Nevada Ed-Watch: 11/18/22

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 publiccomment@spcsa.nv.gov, 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.

Click here for a list of all SPCSA Members.
Click here for a list of all SPCSA sponsored schools.


Friday, November 18, 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:

  • Concerns regarding Coral Academy
  • Adding a school for SPCSA additional oversight

SPCSA Executive Director’s Report

Highlights from the report include:

  • Initiatives Related to Serving All Students Equitably: Fourteen SPCSA-sponsored schools were required to submit recruitment and enrollment plans containing specific strategies aimed at serving students equitably, with a focus on students who qualify for free or reduced lunch. All applicable schools have submitted plans, which are summarized in a memo here.
  • Legislative Session: Interim Committees & Planning: There are two main priorities in this section: working with the Governor’s office on the agency’s budget, and monitoring bill draft requests ahead of the legislative session, which begins in February.
  • Pre-Opening Process for Schools Opening in 2023: The board was provided with an overview of this process today. A checklist and memo will be provided to each applicable school, and more deliberate deadlines have been added. Explore the memo and checklist.

Board Approved School Contract Amendment Applications

The Board approved Somerset Academy of Las Vegas’ articulation agreement granting 8th grade students enrolled at the school’s middle school campus on Stephanie St. to enroll at Pinecrest Academy’s Cadence high school campus.

Explore the request and the recommendation memo.

The Board approved Pinecrest Academy of Nevada’s articulation agreement granting 8th grade students from Somerset Academy’s middle school campus to enroll at its Cadence high school campus. The Board also approved a modified lottery policy creating an enrollment preference for these students.

Explore the request and the recommendation memo.

The Board approved Mater Academy’s request to provide bus transportation of students to and from its campus for extracurricular activities.

Explore the request and the recommendation memo.

Board Reviewed 2021-2022 NSPF Results from the 2021-2022 School Year and Approved the Academic Performance Review and Recommendations

SPCSA staff provided an overview of how charter school performed on the Nevada School Performance Framework (NSPF) from the 2021-2022 school year. Almost 80% of SPCSA schools received a score of 50 or higher (3-star NSPF rating), outperforming the state. Proficiency rates increased for elementary and middle schools, but decreased for high school students.

Staff also provided an overview of the SPCSA Academic Performance Framework Ratings and how SPCSA schools are reviewed. Schools are reviewed on four indicators (NSPF index score, geographical comparison, enrollment diversity, and school progress), with metrics under each indicator. From there, a points system determines a rating of exceeds standard meets standard, does not meet standard, or below standard. On the SPCSAS Academic Performance Framework, 83% of SPCSA schools received a Met or Exceeds Standard rating.

Eight schools were approved to have prior notices for academic performance removed, and 13 schools were approved for additional oversight and monitoring for the 2022-2023 school year.

Explore the presentation and academic results appendix.

Board Received a New Schools Update

Board members received an update on Eagle Charter School, which was approved in January 2021 and is scheduled to open for the 2023-2024 school year. A facility has been identified at 2025 E. Sahara Ave., and construction and other key partners for facility development have been identified. A COO has been hired, and the school has final interviews for a principal scheduled in early December. Community engagement for recruitment is also underway, with an open enrollment scheduled from December 1 – February 1, and priorities of 1:1 and bilingual outreach, and frequent follow-ups to interested families.

Explore the presentation.

Board Conditionally Approved Rooted School’s Application

Rooted School – Clark County resubmitted its application for consideration, with a proposed opening of August 2023. This school’s mission is to rapidly reduce America’s wealth gap by connecting underserved and talented teenagers with career and financial pathways.

The Board approved Rooted School’s application with conditions and deadlines, including providing revised lottery policies, providing a fully executed lease for a facility, hiring a principal, and ensuring career and technical education courses comply with NDE requirements.

Explore the recommendation memo and resubmitted application.

Board Approved the Charter Application and Rubric for 2023 Applications

Staff provided a review of the SPCSA’s authority and requirements for application review and approval, and presented several proposed changes to the application and rubric, after feedback from the board, past applicants, community partners, and a working group.

