Nevada Ed-Watch: 10/25/22

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

Washoe County School District Board of Trustees 

What is the Board of Trustees & what are they responsible for? The Washoe County School District Board of 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.

How often does the Board of Trustees meet? Trustees meet twice per month (second and fourth Tuesdays) at 2 pm both virtually and at the Central Administration Building Board Room, 425 E. 9th St., Reno, NV 89512.

Click here for a full list of Trustees meetings.

Can community members engage at Trustee meetings? Decision-making bodies benefit greatly from hearing public input and multiple perspectives. Currently, members of the public can submit comments on agenda and non-agenda items through email or voice recording. Public comment can be provided in person or via email. Email comments should be submitted to 

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Washoe County School District Board of Trustees Meeting

Click here to see the meeting agenda.
Watch the meeting playback.

What happened at this meeting?

Trustees Approved the Consent Agenda

Consent agenda highlights include:

Explore the consent agenda here.

Trustees Adopted Washoe County School District Board Resolutions 22-015, 22-016, 22-017, 22-018, 22-019, 22-020, 22-021, 22-022, 22-023, 22-024, 22-025, 22-026, 22-027, 22-028, 22-029, 22-030, Resolutions To Augment Various Fiscal Year 2022-23 Capital Projects Funds Budgets, And Approval Of Augmentation For Various Fiscal Year 2022-23 Capital Projects Funds Budgets

Trustees adopted several board resolutions regarding the need to augment capital budgets for several projects, including IT device refreshes, construction projects at Debbie Smith Career and Technical Education and JWood Raw Elementary, and other programs.

Explore the presentation and resolution documents.

Trustees Approved a Donation of Real Property at 4917 Hombre Way in Reno to ACE Charter School

Trustees approved the donation of real property at 4917 Hombre Way in Reno to ACE Charter School. This is associated with the recent completion of a pupil-constructed residence.

Explore the overview map and previous action staff reports.

Trustees Discussed the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) Data in Grades 3-8 and How it is Used to Improve Student Learning Outcomes

Trustees reviewed SBAC testing data from grades 3-8. Overall, in English Language Arts (ELA), students’ performance decreased four percentage points over 2018-2019 results, and increased two percentage points over 2020-2021 results. Academic disparities over long periods of time persisted throughout the pandemic, including those among Hispanic, American Indian, and Pacific Islander students, students who quality for free or reduced lunch, English learner students, and students who are on Individualized Education Plans (IEPs).

Strategies for supporting improved outcomes on the SBAC include additional core materials (such as high-quality ELA textbook adoptions in elementary school, strengthening instruction for EL students, and alignment with essential standards); supplemental materials for additional targeted supports for student groups and differentiating instruction; addressing academic disparities (i.e. Tier I language-rich instruction ELs); interventions; assessments; adult learning and staff supports; middle school pathways; and family and community supports.

Identified next steps for the District include alignment for quality instructions; school performance plans focused on reducing academic disparities and opportunity gaps; vetting high-quality curriculum and instructional materials; and building foundations for standards-based grading practices.

Explore the presentation and the Response to Recovery Strategic Plan.

Trustees Heard an Update on Measurable Outcomes Related to Specific Goals and Objectives Included in the District’s Response to Recovery Strategic Plan

Trustees received a presentation on the District’s Response to Recovery Strategic Plan, Goals One (academic growth) and Five (safe and welcoming schools). For Goal One, targets in science, ELA, and math were not met; areas of success include solidifying Professional Learning Communities to review student learning, implementing common assessments for math, expanding tutoring, and linking Multi-Tiered System of Supports with PLC focus centered around academic performance.

Goal Five involved increasing students reporting favorable attitudes towards school engagement positive relationships with school community, feeling safe, and social and emotional health. One out of eleven of these areas was improved. Next steps for this goal include building a clear understanding of a 3-pronged approach to student and family engagement; considering strength-based or asset-based tools to strengthen student-educator relationships; and extending services for teachers and staff supporting
their social-emotional needs.

Explore the presentation.

Trustees Approved the AB 495 Grant Application to the Nevada Department of Education for $20,590,399

Trustees approved the District’s AB 495 grant application. This grant will support student recovery, and must address the impact of learning loss experienced as a result of the pandemic. WCSD was awarded $20,590,399, and the breakdown of the funding includes $15.6 million for instructional support, tutoring, English Learner support, dyslexia training for staff, web-based intervention programs, Activboards for schools, audio enhancement devices for teachers, CTE equipment and supplies, and musical instruments and art supplies.

In student wellbeing, $4.9 million was approved for a crisis counselor, a substance abuse counselor, mental health administration, a re-engagement facilitator, attendance officers, CIT liaisons, family graduation advocates, a Native American graduation advocate, and MTSS specialists.

Activities will be evaluated using progress monitoring, and plans match the data being collected in ESSER 2 and ESSER 3.

Explore the presentation.

Student Representative’s Report

The Student Representative was not present for a report.

