Nevada Ed-Watch: 06/27/22

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 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.


Monday, June 27, 2022
State Public Charter School Authority Board Meeting
Access the meeting agenda and playback.

What happened at this meeting? 

Public comment 

No public comment was heard at this time.

SPCSA Executive Director’s Report

Highlights from the report include:

  • Initiatives Related to Serving All Students Equitably: Certain schools must submit recruitment and enrollment plans by September 30. Staff conducted their first optional virtual working session this month, with two additional sessions planned for the summer. Staff also participated in a Restorative Justice training and are planning to offer optional training this summer and in 2023.
  • COVID-19 Update: SPCSA is required to continue to maintain the Safe Return to In-Person Learning Plan  through September 30, and the Board will receive an update on plans in July.
  • Legislative Session Planning: The committee is continuing monthly meetings, and SPCSA has been engaged in the process. There are two meetings through the end of this interim period; the final meeting is an opportunity to identify legislative topics.
  • Budget: The Authority is on track to submit its budget by the end of August, and is working with the Governor’s finance office on answering requests related to staffing increases.
  • Update on New Schools Opening in Fall 2022: 
    • Coral Academy of Science: The Cadence campus is on track to open mid-August, and will be ready by mid-July to allow the school to prep for its first day. It will provide an update on recruitment/enrollment at the July meeting.
    • Nevada State High School – NLV Campus:  The campus has received its certificate of occupancy and is ready to welcome students.  
  • Language Access Plan: Pursuant to SB 318, staff must develop and biannually revise this plan providing services for constituents with limited English proficiency. The Authority is currently drafting the plan, to be posted over the summer for public comment in July. It is also working to make the website more accessible to those with limited English proficiency, including translation services.
  • 2022 SPCSA Sponsor Survey: The survey was conducted 5/11 – 6/5, with responses from 30 school leaders representing 26 of 38 charter schools. Input was measured in four areas: communication, authorizing, school support, and grants. Explore the survey results memo and the feedback survey.
  • Staffing Update: Marinna Cutler is the new Director of School Support for the SPCSA, and the Authority is filling a few additional positions to reach a total of 27 full-time staff.

Board Received a Presentation Regarding Governance Standards, Pursuant to Assembly Bill 419

The first governance standards training was held in June, with approximately 250 school board members from about 50 schools. Three additional trainings are scheduled this summer, and a process has been established to approve other organizations to provide this type of training based upon standards approved by the Authority. During the presentation, a Board member provided an overview of Standard 3: Managing Financial Resources responsibly.

Explore the governance standards here.

Board Discussed the Impact of Weighted Lotteries

Staff provided an overview on weighted lotteries and their role in improving access to educationally disadvantaged students. Such lotteries can be used in favor of identified student groups, such as those who are economically disadvantaged, those with disabilities, and/or those with limited English proficiency, among others. Seven SPCSA charters/24 campuses have a weighted lottery policy in place, with 21 campuses having more applications than seats available. Results varied from school to school and are detailed in the memo (available at the link below). Staff noted in the memo that while impact varies, weighted lotteries will not singlehandedly address the discrepancies in such demographics.

Explore the briefing memo here.

Charter School Contract Amendment Applications

Girls Athletic Leadership School was approved for changes to the school name, mission and vision, as well as modifications to academic and organizational plans and a reduction on its enrollment caps for the duration of the charter term. These changes are mostly due to terminating the contract with GALS Inc. and COVID-related recruitment strain. Its new name will be Girls Empowerment Middle School (GEMS). The school’s mission, values, and driving force will remain the same.

Explore the good cause exemption letter and the recommendation memo.

Explore Academy was approved for a reduction in its enrollment cap from 510 to 355 students and will be moving to its permanent facility this year.

Explore the good cause exemption letter and the recommendation memo.

PilotED Cactus Park Elementary was conditionally approved to remove its student transportation plan for the 2022-2023 school year and operate at a temporary location at Nevada Prep for the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year.

Explore the good cause exemption letter and the recommendation memo.

Quest Academy was approved for a reduction of its enrollment cap from 565 to 500 students for the 2022-2023 school year.

Explore the good cause exemption letter and the recommendation memo.

Strong Start Academy was approved for a relocation for the 2022-2023 school year, so all students and faculty are located in one permanent facility. The facility is the site of the 9th Bridge School, at 302 S. 9th St.

Explore the good cause exemption letter and the recommendation memo.

Young Women’s Leadership Academy was approved for a reduction of its enrollment cap from 150 to 110 students for the 2022-2023 school year.

Explore the recommendation memo.

Doral Academy of Northern Nevada was approved for an additional K-8 campus for the 2023-2024 school year, primarily serving students in 89502 and 89431 zip codes.

Explore the recommendation memo.

Explore charter applications, budgets, and additional materials here.

Board Heard an Update on Approved New Charter Schools for Fall 2022

  • Battle Born Academy: The school is approved to open, serving grades K-1 and 5-6, and will be temporarily located in the Equipo Academy facility. Thirty-eight percent of seats have been enrolled, with an additional 10% in the enrollment process. Explore the update.
  • Sage Collegiate: The school facilities are scheduled to open on time. Current enrollment is at 244, and a waitlist has started in four grade levels. Grassroots efforts have continued and ramped up through several community partnerships. Explore the update.
  • PilotED Cactus Park Elementary: All updates have been included in the charter school contract amendment application above.
  • Young Women’s Leadership Academy: The school is 61% fully enrolled, with several recruitment events coming up and in the past few months. The school continues to hire for roles in math and science, as well as other positions, and has increased teacher salaries to be equitable with wages at the local school district. Explore the update.
  • Strong Start Academy: The lease agreement on the facility has been executed, and the City of Las Vegas is in the process of purchasing the 9th Bridge building for a permanent facility.  Seventy-eight students have been enrolled thus far, and teacher recruitment continues. Explore the update.

