Nevada Ed-Watch 3/12/20

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 2020 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, March 12, 2020
Nevada State Board of Education Meeting

Click here to see the meeting agenda

What happened at this meeting?

Public Comment

Members of the public provided testimony regarding: 

  • Support for updates to the Nevada Educator Performance Framework for evaluating Speech Language Pathologists 
  • Support for increased investments in adequate school psychologist staffing
  • Support for completing the 2020 Census

President’s Report

Board President Wynn shared the following updates: 

  • Participation in Nevada Reading Week 
  • Preparation for the COVID-19 virus, including online resources available for school administrators and nurses, as well as discussion about distance education 

Superintendent’s Report

State Superintendent Ebert shared the following updates:

  • The Commission on School Funding: 
    • Met with Department of Taxation to gather revenue sources included in the State Education Fund
    • Is developing a budgeting program and discussing revisions to budget templates used by districts 
    • Is determining the categorical weights for pupils and establishing benchmarks for monitoring the implementation of the new funding structure during the March 20th meeting.
    • Is conducting a comparative analysis of district budgets under the new budgeting process during the April meeting.
    • Is identifying final recommendations for the governor and legislature during the May meeting. Committee recommendations are due by July 15th. 
  • ACT Fee Waiver Participation: In 2019, 35,000 students took the ACT. Of those students, 21,000 were eligible for fee waivers, but only 2,059 students (about 6%) used waivers. The Department is working with districts to expand the number of students who access fee waivers.

Board Approved the Consent Agenda:

Consent Agenda Highlights:

Board Heard Updates on the Development of the Statewide Plan for the Improvement of Pupils (STIP)

The STIP outlines goals and values related to the Nevada Department of Education’s role in improving student outcomes. Department staff presented updated goals, each of which will have 2-4 strategies with defined inputs, outputs, and outcomes. 

The board provided guidance related to advocating for additional funding at the legislature to allow for the implementation of STIP with fidelity. 

The final STIP will be presented to the board during the April board meeting. 

Click here to see the presentation.

Board Approved Recommended Revisions to the Nevada Educator Performance Framework (NEPF) 

The approved recommended revisions to the Nevada Educator Performance Frameworks (NEPF) for School Counselors, School Nurses, and Speech-Language Pathologists. The recommendations will help ensure the NEPF aligns with national best practices and accurately reflects the work of professional practice in Nevada. 

Click here to see updated NEPF standards for school counselors 

Click here to see updated NEPF standards for school nurses 

Click here to see updated NEPF standards for speech language pathologists

The board approved a recommendation that Student Learning Goals (SLGs) be modified by a workgroup. The workgroup will remove requirements for the use of standardized assessments to track student progress against their individual SLG’s. Department staff stated that this change will allow tracking of SLG progress to be more closely aligned with content standards. The final changes will be presented before the board for approval at a future meeting. 

Click here to see the presentation.

The Board Heard Non-binding Recommended Ratios for Specialized Instructional Support Personnel 

Senate Bill 89 requires the State Board of Education to develop non-binding recommendations for the ratio of pupils to specialized instructional support personnel. 

Specialized support personnel includes: 

  • School counselors
  • School psychologists
  • School social workers
  • School nurses
  • Speech-language pathologists
  • School library media specialists
  • Any other qualified professional

The board is not approving the recommended ratios until more research is available to inform the most appropriate ratios for Nevada’s student population.

Click here to see the presentation. 

Board Heard a Presentation about the Implementation of Financial Transparency Requirements of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

ESSA requires State Report Cards to include per-pupil expenditure data beginning with FY19. Currently, the Nevada Report Card reports total expenditure per pupil at the school, district, and state levels, but does not differentiate between personnel and non-personnel expenses. 

The Department is reporting personnel and non-personnel expenses in Spring 2020.  By September 15, 2020, the Department will have more interactive graphics and data comparison capabilities that will be available to the public on the Nevada Report Card website.  

The board requested budget data on the Nevada Report Card website to include actual costs for teacher salaries at the school level. 

Click here to see the presentation.

Requests for future agenda items: 

  • Presentation from Teach Plus on an analysis of teachers leaving the profession

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Nevada Ed-Watch 2/28/19

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.

Clark County School District Board of Trustees 

What is the Board of Trustees & what are they responsible for? The CCSD Trustees are publicly elected decision-makers for the school district. They are responsible for providing oversight to the Superintendent and establishing District-wide policy. Trustees are accountable to work with their communities to improve student achievement.

Click here to learn more and see a list of current Trustees

Click here to Find your Trustee District

How often does the Board of Trustees meet? Trustees meet twice per month (second and fourth Thursdays) at 5pm at the Edward A. Greer Education Center (Board Room): 2832 E. Flamingo Road, Las Vegas, NV 89121.

