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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Nevada Ed-Watch 2/14/19

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, February 14, 2019

Clark County School District Board of Trustees Meeting

Click here to see the meeting agenda

What happened at this meeting?

Trustees Unanimously Approve the Consent Agenda

Consent Agenda Highlights:

  • Contract approval to demolish old Bishop Gorman campus on Maryland Parkway to allow for building of new facility for Global Community High School.
  • MOU between CCSD and Jewish Family Services Agency to implement a Foster Grandparent Program.
  • Approval of a $1.2 million settlement to three families. No further details are provided. Click here to read about this in the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Trustees Adopt Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) Assessment for Grades K-8 to be Administered Three (3) Times Per Year

Trustees voted to approve a contract to administer the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) assessment for all students in Kindergarten through 8th Grade three times per year.

Teachers will receive professional development and training in test administration, data analysis, communicating with students about their progress.  

The MAP assessment will takes 1-2% of instructional time to implement (98% of instructional minutes are not spent on testing).

Trustees noted in the discussion that this assessment data will follow kids if they move schools, and expressed support following conversations with teachers and principals.

Policy Language Updates

Trustees accepted $1,000 for the Board’s annual Susan Brager Occupational Education Scholarship.

Minor updates were made to two policies (click to see the updated policy language):

Trustees vote 6-1 to approve an MOU with Clark County to Discuss the Shared Use of Outdoor Spaces on School Properties for Events

The MOU will allow CCSD to engage in discussion with the County to implement a small pilot program of 5 schools to test sharing outdoor spaces on school property for use by the County. CCSD acknowledges that use of these spaces must be unique to each school in order to address safety and other concerns, rather than implementing uniform rules for all school involved. Some schools already have facilities use agreements with the community, and the superintendent stated that this would be a formalization of that process.

The district has set aside $35,000 to support the pilot program. Funds are set aside to cover any potential damages, and to provide stipends to schools for employees to conduct paid duties such as lock/unlock gates and/or supervise activities.

There were a number of concerns addressed by Trustees, based on conversations with principals and other staff. Those concerns included:

  • Supervision
  • Scheduling
  • Liability
  • Damage
  • Trash
  • Maintenance/upkeep of land
  • Safety

Supt. Jara assured Trustees that each of these issues will be addressed on a school by school basis.

Five (5) Trustees voted to move forward under the conditions that principals are heavily involved in the process, and that Trustees remain informed about discussions and progress.

Public Comment:

  • Member of the public hopes that West Las Vegas will be included, stating that there are few fields and parks to access in the neighborhood.
  • Principal requested that the MOU not be signed in order to allow for more time to gather input from principals.

Click here to see the MOU.

Trustee Reports

Trustees voted unanimously on staff recommendations to reconstitute, including receivership, due to chronic low performance at two charter schools authorized by CCSD: 100 Academy of Excellence (Elementary School and Middle School) and The Delta Academy (Middle School and High School).

  • The Florence McClure women’s prison program has started. Click here to see a summary of the November 8th, 2018 Trustees meeting, when they heard a presentation about the program.
  • Harvard Doctoral Students in the Educational Leadership program students are studying magnet school diversity, improving recruitment and retention of students to magnet schools, the district reorganization, and Social Emotional Learning. They will provide Trustees with a report including the best research on these topics.
  • Strategic reallocation of Title I funding: Superintendent Jara provided an overview of the strategic decision to shift the Title I funding eligibility from 40% to 60% FRL. The superintendent stated that the historical 40% allocation diluted resources and limited opportunities to intensify resources where they are needed most. States across the country place the requirement at 75%. Trustee concerns were raised about changing the requirement, but the discussion was tabled because it was not an agenda item.
  • New regional superintendents introduced themselves. Click here to read about this in the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Public Comment:

Members of the public provided testimony to Trustees regarding:

  • Member of support staff thanked CCSD employees who helped resolve a previously raised concern, and Superintendent Jara for hearing from support staff and working on solutions to issues that impact them.
  • Parent expressed concerns about a child’s exposure to mace at school, resulting in an ER visit and $10,000 in medical bills. The parent alleged that the police report was falsified.
  • Concern about employees affected by the adjustment to Title I funding eligibility– from serving student populations of 40% poverty to 60% poverty.
  • Community member expressed the need for more African American representation on  committees that the Board of Trustees are appointed to.
  • Educator expressed support of increased per-pupil funding, hopes to see Trustees advocate for it at the legislature.
  • Concerns about the lack of diversity among the CCSD leadership team.
  • Educator requests Trustees lobby for changes to the Nevada star rating system to alter how school performance is measured.

Potential Future Items:

  • Discuss alignment between new regional superintendents and the district reorganization.

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