Nevada Ed-Watch 6/11/20

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, June 11, 2020

Clark County School District Board of Trustees Special Meeting

Click here to see the meeting agenda

What happened at this meeting?

Public Comment

Members of the public submitted comments online. Public comment was not read directly into the record, and rather an oral summary of each comment was provided to Trustees.

Click here to view public comment on agenda items. 

Click here to view public comment on non-agenda items. 

Board Approved the Consent Agenda

Consent Agenda Highlights: 

  • Amendments to Rainbow Dreams Academy charter contract to remove grades 1-8 and transition to a Pre-K and kindergarten only. Trustees and staff discussed ensuring accountability measures are in place for this new school configuration. 
  • Membership to the Council of Great City Schools. Trustees expressed their support for continuing the partnership and will be addressing communication concerns trustees have brought forward. (Vote: 6-0-1)

Board Appointed an Audit Advisory Committee Member

The board approved the reappointment of Joshua Robinson to the CCSD Audit Advisory Committee. The purpose of this committee is to advise the Board in strengthening accountability for the efficient stewardship of public funds; providing a communication link between external and internal auditors and the Board of Trustees; enhancing transparency of the District’s financial operations; and improving public trust in the honesty and integrity of public officials.

Board Approved Notices of Intent to Update Policies 

Final policies will be brought before the board at the July 25th CCSD Board of Trustees meeting. 

Policies that will be updated include:

GP-5: Board Officers 

GP-7 Vice President’s Role

GP-9 Meeting Planning

GP-10 Construction of Agenda 

Policy 6165: Programs and Services for English Language Learner Students 

Board Approved MOA with the Clark County Educators Association (CCEA)

The MOA is related to the implementation of school improvement grants,  and provides pay for additional teacher minutes at El Dorado HS and Bailey Middle school. 

Click here to view the MOA.

Board Reviewed the CCSD 2021 Legislative Platform 

CCSD Staff presented a draft legislative platform for the district, which includes topics specific to School Funding, Improved Learning Environments, and School Safety & Mental Health. Highlights from the platform include: 

  • Preserving the weighted funding formula  
  • Opposing all unfunded mandates 
  • Collaborating with the state to invest in digital learning 
  • Identifying opportunities to address and diversify the teacher pipeline 

Trustees discussed the necessity to ensure that public education is adequately funded in Nevada, including communication from the governor’s office on impacts to the budget due to revenue shortfalls from COVID. Other topics that trustees proposed for consideration in the platform include: adjustments to the reorganization of the district (AB469),  consideration of technology related to workforce and school building security.  

Trustees Heard Updates about the District’s Response to COVID-19

COVID response update highlights:

  • 3.5 million meals have been served, and USDA is extending waivers through the summer. 
  • From the time of school building closures through the end of the school year, 4,370 students were not successfully reached. Approximately 2/3 of those students not reached identify as Black or Hispanic. 
  • CCSD released a survey for the community to provide input on what should be prioritized for the reopening of schools. Approximately 94,000 responses were received from community members, teachers, students, and central office staff. 
  • Reopening Plan: Working groups have met and provided input to inform the initial school reopening plan. Currently, school department heads and subject matter experts are using input collected from the working groups to refine the plan. Unit chiefs will then present recommendations to the superintendent and cabinet for input. The final plan is expected to be presented to the board at the July 25th meeting, and is required to be available for the public no less than 20 days before the first day of school. 
    • Trustees discussed looking to other districts to understand how their reopening is impacting staff and students. Additionally, trustees discussed ensuring that feedback from educators is closely taken into consideration as plans are finalized. 
    • Trustees and Superintendent  Jara also discussed needing to connect with the Governor’s office and Nevada Department of Education to ensure  they are receiving information in a timely manner. 

Superintendent Jara’s prepared statement:

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

Superintendent Communications

Superintendent Jara welcomed Sarah Cyprus, the new principal of Treem Elementary.


Requests for Future Agenda Items:

  • Detailed presentation on data related to CCSD Police policies and data about excessive force, including the use of pepper spray on campus.
  • Information about how Trustees will be updated on the work of the Nevada Department of Education Reopening Committee.

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Nevada Ed-Watch 5/18/20

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, May 18, 2020

Clark County School District Board of Trustees Special Meeting

Click here to see the meeting agenda

What happened at this meeting?

Public Comment

Members of the public submitted comments online. Public comment was not read directly into the record, and rather an oral summary of each comment was provided to Trustees.

Click here to see public comments on agenda items. 

Click here to see public comments on non-agenda items.