Board Approved Revisions to the SPCSA Academic Performance Framework and Organizational Framework:

The Board approved a number of proposed changes, including those to SPCSA Academic Framework performance level rating requirements to fulfill its obligation and responsibility to provide Academic Performance Framework results for SPCSA-sponsored schools; and using a 64% Free and Reduced Lunch (FRL) Student Enrollment Rate measure rate cap when an SPCSA school or zoned district participates in the USDA Community Eligibility Provision, or CEP, to support more accurate FRL rate comparisons between SPCSA schools and zoned districts.

Explore the presentation.

Changes to the SPCSA Organizational Framework included:

  • SPCSA staff verifying state assessment participation requirements through data collection processes and NDE, and as such, removing the measure from the self-certification checklist
  • Verifying schools’ governing bodies have completed training in Nevada’s Open Meeting Law and SPCSA Governance Standards
  • SPCSA staff verifying all applicable reporting requirements called for in the Reporting Requirements Manual, and as such, removing the measure from the self-certification checklist
  • SPCSA staff verifying that a school is in material compliance with student attendance requirements and as such, removing the measure from the self-certification checklist
  • Revising language to Indicator 4, Measure 16 to clarify that “the school has no known outstanding obligations with regard to payroll, unemployment, ADA, FMLA, IRS, or other federal, state and local entities”
  • SPCSA staff verifying that a school is current with all Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) obligations and as such, removing the measure from the self-certification checklist
  • Adding language to include that all governing body members of a charter school maintain compliance with fingerprint requirements pursuant to NRS 388A.323.

Explore the presentation and supplemental materials.

Board Heard an Update on Site Evaluations for the 2021-2022 School year

All schools with a charter contract in Years 1, 3, or 5 were evaluated as scheduled, for a total of 42 site evaluations with 691 classrooms observed between September 2021 and May 2022. Identified strengths include implementing strategies aimed at closing opportunity gaps, meeting students’ social-emotional learning needs, implementing MTSS through SPCSA, and use of restorative justice practices to address behavioral issues. Challenges include opportunity gaps, regressive social-emotional behaviors, teacher shortages, post-COVID challenges like learning loss and chronic absenteeism, and serving the needs of vulnerable student groups.

Explore the presentation.

Long-Range Calendar (next 3 months):

Agenda items over the next three SPCSA board meetings are anticipated to include:

  • Safe return plan updates
  • New charter school applications
  • Academic Performance Framework

Explore the long-range calendar.

The next Meeting of the SPCSA Board is scheduled for July 29, 2022 @ 9:00 am. 

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Nevada Ed-Watch 2/26/21

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, February 26, 2021

State Public Charter School Authority Board Meeting

Click here to see the meeting agenda

What happened at this meeting? 

No members of the public provided comment during this meeting.

SPCSA Executive Directors’ and SPCSA Staff Report:

  • Update on Financial Performance Framework Ratings
    • Staff has sent final performance framework ratings to schools. All performance frameworks are now available to the public under the Performance Reports Tab on the SPCSA website.
  • Initiatives Related to Serving All Students Equitably
    • SPCSA is in the process of working with the Nevada Department of Education to provide schools with access to training on how to review their own discipline data. Earlier this month, SPCSA sent each school a report comparing their school’s demographics to those of district and neighborhood schools within their local communities. Schools can use the information to understand whether their school population is representative of the community.
    • SPCSA will continue to make updates to its website to make it easier for families to select a school and access enrollment, and is currently awaiting feedback from stakeholders before making an initial round of changes. The purpose of these updates is to remove barriers to access to schools.
    • SPCSA has been working to collect demographic data for licensed educators. This data shows that there is a noticeable discrepancy between licensed staff and students. 70% of public school teachers are White, while White students only make up 30% of enrollment.
    • SCPSA is seeing some opportunities to access training to all SPCSA-sponsored schools, particularly on culturally responsive practices and restorative justice.

Click here to view the update memo.

  • Project Aware and MTSS Pilot
    • Last Spring, the Authority engaged in a process with the NDE and UNR’s PBIS Technical Assistance Center to explore ways to support schools with MTSS  (Multi-Tiered Systems of Support). SPCSA has established a pilot program to support a small cohort of schools with this implementation and is currently working with 6 schools on this pilot. Project AWARE is a 5-year grant program focused on promoting equity, restorative justice practices, cultural responsiveness, social-emotional learning, and mental health awareness. Project AWARE will focus on 5 strategies.

Schools from all over Nevada will be able to participate.

Click here to view the presentation.

  • Future SPCSA Board meetings
    • SPCSA is looking to transition to an in-person component to SPCSA board meetings. A potential first step is to have board members in Southern Nevada meet in person beginning at the March meeting. SPCSA will work within constraints to make sure its board can continue to socially distance and abide by State guidance and hopes to gradually move to in-person board meetings.

Board Approved Change to In-Person Learning Guidance

  • SPCSA has seen COVID-19 test positivity and case rates decline. Vaccines are rolling out to all counties where SPCSA schools are located. In early February, Director Feiden held focus groups and through those focus groups has learned that schools have developed significant measures to mitigate COVID-19. Schools have increased in-person learning steadily over the past months. Schools continue to raise concerns about the academic development and mental health of students. On February 12, the CDC released updated guidance which includes guidance for K-12 mitigation. It emphasizes:
  • Consistent implementation of layered mitigation strategies to reduce transmission, such as correct use of masks;
  • Monitoring of indicators of community transmission to assess community risk; and
  • Implementation of a phased mitigation learning model.

On February 17, Governor’s Directive 038 was announced. The directive has two major impacts on schools:

  • Schools that have facilitated at least 20 days of in-person instruction, whether hybrid or full-time, can increase in-person learning from 50% to 75% room capacity. Schools that haven’t facilitated any in-person learning will have to do so for 20 days at 50% room capacity before increasing to 75% room capacity.
  • Schools that have facilitated at least 20 days of in-person learning (hybrid or full), can go to 3 feet distance learning. Adults are still required 6 feet from students and other adults.

