Nevada Ed-Watch 4/24/20

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 conclusion of each agenda item and at the conclusion 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.

Alternatively, public comment may be submitted in writing at publiccomment@spcsa.nv.gov, and any such public comment received prior to the meeting will be provided to the Authority and included in the written minutes of the meeting.

Click here for a list of all SPCSA Members.

Click here for a list of all SPCSA sponsored schools.


Friday, April 24, 2020
State Public Charter School Authority Board Meeting

Click here to see the meeting agenda 

What happened at this meeting? 

Board Heard Updates Regarding COVID-19

Staff members shared updates regarding the SPCSA’s response to COVID-19, including:

  • All SPCSA schools are actively implementing a distance learning program, with 98% attendance and participation among students.
  • All schools are required to contact students once per week, but are generally contacting students daily.
  • SPCSA staff have been checking in weekly with schools to monitor their progress.
  • Due to the cancellation of assessments for all public schools statewide, schools will not receive ratings under the Nevada School Performance Framework (NSPF) or the Alternate Performance Framework for the 2019-20 school year. SPCSA staff will conduct school evaluations virtually to maintain an accountability mechanism for its schools.
  • The SPCSA budget will be impacted by approximately 4% this fiscal year, and between 6-14% next fiscal year. There is no anticipated direct financial impact on staffing or programming. The SPCSA encourages schools to also plan for the impact of COVID-19 on their budgets.

SPCSA Executive Director’s Report: 

Report Highlights: 

  • The staff is working with former ASD schools to ensure a full transition to the SPCSA by July 1, 2020, and to complete contracts for approval in May. 
  • Updates on approved Fall 2020 expansions for American Preparatory Academy, Mater Academy of Nevada, and Nevada State High School. The schools are virtually working through student recruitment and enrollment efforts during COVID-19 closures. Another status update will be provided during the May 29th board meeting.
  • Updates on Pinecrest Academy of Northern Nevada, which was approved as a new charter to launch in Fall 2020. 
    • The school will present its final transportation plan for approval in May. Click here to see the school’s marketing plan, enrollment updates with a zip code analysis, and transportation plan.
    • The school is revising their recruitment efforts in response to challenges presented by COVID-19 closures. The board requested updates on the school’s outreach efforts for the target at-risk student population.
  • An updated version of the New Charter School Application is live, and an applicant training was conducted to walk applicants through the new application. The application was updated to reduce redundancies, reflect current state statutes, and align to the SPCSA’s strategic growth plan.

Board Approved a Revolving Loan Application for GALS

SPCSA staff shared its recommendations for the approval of a revolving loan application submitted by Girls Athletic Leadership School (GALS). Staff noted the school’s strong business plan for repayment as well as its plans to serve an at-risk community.

Click here to see the staff recommendation memo.

Board Approved Charter Contract Amendments

The board approved the following amendments:

  • Las Vegas Collegiate’s proposed facility change within the same 89106 zip code. The school also requested an amendment to its enrollment cap and transportation plan.
  • Pinecrest Academy of Nevada proposed a dual enrollment program for eligible students.

Board Heard Updates about SPCSA Growth Management Plan Feedback

SPCSA staff shared input that was received by the Legislative Committee on Education regarding recommended updates to the SPCSA Growth Management Plan, including:

  • Indicating progress of monitoring schools and closing schools in the event of underperformance
  • Adding details regarding the methods by which the SPCSA staff communicates with school districts 
  • Including the priority of diversifying staff to be representative of the communities they serve 
  • Clarifying standards to prevent the expansion of schools that are not in good standing

Click here to see the presentation.

Board Heard Updates on the Biennial Review of Statutes and Regulations

Beginning in February, the SPCSA will begin preparing for the next legislative session. SPCSA staff discussed a draft statute request, due in May, to amend new school application timelines. 

Board Discussed Updates to Long-Range Calendar

The Board discussed scheduling board training as well as adding a May board meeting.

Click here to see the board meeting calendar.


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Nevada Ed-Watch 3/6/20

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 conclusion of each agenda item and at the conclusion 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.

Alternatively, public comment may be submitted in writing at publiccomment@spcsa.nv.gov, and any such public comment received prior to the meeting will be provided to the Authority and included in the written minutes of the meeting.