Trustees Adopted the 2020-2021 Final Budget

A Final Budget was presented to Trustees prior to submission to the Department of Taxation, as required by law. While the budget includes some predictions of revenue changes, there are still uncertainties about statewide funding cuts and federal assistance related to COVID-19, as well as student enrollment. 

CCSD’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) presented a budget that projects a $38 million shortfall for the 2020-2021 school year, with consideration of a revenue increase from property taxes, as well as reductions in the Local School Support Tax, Government Service Tax, the Distributive Schools Account (DSA). Additionally, the shortfall accounts for pay increases from collective bargaining agreements across five different units. 

The budget also includes an unassigned ending fund balance of 2.25% ($55 million). It was noted that this is not a rainy day fund. Rather, the ending fund balance drives bond ratings and is required by law. 

CCSD’s CFO and leadership anticipate the majority of budget cuts will come from school’s strategic budgets, with decisions being made by school principals and School Organization Teams (SOTs). This process will occur in the Fall when student counts are completed. The District is pending additional guidance and information from the state regarding budget adjustments. 

Click here to see the presentation. 

Click here to read about this in the Nevada Independent. 

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


Requests for Future Agenda Items:

  • Ongoing updates about how CCSD Government Affairs is collaborating with state and county decision-makers to address the financial impact of the pandemic on the district. 
  • Presentation on cuts made to school strategic budgets.

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Nevada Ed-Watch 4/23/20

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, April 23, 2020

Clark County School District Board of Trustees Emergency Meeting

Click here to see the meeting agenda

What happened at this meeting?

Public Comment

Members of the public submitted comments online regarding:

  • Concerns about salaries and health benefits for substitute teachers 
  • Concerns about the job security of support staff for the 2020-2021 school year  

Consent Agenda Highlights: 

  • Contract with the National Equity Project to train 10 leadership coaches and 150 school site employees to improve equity and social-emotional development. Due to COVID-19, the training will be held via webinar. Trustees discussed the importance of collecting data to measure the program’s effectiveness. (approved 5-2).

Trustees Heard Updates about the District’s Response to COVID-19

Presentation Highlights: 

  • Schools will be operating via distance education for the reminder of the school year, and food service is expected to continue through at least June 30th. 
  • CCSD is performing wellness checks for students they have not been able to contact since the transition to distance education. On day one, contact attempts were made for 189 students, with 62 students reached. The district expects to expand upon the wellness checks in the coming weeks. 
  • CCSD is continuing to distribute ChromeBooks to students. Elementary school deployment is in progress. CCSD is also piloting a central ChromeBook deployment process, including the identification of “hot spot” locations where staff have the most challenges reaching students.
  • School Principals are creating site-specific plans for staff and employees to retrieve items from school buildings at the close of the year. 
  • CCSD formed a group to develop strategies for what school will look like next year. District staff shared that they are considering: 
    • Administration of the NWEA MAP Growth assessment early in the school year to inform student learning plans
    • Staggered bell times 
    • Staggered attendance schedules
    • Blended learning 
    • Alternative processes for coordinating lunch, recess, and student activities

Click here to see the presentation.

Trustees Heard a Tentative Budget Summary 

CCSD’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) shared updates on the CCSD budget forecast. There have been no significant changes to the budget, pending direction from the Governor’s office regarding changes in revenue and the economic impact of COVID-19. Due to a lack of such information, the final budget that will be presented to the board in May will not be reflective of all changes needed in response to COVID-19. 

Each year, CCSD submits a final budget for the upcoming school year in June, followed by an amended budget in December. The district anticipates an additional iteration of the budget– between the June final budget and the December amended budget– to account for revenue adjustments. Trustees expressed concerns about potential budget cuts in the coming years. 

Click here to see the presentation 

Trustees Approved a Notice of Intent to Update CCSD Policy 

Trustees approved a Notice of Intent regarding non-substantive changes to CCSD Policy 4340,  Discipline: All Employees. The policy will come before the board for approval during the May 14th meeting. 

Click here to see the policy. 

Superintendent Communications

Dr. Larsen-Mitchell was announced as the new Deputy Superintendent. The outgoing Deputy Superintendent, Dr. Gullett, is transitioning into a new role as Superintendent of Schools for Marion County Public Schools in Florida.