The board approved a motion to lift the Authority’s additional in-person learning restrictions on flagged counties and to instead align with the Governor’s instructions in Directive 038 per Director Feiden’s recommended. Schools are responsible for their reopening plans when there are changes and must submit those plans to the NDE through the SPCSA. This ensures that the SPCSA is aware of school plans in order to answer questions that may arise from community members and families.

Click here to read the guidance memo.
Click here to read Nevada’s ROADMAP TO RECOVERY: Pre-K – 12 Education.
Click here to read Governor’s Directive 038.

Board Approved Amendments Charter School Contracts

  • Nevada Prep: The board approved a motion to grant Nevada Prep a Good Cause Exemption and approve the school’s requests, with conditions. The school is approved to:
    • Relocate to a facility at 1780 N. Betty Lane in Las Vegas.
    • Expand its grade configuration to the 3rd grade beginning in the 2021–22 school year. The school is not requesting a change in the enrollment cap for the 2021-22 school year.
    • Expand the enrollment caps for the school beginning in the 2022–23 school year to accommodate slow growth within grades 3–8.
  • The school must also complete the following two conditions:
    • Complete pre-opening process for new charter school facilities
    • Submit NWA Map results from the beginning, middle, and end of the year

Click here to read SPCSA staff’s recommendation memo.

  • Coral Academy of Science Las Vegas: The board approved a motion to grant Coral Academy of Science Las Vegas approval to expand to a seventh location, in Henderson, for the 2022-2023 school year. The school must complete the following conditions:
    • Lease or purchase a parcel on in Henderson by June 30, 2021
    • Continue to promote the school in multiple languages
    • Implement a weighted lottery system that enables the school ensure student demographics are comparable to schools in the local area.
    • Complete pre-opening process for new charter school facilities.

Click here to read SPCSA staff’s recommendation memo.

Board Heard Update on New Schools

  • Las Vegas Collegiate – Las Vegas Collegiate was conditionally approved by the Authority in December 2019 but deferred its school opening from Fall 2020 to Fall 2021. School leadership shared that they are currently looking at two facilities for the Fall opening, will be facilitating a number of community engagement strategies to grow enrollment, and have filled 50% of its open positions for hire.
  • Sage Collegiate – Sage Collegiate was conditionally approved by the Authority to open in December 2020. School leadership shared that they are working with Building Hope and have identified a potential permanent facility. The school has made an offer on the facility and is going through the process to finalize the agreement; however, the facility is not expected to be ready under December 2021. The school expects to get a temporary site proposal at a Boys and Girls Club location for Year 1 and anticipates a long-term partnership with Boys and Girls Club even after the move into the permanent building.
  • CIVICA – The Authority conditionally approved CIVICA to open in May 2020. Current enrollment is anticipated to be 340 students. School leadership shared their community engagement efforts, including hosting information sessions for families, and on-the-spot enrollment events at Maya Cinemas. CIVICA has completed its hiring with internal transferred and will begin Interviewing and hiring external candidates next week. The schools expect to see the exterior walls of the new school site going up in the next week. CIVICA has also finalized all 5 conditions that were due to the SPCSA and submitted a letter of intent to receive Charter School Program grant funds.
  • Eagle Academy – The Authority conditionally approved Eagle in January 2021  to open its campus for Fall 2021. School leadership shared that they are working on securing a facility. If unable to find a facility for the upcoming school year, the school will defer to open in 2022 and take advantage of the 18 months for board training, hiring, community outreach, and other initiatives.

Board Heard Update on Nevada Connections Academy

  • Last year, the Authority approved a 3-year contract for Nevada Connections Academy (NCA) which goes through June 20, 2023. Under the contract, the school serves grades 9-12, and enrollment for grades 9-10 is capped at 850 students. The contract further stipulates that students can enter grades 11-12 at NCA if they have matriculated through the school from the 9th or 10th grades; however, the school may not take enrollments for grades 11-12 from new students. If the school receives a 1-star rating at the end of the 2020-21 or 2021-22 school years, this will result in the school’s closure. Over the last nine months, SPCSA staff shared that they have seen the NCA’s strong dedication to improvement. NCA’s leadership gave a presentation to the Authority, reporting that Performance Framework targets are on track for this school year. The school has been working on improving feedback to students as well as webmail communications. The school also reported a completion rate of 94% for all benchmark assessments which increased from 92% in Fall 2020. The school is working to make sure students are mastering all of their courses and are providing interventions in areas needed. The school has also implemented ACT preparation for 9th-11th graders and now has a full College & Career Readiness program along with increased dual credit options. 10.6% of 12th graders are now in CTE programs, an increase from 2.6% previously.

Board Heard Update from Quest Academy

Representatives of Quest Academy provided an update on the school’s progress and transition from receivership to a full board. On October 15th, 2020, Quest transitioned to an independent board. There is currently a board vacancy that they expect to fill by April, and also anticipate adding two additional members to the board by the 2021-2022 school year. Quest is utilizing a data dashboard that enables them to monitor student learning and growth in order to stay on track to improve the star ratings of the elementary and middle schools.

Click here to see the full update provided by Quest.  

Board Approved TEACH Las Vegas Charter Contract   

The mission of TEACH Las Vegas is to create a high quality, innovative K – 12 teaching and learning environment in North Las Vegas that focuses on literacy; integrating state of-the-art technologies across the core curriculum to achieve academic proficiency for all students.

The approved contract allows TEACH Las Vegas to open a grades K-7 for the 2021-2022 school year, with an eventual growth to K-12.

TEACH’s initial application was denied in December 2020 due to deficiencies noted by staff across various domains in their application to open a school. Upon resubmission, reviewers found that the deficiencies were addressed. Board members expressed their appreciation for the specific attention made by the school to ensure their community engagement efforts were authentically grounded in the community they are looking to serve.

