Nevada Ed-Watch 2/15/2022

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? Considered one of Nevada’s school districts, the SPCSA sponsors and oversees public charter schools. 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? The SPCSA typically meets one a month, generally on Fridays. 

Click here for SPCSA meeting schedule and materials.

Can community members engage at SPCSA Board Meetings? While all meetings of the SPCSA are typically 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), all meetings are now held virtually due to the COVID-19 crisis. Members of the public may view the meeting online via the link on the SPCSA’s Public Notice web page and the agenda and any supporting materials can be found here. Public comment may be given on any agenda item at the beginning of the meeting, or public comment regarding any matter that is SPCSA-related may be given at the conclusion of each Board meeting. Members of the community giving public comment can utilize the following conference call line: 1-312-584-2401; extension 3952176# with a time limit of three minutes per speaker. Alternatively, public comment may be submitted in writing to 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.


Tuesday, February 15, 2022
State Public Charter School Authority Special Board Meeting
Access the meeting agenda.

What happened at this meeting? 

Public comment 

Members of the public provided comments regarding: 

  • The school mask mandate.
  • Feedback from students about how Coral Academy has supported their education and language development.

Find written public comment here.

SPCSA Annual Overview of the State of the SPCSA

The mission of the SPCSA is to sponsor, support, and oversee “dynamic and responsive public charter schools that prepare all students for academic, social, and economic success.”

Milestones and highlights:

  • SPCSA was authorized through a bill enacted in 2011.
  • The first meeting of the board was held on February 10, 2012 and SPCSA just hit its 10-year anniversary.
  • Melissa Mackedon, the board’s Chair, and staff member Danny Peltier have served with the Authority since its inception and will be honored with a plaque.
  • There are 70 SPCSA-sponsored schools, up from 15 schools in 2012.
  • 66% of schools overseen by the SPCSA are rated as four or five stars as last reported, up from 47% in 2012.
  • SPCSA serves 55,415 students across state-sponsored charter schools, up from 10,706 in 2012.
  • SPCSA serves 11% of public school students in Nevada.
  • Pinecrest Academy – Inspirada Campus was the first Nevada charter school recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School for the category of Exemplary High-Performing in 2021.
  • The graduation rate for 2021 was 86.8% — all but one SPCSA-sponsored high school exceeded the state’s graduation rate.
  • All SPCSA student groups are exceeding their state peers in Math and ELA.
  • 72.2% of SPCSA-sponsored schools are growing the special education student group in ELA faster than the state.

Explore the presentation.

Board Heard Update on New Charter School Campuses for Fall 2022

  • Nevada State High School – North Las Vegas Campus
    • The campus was approved on June 26, 2020. In April 2021, the Authority approved a request by the school to defer opening due to COVID-19. The school anticipates opening in Fall 2022 with 100 students in grades 11-12.

Explore the Nevada State High School update.

  • Coral Academy of Las Vegas – Cadence Campus
    • Coral Cadence Campus was approved with conditions on February 26, 2021. The school anticipates serving approximately 850 students in Pre-K through 8th grade in the initial year. 50% of students that will be served will qualify for FRL.

The board heard a presentation from representatives of Coral Academy about their community engagement initiatives and recruitment strategies. Coral Academy will return with an update on these efforts at the March meeting.

No action was taken by the board on this agenda item.

Explore the presentation.

Board Approved Staff Recommendations on the Financial Performance Framework and Ratings for the 2020-21 School Year

The Financial Performance Framework is a tool utilized to evaluate a charter school’s financial well being, health, and performance as part of ongoing monitoring and the renewal decision making process. Charter schools have the autonomy to manage their finances consistent with state and federal law; however, sponsors must ensure that the schools they sponsor are financially stable. Schools that do not meet standards can be moved to the following interventions: Notice of Concern, Notice of Breach, and Notice of Intent to Revoke. 

The board approved the following recommendations brought forth by SPCSA staff:

  • Accept performance data for all schools included in the presentation.
  • Remove the active Notice of Concern for Nevada Virtual Academy as the school is meeting standards.
  • Request a Targeted Remediation Plan from Explore Academy.
  • Issue a Notice of Concern for Signature Preparatory Academy.

Explore the presentation.

Board Approved Recommendations on Charter School Contract Amendment Applications 

  • Mater Academy of Nevada – Approved (with conditions) for the expansion of Pre-K starting the 2022-23 school year at the East campus and addition of a Dual Credit program.

