Nevada Ed-Watch 12/10/20

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.


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 5 pm. While all meetings are typically held at the Edward A. Greer Education Center (Board Room): 2832 E. Flamingo Road, Las Vegas, NV 89121, all meetings are now held virtually due to the COVID-19 crisis. 

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, December 10, 2020

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 submitted comments online. Public comment was not read directly into the record, rather an oral summary of each comment was provided to Trustees.

  • Click here to view public comment on agenda items.
  • Click here to view public comment on non-agenda items.  

Trustees Announced Board Meetings To Air On CCTV

Trustees announced that Clark County will now air CCSD Board of Trustees meetings to improve access and provide greater transparency for the public. 

Click here to read more about this from 8 News Now Las Vegas.

Trustees Approved Consent Agenda 

Highlights: 

Trustees Discussed Availability of Mental Health Services for Students and Staff

The Trustees approved spending of $761,000 to purchase a districtwide data platform and Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) and wellbeing universal assessment for all students and staff. The program would allow for early intervention and tiered supports for students as well as guide staff to services and resources that fit their needs. The funds for this initiative, paid through the Assembly Bill 3 Block Grant and the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER), would support its implementation through December 10, 2021. 

Trustees expressed their support for the program and agreed that mental health services must improve at all levels and at all schools. Some trustees brought up concerns about the sustainability of the program beyond the one-year it is currently committed. Trustees discussed their commitment to continue looking for creative solutions for all students and staff to receive mental health support. More information on the program will be available during the January 2021 meeting. 

Click here to see the proposal.

Trustees Approved Two Namesakes

In October 2020, the School Name Committee (SNC) considered nominations for one new elementary school and one new middle school facility to be named. The SNC recommended Hannah Marie Brown as a school namesake for the Clark County School District based on her contributions to education. The SNC also recommended Barry and June Gunderson citing their positive influence on the District and the Las Vegas community. The Trustees provided their broad support for both Hannah Marie Brown and Barry and June Gunderson to be added as a namesake for the District. 

Click here to see the Hannah Marie Brown school name proposal. 
Click here to see the Barry and June Gunderson school name proposal. 

Trustees Adopted the 2021 Amended Final Budget

In accordance with NRS 354.598005(9), CCSD must file an amended final budget no later than January 1, 2021. The final budget will be submitted to the County Auditor and filed with the Department of Education, the Department of Taxation, and the County Clerk. The Board heard a presentation from Jason Goudie, CCSD’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO), on the modifications from the 2020-2021 final budget. 

While the budget includes predictions for changes in revenues, there are still uncertainties regarding the fiscal impact of COVID-19, enrollment, reduced reserve funds, the outcome of the Senate Bill 551 court case, and plans to remain in distance learning or return to a model with students in school buildings. 

As part of the Education Stabilization Fund in the CARES Act, the District received Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds to address the impact of COVID-19. The District plans to utilize a large portion of the ESSER funds for utilities, personal protective equipment for employees, and technology services.

Due to the impact of Assembly Bill 3, CCSD’s CFO anticipated a shortfall of $93 million in the District’s budget, reducing support for several programs including the New Nevada Education Funding, Read by Grade 3, and Gifted and Talented Education (GATE). However, utilizing available funds from ESSER, additional reserves, and cuts to strategic budget plans, the District was able to restore the three programs. 

The budget reflects an increase in the cost-per-pupil by $68 from 2020, totalling $6,135 per student. Adding special education funds and local/federal funding outside of the District’s Distributive school Account (DSA), the total per pupil revenue is $7,938. This year, the District saw a decrease in student enrollment, which led to a decrease in revenue from the state by around $62 million. 

The budget also includes an unassigned funding balance of 2.25%. This will not serve as a rainy day fund, rather it is intended to drive bond ratings. An ending fund balance of at least 2% is required by district Regulation-3110.

Click here to view the presentation.
Click here to view the amendments.

