Nevada Ed-Watch 6/24/20

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, June 26, 2020
State Public Charter School Authority Board Meeting

Click here to see the meeting agenda 

Members of the public submitted comment online regarding: 

  • Support for requiring schools to open with distance learning only  

SPCSA Executive Director’s Report: 

Report Highlights: 

  • Response to COVID-19 pandemic and the reopening of schools 
    • SPCSA has received 27 of 37 reopening plans for review. Individual school plans are available on school websites. Click here to view the minimum approval requirements. The majority of schools are planning to open with a hybrid online/in-person model, with at least one school intending to open fully in person and at least one school intending to open completely virtual. SPCSA staff is continuing to monitor any changes or announcements that could impact SPCSA-sponsored schools. Click here to see the full COVID-19 update. 
  • Applications & Expansions 
    • Five charter applications were submitted for the summer application cycle. Application review will begin in August. 
    • American Preparatory Academy, Mater Academy, and Nevada State High School have been approved for expansions for Fall 2020.
  • Site Evaluation Process and Improvements for the 2020-21 School Year 
    • SPCSA staff engaged with school leaders, board members, and other authorizers to identify refinements to site evaluations. Staff will bring recommendations to the August board meeting. The recommendations will include updates to the document review items and classroom observations. SPCSA will conduct 39 site evaluations next year. 
  • 31st (2020) Special Session of the Nevada Legislature 
    • Upon the close of the special session, substantial cuts were made to the Read by Grade 3 and SB178 funds. However, $50 million of CARES Act funding was directed to support students that fall into specific categories including ELL, FRL, proficiency below the 25th percentile, and attends a school that rates in the bottom 10% in the State. 

Board Heard Updates & Approved Amendments from Charter Schools Launching Fall 2020

SPCSA board members heard from school leaders & board members of three approved SPCSA schools opening for the 2020-2021 school year. 

  • Pinecrest Academy of Northern Nevada 
    • Pinecrest Academy of Northern Nevada has satisfied requirements set by the SPCSA for opening. They have met projected enrollment targets for all grades but 7th. They have an approved agreement with the Boys & Girls Club to support student meals and transportation. Click here to see the full update. 
  • Girls Athletic Leadership School (GALS)
    • GALS has enrolled 90 students, and is on track to meet enrollment targets for opening. They plan to open on August 10 with both a hybrid and online-only option. With regards to diversity, 16% of GALS enrolled students who have an IEP, and 35% are English Language Learners. Click here to see the full update.  
  • Explore Academy  
    • SPCSA board granted Explore Academy a good cause exemption to amend their enrollment cap from 330 students for the start of the 2020-2021 school year to 150. Explore Academy staff feel confident that they can reach this enrollment number and that they can operate feasibly with 150 students. Click here to see the full update. Click here to see SPCSA staff’s recommendation memo. 

Board Approved American Preparatory Academy New School Name & Configuration

The SPCSA board granted American Preparatory Academy a good cause exemption to amend their school name to Amplus Academy. Additionally, the board approved changes to the grade configuration of their two campuses. One campus will now house all classes for grades K-3 with the other housing grades 4-12. School leaders plan to submit an additional amendment that includes a plan to fulfill the responsibilities of their former Education Management Organization (EMO).  The SPCSA board approved a separation from their EMO at the June 26th board meeting

Board Heard Update From Schools Under or Previously Under Receivership 

Argent Preparatory Academy’s former school building is currently under contract for sale. This is the former school’s final asset. The sale is expected to close in September 2020. 

Quest Preparatory Academy is in the process of reconstituting their board, and have confirmed five new members. Additionally, Quest’s Alexander campus is under contract for sale. The sale is expected to close in October 2020. 

Click here to see the full update

Board Heard Update on Nevada Connections Academy

Nevada Connections Academy staff provided the SPCSA with an update on efforts to improve student outcomes and the school’s star rating. NCA anticipates reaching 2-stars in the 2020-2021 school year and 3-stars for 2021-2022. NCA has made adjustments to their escalation system, which is used to monitor student progress, attendance, and performance. These adjustments reduce the amount of time between a student falling behind and interventions being put into place. 

SPCSA board members discussed the importance of the school’s board providing oversight on metrics related to student achievement. If the school receives a 1-star rating, their charter contract will be subject to termination. 