Click here for a list of all SPCSA Members.

Click here for a list of all SPCSA sponsored schools.


Friday, March 6, 2020
State Public Charter School Authority Board Meeting

Click here to see the meeting agenda 

What happened at this meeting? 

SPCSA Executive Director’s Report: 

Report Highlights: 

  • Introduction of 2 new board members: Tameka Shauntee Rosales and Lee Farris
  • Introduction of 3 new SPCSA staff members: one administrative assistant and two finance employees
  • 1 application was submitted for the Winter Cycle. An SPCSA staff approval recommendation is expected by the April board meeting
  • Former Achievement School District (ASD) schools have been transferred to the SPCSA
  • There are 4 new schools launching in Fall 2020
  • Community stakeholders can provide input on Senate Bill 441 regulations, which will ultimately be submitted to the Department of Education for a final decision
  • SPCSA launched an online platform for community stakeholders to share concerns or feedback 
  • Under the SPCSA Performance Framework, current school year data will be collected to assess  the academic, organizational, and financial performance of each school

Board Heard Mid-Year Updates from Schools that have Received a Notice of Breach

Freedom Classical Academy Elementary School, Legacy North Valley Elementary School, and Somerset North Las Vegas Elementary School provided updates to the board on their mid-year assessment results and progress against performance plans.

Click here to see Freedom Classical Academy’s presentation.

Click here to see Legacy North Valley’s presentation.

Click here to see Somerset’s presentation.

Board Heard Updates on Schools under Receivership or Previously under Receivership

Highlights: 

  • Ardent Prep sold its property to settle final debts. 
  • Discovery Charter School was removed from receivership and had its board reconstituted at the end of the 2018-19 school year. 
  • Quest Academy, which was placed under receivership for financial mismanagement, showed improvements under its receivership. Quest staff shared a plan to remove the school from receivership and reconstitute the school’s board by next school year. 

Board Heard Updates on Beacon Academy’s Performance

The Board heard updates on Beacon Academy’s performance aligned to the Alternative Performance Framework. Beacon Academy shared information on student demographics for Alternative Education and at-risk students, specifically credit deficient students. School staff also shared updates on the school’s academic growth, college and career readiness, credit deficiency rates, graduation rates, and student engagement data. 

Beacon Academy has submitted a letter of intent to open a second campus in Clark County.

Click here to see the presentation.

Board Heard Updates from Pinecrest Academy of Northern Nevada Following its Conditional Approval

SPCSA staff reviewed the completion of the conditions for the Pinecrest Academy of Northern Nevada’s approval. 

The conditions were met related to the National School Lunch program, Weighted Lottery Policy, revised budget, and the waiver of academic fees for students eligible for Free and Reduced-Price Lunch. 

The board approved the school’s targeted student enrollment marketing plan. The school’s draft transportation plan will come back to the board for a vote during the April board meeting– pending zip code data and weighted lottery updates. The board also requested enrollment updates broken down by student demographics. 

Board Reviewed Resubmitted New Charter School Applications

The following schools’ initial applications were denied during the December 17th, 2019 board meeting. SPCSA staff provided applicants with feedback on application deficiencies, and the schools had 30 days to improve and resubmit their application. 

Alaka’i Heritage Academy  – DENIED

  • Meeting the Need: Meets the Standard
  • Academic Plan: Approaches the Standard
  • Operations Plan: Approaches the Standard
  • Financial Plan: Approaches the Standard

Click here to see the SPCSA staff’s recommendation memo.

Nevada Strong Academy – DENIED

  • Meeting the Need: Approaches the Standard
  • Academic Plan: Approaches the Standard
  • Operations Plan: Approaches the Standard
  • Financial Plan: Does not meet the standard

Click here to see the SPCSA staff’s recommendation memo.

Sage Collegiate – DENIED

  • Meeting the Need: Approaches the Standard
  • Academic Plan: Approaches the Standard
  • Operations Plan: Approaches the Standard
  • Financial Plan: Approaches the Standard

Click here to see the SPCSA staff’s recommendation memo.

Pahrump Valley Academy – DENIED

  • Meeting the Need: Meets the Standard
  • Academic Plan: Approaches the Standard
  • Operations Plan: Approaches the Standard
  • Financial Plan: Does not meet the Standard

Click here to see the SPCSA staff’s recommendation memo.

