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, April 15, 2022
State Public Charter School Authority Board Meeting
Access the meeting agenda and playback.
What happened at this meeting?
Public comment was provided on FMLA and personnel concerns.
SPCSA Executive Director’s Report
Highlights from the report include:
- Student Equity: Last month, Nevada Prep presented its transportation plan, and this month, the Board will hear about how Beacon Academy serves students with special needs. The agency is continuing discussions around recruitment and enrollment plans to serve certain student populations and promote equitable learning environments.
- Impacts of COVID-19: The focus is on ensuring schools have access to testing, and schools continue to evolve their COVID plans.
- Legislative Updates: At the Interim Finance Committee, the SPCSA shared routine adjustments to grant amounts and requested two additional positions, both of which were approved.
- Budget Prep: The agency is working on budget preparation for the next fiscal year.
- Annual Enrollment Count: Last year’s annual enrollment data had errors identified; none were specific to SPCSA, but they are working to incorporate those minor technical corrections in SPCSA documents.
Board Heard an Update on Beacon Academy of Nevada
Beacon Academy of Nevada discussed its alternative school model, which offers at-risk high school students with a personalized education plan that provides the support and flexibility for students to graduate high school. 95% of its students fall into a high-need category. The school currently has 95 students and operates on continuous enrollment and have not turned away any students at this point. The school was accredited by COGNIA in 2022, as well. Staff provided updates on credit earning rates, graduation rates by cohort, and next steps for the school.
Explore the presentation.
Board Approved Amendments to Charter School Contracts
Beacon Academy of Nevada requested a good cause exemption and received approval to accelerate financing for its East campus.
Girls Athletic Leadership School (GALS) was approved for a change in its charter management organization. It was approved to formally separate GALS Las Vegas from GALS Inc. and terminate its CMO agreement.
Battle Born Academy received approval for a temporary location for the 2022-2023 school year, at 4201 E. Bonanza Rd., Las Vegas, NV 89110.
Board Heard an Update on Approved New Charter Schools for Fall 2022
Battle Born Academy: The school has secured a temporary facility and has submitted an updated budget, as well as received approval for an SPCSA revolving loan. Enrollment has reached about 50% and is expected to rise with the announcement of the temporary location. The school hired an Operations Director in March, as well as a full-time counselor, and is still looking for professionals in the fields of special education and ESL.
Explore the update from Battle Born Academy.
Sage Collegiate: The school is 59.4% enrolled and will begin canvassing the community in May. The facility is on track to open for the 2022-23 school year but are working on contingency plans. The school is hosting a career fair with several other charter schools on April 23.
Explore the update from Sage Collegiate.
PilotED – Cactus Park Elementary: Enrollment for the school is at 40%, and the faacility is two weeks ahead of schedule. It is 80% staffed for admin and leadership positions, 13% for teaching positions, with additional interviews taking place this month.
Explore the update from PilotED.
Young Women’s Leadership Academy: The school is 60% enrolled, with recruitment events continuing throughout April. They are also making progress with staff recruitment efforts.
Explore the update from Young Women’s Leadership Academy.
Strong Start Academy: The school is 90% enrolled in kindergarten, and 20% in Grades 1 and 2. Upcoming recruitment marketing will focus on Grades 1 and 2, and the school has established a weighted lottery system, should enrollment exceed capacity. Vendor contracts have been executed, and the City of Las Vegas is in the process of transferring funds and has also made an offer on a permanent facility. At an upcoming City Council meeting, the school will move to increase the number of board seats to nine, to ensure each ward served by the school is represented.
Board Approved a Recommendation for School to Submit Recruitment and Enrollment Plans
SPCSA presented a recommendation for schools to submit recruitment and enrollment plans in progress of increasing populations of FRL, ESL, and IEP students served. The recommendation presented included focusing on the FRL student group, as this population represented the greatest disparity, and identifying schools by comparing school FRL percentage to local district schools with the largest FRL rates. Schools making adequate progress (at least 25% increase in the enrollment of students who qualify for FRL in the prior year) were removed from the list. This process resulted in 14 schools being identified to submit recruitment and enrollment plans.
These enrollment plans include staff issuing guidance to the identified schools. Plans would need to be submitted in September 2022 and should detail recruiting and enrolling students who quality for FRL (but the schools can also explore other student groups). Strategies in the plan should fall under at least one of the following categories:
- Raising awareness
- Ensuring the school provides a welcoming and supportive environment for all learners, or
- Increasing the likelihood that such students are selected through the enrollment process.
SPCSA staff will provide feedback and regular updates, and schools will implement plans and provide SPCSA staff with data regarding the effectiveness of those strategies.
Board discussion included questions on monitoring, other state models, and school feedback on the process.
Board Heard an Update on the SPCSA Growth Management Plan
Staff held a meeting with a community working group to review the current version of the Growth Management Plan. The updated plan will be brought to the Board in June.
Long-Range Calendar (next 3 months):
Agenda items over the next three SPCSA board meetings are anticipated to include:
- The Growth Management Plan
- Enrollment and staffing data reporting for new schools
Click here to see the long-range calendar.
The next Meeting of the SPCSA Board is scheduled for May 20, 2022 @ 9:00 am.