Click here to download the presentation

Board Discussed Priority to Serving All Students Equitably 

SPCSA staff facilitated a discussion with board members regarding ways the authority can ensure all students in SPCSA-sponsored schools are being served equitably. Suggestions from board members included changes to Site Evaluation observations and focus groups, regular review of disaggregated annual discipline data, and exploring SPCSA-supported training options on inclusion, implicit bias, and anti-racism. The board also discussed the need to be transparent with families and the community about progress towards equitably serving all students. SPCSA staff will bring this item back for discussion at the August meeting to further identify concepts and ideas to move forward on. 

Click here to see discipline and achievement data

Board Discussed Potential Updates to Growth Management Plan and Academic and Demographic Needs Assessment 

NRS 388A requires that the SPSCA Growth Management Plan be reviewed and revised at least biennially and the Academic and Demographic Needs Assessment be updated each year. Updates to the Growth Management Plan will include a strong stakeholder engagement strategy to deepen relationships with communities throughout the State. Updates to the Academic and Demographic Needs Assessment will include new demographic data published by the Department of Education in addition to needs assessment maps and tools that can be leveraged by stakeholders. Board members also discussed including economic development metrics in the needs assessment. 

Click here to see supporting documents

Board Heard Overview of Charter School Renewal Process

SPCSA-authorized schools up for renewal submit a letter of intent and application to renew in the fall. Within 60 days, SPSA staff review renewal applications and provide renewal recommendations to the board before December 15. When reviewing renewal applications, SPCSA staff look at the school’s academic, organizational, and financial performance, site evaluation findings, and other information provided by the school. 

Click here to download the presentation. 

Board Approves Updates for Nevada Virtual Academy

Nevada Virtual Academy is a fully online school that has been in operation in Nevada since 2007. They serve 1,300 students in grades 6-12 and have consistently received 3-star ratings for their middle and high school since 2016-2017 school year. 

The board approved staff recommendation to dismiss litigation between the  SPCSA and Nevada Virtual Academy. This settlement requires each party to pay for their own legal fees. Additionally, the board approved amendments to NVA’s charter contract term to end June 30, 2024 and increase their enrollment cap from 1,790 students to 2,100. Finally, the amendment removes a provision that the school will be closed if they are rated 2-stars for two years in a row. 

Click here to see SPCSA staff recommendations 
Click here to see the amended contract 
Click here to see the settlement agreement


Sign up to receive a notification when a new Ed-Watch post is published:

Nevada Ed-Watch 11/1/19

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.


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.

Click here for a list of all SPCSA Members.

Click here for a list of all SPCSA sponsored schools.


Friday, October 4, 2019
State Public Charter School Authority Board Meeting

Click here to see the meeting agenda

What happened at this meeting?

The Board Heard about Changes to the Public Comment Process

Rather than holding public comment for all agenda items until the end of each board meeting, the process was updated to allow members of the public to comment after each agenda item. 

Staff Presented Updates on the Development of the SPCSA Strategic Plan & Accompanying Growth Management Plan (in accordance with AB 462)

SPCSA staff presented updates on proposed language on the vision, mission, and values of the State Public Charter School Authority for board feedback. The board discussed the inclusion of “innovation” as a component of the vision statement.

The board also heard the SPCSA staff’s proposed five-year goals:

  1. Provide families with access to high quality schools
  2. Increase the diversity of students served by SPCSA schools 
  3. Ensure that every SPCSA student succeeds – including those from historically underperforming subgroups 

The board discussed the inclusion of attendance metrics in the goals. 

SPCSA staff proposed four (4) overarching strategies to achieve these goals:

  1. Proactive Oversight
  2. Strategic Growth 
  3. Expanded Support 
  4. Reward Progress

Staff will present more specific actions aligned to each strategy above at the next board meeting. 

Click here to see the Strategic Planning presentation. 

Click here to see the draft Growth Management Plan. 

SPCSA staff will present a final draft of both the full Strategic Plan and the Growth Management Plan for approval at the December 13th board meeting. 

Public Comment: A school leader shared concerns about needing more time to build a school culture before receiving a star rating for the first year of operation. Another school leader shared concerns about performance ratings for alternative schools.