Major revisions include reformatting the application, revamping the training approach and providing additional trainings, publishing the timeline, clarifying submission expectations, incorporating constituent feedback, adding language to prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion, and reorganizing sections of the application.

Explore the presentation, new application template, and proposed evaluation rubric.

Board Approved the 2023 Academic and Demographic Needs Assessment

Staff presented the updated 2023 Academic and Demographic Needs Assessment. Updates include the temporary use of index scores in place of star ratings, academic needs based on geographies with a 1- and 2-star rating, and a detailed breakdown of 1- and 2-star schools by school district.

Explore the assessment, needs map, and needs assessment data.

Board Received an Update on 2022-2023 School Year Demographics

Staff presented the 2022-2023 enrollment data. SPCSA is the third largest Local Education Agency in Nevada (behind Clark County and Washoe County School Districts), with 59,670 students for the 2022-2023 school year. This represents a 7.6% increase over 2021-22 enrollment numbers. Over 40% of SPCSA students are enrolled at Title I schools. Enrollment rates have increased for students identifying as Asian, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, or Two or More Races, as well as economically disadvantaged students and students with disabilities. Further metrics on different student groups within Clark County, Washoe County, and statewide were also presented.

Explore the presentation and student enrollment attachment.

Board Received an Overview of the SPCSA’s Organizational Performance Framework

Staff presented an overview of the SPCSA’s Organizational Performance Framework. The performance framework measures the success, financial viability, and effectiveness of the school/organization. Principles of the Organizational Performance Framework include defining organizational benchmarks, treating schools the same, enabling school flexibility and autonomy, protecting public interest, and ensuring schools respect the rights of students, staff, families, and public.

Explore the presentation.

Long-Range Calendar (next 3 months):

Agenda items over the next three SPCSA board meetings are anticipated to include:

  • Graduation data
  • Organizational performance framework results
  • State of the SPCSA
  • New schools update

Explore the calendar.

Public Comment #2

Public comment was heard on:

  • Concerns regarding Nevada State High School
  • Potential additional student enrollment at Discovery Charter School

The next Meeting of the SPCSA Board is scheduled for Friday, December 16, 2022 @ 9:00 a.m. 

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Nevada Ed-Watch 10/10/19

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, October 10, 2019
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 that AB462 does not limit the growth of public charter schools in Nevada
  • Commending public schools that were recognized in Opportunity 180’s 2018-19 Top Schools Report 
  • Congratulating the 2020 Nevada Teacher of the Year, Gail Hudson 

Board Approved the Consent Agenda

Consent Agenda Highlights:

President’s Report

The President’s Report included:

  • Welcoming Kevin Melcher to the State Board of Education. Kevin Melcher is filling the remainder of David Carter’s term, who resigned this summer. 
  • Commending Advanced Technologies Academy High School, Frias Elementary, and Hunter Lake Elementary for being recognized as National Blue Ribbon schools.
  • Expressing gratitude to everyone involved in an education stakeholder meeting with Bobby Scott, Chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Workforce. 

Superintendent’s Report

Superintendent Ebert provided the following updates:

  • Appreciation for the superintendents of each county school district as Superintendent Ebert continues a state-wide listening tour. 
  • Superintendent Ebert and Scott Stump, Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education Commission on School Funding, visited East Career and Technical Academy and Morris East High School.
  • The Nevada Department of Education is seeking input on the State Plan to Strengthen Career and Technical Education (CTE) for the 21st Century Act (also known as Perkins V). Members of the community can submit public comment from October 1- November 1, 2019 on the draft State Plan. The deadline was extended to December 1, 2019– specifically for public comments on the state-determined levels of performance. A draft plan will be presented to the state board during the November meeting, and will be brought back for approval during the December meeting. 
  • Regulation workshops and public hearings are being conducted to implement bills that were passed during the 2019 legislative session regarding Safe and Respectful Learning Environments. 
  • The Commission on School Funding held its first meeting, elected a vice-chair (Guy Hobbs), and developed two (2) workgroups– which will meet on October 10, 2019 at 8:30 AM. Members of the Commission will present updates to the board during the November meeting.

