Nevada Ed-Watch 10/4/19

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 beginning (for agenda items) and at the conclusion (on any matter) 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.

Click here for a list of all SPCSA Members.

Click here for a list of all SPCSA sponsored schools.

Friday, October 4, 2019
State Public Charter School Authority Board Meeting

Click here to see the meeting agenda

What happened at this meeting?

Public Comment

Parents and staff members provided testimony about their positive experience at Nevada Connections Academy. 

The Board Elected a Chair and Vice-Chair

The board elected Melissa Mackedon to serve as Chair and Randy Kirner to serve as Vice Chair of the board.

The Board Discussed Updates to the Board Calendar

The board added a second meeting in December (December 17th), when they will review nine (9) pending charter applications. The first December board meeting is scheduled for December 13th.

Throughout 2020, board meetings will continue to take place on Fridays at 9:00 am. The SPCSA staff is also exploring the possibility of holding two meetings per year that begin later in the afternoon, in an effort to increase community access to meetings.

Additionally, SPCSA staff is creating an online opportunity for members of the public to provide written comments in the event they are unable to provide spoken testimony during a meeting.

The Board Heard an Overview of the NSPF Star Ratings for SPCSA-Authorized Schools

The board reviewed results at public charter schools authorized by the SPCSA. 

2018-19 Nevada School Performance Framework (NSPF) results highlights:

  • 65 SPCSA charter schools received 4 or 5 star ratings
  • Out of 120 schools in Nevada that received a 5 star rating, 45 are SPCSA-sponsored charter schools

The following Title I schools were designated as 4 or 5 stars for the 2018-19 school year, demonstrating that they have exceeded state standards (click on a school to see its data profile):

Opportunity 180’s data portal,, was recognized as a resource for the community to access public school performance data.

Click here to see the NSPF results presentation.

The Board Approved 10 Schools to Return to Academic Good Standing Classification 

The following schools will return to being classified as being in Academic Good Standing (3 star and above):

  1. Freedom Classical Middle School (4-Star)
  2. Founders Academy Elementary School (4-Star)
  3. Leadership Academy Middle School (3-Star)
  4. Learning Bridge Elementary School (4-Star)
  5. Legacy, North Valley Middle School (3-Star)
  6. Mater Academy, Bonanza Elementary School (3-Star)
  7. Mater Academy Northern Nevada Elementary School (3-Star)
  8. Nevada Virtual Middle School (3-Star)
  9. Nevada Virtual High School (3-Star)
  10. SLAM Middle Schools (3-Star)

The Board Approved Schools to Receive a Notice of Concern for Academic Performance

The following schools received a notice of concern regarding their academic performance: 

The following actions are required for each school that received a Notice of Concern:

  • School performance plans will be reviewed by the SPCSA Staff
  • Site Evaluations and visits will take place to follow-up on progress against school performance plans
  • Provide a written report on February 1, 2020 indicating progress to date in implementing the school performance plan, and a summary of mid-year assessment performance.

Each school had a chance to speak before the board regarding their results and the steps they are taking to address their star rating.

The Board Approved Schools to Receive a Notice of Breach for Academic Performance

The schools listed below received a Notice of Breach for their academic performance.

These schools are required to present an update on their academic progress against their school performance plan, including a summary of mid-year assessment results in early 2020.

Additionally, performance at Nevada Connections Academy ES (1-star) has triggered the automatic termination provisions (per statute), and the school must close at the end of the 2019-2020 school year. However, since Nevada Connections Academy has chosen not to renew the charter for their elementary school, no action was taken by the board.

Board Approved Somerset Academy’s Charter Amendment (Dual Enrollment Program)

In compliance with NRS 389.310, the board approved a request for a good-cause exemption by Somerset Academy to provide access to college-level coursework.

Staff Presented Updates on the SPCSA Strategic Planning process  

Members of the SPCSA staff presented draft language for input by board members on the vision, mission, and values of the SPCSA. Board members provided feedback, and updated language will be presented at the November board meeting. 

Strategic Plan highlights:

Growth Management Plan

  • The SPCSA received 2,500 individual responses on their stakeholder feedback survey. They are currently analyzing results. 
  • The SPCSA is bringing a range of stakeholders together to help them understand the needs of stakeholders in Nevada. The working groups are meeting three times in October and their input will contribute to the development of the Growth Management Plan. 

Upcoming Milestones

  • November 1st (during the board meeting): Presentation of Strategic and Growth Management Plan drafts for additional board feedback
  • December 13th: Review and board approval of final Strategic and Growth Management Plans 
  • January 1st: Growth Management Plan submitted to the Nevada Department of Education and Legislative Commission on Education

Click here to see the strategic planning presentation.

SPCSA Executive Director’s Report: 

Report Highlights:

  • Superintendent Listening Tour: Superintendent Ebert visited two Shining Star Schools, Mater Academy and Equipo Academy, during her Listening Tour. Round Tables were conducted where staff and parents got to communicate directly with the Superintendent about their experience at the schools.
  • New Charter Applications: 9 applications were received. Interviews have been scheduled with the schools 
  • Charter Amendment Applications: Applications are due on Oct 15th. 10 schools submitted Letter of Intent (LOIs) for potential amendments.

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