Upcoming Milestones

  • December 13th: Review and board approval of final Strategic Plan and Growth Management Plan 
  • January 1st: Growth Management Plan submitted to the Nevada Department of Education and the Legislative Commission on Education

Board Heard a Presentation about SPCSA-Sponsored Shining Star Schools

SPCSA staff recognized the nine (9) state-designated Shining Star schools that are authorized by the SPCSA. A Shining Star school is a high-performing school serving a high percentage of students in poverty. A high-performing school is  defined by achieving a 4 or 5-Star rating on the most recent Nevada School Performance Framework.

Click here to see the Shining Star schools presentation.

The board also heard a presentation from teachers, students, and school leaders at Mater Academy of Nevada Mountain Vista Campus and Mater Academy of Nevada Bonanza Campus on its academic performance (both campuses were recognized as Shining Star schools).  

Click here to see the Mater Academy presentation.

The Board Approved Charter Contract Renewals for Mater Academy and Beacon Academy

SPCSA staff recommended renewal of Mater Academy of Nevada’s contract for a 5-year term beginning July 1st, 2020. 

Click here to see the Mater Academy charter contract renewal recommendation.

SPCSA staff also recommended renewal of Beacon Academy of Nevada for a six-year term, beginning July 1, 2020.

The board heard the following remarks about Beacon Academy from SPCSA staff:

  • Beacon is the only school operating under an Alternative Performance Framework due to the unique population it serves
  • Beacon continues to serve credit deficient students and seeks expansion to serve more students who are credit deficient

Click here to see the Beacon Academy charter contract renewal recommendation.

Board Approved New School Application Process

SPCSA staff provided an overview of the process for new charter schools to apply for authorization under the SPCSA. For the Summer application cycle, new charters must submit Letters of Intent to apply by March 15th. 

The updated version of the application requires an applicant to demonstrate alignment to the SPCSA’s Demographic Needs Assessment, in addition to the school’s Academic, Operations, and Financial plans.

Click here to see the presentation.

SPCSA Executive Director’s Report: 

Report Highlights:

  • 7 schools submitted requests for contract amendments, which will be brought to the December board meeting.
  • 18 school site evaluations were conducted last year, with 42 remaining to complete. 
  • Student demographic and enrollment data for SPCSA schools is anticipated in December.

The Board Discussed Updates to the Board Calendar

The board added a meeting on December 17th, when they will review nine (9) pending charter applications. The regular December board meeting is scheduled for December 13th. 

Click here to see the long-range calendar, including 2020 meeting dates. 


Sign up to receive a notification when a new Ed-Watch post is published:

Nevada Ed-Watch 10/10/19

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


Nevada State Board of Education

What is the State Board of Education & what are they responsible for? The Nevada State Board of Education adopts regulations based on Nevada laws, which are passed down to individual school districts in Nevada to implement. The Board has 11 total (7 appointed and 4 publicly elected) members.

How often does the State Board meet? The Nevada State Board of Education meets once per month on Thursdays at 9:00AM. Click here to see the 2019 Board Meeting Schedule. Click here to visit Hope For Nevada’s #NVEd Calendar.

Can community members engage at State Board Meetings? A time for public comment is provided at the beginning (for agenda items) and at the conclusion (on any matter) 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.

Click here for a list of all State Board Members.


Thursday, October 10, 2019
Nevada State Board of Education Meeting

Click here to see the meeting agenda

What happened at this meeting?

Public Comment

Members of the public provided testimony regarding:

  • Concerns that AB462 does not limit the growth of public charter schools in Nevada
  • Commending public schools that were recognized in Opportunity 180’s 2018-19 Top Schools Report 
  • Congratulating the 2020 Nevada Teacher of the Year, Gail Hudson 

Board Approved the Consent Agenda

Consent Agenda Highlights:

President’s Report

The President’s Report included:

  • Welcoming Kevin Melcher to the State Board of Education. Kevin Melcher is filling the remainder of David Carter’s term, who resigned this summer. 
  • Commending Advanced Technologies Academy High School, Frias Elementary, and Hunter Lake Elementary for being recognized as National Blue Ribbon schools.
  • Expressing gratitude to everyone involved in an education stakeholder meeting with Bobby Scott, Chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Workforce. 