The contract was approved with conditions, including:

  • Provide 2020-2021 end of year data for existing schools in California
  • Submit growth data to the SCPSA at multiple points throughout the year for progress monitoring
  • Submit evidence that the school has a partnership to provide dual-enrollment courses

Click here to see the SPCSA staff’s recommendation memo.

Board Heard Presentation from Academica Nevada on Diversifying School Faculty

Academica Nevada is a for-profit Education Management Organization (EMO) that provides a suite of services for establishing and supporting operations for charter schools. Academica services 24 charter school campuses in Nevada, including Doral, Pinecrest, Somerset and Mater Academies, as well as CIVICA and SLAM!.

Academica staff provided an overview of the efforts they plan to undertake in order to diversify the faculty of the schools they support to better reflect the population of students being served. Staff shared that they had not been previously aware of the need to ensure that educators are representative of the students they are serving. Efforts to address the current disparities include “diversity awareness training”, increasing opportunities for licensure for support staff, and targeted recruitment at universities with diverse student bodies.

Currently, faculty members that identify as White are over-represented at Academica Nevada schools.

Board members discussed the need to expand their diversification efforts to all staff and the need to include families from the schools in discussions and planning. Additionally, board members recommended ensuring Academica is thought partnering with other schools who are exemplifying leadership in this area.  

Click here to see the full presentation.

Board Heard Update on Strategic Plan Progress

Director Feiden provided an update on the progress to date regarding the three 5-year goals outlined in the SPCSA’s strategic plan. The board will receive annual updates related to the progress towards achieving the goals. Due to the pandemic, SBAC assessments were not administered, impacting the metrics for Goal 2, outlined below.

Goal 1: Provide families with access to high-quality schools. This goal focuses on ensuring all SPCSA schools are considered high-quality via the statewide star-rating accountability system, as well as ensuring schools are in compliance with the SPCSA’s Organizational and Financial Frameworks.

Goal 2: Ensure that every SPCSA student succeeds – including those from historically underserved student groups. Some data points aligned to these metrics are not available due to student assessments not being administered, however other data points were available that indicate this goal is on track.

Goal 3: Increase the diversity of students served by SPCSA schools. This goal focuses on ensuring English Learners, students experiencing poverty, and students with disabilities are being equitably served at a rate that is greater than or equal to statewide averages.

Board Heard Update on 2021 Legislative Session

SPCSA staff has been meeting with legislators, local school districts, and the Department of Education to align on legislation related to education in Nevada. SPCSA is tracking approximately 20 bills, with seven directly related to charter schools. SPCSA staff shared that a recent bill presentation to the Assembly Committee on Education, Assembly Bill 68, was successful and that a friendly amendment is to be incorporated in the language.


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Nevada Ed-Watch 1/22/21

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, January 22, 2020

State Public Charter School Authority Board Meeting

Click here to see the meeting agenda

What happened at this meeting? 

Members of the public provided comment regarding: 

  • Support for Pioneer Technology & Arts Academy (PTAA) charter approval citing the importance of the impact of PTAA in the community.

SPCSA Executive Directors’ and SPCSA Staff Report:

Report highlights:

  • In-Person Learning Update
    • Director Feiden does not currently anticipate any changes to the in-person learning guidance. SPCSA staff is committed to bringing students back to school buildings safely and will continue to monitor transmission rates in the state, as well as any changes in the current Statewide Pause. Should the circumstances improve in the coming month, staff anticipate reviewing the current in-person learning guidance and bringing any recommended changes to the February 26 meeting of the SPCSA Board. Click here to read the full statement.
  • COVID -19 Vaccine Update
    • The Authority has worked with the Department of Health and Human Services to implement school testing sites. The Authority is working with multiple agencies to ensure educators know how to sign up for vaccines in each county. Vaccine distribution for educators is occurring in most Nevada counties, however, Clark County School District (CCSD) is experiencing challenges. Vaccine pre-registration for CCSD educators will begin on January 25th.  Click here to read the full statement.
  • Initiatives Related to Serving All Students Equitably
    • The SPCSA has made progress towards equity initiatives. The Authority has looked into school data on demographics of students served and will continue to monitor progress towards serving diverse communities. The Authority has surveyed schools on how they are providing diversity and inclusion training to their staff. Of those surveyed, 90% of respondents indicated an interest in diversity and inclusion professional development training for their staff and board leadership teams. The remaining 10% of respondents indicated that they were already receiving training. The Authority is looking into providing diversity and inclusion training in Spring or Summer 2021 and to utilize federal funding.
  • The Nevada Department of Education’s (NDE) Proposed COVID-19 State Plan Addendum to Nevada’s ESEA Consolidated State Plan for the 2020-2021 School Year
    • NDE proposes that the Nevada School Performance Framework (NSPF) be “suspended” for the 2020-2021 school year, meaning they are requesting that no new star ratings be issued for the 2020-2021 school year. Instead, NDE proposes that star ratings continue to carry over from the 2018-2019 school year, the last school year that new star ratings were issued. The NDE is also proposing a pause on calculating chronic absenteeism. The Authority has developed a memo in response to the NDE’s proposal to the federal government. Board members requested clarification on the NDE’s decision to waive the chronic absenteeism count. Click here to see the NDE’s proposal. 
  • Explore Academy Facility Update
    • The Authority has approved the building site acquired by Explore Academy and will continue to work with Explore Academy to prepare for the 2021-2022 school year.
  • Update on 2020-2021 Site Evaluations
    • The Authority has 23 more site evaluations scheduled through the end of this academic year. 