Board Honored Nevada Teacher of the Year and Finalists 

The purpose of the Nevada Teacher of the Year process is to celebrate excellence and strengthen the teaching force. This year, 28 educators were nominated, 11 completed applications, and 5 were sent to the superintendent for final selection. 

2020 Finalists: 

  • Jeanine Roser
  • Kathy Durham 
  • Patricia Martin
  • Nicolas Jacques

2020 Nevada Teacher of the Year: Gail Hudson 

Click here to see the presentation.

The Board Heard an Overview of MAP Assessment Data

The NWEA MAP assessment is administered in kindergarten through 2nd grade. It is a computerized, adaptive assessment that measures how quickly students are growing in English Language Arts and Math. 

Below is a summary of state-wide average NWEA MAP results for the 2018-19 school year.

  • Kindergarten 
    • At or below the 40th percentile: 41.3%
    • Above the 40th percentile: 58.7%
  • First Grade
    • At or below the 40th percentile: 41.8%
    • Above the 40th percentile: 58.2%
  • Second Grade
    • At or below the 40th percentile: 40.7%
    • Above the 40th percentile: 59.3%

It was also noted that the Read by Grade 3 program provides resources, such as professional learning workshops, opportunities for peer-to-peer networking.

Click here to see the presentation. 

Board Heard a Presentation on Statewide Assessment Results 

The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) is administered in 3rd through 8th grade. The SBAC measures whether students are performing on grade level (or proficient) in English Language Arts (ELA) and Math.

Below is a summary of state-wide average SBAC results for the 2018-19 school year.

  • English Language Arts
    • Elementary Schools: 49.25%
    • Middle Schools: 47.62% 
  • Math
    • Elementary Schools: 42.6%
    • Middle Schools: 32.1% 

The Nevada Science Exam is administered in 5th, 8th, and 10th grade. The exam measures whether students are performing on grade level in science. Below is a summary of state-wide average Science Exam results for the 2018-19 school year.

  • 5th Grade: 24.6% proficient
  • 8th Grade: 36.8% proficient
  • 10th Grade: 26.8% proficient

The ACT is administered in 11th grade to assess high school student proficiency based on cut scores established by the Nevada Department of Education. Below is a summary of state-wide average ACT results from the 2018-19 school year. 

  • English: 46.7% proficient
  • Math: 25.5% proficient

The WIDA is an annual assessment for K-12 students who are English Language Learners. In the 2018-19 school year, 11.7% of these students were proficient. 

Click here to see the presentation, which includes disaggregated data by student subgroups.

Board Heard an Overview of the Comprehensive Support Intervention (CSI) and Targeted Support Intervention (TSI) Processes

This is the third of a three-part presentation series on school improvement.

Summary of the Comprehensive Support Intervention (CSI) process:

  • During the year that a school is designated as CSI, schools create a School Performance Plan in partnership with stakeholders (principals, teachers, parents, and other school leaders).
  • CSI School Performance Plans must be reviewed and approved by the school’s district first, then by the Nevada Department of Education. School Performance Plans must include:
    • Goals for student performance against long-term goals determined by the state
    • Evidence-based interventions
    • A school-level needs assessment
    • Resource inequities, which may include a review of district- and school-level budgets
  • The 3-year period following a school’s designation as CSI is spent implementing its plan. At the end of the 3-year period, the school will be evaluated for exit from CSI designation.

Summary of the Targeted Support Intervention (TSI) process:

  • During the year that a school is designated as TSI, schools create a School Performance Plan in partnership with stakeholders (principals, teachers, parents, and other school leaders). 
  • TSI School Performance Plans must be reviewed and approved by the school’s district or Local Education Agency (LEA). Plans must include:
    • A description of how the district or school will improve student outcomes for each group of students that prompted TSI status
    • Indicators for student performance against long-term goals
    • Evidence-based interventions
    • A continuous improvement plan to ensure the success of interventions
  • The 3-year period following a school’s designation as TSI is spent implementing its plan. At the end of the 3-year period, the school will be evaluated for exit from TSI designation. 