Click here for a full list of Trustees meetings and agendas

Click here to visit Hope For Nevada’s #NVEd Calendar

Can community members engage at Trustee Meetings? Decision-making bodies benefit greatly from hearing public input and multiple perspectives. Community members can sign up to speak after the agenda has been posted– by calling the Board Office at (702) 799-1072 at least 3 hours before the scheduled meeting, or signing up in-person at the beginning of the meeting. Prior to each agenda item being voted on, speakers can share their perspective after the Board’s discussion and prior to the vote.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Clark County School District Board of Trustees Meeting

Click here to see the meeting agenda

What happened at this meeting?

Public Comment

Members of the public provided testimony to Trustees regarding:

  • Requesting a consideration for snow delay instead of cancellation (snow days)
  • Affordable health insurance for support staff
  • Concerns about future cuts to employee pay or to school supports like Zoom
  • Interest in knowing more about the District’s legislative plan
  • Recognition for Trustee Young from the organization 100 Black Men
  • Ensuring diversity, inclusion, and equal representation on all boards and committees
  • Integration of programs and opportunities for career exploration in middle school
  • Building repairs for Las Vegas Academy
  • Concerns about playground closures and timeline for repairs
  • Support of the District’s strategic plan
  • Professional development opportunities for support staff

Trustees Unanimously Approve the Consent Agenda

Consent Agenda Highlights:

  • Chinese Guest Teacher Program, which assists schools in the United States in developing Chinese language and culture study programs. There are seven CCSD schools and 19 teachers currently involved in the program.

Trustees Hear Report from the Student Advisory Committee

The Student Advisory Committee Chair shared updates with Trustees on their last meeting, which included:

  • A presentation about the school justice partnership program and implicit bias training
  • Hearing from other students about their experiences with the popularity of vaping and its health risks. The committee also discussed possible solutions, such as placing collateral in bathroom stalls about the harmful effects of vaping

Trustees Approve a Review of Policy for Use of District Buildings, Grounds, and Equipment by Non-School Groups

Discussion among Trustees included concerns about liabilities, visiting groups trashing or damaging school property, and ensuring more community input in decision making.

Trustees approved having staff review the policy, hear community input, and come back with recommendations to include for future modifications to the regulation.

Click here to see the regulation.

Trustees Unanimously Approve a Timeline Extension for the Formative Superintendent and Board Performance Assessment Policy

The Superintendent and Board Performance Assessment includes various qualitative and quantitative data that allows the District and Board to monitor the progress of Superintendent and Board performance.

The assessment timeline outlined in the policy was approved to be waived for 3-months. After the 3-month period, a plan will be brought back to Trustees for discussion.

Click here to see the policy.

Trustees Unanimously Approve Implementation of CCSD 5-Year Strategic Plan (Focus 2024)

Superintendent Jara presented an overview of the District’s 5-Year Strategic Plan, Focus 2024.

Discussion among Trustees and the Superintendent included the use of data to track progress, and concerns and questions about funding some of the strategies outlined in the plan. One of the District’s strategies is to establish a plan for reallocation of resources.

The discussion also included identifying opportunities to partner with business communities to support student attendance, and ensuring individual schools can access their data to inform their planning and decision making.

Public Comment– Members of the public provided testimony to Trustees regarding:

  • Focusing on success for all students, including students learning to speak English
  • Ensuring family engagement is centered in schools, not just district-wide implementation (like FACES), and treating parents as equal partners to provide input and participate
  • Communicating with support staff beyond email exchanges

Click here to see the Focus 2024 Strategic Plan.

Trustees Unanimously Approve 3 Employment Agreements

Trustees approved the following employment agreements (click on the links to see the employment agreements):

Trustees Unanimously Approve Amendments to 2 Purchasing Policies

The amendments include non-substantive language updates to the following purchasing policies:

Trustee Reports

Trustees spoke about positive engagement throughout Nevada Reading Week, and thanked the community for getting involved.

Board and Superintendent Communication

Superintendent Jara plans to bring a recommended date to the next Board meeting, likely March 22, to make up for the snow day.

Potential Future Items:

  • Request for information about:
    • the approval process for teacher CU’s
    • the ladder of communications between equity/diversity and curriculum
    • differences between funding and supports offered for CTA and select schools versus traditional schools
  • Present the reorganization policy in a matrix format to clarify board roles and address inconsistencies in board policies; Start with an electronic platform for each trustee to read policies and make comments that will be released to public
  • Request for roundtable meetings to hear more from teachers and support staff about issues they are facing, and having conversations about professional development
  • Suggest a recurring regular legislation Board meeting agenda item during legislative session

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