Trustee Reports

Trustee district highlights included:

  • Several school visits
  • School recruitment and staff appreciation events
  • Staff recognition and school awards
  • Construction career day

Superintendent’s Report

The Superintendent’s report highlights included:

  • Appreciation for Trustees and district staff

Public Comment

Members of the public shared comments on this item regarding: 

  • Approaches to English Learners
  • Issues with bus transportation
  • Parent notifications for Code Yellow and Code Red incidents
  • Candidate misinformation
  • Student engagement
  • District funding
  • Translators for conference week

The next Meeting of the Board of Trustees is scheduled for November 8, 2022, at 2:00 p.m. 

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Nevada Ed-Watch 3/19/21

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, 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, March 19, 2021

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:

  • A request for a group of Title I charter schools to provide a presentation to the Authority at the next board meeting to share the current realities of their school communities and to discuss more strategic allocation of funds to schools that serve students and families disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.

SPCSA Executive Directors’ and SPCSA Staff Report:

Report highlights:

  • COVID-19 Update
    • Director Feiden provided updates on the joint program with the Department of Health and Human Services and SPCSA for rapid testing at school sites. There are 15 total school sites approved for rapid testing beginning late March.
    • K-12 emergency education funds to date include ESSER I AND ESSER II, and pending funds from the New American Rescue Plan. SPCSA anticipates that schools can submit applications for ESSER II school funding in April and is waiting an update from the Nevada Department of Education on applications for the New American Rescue Plan allocations.  
  • Initiatives Related to Serving All Students Equitably
    • The SPCSA has provided school accountability technical assistance training and informational sessions for schools on the Project Aware grant and Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) training. The focus of this grant is to incorporate MTSS support and provide restorative justice training for school sites.
    • Plans to launch a student sub-group data initiative are underway. The authority’s goal is to analyze student data, understand trends in student subgroups that are historically low performing. They plan to hold working groups to develop a system for identifying tracking student progress, identifying students for RTI and using student data to better inform how to support student subgroups.
    • The Authority will convene a subcommittee of the Community Working Group to discuss professional development opportunities on equity, diversity and inclusion.
  • Learning Recovery Efforts
    • In April 2021, the SPCSA will release a survey for schools to understand how the SPCSA can further support schools with learning recovery for the 2021-2022 school year.
  • Special Education Enrollment Monitoring
    • Beginning in March 2021, SPCSA staff will conduct enrollment monitoring activities to understand what barriers might exist for families with students who have special needs. SPCSA staff will pose as parents of children with special needs and contact schools to inquire about enrollment. Schools have been notified in advance of this monitoring activity. Any schools identified as having barriers through these calls will be provided technical assistance by the SPCSA.

Board Approved Charter School Contract Amendments

The board approved two charter school contract amendments:

  • Eagle Nevada Charter Schools was approved to defer opening until the 2022-23 school year in order to complete facility construction.

Click here to read updates from the school.

  • Signature Preparatory Academy was conditionally approved to acquire a facility that they are currently leasing, with no impact to their enrollment cap. Signature Prep must provide SPCSA with specific financing and debt information related to the acquisition of the facility.

Click here to read the full SPCSA recommendation.

Beard Heard Presentation About Opportunity 180 and their work in public education

Jana Wilcox Lavin, Executive Director of Opportunity 180 (O180), provided a presentation to the Authority about O180’s programs related to charter school launch and identified places of alignment with the SPCSA’s work.  Opportunity 180’s vision is a shared community North Star where every public school student graduates from high school college and career ready. O180 works across five levers toward the North Star: Great Schools, Good Governance, Good Data, Engaged Community, and Great Ideas. Opportunity 180 has resources available to support prospective schools that can be found on the website:

Board Heard Update on 2021 Legislative Session

SPCSA General Counsel Ryan Herrick provided updates on education bills that the Authority is following.

  • Assembly Bill 68 – AB68 introduces legislation by the SPCSA regarding changes to charter school application periods, charter contracts, and grade level requirements. Director Fieden presented comments on this bill at the March 18th hearing to the Assembly of Education. The bill was amended and recommended to pass as amended.
  • Assembly Bill 109 – AB109 removes an existing statute that allows for up to 30% of charter school teachers to be unlicensed.
  • Assembly Bill 194 – AB194 is centered on restorative justice and discipline practices.
  • Assembly Bill 195 – AB195 creates an English Language Learner Bill of Rights.
  • Assembly Bill 253 – AB253 makes various changes to Open Meeting Law, including permanently allowing for virtual meetings. 
  • Senate Bill 173 – SB173 directs emergency federal funding to summer school in order to address student learning loss. Districts and charter schools may opt-in to the program.

Long-Range Calendar Update

New charter applications will be brought to the April board meeting and updates on New American Recovery Plan Funding will be included in an upcoming agenda.

Board members requested to have a discussion with Title I school leaders as brought up in public comment.

Click here to see the long-range calendar.

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