Superintendent’s Report

Superintendent Ebert provided the following updates:

  • Appreciation for the superintendents of each county school district as Superintendent Ebert continues a state-wide listening tour. 
  • Superintendent Ebert and Scott Stump, Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education Commission on School Funding, visited East Career and Technical Academy and Morris East High School.
  • The Nevada Department of Education is seeking input on the State Plan to Strengthen Career and Technical Education (CTE) for the 21st Century Act (also known as Perkins V). Members of the community can submit public comment from October 1- November 1, 2019 on the draft State Plan. The deadline was extended to December 1, 2019– specifically for public comments on the state-determined levels of performance. A draft plan will be presented to the state board during the November meeting, and will be brought back for approval during the December meeting. 
  • Regulation workshops and public hearings are being conducted to implement bills that were passed during the 2019 legislative session regarding Safe and Respectful Learning Environments. 
  • The Commission on School Funding held its first meeting, elected a vice-chair (Guy Hobbs), and developed two (2) workgroups– which will meet on October 10, 2019 at 8:30 AM. Members of the Commission will present updates to the board during the November meeting.

Board Honored Nevada Teacher of the Year and Finalists 

The purpose of the Nevada Teacher of the Year process is to celebrate excellence and strengthen the teaching force. This year, 28 educators were nominated, 11 completed applications, and 5 were sent to the superintendent for final selection. 

2020 Finalists: 

  • Jeanine Roser
  • Kathy Durham 
  • Patricia Martin
  • Nicolas Jacques

2020 Nevada Teacher of the Year: Gail Hudson 

Click here to see the presentation.

The Board Heard an Overview of MAP Assessment Data

The NWEA MAP assessment is administered in kindergarten through 2nd grade. It is a computerized, adaptive assessment that measures how quickly students are growing in English Language Arts and Math. 

Below is a summary of state-wide average NWEA MAP results for the 2018-19 school year.

  • Kindergarten 
    • At or below the 40th percentile: 41.3%
    • Above the 40th percentile: 58.7%
  • First Grade
    • At or below the 40th percentile: 41.8%
    • Above the 40th percentile: 58.2%
  • Second Grade
    • At or below the 40th percentile: 40.7%
    • Above the 40th percentile: 59.3%

It was also noted that the Read by Grade 3 program provides resources, such as professional learning workshops, opportunities for peer-to-peer networking.

Click here to see the presentation. 

Board Heard a Presentation on Statewide Assessment Results 

The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) is administered in 3rd through 8th grade. The SBAC measures whether students are performing on grade level (or proficient) in English Language Arts (ELA) and Math.

Below is a summary of state-wide average SBAC results for the 2018-19 school year.

  • English Language Arts
    • Elementary Schools: 49.25%
    • Middle Schools: 47.62% 
  • Math
    • Elementary Schools: 42.6%
    • Middle Schools: 32.1% 

The Nevada Science Exam is administered in 5th, 8th, and 10th grade. The exam measures whether students are performing on grade level in science. Below is a summary of state-wide average Science Exam results for the 2018-19 school year.

  • 5th Grade: 24.6% proficient
  • 8th Grade: 36.8% proficient
  • 10th Grade: 26.8% proficient

The ACT is administered in 11th grade to assess high school student proficiency based on cut scores established by the Nevada Department of Education. Below is a summary of state-wide average ACT results from the 2018-19 school year. 

  • English: 46.7% proficient
  • Math: 25.5% proficient

The WIDA is an annual assessment for K-12 students who are English Language Learners. In the 2018-19 school year, 11.7% of these students were proficient. 

Click here to see the presentation, which includes disaggregated data by student subgroups.

Board Heard an Overview of the Comprehensive Support Intervention (CSI) and Targeted Support Intervention (TSI) Processes

This is the third of a three-part presentation series on school improvement.

Summary of the Comprehensive Support Intervention (CSI) process:

  • During the year that a school is designated as CSI, schools create a School Performance Plan in partnership with stakeholders (principals, teachers, parents, and other school leaders).
  • CSI School Performance Plans must be reviewed and approved by the school’s district first, then by the Nevada Department of Education. School Performance Plans must include:
    • Goals for student performance against long-term goals determined by the state
    • Evidence-based interventions
    • A school-level needs assessment
    • Resource inequities, which may include a review of district- and school-level budgets
  • The 3-year period following a school’s designation as CSI is spent implementing its plan. At the end of the 3-year period, the school will be evaluated for exit from CSI designation.

