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 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.
Click here for a list of all SPCSA Members.
Click here for a list of all SPCSA sponsored schools.
Friday, June 26, 2020
State Public Charter School Authority Board Meeting
SPCSA Executive Director’s Report:
- Governor Steve Sisolak has signed Emergency Directive 022 on June 9, 2020, for the reopening of K-12 schools for summer learning and activities.
- As part of SPCSA’s COVID-19 update, SPCSA shared data on student engagement for the period when school sites were closed (beginning March 17). Approximately 144 students (or 0.3% of students) served by SPCSA-sponsored schools were not able to be contacted during the school site closure period. 98.43% of students were learning online by the end of the school year. Click here for the full update related to SPCSA’s COVID-19 response.
- The implementation of Senate Bill 543 is planning for a new pupil-focused funding formula beginning Fall 2021. The bill stipulates that all school districts must conduct an analysis on the impact of the funding formula on school budgets. SPCSA collected preliminary information from SPCSA-sponsored schools to understand the potential impact of the formula and found results of the data mixed. SPCSA noted that some rural schools will see substantial decline in revenue based on current data.
Board Heard Process for Approval of Reopening Plans for 2020-21
In alignment with Emergency Directive 022, guidance outlined in the Nevada Department of Education’s Nevada’s Path Forward Framework, and also the minimum requirements provided in Nevada State Board of Education’s Guidance for Path Forward Programs of Distance Education memo, SPCSA sponsored schools must present reopening plans to their governing bodies for approval 20 days prior to the first day of school. Sponsored schools will provide a copy of the approved reopening plans to SPCSA for review — strictly for compliance with minimum requirements. SPCSA will compile and send reopening plans to Nevada State Board of Education. There is no necessary approval by the Nevada State Board of Education.
Click here to view Nevada’s Path Forward: A Framework for a Safe, Efficient, and Equitable Return to School Buildings
Click here to view Guidance for Path Forward Programs of Distance Education
Board Heard Updates From Approved Charter Schools
SPCSA board members heard from school leaders & board members of three approved SPCSA schools scheduled to open this Fall.
- Pinecrest Academy of Northern Nevada shared updates related to enrollment, marketing, and transportation. Additionally, Pinecrest has received confirmation from the Nevada Department of Education that the proposed transportation plan is appropriate as is, fulfilling a condition set forth in September.
- Girls Athletic Leadership School (GALS) shared updates related to their facility and enrollment, reporting an increase in enrollment due in part to SPCSA’s approval of the addition of 7th grade for the 2020-2021 school year. Click here to view the full update.
- Explore Academy shared updates related to their temporary facility and enrollment. They do not anticipate reaching current enrollment targets and may approach the board in the future for an amendment request.
Board Approved Charter School Contract
The Board approved a contract with Democracy Prep at the Agassi Campus. Click here to view the contract for Democracy Prep at the Agassi Campus.
Board Approved Charter Contract Amendments
The board approved the following amendments:
- Explore Academy: Addition of 8th grade for the 2020-2021 school year. Click here to view the SPCSA staff recommendation memo.
- Nevada State High School: Addition of a campus located in one of the following zip codes: 89030, 89032, 89121, 89122. Consolidation of Sunrise campus into flagship for the 2021-22 school year. Click here to view the SPCSA staff recommendation memo.
- Beacon Academy: Addition of a second campus in one of the following zip codes: 89101, 89104, 89110. Implementation of a dual-credit program, in compliance with NRS 389.310. Click here to view the SPCSA staff recommendation memo.
- Oasis Academy: Use of shared space with Western NV College Fallon campus for 11th and 12th grade students in order to serve all enrolled students. Click here to view the SPCSA staff recommendation memo.
Board Approved Charter Application Submission Exemption
A good cause exemption was granted for TEACH LV to submit an application to open a charter after the July 15th deadline, but no later than October 1, 2020. TEACH is currently operating in Los Angeles, California, and intends to expand to Las Vegas. Rationale for the good cause exemption was rooted in challenges related to the COVID-19 school building closures. The approval provides the school with additional time to compile student assessment data. Additionally, it will provide the Committee to Form additional time to engage with the community on their plan to open. TEACH board members shared that they plan to submit their application in September.
Click here to view TEACH Las Vegas Charter Application – Good Cause Exemption
Board Approves Separation of American Preparatory Academy from EMO
Pursuant to the school’s charter school contract and NAC 388A.575, the SPCSA board must approve any separation between an Education Management Organization (EMO) and a school. Based on staff recommendation, the Board approved a request by American Preparatory Academy (APA) to separate from their EMO, American Preparatory Schools. Representatives of APA Las Vegas shared that their relationship with the EMO strained due to increased fees, service implementation, and alleged contractual incompliance by the EMO. The EMO has filed suit against the school, stating that the nonrenewal of the contract is invalid. SPCSA will work with the school to outline specific changes to the operations, academics and finances that will be required to operate as a stand-alone charter school.
Click here to view the staff recommendation.
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