Trustees Approved Employment Agreement for Vegas PBS

Trustees approved the employment agreement for Mary Mazur as the President and General Manager of Vegas PBS. Trustees thanked the outgoing President and General Manager, Tom Axtell, for his service to the community and his work to support students with disabilities.

Click here to view the employment contract. 

Trustees Approved Memorandum of Agreements With Education Support Employees Association

Trustees voted to approve two memoranda of agreements negotiated between the District and the Education Support Employees Association (ESEA).  The first memorandum extends the term for CCSD employees to donate sick leave for COVID-19 health issues to June 30, 2021. The second memorandum temporarily allows CCSD employees to perform work outside of their general work duties or eliminate any need for a reduction in workforce. This allows for flexibility of work during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Click here to view these agreements.

Trustees Honored Outgoing Board Members

Trustees took time to honor and thank Trustees Deanna Wright, Chris Garvey, and Linda Young for their years of contribution to the students, educators, and families in the district. 


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Nevada Ed-Watch 10/23/20

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.


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, October 22, 2020

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 submitted comments online. Public comment was not read directly into the record, and rather an oral summary of each comment was provided to Trustees.

  • Click here & here to view public comment submitted on agenda items.
  • Click here to view public comment submitted on non-agenda items.

Trustees Approved Consent Agenda 

Highlights:

  • Purchase awards totalling $1.1 million, including $580,000 for medical equipment and furniture for students with disabilities. 
  • Contract with Rethink Ed for a web-based package of supports for students on the Autism Spectrum.

Trustees Discussed Agreement for School Psychologist Contractors

The 5-year agreement with Jackson Therapy Partners, LLC provides for a limited number of school psychologist contractors to be placed in schools when the district is unable to recruit and directly hire individuals to fill school psychologist vacancies. Trustees discussed the need for a long-term strategy to strengthen the school-based mental health professional pipeline and improve working conditions for CCSD school psychologists. This item will come back before the board in November.

Click here to see the reference material

Trustees Approved Scholarship Funds 

The Susan Brager Occupational Education Scholarship provides $1,000 for an eligible CCSD high school senior engaged at least two years of occupational education. The scholarship is administered annually through the Public Education Foundation

Trustees Approved Contract with Applied Analysis

State law authorizes the Board of Trustees to issue general obligation bonds for the construction, design or purchase of new school buildings, remodeling and repairing existing buildings and ground, and acquiring sites for building schools. Trustees approved a contract with Applied Analysis, an economic and policy research analysis firm, to develop a legislative strategy that extends the district’s bonding authority for at least 10 additional years. 

Click here to see the reference materials 
Click here to see the contract

Trustees Provided Input on School Reopening 

Trustees heard a presentation on the COVID-19 positivity rates from Dr. Fermin Leguen, Acting Director of the Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD). Dr. Leguen shared that it is unlikely that metrics originally set to signal the safe reopening of CCSD schools will meet acceptable levels for reopening in the near future. Based on this, along with consideration of the impact of distance education on student learning, mental health, and community stability, Dr. Leguen shared that SNHD would be supportive of CCSD reopening under a hybrid-model with continued implementation of mitigation strategies such as mask-wearing and social distancing. Trustees expressed concerns about the safety of students and staff upon reopening with high positivity rates in the County. There is no current timeline for CCSD schools to reopen in-person.

Trustees also provided considerations for the district’s reopening plan, to be presented to Trustees at the November 12 meeting. Suggestions included: 

  • Prioritize in-person learning for young students, students with highest needs, and those least successful in distance learning 
  • Limit interaction between groups of students and adults 
  • Ensure employees have the option to continue to work from home 
  • Create an audit and monitoring system for ventilation improvements at school sites 
  • Create a comprehensive communication plan that outlines mitigation strategies and prepares the public in advance for the pivot to in-person school
  • Convene mental health professionals and experts within the district to identify social-emotional support strategies

This was not an action item. 

