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 5/31/19

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, May 31, 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.  

The Board Heard a Presentation from Democracy Prep at the Agassi Campus Middle School

Hearing from schools (both traditional and charter) about their successes and best practices is part of the SPCSA’s strategic plan. During this meeting, the Board heard from the Executive Director of Democracy Prep at the Agassi Campus (DPAC) about the success at DPAC middle school.

DPAC middle school success highlights:

  • The DPAC middle school grew from a 2-star to a 4-star school, with math proficiency doubling from year one to year two of operating.
  • 100% of 8th graders passed algebra, are ready to go into Geometry, and are on track to be college ready.

Click here to see the presentation.

The Board Heard Updates on Discovery Charter School’s Receivership

Discovery Charter’s receiver shared quarterly updates with the Board regarding academic results and reconstituting Discovery’s Board.

Discovery receivership academic highlights:

  • 100% of 3rd-8th grade students completed end of year testing.
  • 84% of the student population is performing on grade level in reading, based on growth assessment results.
  • 87% of the student population is performing on grade level in math, based on growth assessment results.

Additionally, the following topics were discussed:

  • Working towards a K-12 model, adding a grade level at a time starting with 9th grade.
  • Experiencing challenges related to the transferring of funds from payroll to a PERS (retirement system) payback plan.
  • Announcing five new school Board members.

Since Discovery’s receivership has met its academic benchmark goals (3-stars or higher, consecutively), the Board discussed the process and timeline for exiting receivership.

At the June Board meeting, the receiver will present an exit plan with deadlines and a target transition date.

The Board Heard Updates on Argent Prep’s Receivership

Argent Preparatory Academy’s receiver shared updates to the Board, which included:

  • Inability to meet the anticipated exit date of June 2019– due to challenges with selling one of the school’s facilities. Once the facility is sold, funds will become available to pay severance to exited staff.
  • All students have been placed in other respective district schools.

The Board Heard Updates on Quest Academy’s Receivership

Quest Academy’s receiver shared updates to the Board on exiting the receivership and reconstituting the school’s governing body.

Both Quest campuses exceeded academic targets within the improvement plan, and made progress towards financial solvency. It was noted that if the school is not financially viable, it will not be eligible for renewal.

The Board Heard Updates on NV Connections Academy

Staff and school leadership provided the Board updates on Nevada Connections Academy’s High School, which included the following improvements:

  • Increase in students passing core subjects
  • 68% graduation rate (increase form 60%)

The SPCSA will continue to work with the school to ensure they stay on track with their remediation plan.

Click here to see the Quest updates summary.

The Board Heard Updates on Nevada Virtual Academy

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

Nevada Virtual Academy’s middle and high schools must have an executed contract in about 30 days. If the new contract is not executed prior to their current contract’s expiration, the school will not be able to operate. The SPCSA Board and staff discussed their concerns about ensuring that students and families are not impacted.

Click here to download the presentation.

Executive Director Reports

The SPCSA staff and Board recognized the following schools for their accomplishments:

  • Oasis Academy, Pinecrest Academy Cadence, and Pinecrest Academy St. Rose 2019 for recognition as Governor-Designated STEM Schools.
  • Coral Academy for recognition as one of the best high schools by U.S. News & World Report (placed 8th in Nevada).

Additionally, the SPCSA Executive Director provided budget updates to the Board:

  • 3 out of four positions in the Governor’s recommended budget were approved. These positions are focused on data & assessment and a permanent executive assistant.
  • Sponsorship fees will move to 1.25% from 1.5% for the upcoming biennium in order to lower reserve levels of the agency.

The Board Heard Staff Reports

  • The Authorizing Team provided the following updates to the Board:
    • Staff has received 20 Letters of Intent and 7 amendment applications.
    • Renewals: The following schools will be up for renewal in 2019:
      • American Preparatory Academy
      • Beacon Academy of Nevada
      • Founders Academy
      • Leadership Academy
      • Mater Academy of Nevada
      • Nevada Connections Academy
      • Quest Preparatory Academy
  • Site Evaluations: 18 site evaluations have been completed, which exceeds the target of 16 visits over 4.5 months.
  • Performance Frameworks: The staff is finalizing the SPCSA academic and organizational frameworks, implementing feedback leading up to final drafts slated for this summer. Click here to see a presentation overview of the Academic Framework updates. All components of the SPCSA performance framework are on track to be ready for the 2019-2020 school year.
  • The School Support Team provided updates on data collection initiatives and requirements, school visits, and charter school safety trainings being conducted.

The Board Heard Legislative Updates

  • AB78: SPCSA “omnibus” bill, which will be active upon passage and approval. In its current form, the bill clarifies the following:
    • The SPCSA’s role as a Local Education Agency (LEA)
    • That charter schools must serve all students, including those with special needs
    • Federal enrollment requirements for certain at-risk students
    • 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 (by October 1)
  • SB321: Transitioning Nevada Achievement School District (ASD) schools to the SPCSA. This bill voids charter contracts as of July 2020. New contracts can be initiated under authorization of the SPCSA.
  • SB451: Variable length charter contract renewal. This bill allows for variable length contract renewal at the discretion of the SPCSA, between 3 and 10 years. If passed, this will be effective July 1, 2019.
  • SB441: Provides for separate regulation of virtual charter schools. SPCSA staff is working with the Department of Education on developing virtual charter regulations.

Board Heard Updates on the SPCSA Needs Assessment and Growth Management Plan

In compliance with AB462, the SPCSA is implementing Needs Assessment and Growth Management plan– an opportunity to enhance authorizer accountability practices and drive the strategic growth of charter schools.

After completing the initial academic and demographic Needs Assessment, it will be refreshed annually to ensure SPCSA practices are aligned and responsive to statewide needs as they evolve. SPCSA is committed to working with stakeholders, including school districts, in order to achieve the goals set forth in the Growth Plan.

Regular updates will be provided on the progress of the plan’s implementation.

Click here to see the presentation.

Long Range Board Calendar Updates:

  • Board Meeting on August 30
  • There will be no September Board Meeting
  • Board Meeting on October 4th

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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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Nevada Ed-Watch: 1/18/19

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, January 18, 2019
State Public Charter School Authority – Board Meeting

Click here to see the meeting agenda 

What happened at this meeting?

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

The Authorizing Team provided an update on the SPCSA Performance Framework revisions. The academic and organizational frameworks will be presented to the Board in February. The team also reported receiving 12 notices of intent to apply, and 1 completed application for school authorization.

The School Support Team reported completing several school site visits. Additionally, the staff is attending multiple professional development and learning opportunities, and providing technical assistance to schools.

The Finance and Operations Team shared updates around the Governor’s recommended budget for 2019-2021, which had many changes since the original budget released by former Governor Brian Sandoval (including 5 positions needed to implement SPCSA’s Local Education Agency status– see legislative session agenda item below). Click here to see the 2019-21 budget.

The Legal Team shared updates regarding the approved charter school renewal contracts (3 contracts have been filed). They also shared a recently-issued Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law in response to an Open Meeting Law complaint. Click here to see the Findings of Fact & Conclusions of Law.

Board Selects Candidates to Interview for SPCSA Executive Director Role

SPCSA staff updated the Board on the recruitment and search process for a new Executive Director. The Board selected candidates to be interviewed for the position at the March 8th board meeting. From there, the Board will vote on 3 candidates who will be submitted to the Governor’s office for final selection.

The following candidates, in alphabetical order by last name, will be interviewed at the March 8th board meeting:

    • Eve Breier-Ramos
    • Rebecca Feiden
    • Mark Modrcin
    • Katherine Poulos
    • Sami Randolph
  • Brian Scroggins

Updates on Legislative Session and Status of Senate Bill 78 Language

The SPCSA is revamping SB78 alongside Education Committee Chairs, and the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, to include:

    • Accountability measures both for schools and authorizers
    • Equity for students receiving special education
  • Expansion of the SPCSA portfolio to serve higher needs geographical areas

The Board had a brief discussion regarding 5 Local Education Agency (LEA) positions that were cut from the governor’s budget. The SPCSA staff and State Superintendent are in conversation with Education Committee chairs to ensure that policy decisions and budget appropriations are aligned.

Click here to see an overview of bills that the SPCSA is monitoring.

Board Approves Charter Contract Amendment

The Board approved an amendment to American Leadership Academy – Summerlin’s charter contract to change its name to Signature Preparatory Academy. 

Board Approves Modifications to Financial Performance Framework

SPCSA staff provided the Board with information related to the SPCSA’s Financial Performance Framework, including recommendations to modify the framework to more accurately assess the financial health of SPCSA-sponsored public charter schools. These modifications will take effect July 1, 2019.

Updates were made to the following Indicators and Measures:

Indicator 1: Near Term Measures

    • Unrestricted Days Cash-on-Hand Ratio
  • Enrollment Forecast Accuracy

Indicator 2: Sustainability Measures

    • Total Margin
    • Debt to Asset Ratio
    • Cash Flow
  • Debt Service Coverage Ratio

Click here to see full details on the updates.

Click here to see the full presentation.

Presentation on SPCSA Schools’ Graduation Rate (2017-2018 School Year)

SPCSA staff presented about the graduation rate for SPCSA-sponsored public charter schools for the 2017-2018 school year.

The data show the SPCSA is the fastest-improving district in the state, and that 6 schools have a 90% or higher graduation rate.

Click here to download the full presentation.

Presentation on Nevada Connections Academy

Nevada Connections Academy representatives provided the Board with information on required quarterly reports on Nevada Connections Academy’s elementary school and high school, including the following highlights:

    • Graduation rate increased from 45% to 63% (goal was 49% for 2017-18). The 2018-19 graduation rate is projected to range between 60%-68%.
    • The elementary school implemented a new, more rigorous curriculum in social studies and science. School representatives described experiencing an “implementation dip” in scores, with math and social studies slightly down (2-3%), and science down 10%.
  • The staff also provided updates on Professional Development, Contact with Students, and School Culture.

Click here to see a summary provided by NV Connections Academy.

Updates on Quest Preparatory Academy & Argent Academy

The board heard and discussed updates from the Court Appointed receiver for Quest Preparatory Academy and Argent Academy regarding each school’s financial and legal statuses, as well as each school’s insurance policies in place to cover costs related to board mismanagement.

Public Comment

    • Testimony about the progress of the Founders Academy elementary school and its professional development progress and contracts.
  • Testimony about the alleged misalignment of official graduation data, due to database malfunctions and miscommunication between the state office and schools. 

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