Nevada Ed-Watch 10/4/19

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 (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, October 4, 2019
State Public Charter School Authority Board Meeting

Click here to see the meeting agenda

What happened at this meeting?

Public Comment

Parents and staff members provided testimony about their positive experience at Nevada Connections Academy. 

The Board Elected a Chair and Vice-Chair

The board elected Melissa Mackedon to serve as Chair and Randy Kirner to serve as Vice Chair of the board.

The Board Discussed Updates to the Board Calendar

The board added a second meeting in December (December 17th), when they will review nine (9) pending charter applications. The first December board meeting is scheduled for December 13th.

Throughout 2020, board meetings will continue to take place on Fridays at 9:00 am. The SPCSA staff is also exploring the possibility of holding two meetings per year that begin later in the afternoon, in an effort to increase community access to meetings.

Additionally, SPCSA staff is creating an online opportunity for members of the public to provide written comments in the event they are unable to provide spoken testimony during a meeting.

The Board Heard an Overview of the NSPF Star Ratings for SPCSA-Authorized Schools

The board reviewed results at public charter schools authorized by the SPCSA. 

2018-19 Nevada School Performance Framework (NSPF) results highlights:

  • 65 SPCSA charter schools received 4 or 5 star ratings
  • Out of 120 schools in Nevada that received a 5 star rating, 45 are SPCSA-sponsored charter schools

The following Title I schools were designated as 4 or 5 stars for the 2018-19 school year, demonstrating that they have exceeded state standards (click on a school to see its data profile):

Opportunity 180’s data portal, www.GreatSchoolsAllKids.org, was recognized as a resource for the community to access public school performance data.

Click here to see the NSPF results presentation.

The Board Approved 10 Schools to Return to Academic Good Standing Classification 

The following schools will return to being classified as being in Academic Good Standing (3 star and above):

  1. Freedom Classical Middle School (4-Star)
  2. Founders Academy Elementary School (4-Star)
  3. Leadership Academy Middle School (3-Star)
  4. Learning Bridge Elementary School (4-Star)
  5. Legacy, North Valley Middle School (3-Star)
  6. Mater Academy, Bonanza Elementary School (3-Star)
  7. Mater Academy Northern Nevada Elementary School (3-Star)
  8. Nevada Virtual Middle School (3-Star)
  9. Nevada Virtual High School (3-Star)
  10. SLAM Middle Schools (3-Star)

The Board Approved Schools to Receive a Notice of Concern for Academic Performance

The following schools received a notice of concern regarding their academic performance: 

The following actions are required for each school that received a Notice of Concern:

  • School performance plans will be reviewed by the SPCSA Staff
  • Site Evaluations and visits will take place to follow-up on progress against school performance plans
  • Provide a written report on February 1, 2020 indicating progress to date in implementing the school performance plan, and a summary of mid-year assessment performance.

Each school had a chance to speak before the board regarding their results and the steps they are taking to address their star rating.

The Board Approved Schools to Receive a Notice of Breach for Academic Performance

The schools listed below received a Notice of Breach for their academic performance.

These schools are required to present an update on their academic progress against their school performance plan, including a summary of mid-year assessment results in early 2020.

Additionally, performance at Nevada Connections Academy ES (1-star) has triggered the automatic termination provisions (per statute), and the school must close at the end of the 2019-2020 school year. However, since Nevada Connections Academy has chosen not to renew the charter for their elementary school, no action was taken by the board.

Board Approved Somerset Academy’s Charter Amendment (Dual Enrollment Program)

In compliance with NRS 389.310, the board approved a request for a good-cause exemption by Somerset Academy to provide access to college-level coursework.

Staff Presented Updates on the SPCSA Strategic Planning process  

Members of the SPCSA staff presented draft language for input by board members on the vision, mission, and values of the SPCSA. Board members provided feedback, and updated language will be presented at the November board meeting. 

Strategic Plan highlights:

Growth Management Plan

  • The SPCSA received 2,500 individual responses on their stakeholder feedback survey. They are currently analyzing results. 
  • The SPCSA is bringing a range of stakeholders together to help them understand the needs of stakeholders in Nevada. The working groups are meeting three times in October and their input will contribute to the development of the Growth Management Plan. 

Upcoming Milestones

  • November 1st (during the board meeting): Presentation of Strategic and Growth Management Plan drafts for additional board feedback
  • December 13th: Review and board approval of final Strategic and Growth Management Plans 
  • January 1st: Growth Management Plan submitted to the Nevada Department of Education and Legislative Commission on Education

Click here to see the strategic planning presentation.