Click here to see the presentation

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


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Nevada Ed-Watch 10/08/2020

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, October 8, 2020

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 submitted comments online. Public comment was not read directly into the record, and rather an oral summary of each comment was provided to Trustees.

  • Click here to view public comment submitted on agenda items.
  • Click here and here to view public comment submitted on non-agenda items.

Trustees Approved Consent Agenda 

Highlights:

  • Amendment of the Interlocal Contract to allow CCSD to bill for the maximum amount of services allowed in the newly expanded School Health Services program
  • Approval of purchase awards totaling nearly $3 million, including $1 million for K-12 reading programs and $350,000 for school ventilation equipment
  • Approval to enter into a professional services agreement for test and balance services in support of an unnamed elementary school
  • Approval of CCSD Regulation and Policy updates outlined at the September 10th Board meeting

Trustees Approved Title IX Resolution 

At the September 10th board meeting, Trustees voted to postpone the vote on the Title IX Resolution over Trustees’ concerns with the implications of the changes. At the request of one of the Trustees, language has been added in the second resolution which now requires the Board of Trustees to approve policy to implement Title IX regulations and includes policies based on sexual orientation and gender identity.  

The resolution does not change any regulations; rather, the resolution states the District’s compliance with federal law and the Board fulfillment of all requirements with the exception of amending or modifying the regulations in due time.

Click here to read the resolution.

Trustees Heard Update on the CCSD’s COVID-19 Response

Health Information: The Board heard a presentation on the COVID-19 response from Dr. Fermin Leguen, Acting Director of the Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD). Dr. Leguen outlined the factors SNHD is tracking with regards to opening schools, based on CDC recommendations and guidance. Along with the COVID-19 positivity rate for CCSD students and staff, factors include the 14-day community infection rate. As of October 1, 2020, the Clark County community transmission rate indicates higher risk of transmission in schools.

Between September 27 to October 1, 172 children in Clark Country between the ages of 0-17 years have been diagnosed with COVID-19. SNHD is considering the implications of this data as it relates to sending children back to school in close contact.

Following Emergency Directive 033, which adjusts the limitation on public gatherings from 50 to 250 people (or 50% of occupancy, whichever is less), SNHD will continue to monitor the behavior of COVID-19 and its potential to impact transmission in schools. At this time, there is no recommendation for schools to reopen.

Task Force Initiative for Educators’ Safety and Screening: CCSD staff will have access to free COVID-19 testing through the Task Force for Educator’s Safety & Screening (TIES) program. CCSD General Council is considering a contract with emocha Health to monitor TIES. Following concerns Trustees expressed at the September 24 board meeting with regard to requiring employees to get tested and the implications on confidentiality, the TIES program will be provided on a voluntary basis for participating staff. Staff would also be required to complete the ongoing CCSD required health checks while they are on campus. Student testing was not discussed.

Mental Health: Trustees heard a presentation on the mental health supports in place by CCSD personnel, mental health data points, the complexities of dealing with mental health through the supports, and the need to be agile to prepare for a scenario where distance education continues for a longer period of time. 

