Nevada Ed-Watch 12/12/19

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, November 12, 2019
Nevada State Board of Education Meeting

Click here to see the meeting agenda

What happened at this meeting?

Board Approved the Consent Agenda

Consent Agenda Highlights:

  • Approval of Dual Credit requests for:
    • Somerset Academy for courses at the College of Southern Nevada
    • Pinecrest Academy for courses at the College of Southern Nevada
    • Nye County School District for courses at Great Basin College

Board Heard Presentations About Barriers and Progress Towards Nevada’s Student Achievement Goals

The Board heard from the Superintendents of the Clark and Washoe County School Districts, as well as a representative from the Nevada Council to Establish Academic Standards, about challenges and growth towards improving student achievement across Nevada.

The Interim Superintendent of the Washoe County School District shared the following needs for improving achievement in Washoe:

  • Alignment of school years, legislative years, and calendar years to address operational challenges related to timing of fund disbursements.
  • More flexibility in licensure reciprocity for educators who come to Nevada from another state. 

A representative of the Nevada Council to Establish Academic Standards shared concerns about:

  • Major changes in schools not suiting the interests of educators
  • Low academic achievement rates 
  • Alignment of standardized tests to the standards of the Nevada Department of Education

The Superintendent of the Clark County School District (CCSD), shared the following updates:

  • Support for the County Commission seeking additional funding through AB 309, specifically to address chronic absenteeism among students
  • Concerns about the lack of investments made in the professional development of school leaders.  
  • CCSD is working on developing exit surveys to address the retention rates of teachers and substitute teachers. 
  • CCSD is also working on ways to expand the teacher pipeline through partnerships with local colleges and universities.

The Board Heard a Presentation on Teacher Attrition and Absenteeism 

The average daily teacher attendance rate for schools and districts is defined as the percentage of teaching staff in classrooms on an “average school day” within the reporting school year. In 2018-2019, the average teacher attendance rate was 95.6%, which has been consistent over the past 3 years.

Teacher attrition refers to the number or percentage of educators who exit employment with a Nevada school district in a given year. The teacher attrition rate in 2018-2019 was 8.9% (2,326 teachers, with 13 out of 17 counties reporting). There was an average of 9.0% attrition over the past three years. 

The Office of Educator Licensure will come back to the Board with a comparison of these rates to average national rates. More information was requested from the board about the reasons behind teacher attrition. 

Click here to see the presentation.

The Board Heard Presentations about Student Chronic Absenteeism 

The Board heard from representatives of the Safe and Respectful Learning Environment, Parental Involvement and Family Engagement, and the Assessments, Data, and Accountability Management departments.

The following information was shared with the Board regarding chronic absenteeism:

  • In 2018, Nevada aligned its definition of chronic absenteeism to the federal definition, which states that students who are absent 10% or more of their enrolled school days are considered chronically absent.
  • The chronic absenteeism rate in Nevada in 2018-2019 was 19.2%. Nevada’s public charter schools had a chronic absenteeism rate of 8.44%. The Clark County School District had a chronic absenteeism rate of 20.38%.
  • Students with disabilities have the highest rate of chronic absenteeism in Nevada, followed by students who are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch.
  • Research shows that by 6th-grade, chronic absenteeism is a leading indicator that a student will drop out of high school. By 9th-grade, chronic absenteeism becomes a greater predictor of dropout rates than 8th-grade test scores.
  • School and family resources available include Attendance Works, a national and state-level initiative to reduce chronic absenteeism. Additionally, there is a new pilot program underway with Hazel Health to provide tele-health services in partnership with District Schools.

Click here to see the presentation.

The Board Approved the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V) State Plan

A representative of the Nevada Office of Career Readiness, Adult Learning & Education Options presented the updated Career and Technical Education Program State Plan (Perkins V) to the Board. A key update to the plan was requiring each Local Education Agency (LEA) to complete a local needs assessment.

The strategic goals of the plan are:

  • Goal 1: Improve the quality and alignment of career and technical education programs.
  • Goal 2: Ensure equity of opportunity and access for all students in career pathways aligned to high-skill, high-wage, or in-demand occupations.
  • Goal 3: Ensure employers have a pipeline of skilled talent.
  • Goal 4: Ensure programs have a pipeline of high-quality CTE teachers in aligned programs.
  • Goal 5: Increase the number of  high-quality work-based learning (WBL) opportunities available for secondary, postsecondary, and adult students (e.g., internships, apprenticeships) statewide.
  • Goal 6: Raise awareness of the need and opportunity for a stronger education-to-workforce pipeline for students, parents, educators, and Nevada employers.
  • Goal 7: Expand opportunities for high school students enrolled in career and technical education programs to earn early college credit.

Next, the Perkins V State Plan will go to the Governor’s office for a 30-day review prior to being submitted to the Governor’s Workforce Development Board in January 2020.  

Click here to see the presentation.

The Board Heard a Presentation About Silver State Governance (SSG) Training

The Board heard about Silver State Governance (SSG) training, which provides coaching for Board members to ensure a majority of their time is spent focused on student outcomes. Governing Boards that spend at least 50% of their time focusing on student outcomes are the most likely to see progress.

The Guinn Center conducted an audit of Nevada schools, which found that within some districts, only 10% of time spent was focused on student outcomes. Nevada’s State Board of Education was the only Board that spent nearly 50% of its time on student outcomes.

SSG is launching a pilot this weekend for Lincoln and Lyon County school Boards and Superintendents. 

Click here to see the presentation.

The Board Discussed the 2020 Census

In 2016, Nevada received $6.2 billion in federal funds based on census data, including hundreds of millions of dollars for education. However, it is estimated that in 2010, 6,000 children in Clark County alone were not counted– which reduced funding allocated to Nevada.  