SPCSA Executive Director’s Report: 

Report Highlights:

  • Superintendent Listening Tour: Superintendent Ebert visited two Shining Star Schools, Mater Academy and Equipo Academy, during her Listening Tour. Round Tables were conducted where staff and parents got to communicate directly with the Superintendent about their experience at the schools.
  • New Charter Applications: 9 applications were received. Interviews have been scheduled with the schools 
  • Charter Amendment Applications: Applications are due on Oct 15th. 10 schools submitted Letter of Intent (LOIs) for potential amendments.

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Nevada Ed-Watch 9/13/19

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 (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, September 13, 2019
State Public Charter School Authority Board Meeting

Click here to see the meeting agenda

What happened at this meeting?

Public Comment
A member of the public requested the SPCSA board move meetings to the evening rather than during the workday to improve accessibility.

The Board Heard Updates From Schools in Receivership

  • Argent Preparatory Academy
    • Argent Prep is selling their final asset, a parcel of land, for $2.25 million. The buyer, Carson Montessori School, requested a 10-day extension to address issues with financing and acquire a Special Use Permit.
  • Quest Academy
    • Quest Academy resolved its legal and financial obligations, however is currently engaged in litigation regarding its facility.
  • Discovery Charter school
    • Discovery Charter School reported a strong start to the new school year with positive family engagement.
    • The school’s new board held their first meeting and elected a president and treasurer.
    • Click here to see Discovery’s full written update.
    • Discovery Charter School must continue providing quarterly updates to the Authority through the end of the 2020 school year.

Board Heard Updates on the Nevada Virtual Academy Litigation

Nevada Virtual Academy (NVA) filed a complaint with the court challenging the conditions that the Authority Board approved in 2018, when their charter application was approved. NVA filed an injunction to operate under a court order without a charter contract. No injunction was ordered. A trial is set for May 2020.

Board Approved Charter Contract Amendments (4-2 vote)

The following charter contract amendments were approved:

  • Oasis Academy
    • An amendment allowing for an annual increase of 24 students per year for 9-years.
  • Doral Academy of Northern Nevada
    • A good cause exemption allowing an increase in the enrollment cap from 636 students to 814 students (the total number of students currently enrolled in the school). Representatives of Doral Academy of Northern Nevada stated that they over-enrolled the school due to an administrative error– confusing the enrollment cap for the Northern Nevada Campus with the cap at another Doral Academy campus.
    • The Authority Board approved the amendment only for the current school year, to avoid impact on the students and families enrolled.
    • The Authority Board also suggested the school implements a weighted lottery process to ensure its demographic makeup is consistent with the community that it serves.

Board Approved the Charter School Performance Framework Guidance Document

The board approved the revised guidance document for the Charter School Performance Framework. The objective of the performance framework is to provide charter school boards and leaders with clear expectations, fact-based oversight, and timely feedback while protecting charter school’s autonomy for local decision-making within the constraints of state and federal laws.

Click here to see the document.

Board Approved the Site Evaluation Handbook

The board approved technical changes to the SPCSA Site Evaluation Handbook. The changes included updates based on legislation passed in the 2019 Legislative Session, plus updates based on learnings from the first year of completed site evaluations.

Click here to see the handbook.

Board Heard an Overview of the Nevada School Performance Framework

SPCSA staff presented the board with an overview of the Nevada School Performance Framework. 2018-2019 school year performance data will be available on the Nevada Report Card website on Monday, September 16.

There are 102 star ratings across SPCSA-authorized school campuses. This number accounts for single campuses that include multiple school levels (elementary, middle, and high school). Each school level receives its own star rating. 

The Board Heard Updates on Strategic Planning for the SPCSA

The SPCSA is developing a 5-year strategic plan that will outline its vision, mission, values, organizational goals, and strategies for achieving goals.

The Strategic Plan will be inclusive of the SPCSA’s Growth Management Plan, Local Education Agency (LEA) Support Plan, and Organizational Effectiveness Plan.

The SPCSA is also creating a Growth Management Plan, as mandated during the 2019 legislative session.

SPCSA staff will engage stakeholders as the Growth Management Plan is developed– which will include targeted outreach to key stakeholders, working groups with a diverse group of stakeholders, and more broad outreach through surveys.

Staff will present the Growth Management Plan and the Strategic Plan to the SPCSA board for feedback. The goal is to present a final draft to the board during the December 13th meeting.

Click here to see the presentation.

The Board Heard Updates from SPCSA Staff

  • Welcoming new board members, Mallory Cyr, Don Soifer, and Dr. Tonia Holmes-Sutton. There are still two board seats pending appointment.
  • The December board meeting will be held on December 13th.
  • 9 new school applications in this cycle
    • Applications are available online for review by the public, including a link for members of the public to provide comment regarding the application.
    • SPCSA staff anticipate bringing new charter school applications to the board for consideration during the November and December board meetings.
  • 7 charter schools are up for contract renewals. SPCSA staff anticipate bringing applications for renewal before the board in the November and December board meetings.