  • CCSD personnel involved in mental health supports:
    • Wraparound Services: CCSD has a total of 254 social workers–100 full-time CCSD staff and 154 contracted social workers through Progressus. The ratio of CCSD social workers is 1 to 1,174 students.
    • Guidance & Counseling: The ratio of counselors is 1 to 400 high school students, 1 to 500 middle school students, and 1 to 640 elementary school students.
    • Psychological Services: There is 1 psychologist to 1,850 students; the national recommendation is 1 to 700. 
    • Health Services: School nurses are part of the teams at school sites involved in suicide ideation and supports.
  • Data Points: Trustees heard data on a number of mental health areas, including: 
    • Specialized Instructional Support Personnel (SISP) referrals increased from 10,667 in August/September 2019 to 15,641 in August/September 2020.
    • CCSD experienced decreases in Department of Family Services (DFS) submissions by staff and community members.
    • Student suicide ideation reports decreased, potentially due to a lack of face-to-face contact with psychologists and counselors that would normally lead to ideation reports.
    • From June 2020 to October 1, 2020, CCSD police made 81 home visits in response to suicide ideations.
    • CCSD safe school professionals, social workers, and mental health professionals conducted 23,825 wellness checks
  • Supports for CCSD staff: CCSD staff engaged with social-emotional professional learning via Canvas in August, which included Trauma 101 professional learning, suicide protocol training, and self-care for educators. Virtual webinars will soon be made available to support CCSD staff on subjects such as coping with anxiety during COVID-19. CCSD staff will continue to have access to the Life Connection Employee Assistance Program, provided through Behavioral Healthcare Options.
  • Student Enrollment & Attendance: 
    • Funded enrollment: As of October 1, enrollment is down 4% (or 12,622 students) from prior year. According to CCSD, the majority of the decline can be attributed to the White/Caucasian student population, which was down 7,222 students (or 9.5%) from prior year. Pre-K through 3rd grade enrollment is down 8,167 students (or 8.5%) from prior year.
    • Withdrawals from the district: Compared to the prior year, private school withdrawals are up over 1,000 and charter school withdrawals are up over 2,000. Homeschool withdrawals are up approximately 2,000 from prior year. 
    • Intent to homeschool: Intents to Homeschool were submitted for 2,122 CCSD students as of September 16.
    • For the week ending September 18, overall attendance was 90.6% as compared to 94.8% during the comparable 4th week of instruction in the prior year.

Lesson Learned: Trustees heard a presentation on lessons learned from current instructional models and telecommuting responsibilities by other school systems and districts.  In a review of 10 representative sample districts, seven are currently operating with full-time distance education, three are currently in transition to a hybrid model, and none currently reporting a full-time face-to-face for the majority of their students.

In a number of districts with plans to transition from full-time distance to hybrid models in January 2021, supervisors will have the discretion to direct staff to return to work locations. Other districts may consider requiring staff to return to work locations to deliver online instruction even though students will not be present. Districts will revisit employee-work expectations prior to transitioning to hybrid models.

Staff Transition to Face-to-Face Instruction Questionnaire: 

Last week, CCSD conducted a survey to find out how CCSD school staff feel about returning to work. Responses were received from approximately 80% of CCSD school staff.

Survey results:

  • 55% said ‘Yes’ when asked if they were planning to return to work locations if the option to telecommute in a hybrid or full-time model remains available.
  • 17% indicated that they would return to work locations only if the District resumes within the full-time face-to-face model.
  • 28% indicated that they did not want to return to work. 

The Board interprets this data as the staff’s desire to continue to telecommute due to concerns around community health data or a number of staff members with young children at home who would not have supervision. CCSD will need the majority of staff to return to work to implement a hybrid or full-time face-to-face model.

Click here to see the presentation.
Click here to see supplemental student enrollment and attendance data.

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


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Nevada Ed-Watch 9/25/20

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.


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, September 24, 2020

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 submitted comments online. Public comment was not read directly into the record, and rather an oral summary of each comment was provided to Trustees.

  • Click here & here to view public comment submitted on agenda items.
  • Click here & here  to view public comment submitted on non-agenda items.

Trustees Approved Consent Agenda 

Highlights: 

Trustees Approved Contract for Professional Learning and Coaching Services 

The contract with the National Center on Education and the Economy Center on System Leadership provides for the purchase of National Institute of School Leadership programming, which provides professional learning and coaching services for schools. Trustees discussed the critical need to ensure that teachers and administrators are representative of the diverse student population, including the need to prioritize educators of color for leadership opportunities. 

Click here to view the contract reference material. 

