


Tuesday, December 17, 2019
State Public Charter School Authority Board Meeting

Click here to see the meeting agenda 

What happened at this meeting? 

The Board Approved a Contract Amendment for Founders Academy

The Board approved the SPCSA staff’s recommendation for the approval of a contract amendment request related to the financing of Founders Academy’s current facility. 

The Board Heard an Overview of the SPCSA’s New School Application Process and Standards for Approval

Staff members provided an overview of the New School Application process and standards for approving schools for authorization under the SPCSA. The presentation included information about the application  evaluation process, and the importance of a proposed school’s alignment to both the SPCSA Growth Management Plan and the Academic and Demographic Needs Assessment. 

Staff members also provided an overview of the Rubric used for evaluating New School Applications.

If denied, a proposed school has 30-days from the formal notice to resubmit an application addressing its deficiencies. If denied upon resubmission, the applicant may also appeal the Board’s decision. 

Click here to see the presentation, which includes the criteria for approving and denying new schools.

Public Comment: A representative of the Clark County School District’s Office of Charter Schools provided testimony expressing appreciation for the collaborative process of the SPCSA.

The Board Reviewed Seven (7) New School Applications for Approval or Denial 

SPCSA staff presented information to the Board about seven new school applicants, followed by Board discussion and an opportunity for each school to present before the Board.

Summaries of each proposed school’s application approval or denial are below.

Alaka’i Heritage Academy: Denied 

The SPCSA staff did not recommend the application for Board approval. The Board concurred with staff’s recommendation and discussed concerns about the proposed arts-integration model, the incubation year budget, and plans for professional development aligned to the arts-integration model.

Click here to see the full Alaka’i Heritage Academy application report.

Las Vegas Collegiate Charter School: Approved with Conditions

Las Vegas Collegiate was approved with the following conditions:

  • Submit an updated incubation year plan that clarifies how the Board will monitor progress towards key milestones and the available supports to the proposed school leader. 
  • Provide either more detail as to how the existing staff will manage the range of administrative responsibilities in year 1 OR provide an alternative scenario that includes additional contracted support. 
  • Work with the local jurisdiction to address traffic flow and pedestrian safety during student arrival and dismissal.

Click here to see the full Las Vegas Collegiate application report.

Pinecrest Academy of Northern Nevada: Approved with Conditions

The SPCSA staff did not recommend the application for Board approval. The SPCSA Board went against Staff’s recommendation and approved the application with the following conditions: 

  • Implementation of a weighted lottery in conjunction with a targeted marketing effort and a transportation plan to ensure a student population that reflects the population of the Washoe County School District
  • Implementation of a National School Lunch Program upon school launch
  • A revised Model Budget reflecting the school’s incubation year, English Language Learner Program, and marketing plan
  • Waived student fees for those who receive Free or Reduced-Price Lunch

Public Comment: Members of the public provided testimony in support of the Pinecrest Academy of Northern Nevada application. 

Click here to see the full Pinecrest Academy of Northern Nevada application report.

Nevada Strong Academy: Denied

The SPCSA staff did not recommend the application for approval. The Board concurred with staff’s recommendation and discussed the need to refine the application and clarify the relationship between the school and the Education Management Organization (EMO). 

Click here to see the full Nevada Strong Academy application report.

Sage Collegiate Charter School: Denied

The SPCSA staff did not recommend the application for approval. The Board concurred with staff’s recommendation and discussed the potential of the school’s plan with more time for development.

Click here to see the full Sage Collegiate application report.

Girls Academy Leadership School (GALS): Denied

The SPCSA staff did not recommend the application for approval. The Board concurred with staff’s recommendation and discussed the importance of having a single-gender school in Clark County. The Board inquired about GAL’s team’s experience with students from underserved communities and what lessons they have learned from the Denver campus performance. 

Click here to see the full GALS application report.

Pahrump Valley Academy: Denied

The SPCSA staff did not recommend the application for approval. The Board concurred with staff’s recommendation and discussed concerns about the proposed school’s capacity to carry out the vision and plans for the school.

Click here to see the full Pahrump Valley Academy application report.

The Board Discussed Potential Update to its Long-Range Calendar

The SPCSA Staff and Board are considering adding a second February Board Meeting to manage the volume of anticipated application resubmissions.


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? The SPCSA sponsors and oversees public charter schools across the State of Nevada. The Authority consists of nine 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? SPCSA members meet once monthly– on Fridays.

Click here for SPCSA meeting schedule and materials.

