Nevada Ed-Watch 12/13/18

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.

Included below are recaps from both the State Board of Education and the Clark County School District Board of Trustees meetings on 12/13/18.

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 in turn 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 2018 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.

Thurs, December 13, 2018
Nevada State Board of Education Meeting

Click here to see the meeting agenda 

What happened at this meeting?

Updates from the State Superintendent

  • February is Career & Technical Education (CTE) month.
  • Appointed State Board members will continue until a successor is selected.
  • Deputy Superintendent of Student Achievement position has been filled.
  • Deputy Superintendent of Educator Effectiveness & Family Engagement role is vacant.

Consent Agenda included approval of Career and Technical Education Standards for:

  • Computer Science
  • Health Science I & II
  • Business and Marketing Middle School
  • Media Technologies Middle School
  • Technical Education Skilled and Technical Sciences Middle School

Board Approves Alternate Evaluation Tool for School Administrators

The Board received information on and approved CCSD’s application for an alternate NEPF Summative Rating Tool for School Building Administrators for the 2018-2019 school year.

The Board also approved both the teacher and school administrator evaluation tools for use by other school districts, as requested by the National Association of School Boards (NASB).

Board Approves Amendments to Financial Literacy Standards

The approved amendments were:

  • Creation of financial literacy specific standards in five core areas: financial decision making, savings and spending, credit and debit, insurance, investing and risk, and college and career readiness.
  • Grade-level financial literacy standards for 3-5th grade.
  • Grade banded standards (ranges that tie to a proficiency level) for 6-8th and 9-12th grade, aligned to each core area listed above.

Click here to read more.

Board Adopts Regulations for Qualification of Teachers and Schools Eligible for an Incentive Program

The adopted regulations are regarding incentives for new teachers who are transferred or hired to teach at a Title I school, or a school designated by the state as underperforming.

The Board expressed concerns that there is no incentive for teachers at low performing schools to stay, and discussed whether any priority is given to teachers with experience or who are considered highly effective. The Superintendent indicated that in order for the qualifications of who can receive the incentive to change, state law must be amended.

Click here to see the regulations.

Board Approves Updates to End of Course Exam Regulations

The updates are in the regulation language and were applied to align with changes made in 2017.

Click here to see the regulations.

Board Approves 8 Schools to be Considered for the Nevada Achievement School District

Each year, the Nevada Department of Education releases a list of underperforming schools that meet the criteria to be eligible for the Nevada Achievement School District (Nevada ASD). Then, the Executive Director of the Nevada ASD submits a list of at least 20% of the eligible schools to the State Board of Education for approval. The State Board is required to approve at least 50% of those recommended schools within 30 days.

The Board approved 50% (or 8) schools to be considered for selection for the 2019-2020 school year, which are listed below (click each school to access their performance profiles):

Click here to see the full ASD presentation deck, including information on the selection process and performance requirements to be recommended.

Click here to see the ASD’s 2018 recommendation letter.

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

Board Discusses Updates to the State Improvement Plan

State law requires the Nevada State Board of Education to develop an annual plan to improve student achievement. This “State Improvement Plan” (or STIP) is prepared for Board consideration by the Superintendent of Public Instruction and staff of the Department of Education, as well as a variety of stakeholders. The focus of this year’s plan is college and career readiness for all students.

Click here to see the State Improvement Plan.

The Board discussed improving the document to include explicit principles to reinforce the state’s commitment to do this work through an equity lens. Members of the community raised concern regarding student chronic absenteeism (native american, black and special education students have chronic absenteeism rates of 24-28%).

Board Approves Allocation Method to Reimburse Teacher Hiring Incentives.

The Board received updated information on projected staffing, anticipated vacancies, and new teacher incentive estimates that were presented at the April 2018 meeting.

During the April 2018 meeting, the Board made a preliminary decision that $7.2 million be distributed to districts to reimburse efforts around teacher hiring incentives. However, there is only $5.4 million dollars to spend, so the state is instead funding 73.45% of district requests for reimbursement.

The Board approves an equitable allocation of teacher incentives, including flexibility to work with districts to determine final funding allocations.

Board Approves 55 Teach Nevada Scholarships

Teach Nevada is a Scholarship for college students who commit to teaching for 5-years at high need schools.

Click here to learn more.

Board Hears Presentation on National Board Certified Teachers

The Board discussed the value of teachers becoming National Board Certified, and how it positively  impacts students in the classroom. Currently, there are 906 National Board Certified teachers in Nevada. 777 are currently pursuing the certification process.

The incentive to become board certified is a 5% raise, and a reimbursement of financial investment in certification process.

Public Comment

Members of the public commented on the Achievement School District and Victory funding.

Future Items (Nevada State Board of Education):

  • Review of the Online Processing for Application for Licensure (OPAL) system
  • Discussion on the possibility of creating a Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council, similar to the Superintendent’s Teacher Advisory Council

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.

Thurs, December 13, 2018
Clark County School District Board of Trustees Meeting

Click here to see the meeting agenda 

What happened at this meeting?

This meeting kicked off with recognition and farewell remarks from Superintendent Jara to outgoing Trustees.

Public Comment: Members of the public discussed bullying incidents at schools, communications with the superintendent, bus driver staffing shortage and scheduling issues.

Consent Agenda included approval to apply for funding through the STEM Workforce Pathways grant to expand access to cybersecurity education.

Click here to see the grant.

Trustees Hear an Update from the Student Advisory Committee

The purpose of this committee is to provide an open forum for students to get information about District policies, procedures, and current events. Students also give their feedback and ideas to Trustees and district administrative leadership.

The committee shared topics covered in their two most recent activities, which were:

  • A meeting with former Student Advisory Committee chair and current director of policy and analytical leadership at the Public Education Foundation– who shared his past experience serving on the committee during the 2008 economic recession, and the need for student voice in the midst of education budget cuts.
  • A presentation from Students Demand Action, an advocacy group for common sense gun laws.

Trustees Approves Revisions to Governance Policy

Board approves requests for clarifying language updates to the developing governance policy.

Click here to see the Policy Development and Review document.

Trustee Hear an Update on Final Budget for Fiscal Year 2018-19

In May 2018, Trustees approved a final budget for 2018-2019. Since then, CCSD experienced several events, such as lower student enrollment than anticipated and bargaining agreements with unions.

CCSD’s Chief Financial Officer presented an update on the budget. Superintendent Jara requested making the budget presentation more accessible to the public (i.e. available on the CCSD homepage).

Click here to see the full presentation.

Click here to see the document outlining budget revisions.

Trustees Approve Revisions to the Following Policies & Regulations:

  • School Mascot and Identifiers Policy. Updates include minor language revisions, and the addition to allow staff, students, families, and community members to appeal changes to existing school identifiers. Public Comment: A member of the public requested respect of student culture, language, and heritage in school identifier decision making. Click here to see the revisions.
  • Investment Program. This policy outlines the guidelines, objectives, and priorities  for the responsible investment of public funds. Click here to see the revisions.
  • Small Purchases made with Procurement Cards. Trustees approved updates to purchase requirements on procurement cards. School principals and department heads are authorized (with a set limit) to use procurement cards to directly purchase instructional or work-related supplies and materials. This policy outlines the authorized and not authorized use of the procurement cards. Click here to see the revisions.
  • Higher Education Cooperative Program. Trustees approved rewording the Higher Education Cooperative to Dual Enrollment Programs, which allow eligible CCSD high school students an opportunity to receive credit toward graduation requirements for both high school and higher education institutions. Click here to see the revisions.

Trustees Approve One-Time Payment to 2 CCSD Chiefs

Per an agreement reached in October 2018 with the Clark County Association of School Administrators and Professional-technical Employees, Trustees approve one-time payment of 3% of salaries for the Chief Operations Officer & the Chief Communications & Community engagement officer.

Trustee Child abstained from the vote because it involves someone he filed a lawsuit against.

Click here to see the resolution letter.

Board & Superintendent Communication

  • Trustees discuss student transfers that are reflected graduation rates.
  • Outgoing Trustees (Edwards and Child) provide closing remarks. This was their last meeting serving as CCSD Trustees.
  • Superintendent discusses raising money in partnership with the Public Education Foundation and a need for organizations to “row in the same direction” to improve student outcomes.

Future Items (CCSD Board of Trustees):

  • Capital Improvement Program revisions– inclusion of Sandy Valley High School
  • CCSD Communications Process for Trustees and community with a flowchart and timeline
  • School Mascot & Other Identifiers policy updates
  • CCSD equipment repairs
  • Travel funding policy for Trustees