Nevada Ed-Watch 1/24/19

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.

Clark County School District Board of Trustees 

What is the Board of Trustees & what are they responsible for? The CCSD Trustees are publicly elected decision-makers for the school district. They are responsible for providing oversight to the Superintendent and establishing District-wide policy. Trustees are accountable to work with their communities to improve student achievement.

Click here to learn more and see a list of current Trustees

Click here to Find your Trustee District

How often does the Board of Trustees meet? Trustees meet twice per month (second and fourth Thursdays) at 5pm at the Edward A. Greer Education Center (Board Room): 2832 E. Flamingo Road, Las Vegas, NV 89121.

Click here for a full list of Trustees meetings and agendas

Click here to visit Hope For Nevada’s #NVEd Calendar

Can community members engage at Trustee Meetings? Decision-making bodies benefit greatly from hearing public input and multiple perspectives. Community members can sign up to speak after the agenda has been posted– by calling the Board Office at (702) 799-1072 at least 3 hours before the scheduled meeting, or signing up in-person at the beginning of the meeting. Prior to each agenda item being voted on, speakers can share their perspective after the Board’s discussion and prior to the vote.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Clark County School District Board of Trustees Meeting

Click here to see the meeting agenda 

What happened at this meeting?

Public Comment

Members of the public provided testimony to Trustees regarding:

  • Furlough days for municipal support staff.
  • Concerns about students who are academically behind not getting enough support throughout the school year (so they don’t need to enroll in summer school).
  • Concerns about the graphic nature of a book included on high school student reading lists, and parents not being notified.  
  • Concerns about charter schools that are located nearby traditional district schools, and the effect on getting accurate enrollment counts.
  • Information related to the legislative session.

Trustees Unanimously Approve the Consent Agenda

The approved consent agenda included the following:

  • Submission of a grant application for STEM programs with Lockheed Martin ($1,040,5000).
  • Acceptance of other service agreements, grants of easement, and contract awards.
  • Acceptance of an annual report on charter schools that are authorized by CCSD. Click here to see the report.

Trustees Approve Occupation Education Scholarship

Trustees accepted $1,000 for the Board’s annual Susan Brager Occupational Education Scholarship.

Trustees Appoint Member to the Audit Committee

Trustees voted to re-appoint Joshua Robinson to the Audit Committee. His term will continue for 2-years, effective July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020. There is one additional vacancy, and applications to fill one more appointment will open soon.

Trustees Approve Reconstitution of Low-Performing CCSD Authorized Charter Schools

Trustees voted unanimously on staff recommendations to reconstitute, including receivership, due to chronic low performance at two charter schools authorized by CCSD: 100 Academy of Excellence (Elementary School and Middle School) and The Delta Academy (Middle School and High School).

Once a receiver is selected for each school by the court, they will enter a 3-year turnaround plan. The reconstitution includes a receiver who will potentially replace the governing body.

If student achievement targets are met in 3-years, the school will be released to the governing body. If targets are not met, the receiver will either ask for an extension of time to continue to work with the school, or release the schools’ charter for final closure.

See communications between the two schools and CCSD:

  • Rebuttals & additional information from school Boards
      • Letter to CCSD from 100 Academy of Excellence
    • Letter to CCSD from The Delta Academy

See each schools performance data profile (2017-18):

Click here to read about this in the Las Vegas Review-Journal

Click here to see the Ed-Watch recap from the October 18th Trustees meeting, when accountability actions for low-performing CCSD charter schools were initially approved.

Trustees Hear an Update on the Budget

Trustees received a brief update from CCSD’s Chief Financial Officer regarding the 2019 amended final budget.

Click here to see the budget presentation.

Discussions Regarding Legislative Session:

Trustees Approve Positions on Potential 2019 Legislative Topics

Trustees accepted positions on topics that could arise in the 2019 Legislature.

Click here to see a draft CCSD legislative platform.

The legislative topic headlines are:

    • Rich and Rigorous Instruction
    • Increasing Human Capital
    • Efficient Operations and Finance
  • Improving Teacher Conditions

CCSD staff and lobbying firm (360 Strategies) worked with partner organizations like My Brother’s Keeper and the Safety Committee/Safety Taskforce to establish and align additional legislative priorities.

Trustees discussed Alternative Route to Licensure programs, and highlighted their appreciation for the inclusion of topics like restorative justice, clarification of the fingerprinting law, and class size reductions.

They also discussed Senate Bill 79 (filed by the Nevada Department of Education), which addresses how districts should approach chronic absenteeism. The Superintendent expressed concern about the role of the state regarding this issue.

Trustees also mentioned that the Sex Education Policy (Opt-in/Opt-out) was not included on the legislative platform. While Trustees each acknowledged the importance of this policy, it was identified that the board will stay neutral on the topic. However, if a particular bill  is filed, they will review and take a position.

Trustee Advocacy Guidelines During Legislative Session

Trustees were informed of guidelines to follow throughout the legislative session from General Council. The overarching theme was “The Board speaks as one voice.”

Acknowledging that legislators will want to hear from Trustees– when speaking individually, Trustees must stay within the parameters of what the Board has collectively discussed and voted on in their meetings. However, individual Board Members may advocate as a regular citizen, but must make clear that they are speaking on behalf of themselves, and not on behalf of the Board of Trustees.

Trustees Approve Annual 3-Year Program Pilot for Incentivizing Teachers at Target Schools

Trustees approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between CCSD and Clark County Educators Association (CCEA) that provides a $10,000/year salary supplement to teachers who are hired and begin working at targeted schools (listed below). Each of the targeted schools are 1-star middle schools.  

Trustees discussed challenges around getting teachers who are already employed at target schools to continue teaching there. They also discussed that while full details have not been established, this is a pilot program, and operations should not be micromanaged, since its outside of their purview as Trustees.  

    • J. Harold Brinley Middle School
    • Jerome Mack Middle School
    • Carroll Johnston Middle School
    • Mario C. and JoAnne Monaco Middle School
    • William Orr Middle School
    • Marvin M. Sedway Middle School
    • Ed Von Tobel Middle School
  • Preparatory Institute, School for Academic Excellence at Charles I. West (West Prep Middle School)

Click here to see the MOU.

Trustees and Superintendent Communication

Superintendent Jara clarified a comment he made at the State of the Schools address: “If we fix Clark, we fix the state.”

The clarification was that he did not mean this as an insult, and was referencing “sheer numbers.” He explained that Clark County’s population makes up 70% of the state, so if Clark County meets its academic and educational outcome goals, the entire state’s rating will improve.

Potential Future Items:

    • Streamline including opt-out policy & sex ed curriculum as an agenda item
    • Review of public comment laws– allowing public to provide input in new ways to get more feedback from people who are unable to attend in person
    • Information on CCSD’s early childhood education initiatives
    • SMRPC Debt Management Commission and appointment
    • Presentation about bullying and ways to address incidents
    • How data moves from charters through the Assessment, Accountability, Research, School Improvement (AARSI) department and then to the state
    • Support staff turnover numbers
  • Cultural competency training in schools and departments throughout the district in order to address the disproportionality of kids of color getting suspended, expelled, or being placed in behavior schools

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