Requests for Future Agenda Items:

  • Status update on the payroll system 
  • Status update on the implementation of EthicsPoint system 
  • Consideration to form a community group to assess the digital divide in the community
  • Demographic data on the students who have not been successfully reached from district outreach
  • Information of student registration for the 2020-2021 school year
  • Memo that outlines the financial impact of COVID-19 on district finances

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Nevada Ed-Watch 4/24/20

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


State Public Charter School Authority (SPCSA)

What is the SPCSA & what are they responsible for? The SPCSA sponsors and oversees public charter schools across the State of Nevada. The Authority consists of nine appointed members responsible for overseeing educational and operational standards, and holding sponsored schools accountable to the academic achievement of students.

How often does the SPCSA Board meet? SPCSA members meet once monthly– on Fridays.

Click here for SPCSA meeting schedule and materials.

Can community members engage at SPCSA Board Meetings? All meetings are held publicly at the Nevada Department of Education building in Carson City and the Nevada Department of Education building in Las Vegas (1st floor boardroom). Members of the public are invited to attend at either location. A time for public comment is provided at the conclusion of each agenda item and at the conclusion of each Board meeting. There is a time limit of three minutes per speaker. Members of the community providing testimony must fill out a visitor card, available on-site the day of the meeting.

Alternatively, public comment may be submitted in writing at 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, April 24, 2020
State Public Charter School Authority Board Meeting

Click here to see the meeting agenda 

What happened at this meeting? 

Board Heard Updates Regarding COVID-19

Staff members shared updates regarding the SPCSA’s response to COVID-19, including:

  • All SPCSA schools are actively implementing a distance learning program, with 98% attendance and participation among students.
  • All schools are required to contact students once per week, but are generally contacting students daily.
  • SPCSA staff have been checking in weekly with schools to monitor their progress.
  • Due to the cancellation of assessments for all public schools statewide, schools will not receive ratings under the Nevada School Performance Framework (NSPF) or the Alternate Performance Framework for the 2019-20 school year. SPCSA staff will conduct school evaluations virtually to maintain an accountability mechanism for its schools.
  • The SPCSA budget will be impacted by approximately 4% this fiscal year, and between 6-14% next fiscal year. There is no anticipated direct financial impact on staffing or programming. The SPCSA encourages schools to also plan for the impact of COVID-19 on their budgets.

SPCSA Executive Director’s Report: 

Report Highlights: 

  • The staff is working with former ASD schools to ensure a full transition to the SPCSA by July 1, 2020, and to complete contracts for approval in May. 
  • Updates on approved Fall 2020 expansions for American Preparatory Academy, Mater Academy of Nevada, and Nevada State High School. The schools are virtually working through student recruitment and enrollment efforts during COVID-19 closures. Another status update will be provided during the May 29th board meeting.
  • Updates on Pinecrest Academy of Northern Nevada, which was approved as a new charter to launch in Fall 2020. 
    • The school will present its final transportation plan for approval in May. Click here to see the school’s marketing plan, enrollment updates with a zip code analysis, and transportation plan.
    • The school is revising their recruitment efforts in response to challenges presented by COVID-19 closures. The board requested updates on the school’s outreach efforts for the target at-risk student population.
  • An updated version of the New Charter School Application is live, and an applicant training was conducted to walk applicants through the new application. The application was updated to reduce redundancies, reflect current state statutes, and align to the SPCSA’s strategic growth plan.

Board Approved a Revolving Loan Application for GALS

SPCSA staff shared its recommendations for the approval of a revolving loan application submitted by Girls Athletic Leadership School (GALS). Staff noted the school’s strong business plan for repayment as well as its plans to serve an at-risk community.

Click here to see the staff recommendation memo.

Board Approved Charter Contract Amendments

The board approved the following amendments:

  • Las Vegas Collegiate’s proposed facility change within the same 89106 zip code. The school also requested an amendment to its enrollment cap and transportation plan.
  • Pinecrest Academy of Nevada proposed a dual enrollment program for eligible students.

Board Heard Updates about SPCSA Growth Management Plan Feedback

SPCSA staff shared input that was received by the Legislative Committee on Education regarding recommended updates to the SPCSA Growth Management Plan, including:

  • Indicating progress of monitoring schools and closing schools in the event of underperformance
  • Adding details regarding the methods by which the SPCSA staff communicates with school districts 
  • Including the priority of diversifying staff to be representative of the communities they serve 
  • Clarifying standards to prevent the expansion of schools that are not in good standing

Click here to see the presentation.

Board Heard Updates on the Biennial Review of Statutes and Regulations

Beginning in February, the SPCSA will begin preparing for the next legislative session. SPCSA staff discussed a draft statute request, due in May, to amend new school application timelines. 

Board Discussed Updates to Long-Range Calendar

The Board discussed scheduling board training as well as adding a May board meeting.

Click here to see the board meeting calendar.


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