Click here to see the presentation.

Click here to see the Nevada Ed-watch summary of the July 17th meeting, when the first part of this discussion took place (an overview of the state’s accountability system and school designations)

Click here to see the Nevada Ed-watch summary of the August 29th meeting, when the second part of this discussion took place (an overview of the criteria for CSI and TSI designation).

Board Heard an Update on the SPCSA Academic Needs Assessment and Growth Management Plan 

In compliance with Assembly Bill 462 (AB462), the SPCSA completed an Academic and Demographic Needs Assessment to identify geographic areas of the state that are most in need of high quality school options. 

Following the approval of the Academic and Demographic Needs Assessment, the SPCSA is developing a plan to manage the growth of charter schools. The plan must include new charter schools as well as additional campuses, grade level expansion or other increased enrollment, and any likely charter renewals that the Authority will approve. 

The SPCSA must submit an initial Growth Management Plan by January 1, 2020.

Click here to see the presentation.

Click here to see a press release about the Academic and Demographic Needs Assessment. 

Board Approved the Business Process for Teacher Incentive Programs

According to Senate Bill 555 (SB555), districts may apply to receive funding for incentivizing teachers to teach in Title 1 schools. The State Board of Education will distribute funds to districts based on the number of teachers that incentives are being provided to. The board adopted the following business process to address this:

  1. The Nevada Department of Education will release a teacher incentive application available to districts on or before August 31.
  2. School districts will be able to apply for teacher incentive funds on or before October 31, 2019.
  3. Upon receiving district applications, the Department will calculate the distribution of funds available and makes a recommendation of awards
  4. The State Board of Education will approve recommendations
  5. The Department will issue formal award letters
  6. The Department will reserve the right to make technical adjustments 

Click here to see the presentation.


Potential Future Agenda Items:

  • Chronic Absenteeism Data
  • Updates on the Perkins V State Plan 
  • Updates on the Early Learning Development Grant  
  • Board Member Training 
  • Census 2020 Complete Count and its impact on the education system

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Nevada Ed-Watch 7/26/19

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.


State Public Charter School Authority (SPCSA)

What is the SPCSA & what are they responsible for? The SPCSA sponsors and oversees public charter schools across the State of Nevada. The Authority consists of nine 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? SPCSA members meet once monthly– on Fridays.

Click here for SPCSA meeting schedule and materials.

Can community members engage at SPCSA Board Meetings? All meetings are held publicly at the Nevada Department of Education building in Carson City and the Nevada Department of Education building in Las Vegas (2nd floor boardroom). Members of the public are invited to attend at either location. 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 SPCSA Members.

Click here for a list of all SPCSA sponsored schools.


Friday, July 26, 2019
State Public Charter School Authority Board Meeting

Click here to see the meeting agenda

What happened at this meeting?

Public Comment
Members of the public shared their appreciation for the leadership of outgoing SPCSA chair, Jason Guinasso. Sami Randolph was also welcomed as the new Governor’s Appointee on the board.

The Board Discussed the Transition of New and Outgoing Board Members

The board discussed the following updates to the board make-up:

  • 3 current members are not seeking reappointment
  • 3 other current members will continue serving on the board
  • Sami Randolph is a new member appointed by the Governor
  • Additional board members must be appointed by the Speaker, the Majority Leader, and the State Board of Education (as mandated by AB78)

The State Board of Education is accepting SPCSA board member applications until August 13th at 5pm. Click here to see the application.

The Board voted to have the current Vice Chair of the board, Melissa Mackedon, play an interim Board Chair role until a new Chair and Vice Chair are selected. Board roles will be determined during the October board meeting following the transition of all 9 appointed board members.