Board Approved SPCSA Financial Performance Framework Recommendations 

The Financial Performance Framework is used to determine if a school is financially viable and to inform high-stakes decisions. SPCSA staff presented information on the Financial Performance Framework indicators and how each indicator affects ratings. SPCSA staff also presented ratings for the 2019-20 school year and shared recommendations for actions to be taken, including recommendations to issue Notices of Concern to Discovery Charter School, Nevada Virtual Academy, and Quest Preparatory Academy. SPCSA staff recognized that the pandemic has created considerable challenges for schools and incorporated into their considerations for recommendations. SPCSA staff also acknowledged that these schools are working to make a stronger effort in financial performance and commended their efforts.

Some schools provided additional comments in regards to the recommendations. Highlights include: 

  • Discovery Charter School shared after receivership they inherited $367,000 in debt which was paid in full in June 2020. They also shared that their Current debt-to-asset ratio is progressing on target. 
  • Nevada Virtual Academy shared their commitment to work with the Authority to improve their debt-to-asset ratio and finances.
  • Quest Preparatory Academy shared their commitment to work with the Authority to improve their finances.
  • Honors Academy of Literature shared that the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiveness has enabled them to improve on their status and will put them on track to address the Authority’s concerns.
  • Legacy Traditional Schools commented that bond assets should be taken into consideration when measuring the debt-to-asset ratio.
  • Signature Preparatory Academy commented on the status of their lease payment bond issue and shared that an increase in enrollment numbers will positively affect the trajectory of their financial standing. 

The board unanimously approved a motion to:

  • Adopt the Financial Framework results for SY2020-21 with exceptions to enrollment;
  • Place Discovery Charter School, Nevada Virtual Academy, and Quest Preparatory Academy on Notice of Concern under the Financial Framework results for SY20-21, and to create a financial improvement plan for these schools. 
  • Create targeted remediation plans for SY21-22 for  Doral Academy of Northern Nevada, Honors Academy of Literature, Legacy Traditional Schools, and Signature Preparatory Academy.

Click here to see the full recommendation memo. 

Board Approved Charter School Contract Amendments

SPCSA staff presented recommendations related to charter school contract amendment applications on the following schools:

  • Sports Leadership and Management Academy (SLAM) – The board approved SLAM Academy’s proposal to expand the school to include K-5 grade levels. The Authority found that the SLAM proposal qualifies with the Academic and Demographic Needs Assessment and recommended to the Board to conditionally approve the proposal subject to improvement on items of concern in pre-opening requirements. Click here to see the full memo.
  • Las Vegas Collegiate – The board approved a request by Las Vegas Collegiate Charter School to cap enrollment to 162 students, and to grant the school a Good Cause Exemption to request a temporary facility within 1.5 miles of the 89106 zip code for the 2021-2022 school year only. Click here to see the full memo. 

Board Approved Staff Recommendations for Resubmitted New Charter School Applications

  • Pioneer Technology & Art Academy (PTAA) Nevada – Denied (5-3)
    •  SPCSA staff gave an overview of PTAA’s initial application which did not meet the standard in five out of five categories according to the Authority’s application evaluation rubric. PTAA’s resubmitted application met the standard in two out of the five categories. SPCSA staff made the recommendation to deny the resubmission based on their finding that the application does not meet the requirements contained in NRS 388A.249(3). Click here to see the full recommendation. SPCSA staff shared concerns regarding the Academic Model of the high school. Board members discussed the need to ensure that school plans are articulated in their application and whether this application could be reconsidered after additional progress has been made to adjust PTAA to serve students K-8. Some board members were concerned about the precedent this would set around following the SPCSA application policy. Click here to see the resubmitted application.
  • Eagle Charter Schools of Nevada – Approved
    •  SPCSA Staff provided an overview of the initial application which did not meet the standard according to the Authorities Rubric in four out of five categories. Eagle Charter Schools of Nevada resubmission met the standard in four out of five categories. Staff made the recommendation to approve the resubmission with conditions, based on their finding that the applicant now meets the requirements contained in NRS 388A.249(3). Click here to see the full recommendation. Board members discussed the need to ensure that Eagle Charter Schools of Nevada has the ability to meet the conditions set forth. Staff from Eagle Charter Schools of Nevada shared they are aligned with conditions set forth and are prepared to apply for a deferral to the 2022 school year if the conditions are not met. Click here to see the resubmitted application.

Board Heard Annual Review of SPCSA-Sponsored Schools

Director Feiden shared the State of the SPCSA, which is used as a starting point for communication with the public. Highlights include:

  • The SPCSA sponsors  67 schools located across five counties, representing the third-largest student population in the state.
  • Throughought the pandemic, the SPCSA has supported sponsored schools to ensure every student had access to a device and internet in order to engage in distance learning.
  • SPCSA supported reported approximately 98% daily attendance and increases in graduation rates, even during the pandemic. SPCSA has adopted an academic performance framework that takes into consideration school star ratings, performance ratings, and enrollment diversity comparison to local school districts and nearby schools. 
  • SPCSA Title I schools are more likely to be 4- or 5-star schools than State average. Staff noted that the implementation of the Needs Assessment, alongside adjustments to the new school application process, has provided additional focus on serving more diverse student populations.

Click here to view the presentation.

Board Approved 2021 Academic and Demographic Needs Assessment

The Academic and Demographic Needs Assessment is updated annually by staff. Due to the academic reporting requirements impacted by the pandemic, only 11th grade ACT academic data was updated. However, enrollment data and demographic data was updated. Additional updates include a summary of the implementation of the needs assessment and district summaries.

Click here to view the report.

Board Heard School Pre-Opening Process

SPCSA staff shared the Pre-Opening Readiness Process and Checklist which includes the process and resources for SPCSA sponsored schools to open. The purpose of this document is to provide transparency to schools, manage school expectations, and outline what schools are responsible for in order to open properly and on time.

Click here to view the Pre-Opening Readiness Process and Checklist.

Board Approved the Annual Report to Nevada’s Department of Education

Director Feiden shared the expectations for the report include a list of schools, SPCSA strategic vision, and an outline of federal grant dollars passed through to SPCSA sponsored schools.

Click here to view the report.

