Nevada Ed-Watch 11/13/20

The Ed-Watch series is designed to increase access to information on decisions being made regarding public education in Clark County and Nevada.

Nevada State Board of Education

What is the State Board of Education & what are they responsible for? The Nevada State Board of Education adopts regulations based on Nevada laws, which are passed down to individual school districts in Nevada to implement. The Board has 11 total (7 appointed and 4 publicly elected) members.

How often does the State Board meet? The Nevada State Board of Education meets once per month on Thursdays at 9:00 AM and is set for video conferencing between Las Vegas and Carson City. Click here to see the 2020 Board Meeting Schedule. Click here to visit Hope For Nevada’s #NVEd Calendar.

Can community members engage at State Board Meetings?

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 State Board Members.

Thursday, November 12, 2020
Nevada State Board of Education Meeting

Click here to see the meeting agenda 

What happened at this meeting?

Public Comment

Members of the public provided testimony regarding: 

  • Concerns about the implementation of the reorganization of the Clark County School District and changes that could impact school principal decision making
  • Concerns about adequate revenue to fund education 
  • Concerns about the appropriate use of data from recently administered assessments  

Superintendent’s Report

State Superintendent Ebert report highlights:

  • Legislative Engagement: Department staff recently presented to the Legislative Committee on Education regarding the Teacher Recruitment and Retention Taskforce. Additionally, the Interim Legislative Committee on Education has selected school bus safety inspections as a topic of an upcoming bill draft request for the legislative session. 
  • National Equity Project: Department staff have been working to develop and deliver professional d equity. In collaboration with the National Equity Project, has delivered two trainings to NDE staff. 
  • Teacher Licenses: To help alleviate the negative impact of COVID-19 on licensed teachers, the Department has issued a six-month extension to any licensee with an expiring license. 

Click here to see the full report

Board Approved Consent Agenda

Consent agenda highlights: 

Board Approved Definition of At-Risk for Funding Formula

In follow up to discussions at the August 27 and October 8 Board meetings, an updated definition of the “at-risk” category for the Pupil Centered Funding Formula was approved by the Board. A pupil is “at-risk” if the pupil has an economic or academic disadvantage such that they require additional services and assistance to enable them to graduate with their cohorts. The term includes, without limitation, pupils who are members of economically disadvantaged families, pupils who are at-risk of dropping out of high school, and pupils who do not meet minimum standards of academic proficiency. The term does not include pupils with a disability or pupils who are English Learners. 

Click here to see the presentation

Board Heard Update on Implementation of SB108

Senate Bill 108, passed during the 2017 Legislative Session, required the State Board to create a subcommittee to study the manner to incorporate instruction concerning crimes that frequently involve people under 18 years old into social studies units. The subcommittee convened and provided the following recommendations: 

  • Content should be addressed in age appropriate manner 
  • Content should be delivered as part of an existing lesson
  • Appropriate professional learning should be provided to educators 
  • Existing resources and lessons should be differentiated starting in the primary grades
  • Districts should work with external partners to accomplish the requirements of the bill 

The Department of Education is working to implement the recommendations, first by curating a list of high quality instructional materials to be ready by summer 2021. Additionally, the Department will provide professional development opportunities for educators to learn how to incorporate materials into content areas by winter 2021. 

Click here to see the presentation 

Board Approved Investigation Into AB469 Implementation 

Assembly Bill 469, passed by the Nevada Legislature in 2017, outlines the reorganization of large school districts in Nevada. The intent of AB469 is to provide increased localized decision making at school sites by principals and school organizational teams. Issues with the implementation of this bill were discussed by the Board regarding the placement of licensed and qualified teachers in vacant classrooms, specifically the authority to select staff,  purchasing of equipment, services & supplies available from the District by schools, and school carry forward of year‐end fund balances. 

Board members approved a directive to Department staff to complete an investigation into these issues and the implementation of the bill. The investigation will include any noncompliance with the implementation under the purview of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction as well as areas of ambiguity that can be addressed by the regulatory authority of the State Board of Education. 

Click here to see the presentation

Board Heard Update on MAP Data and Read by Grade 3 Educator Supports 

Representatives of NWEA provided Board members with an update on results from Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) growth assessment testing throughout the state. The MAP assessment was completed by students in various settings, including at home and in-person. NWEA representatives shared that this data should be considered as one point among many. Board members discussed the need to ensure that testing is accurate and variables, such as parental support during at-home testing, are controlled for to ensure that data provided is meaningfully related to student academic growth. 

