Nevada Ed-Watch: 12/16/22

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 once 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 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, December 16, 2022
State Public Charter School Authority Board Meeting
Access the meeting agenda and playback.

What happened at this meeting? 

Public Comment #1 

Public comment was heard on:

  • Supporting an increase in the student cap at Discovery Charter School

Board Approved the Consent Agenda

SPCSA Executive Director’s Report

Highlights from the report include:

  • Initiatives Related to Serving All Students Equitably: Over the last several months, the Authority has looked at a number of data points on different student populations and today will be viewing graduation rates.
  • Legislative Session: Interim Committees & Planning: The Governor’s recommended budget will be released in January and at that time Authority staff will know about any adjustments to its budget. The Authority is also monitoring bill draft requests and is responding as needed to legislative requests on fiscal and other impacts. The Authority’s Fiscal Impacts Working Group will be reconvening in 2023 and they are recruiting for that now.
  • New Charter Schools Pre-Opening Process: Two trainings have been conducted to date, one on enrollment and lottery procedures, and one on opening meeting laws. Three trainings are scheduled for January, and others will be held throughout the year.

Board Approved School Contract Renewal Applications

The Board approved Discovery Charter School’s application for a four-year term beginning July 1, 2023.

Explore the  recommendation memo and renewal application.

The Board approved Doral Academy of Northern Nevada’s application for an eight-year term beginning July 1, 2023.

Explore the recommendation memo and renewal application.

The Board approved Freedom Classical Academy’s application for a three-year term beginning July 1, 2023.

Explore the recommendation memo and renewal application.

The Board approved Imagine Schools at Mountain View’s application for a six-year term beginning July 1, 2023.

Explore the recommendation memo and renewal application.

The Board approved Mater Academy of Northern Nevada’s application for a five-year term beginning July 1, 2023.

Explore the recommendation memo and renewal application.

The Board approved Nevada Connections Academy’s application for a four-year term beginning July 1, 2023.

Explore the recommendation memo and renewal application.

The Board approved Oasis Academy’s application for a nine-year term beginning July 1, 2023.

Explore the recommendation memo and renewal application.

The Board approved Quest Preparatory Academy’s application for a four-year term beginning July 1, 2023.

Explore the recommendation memo and renewal application.

Board Heard an Update from Beacon Academy of Nevada

Beacon Academy is a blended alternative education high school that provides a flexible, personalized program for at-risk students who qualify for enrollment. Across two campuses, the school has 552 students, of whom 82% are making up for credit deficiencies. Its four-year cohort graduation rate in 2022 was 17.8%, and the school has typically received a higher school climate survey rating than state and district average.

Beacon Academy staff reviewed school performance on growth, status, college and career readiness, student engagement, and SPCSA report card results (on which it ranks as adequate overall). Chronic absenteeism was identified as a critical need.

Next steps for the school include continuing to address COVID learning loss and chronic absenteeism, as well as increasing attendance, students earning a C or higher,  number of graduates each term, and the number of students earning two or more credits each term.

Explore the presentation and academic results appendix.

Board Reviewed School Contract Amendment Applications

The Board approved Girls Empowerment Middle School’s enrollment cap reduction from 140 to 100 students for the 2022-2023 school year.

Explore the recommendation memo.

The board approved pilotED Schools of Nevada – Cactus Park Elementary School’s enrollment cap reduction from 351 to 130 students for the 2022-2023 school year.

Explore the recommendation memo.

The board approved Strong Start Academy Elementary School’s first-year enrollment cap reduction from 180 to 85 students, and adjustments to the enrollment cap in years 2-5 as a result of current enrollment.

Explore the recommendation memo.

The board approved Young Women’s Leadership Academy’s enrollment cap reduction from 110 to 58 students for the 2022-2023 school year.

Explore the recommendation memo.

The board approved Battle Born Academy’s request to continue occupancy at its current facility for the 2023-2024 school year; reduce enrollment in existing approved grade levels for the 2023-2024 school year from 240 to 140 students, as well as through the remainder of the charter term; and adjust grade levels beginning in Year 2 to already-approved grades.