The Board Approved the Academic & Demographic Needs Assessment

The SPCSA Board approved the Academic and Demographic Needs Assessment, an evaluation of student demographic information, the academic needs of students, and the needs of students who are at risk of dropping out. 

Click here to see the presentation.

Click here to see the report.

Charter applicants are required to meet at least one of the following academic, geographic or demographic needs:

  1. Serve and ensure the academic success (performance at or above grade level) of the following student populations:
    • Students who have Individualized Education Programs (IEPs)
    • English Language Learners (ELL)
    • Students receiving Free or Reduced Price Lunch (FRL)
  2. Launch in neighborhoods with high concentrations of low-performing (1- and 2-star) schools in the following Clark County zip codes:
    • 89110
    • 89115
    • 89107
    • Click here to see a complete list of target zip codes across Nevada
  3. Have plans to prevent drop-outs for the following students who have been designated as at risk of dropping out of school:
    • Students who have Individualized Education Programs (IEPs)
    • English Language Learners (ELL)
    • Students receiving Free or Reduced Price Lunch (FRL)

The Academic and Demographic Needs Assessment will be updated annually.

The Board Approved Charter Contract Amendment Applications

 The Board approved the following requests for charter contract amendments:

  • Request for Imagine Schools at Mountain View to terminate its transportation services
  • Request for Nevada State High School to relocate its Henderson Campus and open new administrative offices

The Board Heard from Schools Formerly Authorized by the Achievement School District (NV ASD)

The board heard from the following schools that were formerly authorized by the Nevada Achievement School District:

  • Democracy Prep at the Agassi Campus
  • Futuro Academy
  • Nevada Prep
  • Nevada Rise

Each of the schools reported a smooth transition from the NV ASD to the SPCSA, with minimal impact on the families they serve.

Click here to see profiles of each school listed above.


The Board Approved the Charter Contract for Explore Academy

The Board approved a contract with Explore Academy for launch in school year 2020-2021. 

 The following conditions must be met prior to launch:

  • Explore’s founding high school campus in New Mexico (currently “A” rated) must maintain a “C” or better rating on their state’s accountability rating system.
  • The school must launch in 89030, 89031, or 89032. If the school intends to locate outside of these zip codes, a contract amendment must be requested for approval.
  • The school must complete all standard pre-opening requirements.

The Board Terminated the Discovery Charter School Receivership + Approved Reconstitution of its Governing Body 

Discovery Charter School must continue providing quarterly updates and holding regular check-ins with the SPCSA through the end of the 2020 school year.

The school has a new leader in place, plus a newly appointed board that has been vetted by the SPCSA staff.

The Board Heard an Update on Argent Prep’s Receivership

Argent Preparatory Academy provided updates to the Board, which included:

  • Acceptance of a $2.4 million offer on the final asset, a parcel of land.
  • Within 30 days of the sale, exited staff will be paid severance in full (about $90,000 total). Receiver fees and other remaining school debts will also be paid. Remaining funds will go back to the state.

The Board Heard Updates on Nevada Connections Academy

Nevada Connections Academy presented their high school operations metrics for quarter four.

Highlights:

  • The 2019 anticipated high school graduation rate is 67%-69%
  • 95% of students were tested, which meets state participation requirements 
  • The charter is up for renewal in the fall, which will be evaluated based on school year 2018-19 academic data (Nevada School Performance Framework results)

The Board Heard Updates on Nevada Virtual Academy (NVA)

The Board heard a quarterly update on the progress towards closure of Nevada Virtual Academy’s elementary school.

Highlights:

  • NVA filed a complaint with the court challenging the conditions that the Authority Board approved in 2018, when NVA’s charter application was approved.
  • NVA filed an injunction to operate under a court order without a charter contract.
  • A preliminary injunction hearing is scheduled for August 2, 2019. 

The Board Heard a Presentation About 2018-19 School Site Evaluations

Based on trends from site visits completed throughout the 2018-19 school year, the SPCSA team recommended the following opportunities to improve the site evaluation process: 

  • Prepare “campus maps” for evaluators
  • Allow more time for staff to review documents
  • Identify areas of redundancy for schools that have multiple campuses
  • Offer training on the classroom observation rubric
  • Hold office hours for school leaders and stakeholders to ask questions

Click here to download the presentation.