Summary of the Targeted Support Intervention (TSI) process:

  • During the year that a school is designated as TSI, schools create a School Performance Plan in partnership with stakeholders (principals, teachers, parents, and other school leaders). 
  • TSI School Performance Plans must be reviewed and approved by the school’s district or Local Education Agency (LEA). Plans must include:
    • A description of how the district or school will improve student outcomes for each group of students that prompted TSI status
    • Indicators for student performance against long-term goals
    • Evidence-based interventions
    • A continuous improvement plan to ensure the success of interventions
  • The 3-year period following a school’s designation as TSI is spent implementing its plan. At the end of the 3-year period, the school will be evaluated for exit from TSI designation. 

Click here to see the presentation.

Click here to see the Nevada Ed-watch summary of the July 17th meeting, when the first part of this discussion took place (an overview of the state’s accountability system and school designations)

Click here to see the Nevada Ed-watch summary of the August 29th meeting, when the second part of this discussion took place (an overview of the criteria for CSI and TSI designation).

Board Heard an Update on the SPCSA Academic Needs Assessment and Growth Management Plan 

In compliance with Assembly Bill 462 (AB462), the SPCSA completed an Academic and Demographic Needs Assessment to identify geographic areas of the state that are most in need of high quality school options. 

Following the approval of the Academic and Demographic Needs Assessment, the SPCSA is developing a plan to manage the growth of charter schools. The plan must include new charter schools as well as additional campuses, grade level expansion or other increased enrollment, and any likely charter renewals that the Authority will approve. 

The SPCSA must submit an initial Growth Management Plan by January 1, 2020.

Click here to see the presentation.

Click here to see a press release about the Academic and Demographic Needs Assessment. 

Board Approved the Business Process for Teacher Incentive Programs

According to Senate Bill 555 (SB555), districts may apply to receive funding for incentivizing teachers to teach in Title 1 schools. The State Board of Education will distribute funds to districts based on the number of teachers that incentives are being provided to. The board adopted the following business process to address this:

  1. The Nevada Department of Education will release a teacher incentive application available to districts on or before August 31.
  2. School districts will be able to apply for teacher incentive funds on or before October 31, 2019.
  3. Upon receiving district applications, the Department will calculate the distribution of funds available and makes a recommendation of awards
  4. The State Board of Education will approve recommendations
  5. The Department will issue formal award letters
  6. The Department will reserve the right to make technical adjustments 

Click here to see the presentation.


Potential Future Agenda Items:

  • Chronic Absenteeism Data
  • Updates on the Perkins V State Plan 
  • Updates on the Early Learning Development Grant  
  • Board Member Training 
  • Census 2020 Complete Count and its impact on the education system

Sign up to receive a notification when a new Ed-Watch post is published:

Nevada Ed-Watch 10/4/19

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.


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 beginning (for agenda items) and at the conclusion (on any matter) 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.

Click here for a list of all SPCSA Members.

Click here for a list of all SPCSA sponsored schools.


Friday, October 4, 2019
State Public Charter School Authority Board Meeting

Click here to see the meeting agenda

What happened at this meeting?

Public Comment

Parents and staff members provided testimony about their positive experience at Nevada Connections Academy. 

The Board Elected a Chair and Vice-Chair

The board elected Melissa Mackedon to serve as Chair and Randy Kirner to serve as Vice Chair of the board.

The Board Discussed Updates to the Board Calendar

The board added a second meeting in December (December 17th), when they will review nine (9) pending charter applications. The first December board meeting is scheduled for December 13th.

Throughout 2020, board meetings will continue to take place on Fridays at 9:00 am. The SPCSA staff is also exploring the possibility of holding two meetings per year that begin later in the afternoon, in an effort to increase community access to meetings.

Additionally, SPCSA staff is creating an online opportunity for members of the public to provide written comments in the event they are unable to provide spoken testimony during a meeting.

The Board Heard an Overview of the NSPF Star Ratings for SPCSA-Authorized Schools

The board reviewed results at public charter schools authorized by the SPCSA. 

