Nevada Ed-Watch 11/13/20

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 9:00 AM and is set for video conferencing between Las Vegas and Carson City. Click here to see the 2020 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, 2020
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 about the implementation of the reorganization of the Clark County School District and changes that could impact school principal decision making
  • Concerns about adequate revenue to fund education 
  • Concerns about the appropriate use of data from recently administered assessments  

Superintendent’s Report

State Superintendent Ebert report highlights:

  • Legislative Engagement: Department staff recently presented to the Legislative Committee on Education regarding the Teacher Recruitment and Retention Taskforce. Additionally, the Interim Legislative Committee on Education has selected school bus safety inspections as a topic of an upcoming bill draft request for the legislative session. 
  • National Equity Project: Department staff have been working to develop and deliver professional d equity. In collaboration with the National Equity Project, has delivered two trainings to NDE staff. 
  • Teacher Licenses: To help alleviate the negative impact of COVID-19 on licensed teachers, the Department has issued a six-month extension to any licensee with an expiring license. 

Click here to see the full report

Board Approved Consent Agenda

Consent agenda highlights: 

Board Approved Definition of At-Risk for Funding Formula

In follow up to discussions at the August 27 and October 8 Board meetings, an updated definition of the “at-risk” category for the Pupil Centered Funding Formula was approved by the Board. A pupil is “at-risk” if the pupil has an economic or academic disadvantage such that they require additional services and assistance to enable them to graduate with their cohorts. The term includes, without limitation, pupils who are members of economically disadvantaged families, pupils who are at-risk of dropping out of high school, and pupils who do not meet minimum standards of academic proficiency. The term does not include pupils with a disability or pupils who are English Learners. 

Click here to see the presentation

Board Heard Update on Implementation of SB108

Senate Bill 108, passed during the 2017 Legislative Session, required the State Board to create a subcommittee to study the manner to incorporate instruction concerning crimes that frequently involve people under 18 years old into social studies units. The subcommittee convened and provided the following recommendations: 

  • Content should be addressed in age appropriate manner 
  • Content should be delivered as part of an existing lesson
  • Appropriate professional learning should be provided to educators 
  • Existing resources and lessons should be differentiated starting in the primary grades
  • Districts should work with external partners to accomplish the requirements of the bill 

The Department of Education is working to implement the recommendations, first by curating a list of high quality instructional materials to be ready by summer 2021. Additionally, the Department will provide professional development opportunities for educators to learn how to incorporate materials into content areas by winter 2021. 

Click here to see the presentation 

Board Approved Investigation Into AB469 Implementation 

Assembly Bill 469, passed by the Nevada Legislature in 2017, outlines the reorganization of large school districts in Nevada. The intent of AB469 is to provide increased localized decision making at school sites by principals and school organizational teams. Issues with the implementation of this bill were discussed by the Board regarding the placement of licensed and qualified teachers in vacant classrooms, specifically the authority to select staff,  purchasing of equipment, services & supplies available from the District by schools, and school carry forward of year‐end fund balances. 

Board members approved a directive to Department staff to complete an investigation into these issues and the implementation of the bill. The investigation will include any noncompliance with the implementation under the purview of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction as well as areas of ambiguity that can be addressed by the regulatory authority of the State Board of Education. 

Click here to see the presentation

Board Heard Update on MAP Data and Read by Grade 3 Educator Supports 

Representatives of NWEA provided Board members with an update on results from Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) growth assessment testing throughout the state. The MAP assessment was completed by students in various settings, including at home and in-person. NWEA representatives shared that this data should be considered as one point among many. Board members discussed the need to ensure that testing is accurate and variables, such as parental support during at-home testing, are controlled for to ensure that data provided is meaningfully related to student academic growth. 

Click here to see the NWEA MAP presentation

Additionally, the Board heard updates from Department Staff on supports that have been provided to educators regarding the Read by Grade 3 initiative. Department staff have been providing open “office hours” for general Q&A, ongoing updates regarding the impact of COVID-19, professional development sessions and workshops, and technical assistance in the form of memos and implementation guides for educators.

Click here to see the full update.

Board Heard District & School Operations and Education during COVID-19

Superintendents of three school districts and student representatives from across Nevada each provided updates to the Board on the implementation of school reopening.

  • Humboldt County School District (HCSD): 
    • HCSD is engaged in hybrid learning for elementary and middle schools, with the combined school fully in person. All students have the option to continue with distance learning only. 
    • HCSD has implemented social emotional learning supports including restorative practices and positive behavior intervention supports. 
    • HCSD used AB3 funds to implement quality distance learning instruction for all HCSD students. 

Click here to see the Humboldt County presentation

  • Lyon County School District (ECSD):
    • LCSD K-2 students and other specific populations are attending in-person full time. A hybrid model is being used, as well as a full distance learning option. 
    • LCSD has implemented social emotional screeners for students in K-12, in addition to the implementation of social emotional learning curriculum. 
    • LCSD used AB3 funding to purchase chromebooks as well as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) 

Click here to see the Lyon County presentation 

  • White Pine County School District (ECSD):
    • 85% of WPCSD students are engaged in in-person learning. 
    • WPCSD is focused on social emotional learning, including a two-day professional development workshop for all staff. 
    • WPCSD is anticipating another 200 devices and 20 hotspots for students. 

Click here to see the White Pine County presentation

  • Students from across the state provided the Board with information about how distance learning has impacted them and their peers. Students outlined issues with keeping up with school work amidst family responsibilities, concerns about their own and their peers’ mental health, issues with motivation, and the need for social interaction with peers. 

Board Heard Updates to Regulations

R135-20, Crisis, Emergency, and Suicide Response Plans (Approved)

This regulation requires that the Department research best practices and develop a framework for schools and districts to appropriately respond to crises, emergencies, and suicide. The updates to this regulation were approved.

Click here to see R135-20.

Regulation R064-20, Social and Environmental Factors (Not Approved)

This regulation requires that districts and charter schools assess the social and environmental factors that impact students’ educational experience, such as access to food, as well as plans to mitigate those factors. The Board discussed the need to ensure that requirements for schools do need exceed their current capacity without additional funds to supplement the completion. The Board directed staff to revise the regulation to remove cost-bearing requirements that are not attached to additional funds.

Click here to see R064-20.

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