Nevada Ed-Watch 1/17/19

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.

Thurs, January 17, 2019
Nevada State Board of Education Meeting

Click here to see the meeting agenda 

What happened at this meeting?

Updates from the Board President

The Board President provided a recap of Governor Sisolak’s State of the State address– which included weighted funding that follows students, and the prioritization of school safety, support services, and the construction of education buildings. The Board President also provided an update on the recent appointments to the State Board of Education:

  • Appointment of Teri White (non-voting member, 1-year term)
  • Re-appointment of Cathy McAdoo (non-voting member, 1-year term)
  • Re-appointment of Tamara Hudson (voting member, 2-year term)

Updates from the Superintendent

  • The Work-Based Learning and Career and Technical Education Expenditure Report was posted. Click here to see the report.
  • National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development Report was released: From a Nation at Risk to a Nation at Hope. Governor Sandoval and the State Superintendent of Public Instruction served on The Aspen Institute’s National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development– which was created to engage communities in re-envisioning learning to encompass social, emotional, and cognitive learning aspects. The report outlines research and recommends promising practices for making all aspects of learning part of the fabric of every school and community. Click here to learn more and see the report.
  • 2019 Legislative Session. The Nevada Department of Education has pre-filed the following bills for the 2019 session:
    • AB67:Regarding an A+ Achievement Charter School District
    • AB72: Regarding provisions to school turnaround
    • AB 35 & AB78: Regarding Nevada Charter School Authorizers
    • SB 84: Regarding Pre-K for students at 200% poverty
    • AB 88: Regarding average daily enrollment
    • SB 41: Regarding the licensure of teachers and other educational personnel.
    • SB 79: Regarding restorative justice for students at-risk for chronic absenteeism
    • SB 89: Regarding school safety (behavioral health crises, disaggregation of discipline data, and school police)

Board Approves Consent Agenda, which included:

  • Licensing for 2 private schools: Sinousa Virtual High School (Clark County), and Las Vegas Day School (Clark County)
  • Career & Technical Education standards for:
    • Agriculture and Natural Resources Middle School
    • Health Science and Public Safety
    • Skill standards for Practical Nursing
    • Hospitality and Human Services Middle School
  • District applications to have programs of work-based learning
  • Education Gift Fund Report

Board Maintains President & Vice President

The Board voted to maintain existing State Board of Education officers (President Wynn and Vice President Newburn). This decision may be revisited at the discretion of the Board.

Board Approves Updates to Special Education and Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) Program Regulations

Changes included language revisions (including removing the term mental retardation), and consistency updates to both federal and state law.

More substantive changes included adding clear direction for the Nevada Department of Education to redact identifiable information when reports are submitted and published publicly.

Click here to see the updated language.

Presentation on CTE LifeWorks Initiative

The Board saw a brief presentation on Career & Technical Education (CTE) LifeWorks, a strategic partnership between Nevada government agencies, K-12 public education, business and industry leaders, and the Nevada System of Higher Education.

In 2017, 10 states received funding from JP Morgan Chase & Co through the New Skills for Youth Grant. The purpose of the grant is to execute action plans to strengthen and expand career pathways that are aligned to Nevada’s workforce needs.

As part of national CTE Month (February), the Nevada Department of Education will celebrate the achievements and accomplishments of this initiative and promote Nevada’s CTE programs.

Previous work of LifeWorks included occupation reports, grant alignment across multiple agencies and organizations, and advocacy for College and Career Ready Diplomas.  

Board Approves Score Ranges for Other Licensed Educational Personnel (OLEP) Performance Evaluations 

The Teachers & Leaders Council (TLC) recommended score ranges to determine summative ratings for Other Licensed Educational Personnel (OLEP). 2018-2019 is the first year of implementation of OLEP frameworks. The Board approved TLC’s recommendations for evaluating School Speech Pathologists, School Counselors, Nurses, Psychologists, Social Workers, and Teacher-Librarians. The Board also approved the Library Program Goals Rubric, and the alternate summative evaluation rating tools for use by any district.

Click here to see the full presentation.

Board Approves Priorities for Great Teaching & Leading Fund

The Board established priorities for programs that can receive grant money through the Great Teaching and Leading Fund. Funds will be awarded following an application process and pending appropriation by the 2019 Legislative session.

The established priorities are:

  • Teacher preparation, recruitment, retention, and leadership
  • Professional Development on Nevada Academic Content Standards:
    • Computer science
    • Social studies
    • Fine arts
    • Financial literacy
    • District-identified content areas for improvement (as approved by State Board of Education)
  • School Leadership
    • Nevada Educator Performance Framework (NEPF) to focus on student learning goals
    • Effective models of school improvement

Click here to see the full presentation.

Presentation on the Nevada External Outcomes Evaluation

This mandated evaluation covers seven categorical programs that were established or expanded during the 2015 Legislative Session that continue today: Zoom, Victory, Social Workers in Schools, Read by Grade 3, School Turnaround, Nevada Ready 21, and the Great Teaching and Leading Fund. The report advocated for the continued funding of all programs.

Click here to see the full report.

Board Members expressed concerns about: tracking students across schools to understand which children were recipients of the programs (regardless of transience), a data system that allows tracking of teacher transiency, teacher turnover, the number of substitute teachers, and the seniority and placement of teachers.

Presentation on Operations of the Online Processing for Applications and Licensure System (OPAL)

The Office of Educator Licensure launched an online licensing system, OPAL, in April 2018. The office presented an overview of its operations to date– including implementation, functionality, future enhancements, and lessons learned throughout the process.


  • Convenience of online application submission
  • Secure user portal and dashboard
  • Automated applicant notifications


  • Since implementation, there is a 2-week reduction in application processing time (from appx. 50-days to appx. 35-days).

Future enhancements include business partner portals, user-experience improvements, a smartphone app, and teacher preparation data.

Click here to see the presentation notes.

Click here to see the Implementation Report.

Board Approves Class Size Reduction Variances for Elementary Schools

Currently, state law prescribes pupil-to-teacher ratios (17:1 for grades 1-2, and 20:1 for grade 3); however, due to lack of available financial support for pupil-to-teacher ratios and other good causes, schools in the report were approved for variances.

The Board approved class size variances for grades K-3.

Click here to see the variance reports.

Board Deliberates License Revocation

The Board deliberated on an item pulled from the consent agenda involving the potential revocation of a former administrator’s professional license. The Board moved to refer the case back to the hearing office with the following guidance: If revocation is recommended by the hearing master, facts in the case must meet the standard of beyond reasonable doubt; if suspension is recommended, facts in the case must meet a reasonable measure of damage or harm.

Potential Future Items (State Board of Education):

  • Superintendent to provide a legislative update each meeting during legislative session
  • Information on the process for closing a charter school and costs of receivership

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