2018-19 Nevada School Performance Framework (NSPF) results highlights:

  • 65 SPCSA charter schools received 4 or 5 star ratings
  • Out of 120 schools in Nevada that received a 5 star rating, 45 are SPCSA-sponsored charter schools

The following Title I schools were designated as 4 or 5 stars for the 2018-19 school year, demonstrating that they have exceeded state standards (click on a school to see its data profile):

Opportunity 180’s data portal, www.GreatSchoolsAllKids.org, was recognized as a resource for the community to access public school performance data.

Click here to see the NSPF results presentation.

The Board Approved 10 Schools to Return to Academic Good Standing Classification 

The following schools will return to being classified as being in Academic Good Standing (3 star and above):

  1. Freedom Classical Middle School (4-Star)
  2. Founders Academy Elementary School (4-Star)
  3. Leadership Academy Middle School (3-Star)
  4. Learning Bridge Elementary School (4-Star)
  5. Legacy, North Valley Middle School (3-Star)
  6. Mater Academy, Bonanza Elementary School (3-Star)
  7. Mater Academy Northern Nevada Elementary School (3-Star)
  8. Nevada Virtual Middle School (3-Star)
  9. Nevada Virtual High School (3-Star)
  10. SLAM Middle Schools (3-Star)

The Board Approved Schools to Receive a Notice of Concern for Academic Performance

The following schools received a notice of concern regarding their academic performance: 

The following actions are required for each school that received a Notice of Concern:

  • School performance plans will be reviewed by the SPCSA Staff
  • Site Evaluations and visits will take place to follow-up on progress against school performance plans
  • Provide a written report on February 1, 2020 indicating progress to date in implementing the school performance plan, and a summary of mid-year assessment performance.

Each school had a chance to speak before the board regarding their results and the steps they are taking to address their star rating.

The Board Approved Schools to Receive a Notice of Breach for Academic Performance

The schools listed below received a Notice of Breach for their academic performance.

These schools are required to present an update on their academic progress against their school performance plan, including a summary of mid-year assessment results in early 2020.

Additionally, performance at Nevada Connections Academy ES (1-star) has triggered the automatic termination provisions (per statute), and the school must close at the end of the 2019-2020 school year. However, since Nevada Connections Academy has chosen not to renew the charter for their elementary school, no action was taken by the board.

Board Approved Somerset Academy’s Charter Amendment (Dual Enrollment Program)

In compliance with NRS 389.310, the board approved a request for a good-cause exemption by Somerset Academy to provide access to college-level coursework.

Staff Presented Updates on the SPCSA Strategic Planning process  

Members of the SPCSA staff presented draft language for input by board members on the vision, mission, and values of the SPCSA. Board members provided feedback, and updated language will be presented at the November board meeting. 

Strategic Plan highlights:

Growth Management Plan

  • The SPCSA received 2,500 individual responses on their stakeholder feedback survey. They are currently analyzing results. 
  • The SPCSA is bringing a range of stakeholders together to help them understand the needs of stakeholders in Nevada. The working groups are meeting three times in October and their input will contribute to the development of the Growth Management Plan. 

Upcoming Milestones

  • November 1st (during the board meeting): Presentation of Strategic and Growth Management Plan drafts for additional board feedback
  • December 13th: Review and board approval of final Strategic and Growth Management Plans 
  • January 1st: Growth Management Plan submitted to the Nevada Department of Education and Legislative Commission on Education

Click here to see the strategic planning presentation.

SPCSA Executive Director’s Report: 

Report Highlights:

  • Superintendent Listening Tour: Superintendent Ebert visited two Shining Star Schools, Mater Academy and Equipo Academy, during her Listening Tour. Round Tables were conducted where staff and parents got to communicate directly with the Superintendent about their experience at the schools.
  • New Charter Applications: 9 applications were received. Interviews have been scheduled with the schools 
  • Charter Amendment Applications: Applications are due on Oct 15th. 10 schools submitted Letter of Intent (LOIs) for potential amendments.

Sign up to receive a notification when a new Ed-Watch post is published:

Nevada Ed-Watch 9/13/19

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.


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 beginning (for agenda items) and at the conclusion (on any matter) 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.

Click here for a list of all SPCSA Members.

Click here for a list of all SPCSA sponsored schools.


Friday, September 13, 2019
State Public Charter School Authority Board Meeting

Click here to see the meeting agenda

What happened at this meeting?

Public Comment
A member of the public requested the SPCSA board move meetings to the evening rather than during the workday to improve accessibility.