Click here to see the NWEA MAP presentation

Additionally, the Board heard updates from Department Staff on supports that have been provided to educators regarding the Read by Grade 3 initiative. Department staff have been providing open “office hours” for general Q&A, ongoing updates regarding the impact of COVID-19, professional development sessions and workshops, and technical assistance in the form of memos and implementation guides for educators.

Click here to see the full update.

Board Heard District & School Operations and Education during COVID-19

Superintendents of three school districts and student representatives from across Nevada each provided updates to the Board on the implementation of school reopening.

  • Humboldt County School District (HCSD): 
    • HCSD is engaged in hybrid learning for elementary and middle schools, with the combined school fully in person. All students have the option to continue with distance learning only. 
    • HCSD has implemented social emotional learning supports including restorative practices and positive behavior intervention supports. 
    • HCSD used AB3 funds to implement quality distance learning instruction for all HCSD students. 

Click here to see the Humboldt County presentation

  • Lyon County School District (ECSD):
    • LCSD K-2 students and other specific populations are attending in-person full time. A hybrid model is being used, as well as a full distance learning option. 
    • LCSD has implemented social emotional screeners for students in K-12, in addition to the implementation of social emotional learning curriculum. 
    • LCSD used AB3 funding to purchase chromebooks as well as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) 

Click here to see the Lyon County presentation 

  • White Pine County School District (ECSD):
    • 85% of WPCSD students are engaged in in-person learning. 
    • WPCSD is focused on social emotional learning, including a two-day professional development workshop for all staff. 
    • WPCSD is anticipating another 200 devices and 20 hotspots for students. 

Click here to see the White Pine County presentation

  • Students from across the state provided the Board with information about how distance learning has impacted them and their peers. Students outlined issues with keeping up with school work amidst family responsibilities, concerns about their own and their peers’ mental health, issues with motivation, and the need for social interaction with peers. 

Board Heard Updates to Regulations

R135-20, Crisis, Emergency, and Suicide Response Plans (Approved)

This regulation requires that the Department research best practices and develop a framework for schools and districts to appropriately respond to crises, emergencies, and suicide. The updates to this regulation were approved.

Click here to see R135-20.

Regulation R064-20, Social and Environmental Factors (Not Approved)

This regulation requires that districts and charter schools assess the social and environmental factors that impact students’ educational experience, such as access to food, as well as plans to mitigate those factors. The Board discussed the need to ensure that requirements for schools do need exceed their current capacity without additional funds to supplement the completion. The Board directed staff to revise the regulation to remove cost-bearing requirements that are not attached to additional funds.

Click here to see R064-20.

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

Nevada Ed-Watch 7/26/19

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 (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, July 26, 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 shared their appreciation for the leadership of outgoing SPCSA chair, Jason Guinasso. Sami Randolph was also welcomed as the new Governor’s Appointee on the board.

The Board Discussed the Transition of New and Outgoing Board Members

The board discussed the following updates to the board make-up:

  • 3 current members are not seeking reappointment
  • 3 other current members will continue serving on the board
  • Sami Randolph is a new member appointed by the Governor
  • Additional board members must be appointed by the Speaker, the Majority Leader, and the State Board of Education (as mandated by AB78)

The State Board of Education is accepting SPCSA board member applications until August 13th at 5pm. Click here to see the application.

The Board voted to have the current Vice Chair of the board, Melissa Mackedon, play an interim Board Chair role until a new Chair and Vice Chair are selected. Board roles will be determined during the October board meeting following the transition of all 9 appointed board members.

The Board Approved the Academic & Demographic Needs Assessment

The SPCSA Board approved the Academic and Demographic Needs Assessment, an evaluation of student demographic information, the academic needs of students, and the needs of students who are at risk of dropping out. 

Click here to see the presentation.

Click here to see the report.

