Nevada Ed Watch: 5/20/2022

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 once 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.


Friday, May 20, 2022
State Public Charter School Authority Board Meeting
Access the meeting agenda and playback.

What happened at this meeting? 

Public comment 

Members of the public shared comments regarding retention of students of color and additional staff training as well as matters of student safety and substance use at Legacy Traditional School.

SPCSA Charter School Governing Body Governance Standards.

The board will return to this agenda item during the June 27 meeting.

Explore the SPCSA Governance Standards.

SPCSA Executive Director’s Report

Highlights from the report include:

  • Initiatives Related to Serving All Students Equitably: Last month the Authority voted to require certain schools to submit recruitment and enrollment plans by September 30, 2022.  The plans must include specific strategies aimed at serving a student population representative of the school community, particularly those qualifying for free and reduced lunch. SPCSA staff issued guidance to the selected schools for developing their plans, with a suggested process that includes a data review, root cause analysis, and identification of strategies. Three optional virtual working sessions will be offered to support the schools with this process.
  • COVID-19 Update: Governor Sisolak formally ended the COVID-19 State of Emergency effective Friday, March 20. All SPCSA-sponsored schools, except those approved as fully distance learning schools, will return to in-person learning. Emergency substitutes will be phased out in Washoe and Clark Counties for the 2022-23 school year but will be permitted in rural communities. The provision that allows a registered nurse to oversee the COVID-19 testing lab for SPCSA schools will expire with the State of Emergency. The SPCSA is looking for a certified director with the approved credentials to continue to keep the lab open. If they are unable to hire one, SPCSA staff will transition schools to other COVID testing programs. The Safe Return to In-Person Learning Plan will remain in place through September 30, 2023.
  • New Charter School Applications: Charter school applications are due between April 15-30 each year. This year, five applicants applied, including four schools in Clark County: Mind Your Books (K-8), Rooted School (9-12), Southern Nevada Trades High School (9-12) and The Village High School (9-12). The fifth school, Method Schools of NV, withdrew their application. The next step will include external review of the applications with recommendations brought to the Authority in August. Full applications are posted on the SPCSA website and are open for public comment. One member of the Authority requested first year enrollment for the new schools, which will be available in the posted applications’ enrollment tables.
  • 2022 Sponsor Feedback Survey: Last week, SPCSA launched its annual sponsor feedback survey to SPCSA-sponsored charter school leaders, which measures dimensions such as communications with SPCSA staff, the authorizing functions, and school and grant administration support functions. The survey will remain open for one month. The results will be shared at an upcoming meeting. Thus far, 11 respondents have taken the survey.
  • Update on New Schools Opening in Fall 2022: 
    • Battle Born Academy will open with 240 students in grades K, 1, 5 and 6.  The Authority approved the school’s temporary location. With necessary modifications on track, the certificate of occupancy is expected by July 8, 2022. 
    • Sage Collegiate will open with 224 students in grades K-5. Work is being completed on the facility, but construction timelines are tight, so the school is working on contingency plans. 
    • PilotED – Cactus Park Elementary will open with 351 in grades K-4. The school is working to close the gap in enrollment paperwork.  Work is being completed on the facility, but construction timelines are tight, so the school is working on contingency plans. 
    • Young Women’s Leadership Academy will open with a planned enrollment of 150 across grades 6-9. 
    • Strong Start Academy is opening K-2 with 180 students. Through a partnership with the City of Las Vegas, the school will open in the City’s three Pre-K centers and then to partner with the City to transition to a single site facility long term. 

      Each school is on track to open in Fall 2022. In early June, enrollment audits will be conducted, which will result in initial funding.  Per pupil funding will be reconciled for schools in November.  Additionally, from a facility perspective, schools will be required to provide evidence of temporary or permanent certificate of occupancy after which SPCSA staff will perform walkthroughs of the facilities.

Charter School Contract Amendment Applications

Discovery Charter School requested a good cause exemption and received approval to acquire the current facility at Hillpoint Campus to accommodate a waitlist exceeding 220 students.

Explore Discovery Charter School’s good cause exemption request and charter amendment application.

Eagle Charter School was approved for a new location at 2025 East Sahara, which is located in the previously approved zip code of 89104. The school anticipates the majority of enrollment to come from this zip code. A Restaurant Depot is currently located in the facility. 

Explore Eagle Charter School’s good cause exemption request and charter amendment application

Additional materials including each school’s budget and SPCSA recommendation memo can be found here.