The Board Heard Updates From Schools in Receivership

  • Argent Preparatory Academy
    • Argent Prep is selling their final asset, a parcel of land, for $2.25 million. The buyer, Carson Montessori School, requested a 10-day extension to address issues with financing and acquire a Special Use Permit.
  • Quest Academy
    • Quest Academy resolved its legal and financial obligations, however is currently engaged in litigation regarding its facility.
  • Discovery Charter school
    • Discovery Charter School reported a strong start to the new school year with positive family engagement.
    • The school’s new board held their first meeting and elected a president and treasurer.
    • Click here to see Discovery’s full written update.
    • Discovery Charter School must continue providing quarterly updates to the Authority through the end of the 2020 school year.

Board Heard Updates on the Nevada Virtual Academy Litigation

Nevada Virtual Academy (NVA) filed a complaint with the court challenging the conditions that the Authority Board approved in 2018, when their charter application was approved. NVA filed an injunction to operate under a court order without a charter contract. No injunction was ordered. A trial is set for May 2020.

Board Approved Charter Contract Amendments (4-2 vote)

The following charter contract amendments were approved:

  • Oasis Academy
    • An amendment allowing for an annual increase of 24 students per year for 9-years.
  • Doral Academy of Northern Nevada
    • A good cause exemption allowing an increase in the enrollment cap from 636 students to 814 students (the total number of students currently enrolled in the school). Representatives of Doral Academy of Northern Nevada stated that they over-enrolled the school due to an administrative error– confusing the enrollment cap for the Northern Nevada Campus with the cap at another Doral Academy campus.
    • The Authority Board approved the amendment only for the current school year, to avoid impact on the students and families enrolled.
    • The Authority Board also suggested the school implements a weighted lottery process to ensure its demographic makeup is consistent with the community that it serves.

Board Approved the Charter School Performance Framework Guidance Document

The board approved the revised guidance document for the Charter School Performance Framework. The objective of the performance framework is to provide charter school boards and leaders with clear expectations, fact-based oversight, and timely feedback while protecting charter school’s autonomy for local decision-making within the constraints of state and federal laws.

Click here to see the document.

Board Approved the Site Evaluation Handbook

The board approved technical changes to the SPCSA Site Evaluation Handbook. The changes included updates based on legislation passed in the 2019 Legislative Session, plus updates based on learnings from the first year of completed site evaluations.

Click here to see the handbook.

Board Heard an Overview of the Nevada School Performance Framework

SPCSA staff presented the board with an overview of the Nevada School Performance Framework. 2018-2019 school year performance data will be available on the Nevada Report Card website on Monday, September 16.

There are 102 star ratings across SPCSA-authorized school campuses. This number accounts for single campuses that include multiple school levels (elementary, middle, and high school). Each school level receives its own star rating. 

The Board Heard Updates on Strategic Planning for the SPCSA

The SPCSA is developing a 5-year strategic plan that will outline its vision, mission, values, organizational goals, and strategies for achieving goals.

The Strategic Plan will be inclusive of the SPCSA’s Growth Management Plan, Local Education Agency (LEA) Support Plan, and Organizational Effectiveness Plan.

The SPCSA is also creating a Growth Management Plan, as mandated during the 2019 legislative session.

SPCSA staff will engage stakeholders as the Growth Management Plan is developed– which will include targeted outreach to key stakeholders, working groups with a diverse group of stakeholders, and more broad outreach through surveys.

Staff will present the Growth Management Plan and the Strategic Plan to the SPCSA board for feedback. The goal is to present a final draft to the board during the December 13th meeting.

Click here to see the presentation.

The Board Heard Updates from SPCSA Staff

  • Welcoming new board members, Mallory Cyr, Don Soifer, and Dr. Tonia Holmes-Sutton. There are still two board seats pending appointment.
  • The December board meeting will be held on December 13th.
  • 9 new school applications in this cycle
    • Applications are available online for review by the public, including a link for members of the public to provide comment regarding the application.
    • SPCSA staff anticipate bringing new charter school applications to the board for consideration during the November and December board meetings.
  • 7 charter schools are up for contract renewals. SPCSA staff anticipate bringing applications for renewal before the board in the November and December board meetings.