Board Heard 2021 Legislative Session Updates

SPCSA staff shared an overview of education-related bills and bill drafts for the upcoming legislative session.  Additionally, Director Feiden shared the proposal outlined by the Governor to implement the new Pupil Centered Funding Formula in two phases. The authority will continue to work in partnership with the Nevada Department of Education as the funding formula continues to be developed and implemented. 

Click here to view the bill/bill draft request overview.

Long-Range Calendar
Director Feiden presented additions to the long-range calendar including legislative session dates, TEACH’s application resubmission in February, and the next round of application submissions in April/May.

Click here to see the long-range calendar.


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Nevada Ed Watch 6/28/19

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 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? SPCSA members meet once monthly (three times in June)– 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, June 28, 2019
State Public Charter School Authority Board Meeting

Click here to see the meeting agenda

What happened at this meeting?

Public Comment
Members of the public provided testimony to Board members regarding:

  • Concerns about severance pay not received by staff following the closure of Argent Preparatory Academy. 
  • A representative from the City of Henderson shared input to suggest including overcrowding as part of the needs assessment within the SPCSA growth management plan.

The Board Approved Charter Contract Amendment Applications

The Board approved the following requests for charter contract amendments:

  • Request for facility consolidation of two Quest Academy campuses– the Alexander campus and the Northwest campus (for a combined enrollment of 600 students)
  • Request for enrollment to include only students 16 years and older at Beacon Academy
  • (Conditional Approval): Request by Leadership Academy of Nevada to operate independently from their contracted Educational Management Organization (EMO). This was approved on the condition that the curriculum is approved by the Department of Education. 

The Board Heard an Update on Discovery Charter School’s Receivership

Discovery Charter’s receiver shared a quarterly update with the Board, including the following highlights:

  • A list of proposed Board Members
  • There are two leaders covering administrative duties until the Board vets and approves a new school leader.

The Board Heard an Update on Argent Prep’s Receivership

Argent Preparatory Academy’s receiver shared updates to the Board, which included continued challenges with selling one of the school’s facilities. Once the facility is sold, funds will become available to pay severance to exited staff.

The Board Heard an Updates on Nevada Virtual Academy (NVA)

The Board heard a quarterly update on the progress towards closure of Nevada Virtual Academy’s elementary school– scheduled by the end of the 2018-2019 school year. Updates included:

  • NVA filed a complaint challenging the conditions that the Authority Board approved in 2018, when NVA’s charter application was approved.
  • NVA filed an injunction to operate under a court order without a charter contract. They are pending court hearing.
  • NVA approved litigation against the SPCSA.
  • SPCSA is hopeful that contract is executed by June 30th, despite court injunction.

The Board Approved the Academic and Organizational Performance Frameworks 

Academic Performance Framework

SPCSA staff proposed an Academic Performance Framework to take effect July 1, 2019. The SPCSA framework aligns with the Nevada School Performance Framework (NSPF), and will inform high stakes decisions and possible interventions. The framework includes four key indicators to determine a school’s performance:

  • NSPF Star Rating – 60 points
  • Geographical Comparison – 25 points
  • Diversity – 15 points
  • School Progress – no point value

Click here to download the presentation.

Organizational Performance Framework

SPCSA staff provided information to the Board about the Organizational Performance Framework to take effect July 1, 2019. The framework assesses whether an educational organization is effectively operated. Staff held listening sessions and working groups to collaboratively develop the framework. They also plan to host staff orientation sessions to walk through its implementation.

Click here to see the ratings scorecard. 

Click here to see the technical guide.

Click here to see the presentation.

The Board Heard Updates on the Academic and Demographic Needs Assessment 

Staff provided a preview of the Academic and Demographic Needs Assessment. In compliance with AB462 (requiring the SPCSA to establish a plan to manage the growth of charter schools)– by July 30th, the SPCSA must prepare an evaluation of student demographic information, the academic needs of students, and the needs of students who are at risk of dropping out. It was noted that needs may change over time with a constantly evolving public school landscape. This evaluation will inform authorizing decisions and be updated annually. 

The Board discussed the public input process and the requirement to seek input from local school districts. 

Click here to see the presentation.

The Board Heard Updates on the Growth Management Plan

The SPCSA is required to establish a plan to manage the growth of charter schools (including new schools, expansions, grade level expansions, and charter renewals). The plan considers statewide student performance, including data for specific groups and subgroups, and the academic needs of students in different geographic areas of the state. 

Staff introduced an approach to develop a Growth Management Plan by January 2020. The plan will be informed by the Academic and Demographic Needs Assessment (discussed above). 

Click here to see an overview of the plan.

The SPCSA will present an update at the August Board meeting, and present a draft in November.

The Board Heard a Legislative Recap

The Board heard a recap on 2019 legislative action that impacts public charter schools, including the following highlights: 

  • AB219: Requires schools in the bottom 30% of performance with English Language Learners to create plans for improvement. Additionally, English Language Learners will receive access to state assessments in any published language provided.
  • SB321: Transitioning Nevada Achievement School District (ASD) schools to the SPCSA. This bill voids charter contracts as of July 2020. New contracts will be initiated under authorization of the SPCSA.
  • SB451: This bill allows for variable length contract renewal at the discretion of the SPCSA, between 3 and 10 years. 
  • SB441: Provides for separate regulation of virtual charter schools. SPCSA staff is working with the Department of Education on developing virtual charter regulations.
  • SB543: Replaces the 52 year old Nevada Plan with a student centered funding formula. The Nevada Plan is the approach by which the legislature allocates and distributes funds to School Districts across the state. 

Click here to see the full recap.

The Board Heard Staff Reports

  • Executive Director:
    • A total of 12 focus groups have been conducted with stakeholders. Highlights from those conversations include:
      • School leaders and board chairs discussed challenges and priorities. Major themes were around funding and budgeting, high quality talent acquisition and retention, and school safety.
      • Regarding the relationship between the SPCSA and schools themselves, schools shared the importance of understanding the unique context of individual schools, maintaining open and ongoing communication, transparency and consistency in messaging, common goal alignment, and clear expectations with support.
    • The SPCSA is in the process of filling two vacant positions. The new positions, effective October 1st, are focused on data and assessments and support staff.
  • Finance and Operations Team: 
    • The SPCSA is in the process of completing FY19 grant reporting. 
  • Authorizing Team:
    • Conducted 18 site evaluations and completed reports for 18 schools.
    • Staff is working with the school support team to track completion of next steps that come from site evaluations.
    • Staff is receiving training on classroom observation rubrics and criteria.
    • Staff is in the final stages of drafting a schedule for the FY19 school year to present to the Board.
  • School Support Team:
    • Staff conducted enrollment growth adjustment and pre-enrollment adjustment audits.
    • Staff conducted a collaborative Title 1 program review.
    • Staff is supporting schools with data reporting.
    • Several SPCSA members will attend the National Charter School Conference in Las Vegas June 30-July 3.

Long Range Board Calendar Updates:

The long range calendar format was updated to include all 12 months, plus the following additions: 

  • Requirements as a result of the passage of AB462
  • New school applications and renewals

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Nevada Ed-Watch 3/11/19

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 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? SPCSA members meet once monthly (three times in June)– 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 (2nd 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.


Monday, March 11, 2019
State Public Charter School Authority Board Meeting

Click here to see the meeting agenda

What happened at this meeting?

The Board Heard Staff Reports From Each Team (Authorizing, School Support, Finance & Operations & Legal)

The Authorizing Team provided the following updates to the Board:

  • Academic Performance Framework & Organizational Framework
    • The workgroups on each of the frameworks have met once and will continue to meet over the next few months.
    • Both frameworks will be completed by June and implemented in school year 2019-20.

  • Changes to the Nevada School Performance Framework (NSPF) for school year 2018-2019 
    • The Nevada Department of Education is implementing changes to the NSPF, which will be released in the Fall. Note: the NSPF workbook with more details will be released in April 2019.
      • The team updated the Board on 3 key areas that will be updated:
        • Changing the business rules around how long a child must be enrolled in order to count towards a school’s performance data.
        • Rating schools that have low ‘N’ counts, or schools that don’t have tested grades.
        • Readjusting the penalty structure for schools that don’t meet the 95% participation requirements.
  • Site Evaluations
    • The team completed 9 SPCSA school site evaluations since January 22nd. They will have 10 visits completed by end of the week, and 6 visits remaining for March-April. On average, the team has completed 1 site evaluation per week.
  • Revolving Loan
    • The team provided an update regarding lending funds to schools for costs approved in the charter application, such as preparing for the first year of operations and recruiting talent.
      • The loan application deadline is Friday. Any charter school under any authorizer can apply. Funding decisions will be made in May.
  • New Charter Applicants
    • There is 1 applicant currently in the charter application process.
    • 11 Letters of Intent to apply for charter authorization have been submitted to-date for the current application cycle. The deadline is Friday, March 15.

The School Support Team provided the following updates to the Board:

  • Site Visits
    • The team conducted 10 school site visits this week. The purpose of these visits is to discuss providing technical support to ensure school success, specifically around special programs like Individualized Education and 504 Plans, and services for English Language Learners.
  • Conferences and Trainings
    • The team attended crisis prevention institute training.
  • Technical Support for Schools
    • The team is continuing to work with schools to facilitate solutions to parent concerns, and support schools to meet Nevada Department of Education reporting requirements.

The Legal Team provided the following updates to the Board:

  • Executive Director Search and Recruitment
    • The Board interviewed candidates for the Executive Director position on March 8, selecting 3 finalists to forward to the Governor for final review and appointment.  The letter to the Governor is currently being drafted.

The Board Heard 2019 Legislative Updates

The SPCSA has jointly filed SB78 with the Nevada Department of Education. The bill includes consolidating and combining the SPCSA and the Nevada ASD in an effort to increase equitable access to high quality charter schools for all students.

Click here to see the bill and the amendments.

Click here to see a technical summary of the proposed revisions to AB78.

Click here to see the proposed Conceptual Amendment to AB78.

The SPCSA is also tracking the following (click the links to access each bill):

  • AB70: Related to Nevada Open Meeting Law
  • AB168: Related to student discipline
  • AB 213: Allows for public charter school students to obtain their driver’s licenses at age 14 under certain circumstances
  • SB57: Related to school safety
  • SB89: Related to accountability for public schools
  • BDR 34-392: Related to separate regulation of online public charter schools. Discussion on BDR 34-392 included:
    • The Board has done a lot of accountability work regarding virtual schools, with some success. They expressed that having an additional accountability tool would be helpful.
    • The Board also expressed support for schools that are open to all students and are serving them well, and facing consequences, (including closure) if they are not.

The Board Heard a Staff Presentation About the Charter Amendment Process and Proposed Updates

The SPCSA currently has 11 different amendment applications that are specific to different types of amendments (i.e. expanding enrollment to new grades or school name changes).

The staff proposed streamlining the charter amendment process to just one application that is broken down into multiple amendment categories (i.e. facilities, enrollment, and academic).

There will still be a high expectation of quality in applications, two amendment cycles, and an option for schools to submit good cause exemptions.

Click here to download the presentation.

The Board Heard a Staff Presentation About the SPCSA Strategic Planning Process

Staff members informed the Board that the SPCSA’s current Strategic plan will expire in 2020. The staff will present a formal timeline in June or July to establish a new strategic plan over the next year.

Click here to see the current plan.


Future Items:

  • July: Presentation on accountability measures for schools
  • August: NSPF Primer
  • September or October: NSPF Results

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Nevada Ed-Watch: 2/15/19

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 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? SPCSA members meet once monthly (three times in June)– 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 (2nd 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, February 15, 2019
State Public Charter School Authority – Board Meeting

Click here to see the meeting agenda

What happened at this meeting?

The Board Heard Staff Reports From Each Team (Authorizing, School Support, Finance & Operations & Legal)

The Authorizing Team provided the following updates to the Board:

  • Site Evaluations:
    • Staff has participated in 15 hours of training for conducting site evaluations and conducted 5 site evaluations to date (on schedule to complete half of portfolio school site visits by the end of the semester).
    • It was noted that during focus groups, families at every school that received a visit report being happy with the decision they made to enroll their student in that school. Strong school culture at each school was also recognized.
    • A common opportunity for growth identified was around increasing instructional rigor.
  • School Applications:
    • The team is following up with schools that submitted a Letter of Intent to launch, but didn’t apply for authorization.
    • Reflections shared with schools that provided feedback were around schools needing to establish internal deadlines and requesting training on topics like Human Resources best practices, student recruitment, and funding.
  • Academic & Organizational Performance Frameworks:
    • The team held three 90-minute listening sessions with about 18 individuals to collect stakeholder input regarding SPCSA Performance Frameworks (both Academic and Organizational). Here’s what they heard:
      • A strong preference not to make the Academic Framework complicated, and not to duplicate the Nevada framework (NSPF)– rather, to look for complementary measures of performance.
      • A need to find a way to measure progress of students year-over-year.
      • Ensuring Organizational Framework standards are clear, simple, and avoid duplication from other components of the Frameworks.
    • Staff stated that the listening sessions are the first of many conversations. The Authorizing Team acknowledges that input from school leaders are necessary and welcomed. Next step is for attendees to participate in working groups (at least monthly) to continue developing the Academic and Organizational Frameworks.
    • Goal is for the framework to be updated and presented to the Board in June.
  • Focus on Schools updates
    • The team wants schools to share best practices with each other more regularly, and would like to hear from at least 6 schools in 2019 about what’s working. They also want to hear best practices across school types, like traditional district schools and other charters not sponsored by the SPCSA.
    • The team also wants to hear specifically from schools that have shown significant improvement, but are not ranked as 4- and 5- stars. The team talked about working with the press, the Charter School Authority of Nevada (CSAN), and other entities like Teach For America.

The School Support Team provided the following updates:

  • Provided training to school staff about how to validate graduation rates.
  • Attended school support site visits, trianings, and conferences about student engagement, Title I, and special education.
  • Engaging in ongoing communications with schools to provide technical supports around addressing parent concerns and providing guidance on state reporting.

The Finance and Operations Team provided the following updates:

  • Staffing– a new administrative assistant was hired.

The Legal Team provided the following updates:

  • Due Process Complaints– continuing to monitor issues with individual schools related to special education.
  • Executive Director Recruitment
    • Interviews will be conducted on March 8th with the 6 finalists. Then, the Board will select 3 candidates to be sent to the Governor for final selection.
    • Working with HR team to do reference checks and organize the interview process and questions.

Click here to see a summary of team updates from the previous board meeting and the 6 finalists (1/18/19).

Updates on Legislative Session and Status of Assembly Bill 78 Language

Staff provided an update regarding the 2019 Legislative Session and Assembly Bill 78. Staff stated that SPCSA staff is in close contact with Gov. Sisolak’s team and with education committee leadership.  

  • Legislative Updates:
    • AB78 – The SPCSA and Nevada Department of Education bill has undergone major revisions and now includes 5 major themes:
      • Ensuring that schools are serving all students, including special education and homeless students
      • Accountability of authorizers in ensuring that all annual reporting requirements are being met. This already exists in regulation, but they would like to specifically include in statute.
      • Giving SPCSA regulatory authority. Currently, the SPCSA does not have the authority to adopt its own regulations.
      • Clarifying that the SPCSA is the Local Education Agency (LEA) for their schools that are not currently designated as an LEA themselves.
      • Consolidating and combining the SPCSA and ASD, specifically in an effort to increase equitable access to high quality charter schools for all students.
  • Note: ultimately, all of these changes are up to the legislature to approve and are not final unless the bill passes.
  • Going forward, legislative updates will be provided to the Board in a written summary format. The team will work on a process to provide the Board with periodic updates between board meetings.

Board Hears Updates About the Beacon Academy of Nevada

SPCSA staff provided the Board with information regarding Beacon Academy’s performance under the Alternative Performance Framework.

Beacon Academy only serves high-need students, including students who are credit deficient, adjudicated, on an Individualized Education Plan (IEP), or have been habitually disciplined.

Click here to see the Beacon Academy 2017-2018 Report Card.

Click here to see the presentation.
Click here to read about Beacon Academy in the Nevada Independent.

Board Hears Quarterly Update From Discovery Charter School

The Discovery staff, their receiver, and their principal shared updates on the topics below on the second year of receivership:

  • Student enrollment and population
  • Lottery
  • Performance

The team is currently engaging in a process to identify a permanent operator for the school. They are also currently performing a feasibility study to assess the potential of adding 9th grade.

Board Heard Updates About the Closing of Nevada Virtual Academy

School staff met with families and provided a closure timeline, including a communications plan. They also provided an overview of progress of non-elementary grades.

Click here to see the presentation.

Board Heard Updates on Responses to the Interim Finance Committee

Staff provided the Board updates about responses due to the Interim Finance Committee (IFC) on February 1, 2019. SPCSA understands that there is one more report due to IFC regarding these questions before August 1st. Staff will bring the report before the Board in a draft form for input prior to submission.

Click here to see the Legislative Letter of Intent.

Public Comment

  • One local charter school leader talked about a positive experience during their site evaluation by the SPCSA. The school leader cited that the evaluators spent a significant amount of time in the classroom, debriefing with administrators, and facilitating focus groups with parents.
  • Announcement that February 27-28th is Public Charter School Days at the Capitol, which includes presentations and a policy dinner and reception with lawmakers.

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