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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 4/19/19

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 (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, April 19, 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:

  • Open meeting law compliance complaints against individual charter schools authorized by the State Public Charter School Authority.  

The Board welcomed the newly-appointed Executive Director of the State Public Charter School Authority

Rebecca Feiden was introduced and welcomed as the new Executive Director.

The Board Heard Staff Reports From Each Team (Authorizing, School Support, Finance & Operations, & Legal)

The Authorizing Team provided the following updates to the Board:

  • Relocation of the Elko Institute For Academic Achievement
  • Progress on SPCSA Performance Frameworks (Academic, Financial, and Organizational)
    • Academic Framework
      • The team has completed two listening sessions with a working group consisting of charter school leaders, Department of Education representatives, and SPCSA staff members. The group discussed the indicators and measures that would make up the Academic Framework. The group’s next meeting is scheduled for May 2nd.
    • Financial Framework
      • The team is working to fully implement the Financial Framework. So far, they have finished building internal measures (logic models), and expanded the ratings process to include all six years of financial performance.
    • Organizational Framework
      • The team has completed listening sessions and two formal working group sessions around the Organizational Framework. They are referencing a framework from the National Association of Charter School Authorizers as a foundation to build upon.
  • New Charter Applicants
    • 20 charters submitted a Notice of Intent to submit an application during the 2019 Summer cycle to launch schools in Clark, Washoe, and Nye counties.
      • Staff has notified school districts of the Notices of Intent that fall within their district boundaries.
      • The staff also provided clarification to districts that Notices of Intent are just a step in the approval process, and that these schools have not yet been approved or denied.
  • Charter Amendment Applications (Notice of Intent to submit a charter amendment application the 2019 summer cycle)
    • In response to concerns about the process being cumbersome, the team has been working with school leaders to streamline charter amendment requests. They have also administered a survey to collect feedback on ways to improve the process. Amendment requests will be presented during the June 28th Board meeting.
  • Charter school contract renewals have are being reviewed for the following:
    • Doral Academy
    • Coral Academy of Science
    • Learning Bridge
    • Nevada Virtual Academy
  • Revolving Loan Application cycle update
    • The SPCSA is an administrator of the state’s revolving loan fund for charter schools, regardless of their sponsor. Funds are provided for schools currently operating or in the start-up phase.
    • The team reported receiving 2 applications. One school has requested $56,000 dollars, and the other has requested $42,000 dollars.
    • Loan repayment occurs over 3 years, at prime rate, and is automatically deducted from the school’s DSA payment.

The School Support Team provided the following updates to the Board:

  • Assessment and accountability
    • The team is providing support to schools in the areas of assessment and accountability, including: assessment administration, testing irregularities, and monitoring civil rights data collection
  • Conferences, meetings, and trainings
    • The team will be attending conferences on emergency management, gifted education, and special education in the near future.
  • School support
    • The team is supporting schools with pre-enrollment audits, Career & Technical Education program guidance, facilitating a charter school safety committee, fielding technical questions, and liaising with the Department of Education for information.

The Operations & Finance Team provided the following updates to the Board:

  • Interim Finance Committee (IFC) meeting on April 4th
    • A semi-annual update was provided to Interim Finance Committee members.
    • The next update is due in October.
  • Executive Budget for the 2019-2021 biennium
    • The team is working with the Governor’s office and Legislative Council Bureau to finalize the agency’s two budget accounts:
    • Budget Account 2708 – Revolving Loan Account: The team has no indication that there are any issues with this budget and anticipate it will be approved.  
    • Budget Account 2711 – Operating Account: This account includes the operating budget of the agency including staff positions, grants, and other agency expenses. Once approved, these budgets will be in place July 1, 2019 through the next biennium.
      • This budget includes two pending items prior to being closed and voted on at the April 30th budget meeting. These include:
        • Four new staff positions – these positions would support site evaluations and a number of other areas within the SPCSA
        • Budget reserve level – concerns were raised about the reserve level during the February 22nd legislative budget hearing. The team has been working with the Governor’s office to reduce the level of reserve.

The Legal Team provided the following updates to the Board:

  • Litigation
    • A lawsuit was filed against the SPCSA by the National Coalition for Public School Options related to a public records request.
    • Two complaints were filed with the Attorney General’s (AG) office regarding a current and a former staff member.  The SPCSA has been working with the AG’s investigation office to provide all information requested, and general counsel expects that the investigation will close fairly soon without any adverse findings.
  • Open Meeting Law compliance
    • The Nevada State Attorney General’s office has received 76 open meeting law complaints this year against charter schools that are authorized by the SPCSA, the Clark County School District, and the Washoe County School District. SPCSA general counsel advised that the majority of complaints seem to be technical in nature, related to language in agendas. Schools will be allowed to contest particular violations. As remedy, schools will need to attend open meeting law training.