Sign up to receive a notification when a new Ed-Watch post is published:

Nevada Ed-Watch 7/17/19

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


Nevada State Board of Education

What is the State Board of Education & what are they responsible for? The Nevada State Board of Education adopts regulations based on Nevada laws, which are passed down to individual school districts in Nevada to implement. The Board has 11 total (7 appointed and 4 publicly elected) members.

How often does the State Board meet? The Nevada State Board of Education meets once per month on Thursdays at 9:00AM. Click here to see the 2019 Board Meeting Schedule. Click here to visit Hope For Nevada’s #NVEd Calendar.

Can community members engage at State Board Meetings? A time for public comment is provided at the beginning (for agenda items) and at the conclusion (on any matter) 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.

Click here for a list of all State Board Members.


Wednesday, July 17, 2019
Nevada State Board of Education Meeting

Click here to see the meeting agenda

What happened at this meeting?

Public Comment

A member of the public expressed concerns about an outdated process for renewing teacher licenses.

President’s Report: 

The President’s Report included:

  • The Nevada Department of Education is working on implementing of public education related bills that came out of the 2019 legislative session. 
  • Well wishes to all educators, administrators, and staff members going into the start of the 2019-2020 school year.

Superintendent’s Report

Superintendent Ebert provided the following updates:

  • Jessica Todtman is the new Chief Strategy Officer for the Nevada Department of Education (NDOE).
  • About one-third of all NDOE staff members attended a legislative debrief meeting to review each bill that the department is implementing or supporting.
  • As a mandate of SB543, the state must form a Commission on School Funding. The commission will provide guidance to school districts and the department on the implementation of the plan for funding public schools. Members of the commission are appointed by the Governor and several members of the Legislature. The commission must hold its first meeting by October 1, 2019. 
  • The State Public Charter School Authority (SPCSA) is working on a Demographic Needs Assessment and a Growth Management Plan to be implemented by January 1, 2020.

Board Approved the Consent Agenda

Consent Agenda highlights:

  • Appointing members to the Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC).
  • Approving instructional materials for the Carson City School District. 

Board Approved the Addition of Mission High School to the Alternative Performance Framework (APF)

The board heard a presentation overview of the Nevada Alternative Performance Framework (APF), and a proposed recommendation to add Mission High School to be measured under the APF.

Generally, schools qualified for the APF fall into one of four categories:

  • Schools offering credit recovery programs
  • Schools offering behavioral/continuation programs
  • Juvenile detention facilities serving adjudicated youth
  • Special education schools serving students with multiple and severe cognitive disabilities

The APF measurement indicators include Academic Achievement, Attendance, Academic progress, Graduation, Student Engagement, and Planning for success. 

Click here to download the presentation. 

Board Conditionally Approved the Application Document for State Public Charter School Authority (SPCSA) Board Positions

The State Board is required to appoint two members to the SPCSA Board by October 2019, as mandated by AB78. For individuals interested in applying, the application will be available on the department’s website

Click here to see the draft application document that was presented at the meeting. 

Board members discussed concerns and proposed changes to the application questions to ensure applicant privacy and protection of personal information. The application document was approved with the condition that proposed updates are applied.

Board Heard a Presentation About the Current State of School Funding 

A review of the current state of school funding was requested by board members at the June 2019 board meeting. This presentation provided an overview of the current funding sources for schools.

Click here to download the presentation.

Board Heard a Presentation About Federal and State School Improvement

The board heard an overview of the state’s accountability system under the ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act). 

The presentation focused on the following low-performing school designations: 

  • Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI) 
  • Targeted Support and Improvement (TSI) 
  • Additional Targeted Support and Improvement (ATSI) 

Board members requested information about how schools are held accountable for their performance. It was clarified that the designations above are the first step in the accountability process. Additional information will become available at a later time.

Click here to download the presentation.

Board Approved Changes to the NEPF Recommended by the Teachers and Leaders Council 

The Teachers and Leaders Council presented their recommended changes to the Nevada Educator Performance Framework (NEPF).

The board approved the following recommendations:

Click here to see the presentation.


Potential Future Agenda Items:

  • A review of the teacher licensure renewal process
  • A presentation about Read by Grade 3
  • Updates on teacher vacancies and class size reduction
  • A report on teacher shortage

Sign up to receive a notification when a new Ed-Watch post is published: