Nevada Ed-Watch 3/28/19

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.

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, March 28, 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:

  • Request for support of the Legacy Project at Las Vegas Academy of the Arts to improve the infrastructure of the school site.
  • Concerns about alleged racial threats at Arbor View, and a lack of ethnic and diversity content in instruction.
    • Request for Trustees to lead with conviction, integrity, courage, and as positive role models for kids.
  • Concerns about bias in the employee discipline process.
  • Request to put Sandy Valley back in the Capital Improvement Program.
  • Concerns about lack of African American representation in leadership roles and on committees.
  • Training for support staff to pursue other positions in the event of a surplus.
  • Concerns about funding.

In response to some of the public remarks, Superintendent Jara provided updates on resolutions in response to racist activity and safety threats. His comments referenced a district-wide code of conduct and a school justice partnership as actions taken so far to address the disproportionality of student disciplinary actions.

Superintendent Jara also discussed implementing cultural responsiveness and implicit bias training for CCSD staff, in partnership with national experts, to address racial issues across all schools.

Trustees Hear Updates From the Student Advisory Committee

The Student Advisory Committee Vice Chair shared updates with Trustees on their last meeting, which included:

  • Discussed mental health services and suicide prevention routines.
  • Discussed the role of school social workers in schools.
  • Proposed creating a conference to provide training on identifying signs of students needing emotional help.

Trustees Hear Presentation on Budget Forecast Updates

Trustees heard a brief presentation from CCSD’s Chief Financial Officer, which included highlights from the amended final budget, and an overview of revenue projections and current budget.  

Click here to see the presentation.

Public Comment: One member of the public expressed concern about a lack of engagement from school-level staff at the legislative session related to budget advocacy.

Trustee Reports

Board Members report on committee meetings, events, or activities they have attended since the last regular Board meeting.

  • School Naming Committee had a discussion on possible changes to school naming policy.
  • Trustees attended a recent trip to the capitol, where they attended workshops to learn about other large urban districts, education funding, and federal legislative updates that could impact local school districts.
  • BE Engaged (Business + Education) conference was reported to be informative and inspiring around the work of partnerships and programs like Closets in Schools (providing food and supplies for students) and Green our Planet (a STEM-based school garden program).
  • Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association (NIAA) held a couple meetings, where they elected a new President and Vice President, and had numerous parents and students attend to speak on behalf of their schools.
  • Southern Nevada Regional planning meeting, including presentations from Get Outdoors Nevada, Renewable Energy & Southern Nevada Strong. There is a planning session next week to determine future focus areas.

Board and Superintendent Communication

  • There will be a Council of Great City Schools conference held in June with staff, directors, and associate superintendents focused on reviewing what other school systems are doing. There has also been an effort from the Council to oppose the addition of questions on census 2020 related to citizenship.
  • Superintendent Jara shared a draft letter on the tentative 2019 school year budget. There will be a presentation on this led by the Chief Financial Officer on April 3rd. Trustees must approve a final budget by the end of May.
  • There is alignment between CCSD and the Governor around prioritizing employee salary increases. The tentative budget does not include salary increase funding, as they would require new funding or cuts to existing services. The Superintendent is working with Trustees to create a transparent process to develop options to allow salary increases to staff and teachers. The Superintendent is also working with the Governor’s office and Speaker Jason Frierson to identify potential solutions.

  • Two new members of the CCSD instructional team, Karla Loria and Sam Scavella, introduced themselves to Trustees.

Potential Future Agenda Items

  • Updates from the Florence McClure Women’s Cultural Enrichment Program
  • Updates from the Safety Advisory Committee
  • Review of response processes if schools receive safety threats
  • Review building specifications and efficiencies of savings (related to building costs)
  • Process to fix structural damage on school properties.

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