Trustees Heard Presentation on 2020 SPCSA Charter School Applications 

In accordance with Assembly Bill 462 of the 2019 Legislative Session, the State Public Charter School Authority notified the Clark County School District of charter school applications under consideration in the Clark County geographic footprint. The potential schools reviewed by CCSD staff included Eagle Charter School of Nevada, Las Vegas Montessori Charter School, Pioneer Technology and Arts Academy, Sage Collegiate Academy, and Wallace Stegner Academy. CCSD staff contended that none of the potential schools meet standards for approval. 

Click here to view the presentation. 

Trustees Approved Notice of Intent For Changes to District Zoning Policy 

Changes to Regulation 7111, District Attendance Zoning will come before the board for approval at the meeting on October 22. 

Trustees Approved Employment Agreement 

Trustees approved an employment agreement with Fikisha Miller as Chief Negotiator and Assistant General Counsel for the district. Trustees welcomed Fikisha Miller and expressed that they would like the needs of Trustees to be prioritized by Counsel. 

Click here to view the agreement. 

Trustees Heard Update on the CCSD’s COVID-19 Response

Health Information: The COVID-19 response update included a presentation from Dr. Fermin Leguen, Acting Director of the Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD). Dr. Leguen outlined the factors SNHD is tracking with regards to opening schools, based on CDC recommendations and guidance. Factors include both the COVID-19 positivity rate for CCSD students and staff and the 14-day community infection rate. A memo provided by Superintendent Jara stated that though positivity rates continue to decline, there is still high risk present with regards to reopening school buildings for face to face instruction. Trustees requested ongoing updates of positivity rates and other health-related factors that contribute to the decision to reopen school buildings. At this time, there is no recommendation for schools to reopen. 

COVID-19 Testing: Educators will have access to free COVID-19 testing through the Task Force for Educator’s Safety & Screening (TIES). Trustees discussed concerns about requiring employees to participate in testing and the implications related to confidentiality. CCSD General Counsel is finalizing program details, but does not anticipate that participation in testing will be required. Student testing was not discussed. 

Connectivity & Participation:  According to CCSD, 226,093 devices have been distributed to students and 13,443 families have been connected to the internet via the Family Support Center. With regards to enrollment, CCSD is at 97% of expected enrollment, approximately -9,300 students. 

Student Online Safety & Mental Health: CCSD has launched increased controls on GoGuardian, the IT security program connected to all CCSD distance learning accounts and devices. The program includes content firewalls and the ability for educators to monitor web pages students are accessing while logged in to their CCSD account. Additionally, Beacon, a suicide prevention tool, has been incorporated to GoGuardian to support student mental health. Trustees requested additional detailed information on student and employee mental health be presented at an upcoming board meeting. 

Student Instruction: For the first three weeks of school, between 300,100 and 305,000 students have accessed Canvas, the district’s Learning Management System (LMS). CCSD staff outlined challenges related to Canvas implementation, including information continuity for families  and training for teachers on uploading grades. With regards to special populations, students with disabilities are being provided with assistive technology and learning supports on a case by case basis. English Language Learners (ELLs) are receiving additional support with interactive Google Classrooms, and educators are being provided with coaching and resources to support students learning English. Trustees requested additional information on ELLs and the accommodations being provided to students. 

Assessments: Students in grades 3-10 are participating in the Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) formative assessment from home. CCSD staff encouraged teachers to utilize MAP results as one of multiple data points for tailoring instruction for students. Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) assessments are being conducted for qualifying third graders in person, and Child Find (special education assessments) are occurring in person on an appointment basis. ELL assessments are also being conducted by appointment at school sites — approximately 3,000 students are left to be tested. 

Trustees directed the Superintendent to ensure that the update at the next board meeting includes information on how the central office is being responsive to concerns of employees, students, and parents. Additionally, Trustees would like to review information on other districts’ school building reopenings and to revisit the details of the hybrid plan for the return to school buildings. 

This was not an action item. 

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


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