Explore the recommendation memo.

  • Alpine Academy – Approved (with modifications) to increase the enrollment cap for the school from 140 to 160 for grades 9 -12 and adopt a weighted lottery policy for the 2022-23 school year.

Explore the recommendation memo.

  • Pinecrest Academy of Nevada – Approved (with modifications and conditions) to increase the enrollment caps of the existing Cadence and Sloan Canyon campuses and open Pinecrest Virtual Academy for the 2022-23 school year with an enrollment cap of 80 students in the initial year.

Explore the recommendation memo.

  • Somerset Academy of Las Vegas – Approved to adjust the enrollment cap and modify grade levels from K-8 to K-5 at the North Las Vegas campus for the 2022-23 school year as well as adopt a weighted lottery policy.

Explore the recommendation memo.

Representatives of the schools were present to share updates and answer questions from board members.

Board Heard Presentation on Charter School Enrollment and Lotteries

Public charter schools:

  • Are free and open to all students.
  • Have no admission criteria. 
  • Do not discriminate in admissions processes in accordance with NRS 388A.453(6) & NAC 388A.538.
  • Have enrollment caps.

If fewer students apply than available seats, public charter schools are not required to run a lottery. If more students apply than available seats, a lottery is required.

Public charter schools conduct a two-part enrollment process for admissions:

  • An application which includes basic information (name, DOB, age, grade, contact info) prior to the lottery.
  • A full enrollment packet with detailed information (health information, IEP, EL, emergency contact) following the lottery.

Public charter schools may have preferences that give some students enrollment priority, such as siblings currently enrolled at the school, children of employees, and students within two miles of the school. The schools may also conduct a weighted lottery to give some students a greater chance of acceptance, such as students who are economically disadvantaged, students with disabilities, students with limited English proficiency, and students experiencing homelessness.

SPCSA monitors enrollment processes and application forms for compliance with SPCSA requirements and state and federal statutes.

Explore the presentation.

Board Heard Presentation on and Approved COVID-19 Update and Plan for the Safe Return to In-Person Instruction

SPCSA staff shared updates regarding:

  • COVID Mitigation Plans: Under Emergency Directive 052, schools can either draft an additional plan that sits alongside their existing plan or draft a revised plan. The plan must include 1) a policy on face coverings, 2) a COVID-19 testing program, and 3) a method for detecting, responding to, and mitigating COVID-19 outbreaks. The plan must be passed along to the Department of Health and Human Services for approval.
  • Face Coverings: Under Emergency Directive 052, face coverings are optional in school settings and charter schools may develop a policy that requires use of them. Masks are still required on all public transportation, including school buses, and schools must continue to follow quarantine guidelines.
  • Ensuring proper handwashing, respiratory etiquette, cleaning and disinfection per CDC guidelines.

Explore the Plan for the Safe Return to In-Person Instruction.

Explore the Governor’s Emergency Directive 052.

Long-Range Calendar (next 3 months):

Agenda items over the next three SPCSA board meetings are anticipated to include:

  • A presentation on emergency funds.
  • A presentation by Coral Academy in March on their progress.

Click here to see the long-range calendar.

The next Meeting of the SPCSA Board is scheduled for March 4, 2022 @ 9:00 am. 

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Nevada Ed-Watch 1/13/2022

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 5 pm both virtually and at the Edward A. Greer Education Center Board Room (2832 E Flamingo Rd, 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. Currently, members of the public can submit comments on agenda and non-agenda items through email or voice recording. Public comment can be provided in person, via email, or via voice recording. Email comments should be submitted to Boardmtgcomments@nv.ccsd.net. To submit a voice recording on items listed on the meeting agenda, call 702-799-1166. Voice recorded public comment is limited to 1 minute 30 seconds.

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Clark County School District Board of Trustees Meeting

Click here to see the meeting agenda.
Watch the meeting playback on Facebook or CCSD EduVision.

What happened at this meeting?