The Board Heard Updates from the Executive Director

The Board heard the following updates from the SPCSA Executive Director: 

  • SPCSA Board Members
    • The first board meeting with new members will be August 30, 2019.
  • Sponsorship Fees
    • The SPCSA changed its sponsorship fee to 1.25% as of August 1st (decreased by .25%).
  • New charter School Contract Applications
    • 9 applications were received 
    • Staff is working with external experts to review the applications, which will be presented to the board in November or December.
  • Charter School Contract Renewal Applications
    • 7 schools are up for renewal this fall 
    • Applications for renewal will be open October 1st through October 15th.
  • School Visits
    • SPCSA staff is developing a strategic plan for school visits this year.
  • General School Support
    • The SPCSA team is attending the Special Education Directors Meeting.

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Nevada Ed Watch 6/28/19

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.


State Public Charter School Authority (SPCSA)

What is the SPCSA & what are they responsible for? The SPCSA sponsors and oversees public charter schools across the State of Nevada. 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? SPCSA members meet once monthly (three times in June)– on Fridays.

Click here for SPCSA meeting schedule and materials.

Can community members engage at SPCSA Board Meetings? All meetings are 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). Members of the public are invited to attend at either location. 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 SPCSA Members.

Click here for a list of all SPCSA sponsored schools.


Friday, June 28, 2019
State Public Charter School Authority Board Meeting

Click here to see the meeting agenda

What happened at this meeting?

Public Comment
Members of the public provided testimony to Board members regarding:

  • Concerns about severance pay not received by staff following the closure of Argent Preparatory Academy. 
  • A representative from the City of Henderson shared input to suggest including overcrowding as part of the needs assessment within the SPCSA growth management plan.

The Board Approved Charter Contract Amendment Applications

The Board approved the following requests for charter contract amendments:

  • Request for facility consolidation of two Quest Academy campuses– the Alexander campus and the Northwest campus (for a combined enrollment of 600 students)
  • Request for enrollment to include only students 16 years and older at Beacon Academy
  • (Conditional Approval): Request by Leadership Academy of Nevada to operate independently from their contracted Educational Management Organization (EMO). This was approved on the condition that the curriculum is approved by the Department of Education. 

The Board Heard an Update on Discovery Charter School’s Receivership

Discovery Charter’s receiver shared a quarterly update with the Board, including the following highlights:

  • A list of proposed Board Members
  • There are two leaders covering administrative duties until the Board vets and approves a new school leader.

The Board Heard an Update on Argent Prep’s Receivership

Argent Preparatory Academy’s receiver shared updates to the Board, which included continued challenges with selling one of the school’s facilities. Once the facility is sold, funds will become available to pay severance to exited staff.

The Board Heard an Updates on Nevada Virtual Academy (NVA)

The Board heard a quarterly update on the progress towards closure of Nevada Virtual Academy’s elementary school– scheduled by the end of the 2018-2019 school year. Updates included:

  • NVA filed a complaint challenging the conditions that the Authority Board approved in 2018, when NVA’s charter application was approved.
  • NVA filed an injunction to operate under a court order without a charter contract. They are pending court hearing.
  • NVA approved litigation against the SPCSA.
  • SPCSA is hopeful that contract is executed by June 30th, despite court injunction.

The Board Approved the Academic and Organizational Performance Frameworks 

Academic Performance Framework

SPCSA staff proposed an Academic Performance Framework to take effect July 1, 2019. The SPCSA framework aligns with the Nevada School Performance Framework (NSPF), and will inform high stakes decisions and possible interventions. The framework includes four key indicators to determine a school’s performance:

  • NSPF Star Rating – 60 points
  • Geographical Comparison – 25 points
  • Diversity – 15 points
  • School Progress – no point value

Click here to download the presentation.

