Nevada Ed-Watch 1/10/19

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.

Included below are recaps from both the CCSD Trustees work session on 1/9/19 and the CCSD Trustees board meeting on 1/10/19.

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.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019
Clark County School District Board of Trustees Work Session

What happened at this work session?

Trustees Elect the Following New Board Officer Roles:

  • Trustee Brooks as Board President
  • Trustee Cavazos as Vice President
  • Trustee Garvey as Clerk

Presentation: Zoom, Victory, and SB178 Designated Schools

The presentation showed the academic outcomes at schools receiving special funding:

  • Zoom (for schools with high English Language Learner populations)
  • Victory (for underperforming schools located in high-poverty zip codes)
  • SB178 (schools rated 1- or 2-stars that are not getting Zoom or Victory funds)

Click here to see the full presentation.

You can also access data reports for Zoom,  Victory, and SB178 schools on Opportunity 180’s custom report builder.

Presentation: School Libraries

The presentation included literacy standards and the roles of librarians at the school site.

Click here to see the full presentation.

Thursday, January 10, 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:

  • Support staff working conditions
  • The inability to show the movie Schindler’s List to students in an 11th-grade history class because of a blanket policy not allowing movies rated PG-13 or above.

Trustees Unanimously Approve the Consent Agenda

The approved consent agenda included:

  • Grants:
    • Accepting grant funds from the Career & Technical State Allocation Grant through the Nevada Department of Education from Tesla.
    • Submitting grant application for Rural Schools through the Prevent Advocacy Choices Teamwork (PACT) Coalition, which provides resources to prevent substance abuse for all ages.
    • Submitting grant to State of Nevada for 2017-2018 Salary Incentives for Licensed Education Personnel. Click here to learn more.
  • Purchase Orders in the total amount of $1,259,160.75. This excludes two purchase orders totaling $30,000 for Data Insight Partners for having reached their $50,000 vendor maximum, per Board policy.

Trustees Hear Updates from the Attendance Zone Advisory Commission (AZAC)

The purpose of this board-appointed commission is to provide recommendations to the Superintendent of the Clark County School District concerning any necessary changes to attendance boundaries. Click here to learn more about AZAC.

AZAC’s chair shared an overview of the commission and their recent meeting updates:

  • The commission heard overwhelming concern from parents who say they are not getting information about the meetings and when they are happening. Trustees requested a review of how parents are informed.
  • Upcoming Community Input meetings:
    • 1/15/19 @ Chaparral High School, 6pm
    • 1/16/19 @ Spring Valley High School

More details can be found here.

Possible Next Step: Consider an AZAC update at the Trustee monthly meetings held in their districts.

Trustees Unanimously Approve Appointment of Dr. Linda Young to both the Southern Nevada Regional Planning Coalition and the Debt Management Commission

The Southern Nevada Regional Planning coalition meets once a month at the County office and discusses coordination on regional issues. The Debt Management Commission oversees any increases in taxation.

Trustees Discuss Updates to Trustee Travel & Expense Policy

Updates to the policy include:

  • During the development of the annual budget, the board executive assistant, in partnership with the Chief Financial Officer and board assistant, will calculate an annual travel allocation per Trustee.
  • During the legislative session, additional funds may be allocated for Trustee travel as it is an important part of the strategic plan.
  • Trustees can request per diem in advance of travel, instead of using a credit card.

In the discussion, some Trustees expressed concerns about the ability to “share” funds among trustees, accountability measures, and the requirement to have an original receipt.

The policy will be brought back for additional discussion during the February work session.

Click here to see the policy language.

Trustees Unanimously Approve Updates to Board Policy Review Process

The updates included minor grammatical corrections and language clean-up.

Click here to see the policy language.

Trustees Approve Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Between Board of Regents and CCSD for strategic partnership for college and career readiness (6-0 vote, 1 abstention)

The strategic partnership will include collaboration on:

  • Addressing barriers to student participation
  • Developing options to expand access to career & technical education for students
  • Increasing dual credit opportunities that will allow high school students to earn both high school and college credit.
  • Aligning high school English language arts and math curriculum to Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) standards

Click here to see the memo.

Trustee Cepeda abstained from the vote because of her employment with Nevada State College, but expressed full support of the partnership. In the discussion, Trustees raised questions about whether there are conflicts with Nevada Department of Education standards, and requested data to track the impact of the partnership.

Presentation: Council of Great City Schools’ Review of Clark County School District Operational Services

Dr. Michael Casserly (Executive Director) and colleagues from Council of Great City Schools presented the findings of their recent assessment of current district operational practices. The Council of Great City Schools review team included operational team members from a variety of member districts across the country.

Highlighted Commendation: Even with a history of salary and longevity freezes, many support staff members interviewed maintain a “can-do” and “caring” attitude toward their work.

Highlighted Challenge: There appears to be a culture in the district of relying on out-of-date practices with no apparent sense of urgency to bring it into the 21st century and generate needed change.

The report includes 20 total recommendations to address its findings.

Click here to see the full report.

During public comment, members of the public expressed concern that the recommendations in the report are not in line with AB469 (district reorganization), and concerns over staff treatment, which may lead to inaccurate findings.

Discussion: Operational Services Review Report Findings

Trustees thanked the Council of Great City Schools for their work and praised the value of the report. The discussion between Trustees and the Council of Great City Schools regarding the report included the following:

Concerns expressed included:

  • A clear data integrity issue with data identified in the report
  • Buildings meeting Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) requirements but not paying to receive formal certification.
  • Consistent communication issues across departments and missed management opportunities
  • A theme around reactive practice vs. proactive practice
  • The effects of budget cuts on efforts to address challenges

Opportunities identified included:

  • A comparison of CCSD to only the largest member Districts to see best practices and systems.
  • Leveraging reports like these as an opportunity to improve systems and processes, and to help the district take an honest look into its practices.
  • The report provides a roadmap for what challenges to focus on addressing.
    • Council of Great City Schools recommends cross-referencing with the “Gibson Report” from 10 years ago.

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

Authorization for Principals to Fulfill Responsibilities Without the Purchase of Services from the District

The conversation on this item included concerns over potential displacement of existing staff.  Staff noted that any services not transferred as of this Board meeting will not be included in the January 15th strategic budget that will be sent to school principals.

Trustees Unanimously Approved the following Responsibilities to be transferred to school-level authorization:

  • High school credit recovery
  • Moapa Valley Farms
  • Prime 6 field trips
  • ELL Student Success Advocates

Trustees requested more information on the following services before they are transferred:

  • English Language Learner placement testing
  • FACES support services
  • Landscape maintenance

Presentation: Cultural Competency Professional Learning Within CCSD

Trustees had questions about the long-term vision of the work, and Nevada Department of Education liaisons training the trainers.

Trustees also requested information on the training’s impact on student achievement.

Click here to see the full presentation.

Potential Future Items:

  • Attendance Zone Advisory Commission meeting outreach
  • Film ratings allowed to be shown in school
  • Details on support staff separations

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