Board Approved Revolving Loan Application for Sage Collegiate

Sage Collegiate provided SPCSA staff with a business plan and budget which indicated they would have sufficient funds to make the repayments. Based on this analysis, SPCSA staff recommended approval of the loan, according to repayment terms in the memo.   

Explore the Sage Collegiate recommendation memo and revolving loan request.

Board Approved Good Cause Exemption for Pioneer Technology & Arts Academy Nevada

The board approved PTAA Nevada’s request for a good cause exemption to submit a new charter school application outside of the usual application window. Recent revisions to administrative code NAC 388A.260 changed the deadlines for new charter applications from two charter application windows to a single window in April of each year.  The code also gives the SPCSA authority to accept an application outside of the annual window upon request and for good cause.

PTAA would submit notice of intent by May 30, 2022, and would then submit an application toward the end of August 2022, which would come to the Authority for approval in December 2022.  Staff found good cause to approve submission outside of the April window, also noting that submitting next April would generate approval too late to open in Fall 2023 as planned.  

The board also heard updates on ongoing litigation. PTAA filed two lawsuits against the Authority – one of which will be dismissed, and no action will be taken on the second in the next 30 days.

Members of the board shared thoughts on the school’s decision to move forward with a new application as well as the need for both the school and the Authority to reflect on their own process and that the process be balanced on both sides. 

Explore the PTAA recommendation memo and request for good cause exemption.

Long-Range Calendar (next 3 months):

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

  • Calendar updates due to virtual meetings – the June meeting will be on Monday, June 27 and the August meeting will be on Monday, August 29.
  • Amendment applications on the June meeting agenda.

Explore the long-range calendar.

The next Meeting of the SPCSA Board is scheduled for June 27, 2022 @ 9:00 am. 

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Nevada Ed-Watch: 4/15/22

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 once 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.


Friday, April 15, 2022
State Public Charter School Authority Board Meeting
Access the meeting agenda and playback.

What happened at this meeting? 

Public comment 

Public comment was provided on FMLA and personnel concerns.

SPCSA Executive Director’s Report

Highlights from the report include:

  • Student Equity: Last month, Nevada Prep presented its transportation plan, and this month, the Board will hear about how Beacon Academy serves students with special needs. The agency is continuing discussions around recruitment and enrollment plans to serve certain student populations and promote equitable learning environments.
  • Impacts of COVID-19: The focus is on ensuring schools have access to testing, and schools continue to evolve their COVID plans.
  • Legislative Updates: At the Interim Finance Committee, the SPCSA shared routine adjustments to grant amounts and requested two additional positions, both of which were approved.
  • Budget Prep: The agency is working on budget preparation for the next fiscal year.
  • Annual Enrollment Count: Last year’s annual enrollment data had errors identified; none were specific to SPCSA, but they are working to incorporate those minor technical corrections in SPCSA documents.

Board Heard an Update on Beacon Academy of Nevada

Beacon Academy of Nevada discussed its alternative school model, which offers at-risk high school students with a personalized education plan that provides the support and flexibility for students to graduate high school. 95% of its students fall into a high-need category. The school currently has 95 students and operates on continuous enrollment and have not turned away any students at this point. The school was accredited by COGNIA in 2022, as well. Staff provided updates on credit earning rates, graduation rates by cohort, and next steps for the school.

Explore the presentation.

Board Approved Amendments to Charter School Contracts

Beacon Academy of Nevada requested a good cause exemption and received approval to accelerate financing for its East campus.

Explore Beacon Academy’s good cause exemption letter and charter amendment application. The budget workbook, amortization schedule, and the enrollment workbook can be found here.

Girls Athletic Leadership School (GALS) was approved for a change in its charter management organization. It was approved to formally separate GALS Las Vegas from GALS Inc. and terminate its CMO agreement.

Explore the GALS recommendation memo and Notice of Termination of Contract with GALS Inc.

Battle Born Academy received approval for a temporary location for the 2022-2023 school year, at 4201 E. Bonanza Rd., Las Vegas, NV 89110.

Explore the Battle Born Academy recommendation memo and good cause exemption letter.

Board Heard an Update on Approved New Charter Schools for Fall 2022

Battle Born Academy: The school has secured a temporary facility and has submitted an updated budget, as well as received approval for an SPCSA revolving loan. Enrollment has reached about 50% and is expected to rise with the announcement of the temporary location. The school hired an Operations Director in March, as well as a full-time counselor, and is still looking for professionals in the fields of special education and ESL.