Board Approved Charter School Contract Amendment for Explore Academy

The board approved SPCSA staff’s recommendation regarding Explore Academy’s amendment request for a location change. Explore Academy was initially approved under the Achievement School District for 2019 launch, but delayed opening until 2020 under an SPCSA contract.

Staff presented information on the request to occupy a temporary facility outside of the originally approved  zip codes. The proposed temporary facility will be vacant as of June 2020. School staff and a partner realtor shared obstacles to locating a facility within the approved zip codes. The board shared concerns about increased traffic, enrollment, and lease details. 

Click here to see the amendment application.

Board Received Biennial Review of Statutes and Regulations

SPCSA staff shared information about recommendations to propose to the Legislative Committee on Education on legislation that would assist charter schools in achieving their academic, fiscal and organizational goals.


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Nevada Ed-Watch 1/31/20

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 conclusion of each agenda item and at the conclusion 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.

Alternatively, public comment may be submitted in writing at publiccomment@spcsa.nv.gov, and any such public comment received prior to the meeting will be provided to the Authority and included in the written minutes of the meeting.

Click here for a list of all SPCSA Members.

Click here for a list of all SPCSA sponsored schools.


Friday, January 31, 2020
State Public Charter School Authority Board Meeting

Click here to see the meeting agenda 

What happened at this meeting? 

SPCSA Executive Director’s Report: 

Report Highlights: 

  • Seven schools submitted applications for authorization in the 2019 Summer cycle. Two schools were approved. Five schools were denied, but resubmitted their applications. 
  • One school submitted an application for authorization in the 2020 Winter cycle. 
  • The SPCSA Executive Director presented to the Legislative Committee on Education about the SPCSA’s Needs Assessment, Growth Management Plan, and Strategic Plan. The committee will provide written feedback to the SPCSA regarding the plans.
  • The SPCSA is launching a “secret shopper” style project to enhance oversight of special education compliance through random, unannounced phone calls to schools. Callers will represent themselves as parents of students with disabilities. 

Board Approved the Annual Report for the Nevada Department of Education

The annual SPCSA report, required by statute, includes updates on the academic performance data for each SPCSA-sponsored school, organizational and financial performance frameworks, and federal funds disbursed to SPCSA-sponsored schools. 

Click here to see the annual report. 

Board Approved the Authorization of Girls Athletic Leadership School (G.A.L.S) 

The board approved staff recommendations to authorize G.A.L.S with conditions. The G.A.L.S application returned to the SPCSA board through an appeal process outlined in the document linked below. G.A.L.S will serve 6th grade students for the 2020-2021 school year, and grow into a full 6-8th grade school by the 2022-2023 school year.  

Click here to see the staff recommendation and conditions. 

Board Approved Four (4) Charter School Renewals

The board approved the renewal of the 4 schools listed below. Click each school name to see the recommendation memo provided by SPCSA staff.

Board Heard an Update on Pinecrest Academy of Northern Nevada 

SPCSA staff members have been working closely with the Pinecrest team on efforts to serve a student population that is reflective of the community. SPCSA staff and members of the Pinecrest team shared updates on establishing a weighted lottery, securing a free lunch program, and launching targeted marketing and outreach for student enrollment. The school team is also working out the details related to transportation. It was noted that family enrollment can be determined by access to transportation. 

Board Heard a Presentation Overview of SPCSA-Sponsored Charter Schools

SPCSA staff presented an overview of SPCSA-sponsored public charter schools. The presentation included a summary of Nevada School Performance Framework (NSPF) results, graduation rates, and demographic information as compared to statewide and school district data.

Click here to see the presentation.

The Board Discussed Updates to the Board Calendar

Schools that received a Notice of Breach will present updates to the board during the March meeting. Performance data for Beacon Academy under the Alternative Performance Framework will also be available in March.

Board Approved Staff Recommendation to Deny Renewal of Nevada Connections Academy Middle and High School Charter Contract (4-1) 

Nevada Connections Academy (NCA) is an online school currently serving students in grades K-12. When assessing NCA’s application for renewal, SPCSA staff considered the academic, organizational and financial performance of the school– putting the largest weight on the academic performance, as required in statute. In the past three years, the elementary and high school programs have not received a rating above 1-star. While the middle school earned an adequate 3-star rating for the 2016 -17 school year, the two most recent ratings are below 3-stars.  

NCA staff provided testimony that outlined why they believe the school should not close. Highlights included: 

  • 2017 Nevada School Performance Framework (NSPF) ratings and subsequent years’ ratings are not comparable due to changes in measures
  • Students that attend NCA are highly mobile or transient, which the school is working to address 
  • Students that attend NCA enroll in the school with credit deficiencies
  • The school is actively working to address student social-emotional learning
  • The school has outlined intervention plans for middle and high school deficiencies 

After extensive presentations from SPCSA staff, Nevada Connections Academy (NCA) staff, and public comment from families– the board voted to deny the renewal of Nevada Connections Academy’s charter contract for their middle and high schools. NCA did not seek renewal for their elementary school, which will close at the end of the 2019-2020 school year. 

Click here to see the SPCSA memo regarding NCA’s renewal. 

Click here to download Nevada Connections Academy’s presentation. 


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Nevada Ed-Watch 12/12/19

The Ed-Watch series is designed to increase access to information on decisions being made regarding public education in Clark County and Nevada.


Nevada State Board of Education

What is the State Board of Education & what are they responsible for? The Nevada State Board of Education adopts regulations based on Nevada laws, which are passed down to individual school districts in Nevada to implement. The Board has 11 total (7 appointed and 4 publicly elected) members.

How often does the State Board meet? The Nevada State Board of Education meets once per month on Thursdays at 9:00AM. Click here to see the 2019 Board Meeting Schedule. Click here to visit Hope For Nevada’s #NVEd Calendar.

Can community members engage at State Board Meetings? A time for public comment is provided at the beginning (for agenda items) and at the conclusion (on any matter) of each Board meeting. There is a time limit of three minutes per speaker. Members of the community providing testimony must fill out a visitor card, available on-site the day of the meeting.

Click here for a list of all State Board Members.


Thursday, November 12, 2019
Nevada State Board of Education Meeting

Click here to see the meeting agenda

What happened at this meeting?

Board Approved the Consent Agenda

Consent Agenda Highlights:

  • Approval of Dual Credit requests for:
    • Somerset Academy for courses at the College of Southern Nevada
    • Pinecrest Academy for courses at the College of Southern Nevada
    • Nye County School District for courses at Great Basin College

Board Heard Presentations About Barriers and Progress Towards Nevada’s Student Achievement Goals

The Board heard from the Superintendents of the Clark and Washoe County School Districts, as well as a representative from the Nevada Council to Establish Academic Standards, about challenges and growth towards improving student achievement across Nevada.

The Interim Superintendent of the Washoe County School District shared the following needs for improving achievement in Washoe:

  • Alignment of school years, legislative years, and calendar years to address operational challenges related to timing of fund disbursements.
  • More flexibility in licensure reciprocity for educators who come to Nevada from another state. 

A representative of the Nevada Council to Establish Academic Standards shared concerns about:

  • Major changes in schools not suiting the interests of educators
  • Low academic achievement rates 
  • Alignment of standardized tests to the standards of the Nevada Department of Education

The Superintendent of the Clark County School District (CCSD), shared the following updates:

  • Support for the County Commission seeking additional funding through AB 309, specifically to address chronic absenteeism among students
  • Concerns about the lack of investments made in the professional development of school leaders.  
  • CCSD is working on developing exit surveys to address the retention rates of teachers and substitute teachers. 
  • CCSD is also working on ways to expand the teacher pipeline through partnerships with local colleges and universities.

The Board Heard a Presentation on Teacher Attrition and Absenteeism 

The average daily teacher attendance rate for schools and districts is defined as the percentage of teaching staff in classrooms on an “average school day” within the reporting school year. In 2018-2019, the average teacher attendance rate was 95.6%, which has been consistent over the past 3 years.

Teacher attrition refers to the number or percentage of educators who exit employment with a Nevada school district in a given year. The teacher attrition rate in 2018-2019 was 8.9% (2,326 teachers, with 13 out of 17 counties reporting). There was an average of 9.0% attrition over the past three years. 

The Office of Educator Licensure will come back to the Board with a comparison of these rates to average national rates. More information was requested from the board about the reasons behind teacher attrition. 