Click here to see the presentation.

The Board Heard Information on Graduation Rates for the 2018-2019 School Year 

A representative of the Office of Assessment, Data, & Accountability Management presented to the Board about the 2018-19 school year graduation rates. The Class of 2019 had the highest graduation rate in Nevada history. The statewide high school graduation rate of 84.11 percent is 3.26 percentage points higher than it was in 2017.

In Clark County, there was an 85.8% graduation rate in 2019, slightly exceeding the state’s average rate of 84.1%.

Graduation rates by student race and ethnicity:

  • White: 87.33%
  • Hispanic: 82.95%
  • Black: 72.18%
  • Students with an IEP: 67.1%
  • Homeless Students: 65.7%
  • Students in Foster Care: 44.2%

Click here to see the presentation.

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

Nevada Ed-Watch 8/8/19

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, August 8, 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:

  • Alleged bullying and harassment between employees
  • Concerns with the number of teacher vacancies 
  • Teacher salary increases
  • Concerns about changes to bus routes

Trustees Approved the Consent Agenda

Consent agenda highlights:

  • Facilities improvements
  • $100,000 settlement to the family of a teen that was shot at Canyon Springs High School
  • MOU with Fulfillment Fund to support students at Chaparral High School

Trustees Discussed Silver State Governance Training 

Silver State Governance (SSG) is an operating framework and coaching system that orients school board members to a framework that puts student achievement at the forefront of decision-making.

The Silver State Governance Accountability Framework is built around six research-inspired competencies that correlate with improvements in student outcomes: 

  1. Vision & Goals
  2. Values & Constraints
  3. Accountability & Monitoring
  4. Communication & Collaboration
  5. Unity & Trust
  6. Continuous Improvement

Trustees did not vote on this item, as it was changed to be discussion only. Trustees chose not to bring this topic back before the board as an action item.

Click here to see the Silver State Governance proposal.

Trustees Discussed Concerns with the Implementation of School Organizational Teams

To ensure they are conducting the appropriate level of oversight and fulfilling their fiduciary responsibilities, Trustees are requesting the following information from schools:

  1. Process for electing SOT members
  2. Number of applicants who applied to serve on the SOT
  3. Number of votes cast by the school community to elect SOT members
  4. Names of SOT members
  5. Number of years served by SOT members
  6. The process for making budget cuts (plus, what cuts were made)
  7. Average class size
  8. Staff to administrator ratio
  9. Student to administrator ratio
  10. Confirm all SOT meeting agendas and minutes are posted online in a central location (including budgets and a master calendar)

In the future, schools are to survey SOT members to learn how to improve the process and experience.

Public Comment: Members of the public expressed concerns about:

  • How parents are being selected to serve on SOT boards
  • Lack of transparency and fidelity in the implementation of the work of the SOTs

Trustees Approved Medium-Term Obligations

This bond money will be used for new and replacement school buses, special education, general education, and new schools. CCSD is proposing up to $35,000,000 to finance all or a portion of the cost of acquiring, improving, and equipping school facilities.

Click here to see the resolution.

Trustees Heard Updates on CCSD Focus 2024 Priorities

Below is a summary of the updates presented to Trustees related to the priorities of the CCSD strategic plan (Focus 2024):

  • Employee Morale: Improve employee morale and engagement, and increase retention rates.
    • Measure 1: Individuals (employees, parents, community members or others) engage in recognizing employees
      • 2018-2019 Target: 2,000 Engagements
      • 2018-2019 Actual: 6,426 Engagements 
      • 2019-2020 Target: 2,000 Engagements
    • Measure 2: Employees are recognized
      • 2018-2019 Target: 1,600 Employees
      • 2018-2019 Actual: 7,171 Employees recognized
      • 2019-2020 Target: 1,600 Employees
    • Trustees discussed focusing on outcomes for a greater sense of whether morale is improving. 
    • Public Comment: A member of the public expressed a need to consider morale among support staff.
    • Click here to see the presentation.
  • Fiscal Transparency: Improve the quality, communication, and understanding of financial information of the district
    • Measure: Increase the percentage of financial survey respondents noting at least a 4 (on a scale of 1-5) on understanding the quality of financial information
      • 2019-2020 Target: 71%
      • 2018-2019 Actual: 66% of respondents noted at least a 4.
    • Click here to see the presentation.

Trustees Heard an Update on Facilities Improvements

The CCSD Chief of Facilities discussed the need to respond to maintenance emergencies and focus on preventative maintenance, rather than being reactive.

A pilot program to address facilities issues is launching– with 11 Building Engineer positions filled.

Other highlighted topics included:

  • Air Handler Coil Cleaning
  • Air Filter Replacement
  • Water Treatment for HVAC systems
  • Mobile maintenance – Paint, carpentry, and plumbing
  • Energy and Sustainability
  • Evaluation of New Construction to reduce school footprints and associated costs
  • Allocation of CIP funds to modernization
  • Third party cost estimates when construction bids exceed budgeted amount

Click here to see the presentation.

Trustees Approved an Employment Contract for New Chief Negotiator and Assistant General Counsel Position

The position will be filled by Luke Puschnig, the former counsel for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

Click here to see the employment contract.

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

Potential Future Agenda Items:

  • Discuss a secure hotline for CCSD staff to report workplace bullying
  • The Executive Director of the State Public Charter School Authority (SPCSA) is attending the next CCSD work session– related to the SPCSA’s plan to manage the growth of public charter schools.
  • Superintendent Jara requested that Trustees review the draft agreement between CCSD and Clark County (the Open Schools Open Doors policy), and to provide feedback during their one-on-one meetings. This item will be on the next board agenda, contingent upon successful negotiations with the County Commission.

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