Can community members engage at SPCSA Board Meetings? All meetings are 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). Members of the public are invited to attend at either location. A time for public comment is provided at the conclusion of each agenda item and at the conclusion 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.

Alternatively, public comment may be submitted in writing at 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.


Tuesday, December 17, 2019
State Public Charter School Authority Board Meeting

Click here to see the meeting agenda 

What happened at this meeting? 

The Board Approved a Contract Amendment for Founders Academy

The Board approved the SPCSA staff’s recommendation for the approval of a contract amendment request related to the financing of Founders Academy’s current facility. 

The Board Heard an Overview of the SPCSA’s New School Application Process and Standards for Approval

Staff members provided an overview of the New School Application process and standards for approving schools for authorization under the SPCSA. The presentation included information about the application  evaluation process, and the importance of a proposed school’s alignment to both the SPCSA Growth Management Plan and the Academic and Demographic Needs Assessment. 

Staff members also provided an overview of the Rubric used for evaluating New School Applications.

If denied, a proposed school has 30-days from the formal notice to resubmit an application addressing its deficiencies. If denied upon resubmission, the applicant may also appeal the Board’s decision. 

Click here to see the presentation, which includes the criteria for approving and denying new schools.

Public Comment: A representative of the Clark County School District’s Office of Charter Schools provided testimony expressing appreciation for the collaborative process of the SPCSA.

The Board Reviewed Seven (7) New School Applications for Approval or Denial 

SPCSA staff presented information to the Board about seven new school applicants, followed by Board discussion and an opportunity for each school to present before the Board.

Summaries of each proposed school’s application approval or denial are below.

Alaka’i Heritage Academy: Denied 

The SPCSA staff did not recommend the application for Board approval. The Board concurred with staff’s recommendation and discussed concerns about the proposed arts-integration model, the incubation year budget, and plans for professional development aligned to the arts-integration model.

Click here to see the full Alaka’i Heritage Academy application report.

Las Vegas Collegiate Charter School: Approved with Conditions

Las Vegas Collegiate was approved with the following conditions:

  • Submit an updated incubation year plan that clarifies how the Board will monitor progress towards key milestones and the available supports to the proposed school leader. 
  • Provide either more detail as to how the existing staff will manage the range of administrative responsibilities in year 1 OR provide an alternative scenario that includes additional contracted support. 
  • Work with the local jurisdiction to address traffic flow and pedestrian safety during student arrival and dismissal.

Click here to see the full Las Vegas Collegiate application report.

Pinecrest Academy of Northern Nevada: Approved with Conditions

The SPCSA staff did not recommend the application for Board approval. The SPCSA Board went against Staff’s recommendation and approved the application with the following conditions: 

  • Implementation of a weighted lottery in conjunction with a targeted marketing effort and a transportation plan to ensure a student population that reflects the population of the Washoe County School District
  • Implementation of a National School Lunch Program upon school launch
  • A revised Model Budget reflecting the school’s incubation year, English Language Learner Program, and marketing plan
  • Waived student fees for those who receive Free or Reduced-Price Lunch

Public Comment: Members of the public provided testimony in support of the Pinecrest Academy of Northern Nevada application. 

Click here to see the full Pinecrest Academy of Northern Nevada application report.

Nevada Strong Academy: Denied

The SPCSA staff did not recommend the application for approval. The Board concurred with staff’s recommendation and discussed the need to refine the application and clarify the relationship between the school and the Education Management Organization (EMO). 

Click here to see the full Nevada Strong Academy application report.

Sage Collegiate Charter School: Denied

The SPCSA staff did not recommend the application for approval. The Board concurred with staff’s recommendation and discussed the potential of the school’s plan with more time for development.

Click here to see the full Sage Collegiate application report.

Girls Academy Leadership School (GALS): Denied

The SPCSA staff did not recommend the application for approval. The Board concurred with staff’s recommendation and discussed the importance of having a single-gender school in Clark County. The Board inquired about GAL’s team’s experience with students from underserved communities and what lessons they have learned from the Denver campus performance. 

Click here to see the full GALS application report.

Pahrump Valley Academy: Denied

The SPCSA staff did not recommend the application for approval. The Board concurred with staff’s recommendation and discussed concerns about the proposed school’s capacity to carry out the vision and plans for the school.

Click here to see the full Pahrump Valley Academy application report.

The Board Discussed Potential Update to its Long-Range Calendar

The SPCSA Staff and Board are considering adding a second February Board Meeting to manage the volume of anticipated application resubmissions.


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

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