Charter applicants are required to meet at least one of the following academic, geographic or demographic needs:

  1. Serve and ensure the academic success (performance at or above grade level) of the following student populations:
    • Students who have Individualized Education Programs (IEPs)
    • English Language Learners (ELL)
    • Students receiving Free or Reduced Price Lunch (FRL)
  2. Launch in neighborhoods with high concentrations of low-performing (1- and 2-star) schools in the following Clark County zip codes:
    • 89110
    • 89115
    • 89107
    • Click here to see a complete list of target zip codes across Nevada
  3. Have plans to prevent drop-outs for the following students who have been designated as at risk of dropping out of school:
    • Students who have Individualized Education Programs (IEPs)
    • English Language Learners (ELL)
    • Students receiving Free or Reduced Price Lunch (FRL)

The Academic and Demographic Needs Assessment will be updated annually.

The Board Approved Charter Contract Amendment Applications

 The Board approved the following requests for charter contract amendments:

  • Request for Imagine Schools at Mountain View to terminate its transportation services
  • Request for Nevada State High School to relocate its Henderson Campus and open new administrative offices

The Board Heard from Schools Formerly Authorized by the Achievement School District (NV ASD)

The board heard from the following schools that were formerly authorized by the Nevada Achievement School District:

  • Democracy Prep at the Agassi Campus
  • Futuro Academy
  • Nevada Prep
  • Nevada Rise

Each of the schools reported a smooth transition from the NV ASD to the SPCSA, with minimal impact on the families they serve.

Click here to see profiles of each school listed above.

The Board Approved the Charter Contract for Explore Academy

The Board approved a contract with Explore Academy for launch in school year 2020-2021. 

 The following conditions must be met prior to launch:

  • Explore’s founding high school campus in New Mexico (currently “A” rated) must maintain a “C” or better rating on their state’s accountability rating system.
  • The school must launch in 89030, 89031, or 89032. If the school intends to locate outside of these zip codes, a contract amendment must be requested for approval.
  • The school must complete all standard pre-opening requirements.

The Board Terminated the Discovery Charter School Receivership + Approved Reconstitution of its Governing Body 

Discovery Charter School must continue providing quarterly updates and holding regular check-ins with the SPCSA through the end of the 2020 school year.

The school has a new leader in place, plus a newly appointed board that has been vetted by the SPCSA staff.

The Board Heard an Update on Argent Prep’s Receivership

Argent Preparatory Academy provided updates to the Board, which included:

  • Acceptance of a $2.4 million offer on the final asset, a parcel of land.
  • Within 30 days of the sale, exited staff will be paid severance in full (about $90,000 total). Receiver fees and other remaining school debts will also be paid. Remaining funds will go back to the state.

The Board Heard Updates on Nevada Connections Academy

Nevada Connections Academy presented their high school operations metrics for quarter four.


  • The 2019 anticipated high school graduation rate is 67%-69%
  • 95% of students were tested, which meets state participation requirements 
  • The charter is up for renewal in the fall, which will be evaluated based on school year 2018-19 academic data (Nevada School Performance Framework results)

The Board Heard Updates on Nevada Virtual Academy (NVA)

The Board heard a quarterly update on the progress towards closure of Nevada Virtual Academy’s elementary school.


  • NVA filed a complaint with the court 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.
  • A preliminary injunction hearing is scheduled for August 2, 2019. 

The Board Heard a Presentation About 2018-19 School Site Evaluations

Based on trends from site visits completed throughout the 2018-19 school year, the SPCSA team recommended the following opportunities to improve the site evaluation process: 

  • Prepare “campus maps” for evaluators
  • Allow more time for staff to review documents
  • Identify areas of redundancy for schools that have multiple campuses
  • Offer training on the classroom observation rubric
  • Hold office hours for school leaders and stakeholders to ask questions

Click here to download the presentation.

The Board Heard Updates from the Executive Director

The Board heard the following updates from the SPCSA Executive Director: 

  • SPCSA Board Members
    • The first board meeting with new members will be August 30, 2019.
  • Sponsorship Fees
    • The SPCSA changed its sponsorship fee to 1.25% as of August 1st (decreased by .25%).
  • New charter School Contract Applications
    • 9 applications were received 
    • Staff is working with external experts to review the applications, which will be presented to the board in November or December.
  • Charter School Contract Renewal Applications
    • 7 schools are up for renewal this fall 
    • Applications for renewal will be open October 1st through October 15th.
  • School Visits
    • SPCSA staff is developing a strategic plan for school visits this year.
  • General School Support
    • The SPCSA team is attending the Special Education Directors Meeting.

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