Explore the recommendation memo.

The board approved the relocation of Discovery Charter School’s Sandhill campus to 4801 S. Sandhill Rd. It separately denied the request to expand the Hillpointe and Sandhill campuses due to ongoing academic performance concerns.

Explore the recommendation memo.

The board approved Founders Classical Academy Las Vegas’ enrollment increase in grade levels the school already serves, beginning in the 2023-2024 school year, and occupy an additional facility on its existing campus beginning in the 2024-2025 school year.

Explore the recommendation memo.

The board conditionally approved Eagle Charter Schools of Nevada’s request to approve a formal separation between the local school and Eagle Charter Schools, the charter management organization listed on the school’s charter application. Amendments were made to clarify part-time status for some employees.

Explore the recommendation memo.

Board Received an Update on the Graduation Rate for the Class of 2022

The four-year graduation rate for the SPCSA Class of 2022 was 86%, outperforming the state’s overall graduation records, and down slightly from the SPCSA graduation rate of 2020-2021 (86.8%). Nine SPCSA student groups outperformed peers in the state groups, including students with disabilities and English Language Learners, as well as several student demographics, including students identifying as Black/African-American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian/Native American, and those identifying as two or more races. In 2022, 53.5% of SPCSA students received an advanced or Career and College Readiness (CCR) diploma, compared with the state’s 41.9%.  

Explore the presentation and the attachment.

Board Accepted the SPCSA Organizational Performance Review for the 2021-2022 School Year

Staff presented the results and recommendations for SPCSA schools. Areas of focus in the framework include the education program, financial management and oversight, governance and reporting, students and employees, and school environment, and each is rated as ‘meets standard rating’ or ‘does not meet standard.’ In the 2021-2022 school year, all schools earned at least 80 points (out of a possible 100 points), and all met the standard rating.

The Board accepted the 2021-2022 organizational framework performance review as presented and Authority staff will provide final results to each school in the coming weeks.

Explore the presentation and the ratings report.

Board Received an Overview of the Financial Performance Framework

Staff provided an overview of the financial performance framework. Principles of this framework include defining financial benchmarks, treating schools the same, enabling flexibility and autonomy, and ensuring transparency to the public. Indicators for this framework include near term measures (current ratio, unrestricted days cash-on-hand, enrollment forecast accuracy, and debt default) and sustainability measures (total margin, debt-to-asset ratio, cash flow, and debt service coverage ratio). Each indicator is rated as either ‘meets standard rating,’ ‘does not meet standard,’ or ‘falls far below standard.’ Adverse findings may trigger interventions.

Most audits have been presented to individual charter boards, and audits are required to be submitted by December 1. Preliminary results will be provided to schools by December 23, and final data will be presented to the authorizer by January 27, 2023.

Explore the presentation.

Board Received an Update on the SPCSA Growth Management Plan

The SPCSA is scheduled to consider revisions to its growth management plan in January 2023. Staff identified several technical updates, including data, conducting a new survey to charter holders regarding future growth, and ensuring accurate projections for 2022-2023. A working group recommended expanding transportation options, emphasizing the relationship between the schools and real-world context, prioritizing diversity, partnering with municipalities, reporting on post-opening performance and goals, and understanding charter schools’ impact on district schools.

Board members discussed policies, procedures, capacity, and resources to consider with the updated plan, including increasing the number of high-quality applicants, opportunities for additional technical assistance, professional development opportunities, scalability, revisions to the Pupil Centered Funding Plan, and additional resources for facilities funding.

Explore the presentation and the 2021 Growth Management Plan.

Long-Range Calendar (next 3 months):

Agenda items over the next three SPCSA board meetings are anticipated to include:

  • Financial performance framework results
  • Annual report to the Nevada Department of Education
  • State of the SPCSA
  • New schools update
  • Legislative session update

Explore the calendar.

The next Meeting of the SPCSA Board is scheduled for Friday, January 27, 2023, @ 9:00 a.m. 

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