Organizational Performance Framework

SPCSA staff provided information to the Board about the Organizational Performance Framework to take effect July 1, 2019. The framework assesses whether an educational organization is effectively operated. Staff held listening sessions and working groups to collaboratively develop the framework. They also plan to host staff orientation sessions to walk through its implementation.

Click here to see the ratings scorecard. 

Click here to see the technical guide.

Click here to see the presentation.

The Board Heard Updates on the Academic and Demographic Needs Assessment 

Staff provided a preview of the Academic and Demographic Needs Assessment. In compliance with AB462 (requiring the SPCSA to establish a plan to manage the growth of charter schools)– by July 30th, the SPCSA must prepare an evaluation of student demographic information, the academic needs of students, and the needs of students who are at risk of dropping out. It was noted that needs may change over time with a constantly evolving public school landscape. This evaluation will inform authorizing decisions and be updated annually. 

The Board discussed the public input process and the requirement to seek input from local school districts. 

Click here to see the presentation.

The Board Heard Updates on the Growth Management Plan

The SPCSA is required to establish a plan to manage the growth of charter schools (including new schools, expansions, grade level expansions, and charter renewals). The plan considers statewide student performance, including data for specific groups and subgroups, and the academic needs of students in different geographic areas of the state. 

Staff introduced an approach to develop a Growth Management Plan by January 2020. The plan will be informed by the Academic and Demographic Needs Assessment (discussed above). 

Click here to see an overview of the plan.

The SPCSA will present an update at the August Board meeting, and present a draft in November.

The Board Heard a Legislative Recap

The Board heard a recap on 2019 legislative action that impacts public charter schools, including the following highlights: 

  • AB219: Requires schools in the bottom 30% of performance with English Language Learners to create plans for improvement. Additionally, English Language Learners will receive access to state assessments in any published language provided.
  • SB321: Transitioning Nevada Achievement School District (ASD) schools to the SPCSA. This bill voids charter contracts as of July 2020. New contracts will be initiated under authorization of the SPCSA.
  • SB451: This bill allows for variable length contract renewal at the discretion of the SPCSA, between 3 and 10 years. 
  • SB441: Provides for separate regulation of virtual charter schools. SPCSA staff is working with the Department of Education on developing virtual charter regulations.
  • SB543: Replaces the 52 year old Nevada Plan with a student centered funding formula. The Nevada Plan is the approach by which the legislature allocates and distributes funds to School Districts across the state. 

Click here to see the full recap.

The Board Heard Staff Reports

  • Executive Director:
    • A total of 12 focus groups have been conducted with stakeholders. Highlights from those conversations include:
      • School leaders and board chairs discussed challenges and priorities. Major themes were around funding and budgeting, high quality talent acquisition and retention, and school safety.
      • Regarding the relationship between the SPCSA and schools themselves, schools shared the importance of understanding the unique context of individual schools, maintaining open and ongoing communication, transparency and consistency in messaging, common goal alignment, and clear expectations with support.
    • The SPCSA is in the process of filling two vacant positions. The new positions, effective October 1st, are focused on data and assessments and support staff.
  • Finance and Operations Team: 
    • The SPCSA is in the process of completing FY19 grant reporting. 
  • Authorizing Team:
    • Conducted 18 site evaluations and completed reports for 18 schools.
    • Staff is working with the school support team to track completion of next steps that come from site evaluations.
    • Staff is receiving training on classroom observation rubrics and criteria.
    • Staff is in the final stages of drafting a schedule for the FY19 school year to present to the Board.
  • School Support Team:
    • Staff conducted enrollment growth adjustment and pre-enrollment adjustment audits.
    • Staff conducted a collaborative Title 1 program review.
    • Staff is supporting schools with data reporting.
    • Several SPCSA members will attend the National Charter School Conference in Las Vegas June 30-July 3.

Long Range Board Calendar Updates:

The long range calendar format was updated to include all 12 months, plus the following additions: 

  • Requirements as a result of the passage of AB462
  • New school applications and renewals

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