Public Comment #1 on Non-Agenda Items

Members of the public provided comments on non-agenda items regarding: 

  • Concerns about the teacher and staff shortages.
  • Concerns about the district “5-day pause”. 
  • Concerns about unintended consequences of the new enrollment system. 
  • Concerns about the use of masks in schools. 
  • Benefits and sick leave for substitute teachers to address the substitute teacher shortage.
  • Concerns regarding CCSD Regulation 5112 – Change of School Assignment and the impact of school reassignment on student mental health.
  • Concerns from students that the dress code policy is oppressive toward female students.
  • Requests to allow students to remain in-person for their program classes if schools are closed again due to COVID.
  • Concerns about an impending school closure and the impact on student mental health.
  • Exhaustion of teachers due to the teacher shortage.
  • Concerns about the new CCSD zone variance policy and the impact on siblings who will have to attend different schools.
  • Concerns that mandatory reporters are not reporting child abuse and abusers continuing to be employed.
  • Concerns regarding teachers being allowed to take cell phones from students.
  • Considerations for redefining the qualifications in place for substitute licensure.

Click here to view written public comment on non-agenda items submitted online.

Consent Agenda Highlights:

  • Approval of student expulsions according to NRS 392.467 (Board Policy 5114 and Regulations 5114 and 5141.1).
  • Approval to establish a Student Training Agreement between CCSD and the Valley Health System, L.L.C. for students to receive clinical experience in a healthcare setting.
  • Approval to allocate funds made available from the U.S Department of Education through the Nevada Department of Education state set-aside ESSER budget to provide opportunities for CCSD to initiate a districtwide Tier I Restorative Practices Implementation Project in an amount of $2,597,490.04.
  • Authorization to submit and implement the state-funded program for Salary Incentives for eligible 2020-2021 licensed personnel to be paid from FY22 in the approximate amount of $509,493.28.
  • Authorization to enter into a Memorandum of Agreement between CCSD and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Division of Environmental Protection Bureau of Air Quality Planning and Churchill County School District to replace one eligible diesel-powered school bus with one zero-emission school bus and purchase and install one charging station for the replacement zero-emission school bus.

Members of the public shared comments on this agenda item regarding:

  • A request for quicker school year expulsions reporting.
  • Congratulations to CCSD’s new hires.
  • Concerns that school libraries do not have a wide variety of books.
  • Concerns that staff do not have enough sick days.
  • Concerns about the restorative justice program.

Click here to view a detailed list of all consent agenda items.

Trustees Heard Update on ​​Plan for Path Forward Program of Distance Education and Plan for the Safe Return to In-Person Instruction

In order to open for the 2021-2022 school year and access federal reopening funds, CCSD submitted a plan to the Nevada Department of Education outlining plans for virtual learning and a safe return to in-person learning. Trustees heard an update on the revisions to this plan, as required every six months. The revisions included: 

  • Updates to language outline the correct usage of masks.
  • Information on student COVID screening. 
  • Information about safety regarding student transportation. 
  • Social-emotional supports and resources for staff. 

The revised plan will be submitted to the Nevada Department of Education on January 14 for approval. 

CCSD will also begin the Test to Stay Program, which is a COVID mitigation strategy for individuals who have been exposed to someone who tested positive in the school setting. This is a voluntary program in which students and staff can opt-in. 

Students who test positive and are symptomatic will engage in distance learning, managed by their school. CCSD staff clarified that schools are not offering full-time distance learning. 

Members of the public provided comments regarding: 

  • Concerns about the COVID testing and notification protocols. 
  • The need to implement quality distance education for students who are unable to be in-person.

Click here to view public comments submitted online 

Click here to view the revised plan. 

Click here to read more about this in the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Trustees Approve Agreements between CCSD and Employee Bargaining Units (6-0-1)

The bargaining units include the Clark County Education Association, Education Support Employees Association, Clark County Association of School Administrators and Professional-Technical Employees, Police Officers Association, and the Police Administrators Association. The agreement provides for FTE and 5 unions.  

The agreements allow for two $1,000 bonuses, with the first to be paid for FTE with regular status on January 1, 2022. The second bonus will be distributed to qualifying employees who remain active through the end of the school year. Substitute teachers, temps, and senior leadership will not receive retention bonuses. The total cost of the bonuses is $66 million. 

The motion passed 6-0-1. One trustee abstained from voting due to a potential conflict of interest.

Click here to view the summary. 

Public Comment #2

Members of the public provided comments on non-agenda items regarding:

  • The approach to translation of IEPs and how comprehensive they are.
  • The substitute teacher hiring process.
  • Concerns about the expulsion rate for Black students and the need for a plan to ensure Black student excellence.

Upcoming Meeting

The next regular board meeting will take place Thursday, January 27, at 5:00 pm.

Adjournment

Prior to adjournment, a token of appreciation was given to Linda Cavazos for her term as President of the Board of School Trustees.

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