Board Approved Nevada Connections Academy’s Dual Enrollment Policy Update

In response to concerns about Connections Academy’s performance, the Board approved dual enrollment, but with the following conditions:

  • Evidence that the State Board of Education has approved the courses
  • Given performance, individual graduation plans for participating students be submitted to SPCSA staff for their records
  • Does not mean that their contract will be renewed in the future

Click here to see the staff recommendations report.

Click here to see the dual credit amendment request.

The Board heard updates on ongoing site evaluations

Staff shared the following site evaluation updates with Board members:

  • 13 school site evaluations have been completed
  • 3 site evaluations are scheduled for next week
  • Added 2 additional schools in the North to be evaluated in May
  • Goal is to complete 18 campus site evaluations by end of the school year

Additionally:

  • 9 final evaluation reports have been submitted to chairs, school leaders, and board chairs, with a 10th submitted by end of day Monday, April 22nd.
  • About 30 schools remain to be evaluated

Staff is seeing two trends during site evaluations:

  • Families report being happy with the school culture, programs offered, and the decision they made to enroll their student in that school.
  • A need for Boards to get more training around best practices to clarify their roles as school Board members and their responsibilities as a governing body.

A draft site evaluation schedule for the 2019-20 school year will be presented at the June Board meeting.

Click here to see the site evaluation updates document.

Click here to see the site evaluation schedule.

Click here to see the site evaluation handbook.

Board heard legislative updates

  • AB78:  SPCSA “omnibus” bill. This bill has passed the Assembly Education Committee and is pending a full Assembly Floor vote.  This bill, in its current form, does the following:
    • Clarifies the SPCSA’s role as a Local Education Agency (LEA)
    • Provides the SPCSA with plenary regulatory authority
    • Clarifies the annual reporting of sponsors to the Department of Education, including the comprehensive review the Department of Education should complete every 3 years, and adding 2 additional members to the SPCSA board, appointed by the State Board of Education.
    • Clarifies the responsibility of SPCSA to serve students with disabilities
    • Addresses the future of Achievement School District (ASD) schools’ sponsorship.
  • SB451: Variable length charter contract renewal. This bill has passed out of the Senate floor and will be heard next in the Assembly Committee on Education. This bill allows for variable length contract renewal at the discretion of the SPCSA, between 3 and 10 years. Under the current statute, only 6 year contract renewals are allowed.
  • SB441: Provides for separate regulation of virtual charter schools. This bill has passed out of the Senate Education Committee and is due next to be heard on the Senate Floor. This bill allows for the following:
    • Allows the authority to pass regulations to have a separate oversight role in regard to virtual schools
    • Allows the authority board to form a subcommittee to oversee virtual schools
    • Provides for drafting of regulations related to admission and enrollment requirements for those schools
    • Allows virtual schools to suspend or expel students who are not participating in the virtual program
    • The originally drafted bill allowed the authority to draft regulations to withhold a portion of DSA funds based on student performance, however this provision has been struck from the bill at present.
  • AB462: Formerly, Charter School Moratorium. This bill has passed out the Assembly Committee on Education and is due next to be heard on the full assembly floor for a vote. This bill originally placed a moratorium on all charter schools opening, however that provision has been struck. This bill now includes the following provisions:
    • Codifies site evaluations, including:
      1. Complete initial site evaluations of all campuses by June 30, 2020
      2. Then, conduct evaluations in first, third, and 5th year of schools’ operation
      3. Ensure that site evaluations are identifying any deficiencies and that corrective action is taken as needed
    • Completion of a statewide Pupil Needs Study by January 1, 2020, to include:
      • Where schools will go, justification, and proof of collaboration with districts and departments.
      • Academic needs study, which includes demographic information, at-risk population information, and proof that a new school serves the best interest of pupils.
    • Requires a growth management plan for success, to include:
      • 5 year projection related to growth, projected number of new schools to open and new campuses, projected increases in enrollment, renewals, academic information, and any other information deemed necessary to show that a new charter school or expansion of a charter school serves the best interest of pupils.

Board heard updates on the SPCSA strategic and growth management plan

SPCSA staff provided the Board information regarding the next iteration of SPCSA’s strategic plan

SPCSA staff stated that the Strategic Plan will largely center around a Growth Management Plan. The plan will provide detail on how the agency will continue to grow to serve students and ensure that the goals and purpose of the agency are being accomplished.

The development of the Growth Management Plan will provide SPCSA the platform to engage other agencies, schools, and community members to ensure that the plan aligns to the current needs of communities.

In May, staff will provide the Board an update on how the plan will be developed– including stakeholders to engage, anticipated timeline, and other inputs that will be incorporated into research and plan development.

SPCSA Board received training in Open Meeting Law Compliance.

Click here to see the full presentation.


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