Click here to see the presentation.

The Board Heard Presentations about Student Chronic Absenteeism 

The Board heard from representatives of the Safe and Respectful Learning Environment, Parental Involvement and Family Engagement, and the Assessments, Data, and Accountability Management departments.

The following information was shared with the Board regarding chronic absenteeism:

  • In 2018, Nevada aligned its definition of chronic absenteeism to the federal definition, which states that students who are absent 10% or more of their enrolled school days are considered chronically absent.
  • The chronic absenteeism rate in Nevada in 2018-2019 was 19.2%. Nevada’s public charter schools had a chronic absenteeism rate of 8.44%. The Clark County School District had a chronic absenteeism rate of 20.38%.
  • Students with disabilities have the highest rate of chronic absenteeism in Nevada, followed by students who are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch.
  • Research shows that by 6th-grade, chronic absenteeism is a leading indicator that a student will drop out of high school. By 9th-grade, chronic absenteeism becomes a greater predictor of dropout rates than 8th-grade test scores.
  • School and family resources available include Attendance Works, a national and state-level initiative to reduce chronic absenteeism. Additionally, there is a new pilot program underway with Hazel Health to provide tele-health services in partnership with District Schools.

Click here to see the presentation.

The Board Approved the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V) State Plan

A representative of the Nevada Office of Career Readiness, Adult Learning & Education Options presented the updated Career and Technical Education Program State Plan (Perkins V) to the Board. A key update to the plan was requiring each Local Education Agency (LEA) to complete a local needs assessment.

The strategic goals of the plan are:

  • Goal 1: Improve the quality and alignment of career and technical education programs.
  • Goal 2: Ensure equity of opportunity and access for all students in career pathways aligned to high-skill, high-wage, or in-demand occupations.
  • Goal 3: Ensure employers have a pipeline of skilled talent.
  • Goal 4: Ensure programs have a pipeline of high-quality CTE teachers in aligned programs.
  • Goal 5: Increase the number of  high-quality work-based learning (WBL) opportunities available for secondary, postsecondary, and adult students (e.g., internships, apprenticeships) statewide.
  • Goal 6: Raise awareness of the need and opportunity for a stronger education-to-workforce pipeline for students, parents, educators, and Nevada employers.
  • Goal 7: Expand opportunities for high school students enrolled in career and technical education programs to earn early college credit.

Next, the Perkins V State Plan will go to the Governor’s office for a 30-day review prior to being submitted to the Governor’s Workforce Development Board in January 2020.  

Click here to see the presentation.

The Board Heard a Presentation About Silver State Governance (SSG) Training

The Board heard about Silver State Governance (SSG) training, which provides coaching for Board members to ensure a majority of their time is spent focused on student outcomes. Governing Boards that spend at least 50% of their time focusing on student outcomes are the most likely to see progress.

The Guinn Center conducted an audit of Nevada schools, which found that within some districts, only 10% of time spent was focused on student outcomes. Nevada’s State Board of Education was the only Board that spent nearly 50% of its time on student outcomes.

SSG is launching a pilot this weekend for Lincoln and Lyon County school Boards and Superintendents. 

Click here to see the presentation.

The Board Discussed the 2020 Census

In 2016, Nevada received $6.2 billion in federal funds based on census data, including hundreds of millions of dollars for education. However, it is estimated that in 2010, 6,000 children in Clark County alone were not counted– which reduced funding allocated to Nevada.  

Click here to see the presentation.

The Board Heard Information on Graduation Rates for the 2018-2019 School Year 

A representative of the Office of Assessment, Data, & Accountability Management presented to the Board about the 2018-19 school year graduation rates. The Class of 2019 had the highest graduation rate in Nevada history. The statewide high school graduation rate of 84.11 percent is 3.26 percentage points higher than it was in 2017.

In Clark County, there was an 85.8% graduation rate in 2019, slightly exceeding the state’s average rate of 84.1%.

Graduation rates by student race and ethnicity:

  • White: 87.33%
  • Hispanic: 82.95%
  • Black: 72.18%
  • Students with an IEP: 67.1%
  • Homeless Students: 65.7%
  • Students in Foster Care: 44.2%

Click here to see the presentation.


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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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