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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.
Monday, August 29, 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:
- Support for Rooted School – Clark County and Southern Nevada Trades High School
SPCSA Executive Director’s Report
Highlights from the report include:
- Initiatives Related to Serving All Students Equitably: School plans are due to SPCSA staff by September 30. Staff will then provide feedback and prepare for those plans to be implemented for the 2023-2024 school year. An update on plans submitted will be provided at the October board meeting.
- Legislative Session & Interim Committees: There is a meeting of the Interim Legislative Committee on August 30 for its biannual work session. It will consider recommendations and proposals in advance of the 2023 Legislative Session. Explore the Interim Committee’s recommendations.
- State Infrastructure Bank: The State Infrastructure Bank has a dedicated $15 million revolving loan account for charter school capital needs, which can include financing or refinancing outstanding debts, development, construction, etc. of charter school facilities (both new and existing). Information on this program has been sent to schools, and the Authority will likely treat these requests similar to bonding requests, in terms of board approvals. Review the State Infrastructure Bank’s application.
- Growth Management Plan: The Authority has shifted the timeline to coincide with new school applications and will be sending a survey to schools in coming weeks on five-year expansion plans.
- Federal Emergency Grant Funding: ESSER I funding closes at the end of September, and the Authority is working to ensure schools have expended these funds. They are gaining approvals for the final third of the ESSER funds. Explore the emergency funding allocations as of August 2022.
- New Schools and Campuses that Opened in August 2022: Eight new schools/campuses have successfully their opened doors for the 2022-2023 school year. Facilities, permitting, and enrollment challenges were noted. Explore the briefing memo.
- 2021-2022 School Year Academic Performance Data: The State received a waiver from the federal government and star ratings for schools will not be calculated for the 2021-2022 school year, similar to the 2020-2021 school year. Instead, index scores will be used.
- 2023 Proposed Board Meeting Dates: Explore the proposed 2023 meeting dates.
Board Received an Update on Mater Academy’s Programs That Serve Students with Individualized Educational Plans (IEPs)
Mater Academy’s Bonanza campus opened during the pandemic and saw a tremendous need for specialized programs and supports for students. There are three specialized programs, one at each campus. Positive behavior supports and differentiated instruction are provided to students, as well as after-school tutoring that helps students work towards mastery of their IEP goals, improves performance on standardized assessments, and increases grade-level content mastery, improves behavior, and increases motivation. Students can also participate in extracurricular activities and clubs, which helps build peer connections and increase self-confidence.
Explore the presentation.
Board Approved Recommended Updates and Changes to the Site Evaluation Process for the 2021-2022 School Year
Staff reviewed updates and four proposed changes to site evaluation processes. Changes include strengthening the differentiating process, including better defining the evaluation and purpose, and implementing procedures before, during, and after both types of evaluation; conducting an optional follow-up site evaluation debrief with school leadership 3-7 days after the evaluation; providing a site evaluation feedback survey after the evaluation; and updating the Organizational Performance Chart in the site evaluation report.
Board Received an Update on the Closure of Argent Preparatory Academy
Argent Prep had been placed into receivership and closed at the end of the 2017-2018 school year. This was the final report from the receiver, as the court recently granted the motion to terminate the receivership.
Board Approved School Contract Amendment Applications
The Board approved PilotED – Cactus Park Elementary School’s request to provide temporary transportation for students from its permanent facility, located at 3115 Las Vegas Blvd., to its temporary facility at 1780 Betty Ln.
Board Reviewed Charter School Applications
SPCSA staff provided the Board with their recommendations relating to the following charter school applications from the 2022 application cycle, and the Board took the following actions:
Southern Nevada Trades High School (SNTHS): This school aims to promote excellence in academic and career and technical education, preparing students for post-secondary education and careers in construction-related professions. It would serve grades 9-12, with a proposed opening in August 2023.
The board voted to approve SNTHS’ application with certain conditions, including providing a detailed plan for hiring the principal by September 30 and providing evidence that the principal has been hired by March 1, 2023; providing a fully executed agreement with ACE Charter School regarding ongoing services and supports to be provided by ACE Charter School by November 30; and providing a revised budget that includes an ELL/TESOL Teacher during the first year of operation by November 30.
Rooted School – Clark County: This school aims to rapidly reduce America’s wealth gap by connecting underserved and talented teenagers with career and financial pathways. It would serve grades 9-12, with a proposed opening in August 2023.
The board voted not to approve Rooted School’s application as submitted, based on the recommendation of the review committee. The school was encouraged to review feedback, meet with staff, and resubmit its application within 30 days to address the identified issues and discrepancies. If the application is resubmitted, the Board may take up the approval of the resubmission at its November meeting.
Mind Your Books Charter School: This school aims to improve academic achievement of at-risk students, encourage the use of effective and innovative teaching methods, and provide an accurate measurement of educational achievement by pioneering a wrap-around model of high-quality educational best practices and developing social-emotional wellness strategies. It would serve grades K-8, with a proposed opening in August 2023.
The board voted not to approve Mind Your Books Charter School’s application as submitted, based on the recommendation of the review committee.
Additional resources on these schools, including achievement data, budget workbooks, and public input, can be found here.
Long-Range Calendar (next 3 months):
Agenda items over the next three SPCSA board meetings are anticipated to include:
- Academic Performance Framework
- Review of state assessment and school performance data
- Resubmitted new charter school applications
The next Meeting of the SPCSA Board is scheduled for Friday, October 7, 2022 @ 9:00 a.m.