Explore the update from Battle Born Academy.

Sage Collegiate: The school is 59.4% enrolled and will begin canvassing the community in May. The facility is on track to open for the 2022-23 school year but are working on contingency plans. The school is hosting a career fair with several other charter schools on April 23.

Explore the update from Sage Collegiate.

PilotED – Cactus Park Elementary: Enrollment for the school is at 40%, and the faacility is two weeks ahead of schedule. It is 80% staffed for admin and leadership positions, 13% for teaching positions, with additional interviews taking place this month.

Explore the update from PilotED.

Young Women’s Leadership Academy: The school is 60% enrolled, with recruitment events continuing throughout April. They are also making progress with staff recruitment efforts.

Explore the update from Young Women’s Leadership Academy.

Strong Start Academy: The school is 90% enrolled in kindergarten, and 20% in Grades 1 and 2. Upcoming recruitment marketing will focus on Grades 1 and 2, and the school has established a weighted lottery system, should enrollment exceed capacity. Vendor contracts have been executed, and the City of Las Vegas is in the process of transferring funds and has also made an offer on a permanent facility. At an upcoming City Council meeting, the school will move to increase the number of board seats to nine, to ensure each ward served by the school is represented.

Board Approved a Recommendation for School to Submit Recruitment and Enrollment Plans

SPCSA presented a recommendation for schools to submit recruitment and enrollment plans in progress of increasing populations of FRL, ESL, and IEP students served. The recommendation presented included focusing on the FRL student group, as this population represented the greatest disparity, and identifying schools by comparing school FRL percentage to local district schools with the largest FRL rates. Schools making adequate progress (at least 25% increase in the enrollment of students who qualify for FRL in the prior year) were removed from the list. This process resulted in 14 schools being identified to submit recruitment and enrollment plans.

These enrollment plans include staff issuing guidance to the identified schools. Plans would need to be submitted in September 2022 and should detail recruiting and enrolling students who quality for FRL (but the schools can also explore other student groups). Strategies in the plan should fall under at least one of the following categories:

  • Raising awareness
  • Ensuring the school provides a welcoming and supportive environment for all learners, or
  • Increasing the likelihood that such students are selected through the enrollment process.

SPCSA staff will provide feedback and regular updates, and schools will implement plans and provide SPCSA staff with data regarding the effectiveness of those strategies.

Board discussion included questions on monitoring, other state models, and school feedback on the process.

Explore the recommendation memo and SPCSA FRL data.

Board Heard an Update on the SPCSA Growth Management Plan

Staff held a meeting with a community working group to review the current version of the Growth Management Plan. The updated plan will be brought to the Board in June.

Long-Range Calendar (next 3 months):

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

  • The Growth Management Plan
  • Enrollment and staffing data reporting for new schools

Click here to see the long-range calendar.

The next Meeting of the SPCSA Board is scheduled for May 20, 2022 @ 9:00 am. 

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Nevada Ed-Watch 03/04/2022

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 once 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.


Friday, March 4, 2022
State Public Charter School Authority Board Meeting
Access the meeting agenda and playback.

What happened at this meeting? 

Public comment 

No public comment was provided.

SPCSA Executive Director’s Report

Highlights from the report include:

  • COVID-19 updates: Some schools are still requiring masks, while others have lifted the mask mandate. SPCSA is working on a plan, but at this time, schools are determining their masking requirements.
  • Emergency funds: 38 charter schools have requested emergency funds.
  • Next cycle: There are 14 letters of intent from September that are carrying into the next cycle. Nine letters of intent were received in January. There were 23 total letters of intent in the April cycle.

Explore the letters of intent.

Board Heard an Update on Focus on Schools: Nevada Prep Charter School Transportation

NV Prep discussed school transportation. More than 50 percent of the school’s students ride the bus, and they currently have two (with an additional two buses planned). Currently, charter schools receive no transportation funding from CCSD. The school posed requests and recommendations for assistance with more systemic solutions regarding student transportation equity.

Explore the presentation.

Board Heard an Update on Nevada Connections Academy

The school will be entering its renewal cycle by this summer, with the decision to renew by the SPCSA by the end of 2022.

Current enrollment for the school is 1,316 students, with continuing growth. The school’s performance framework target is a three-star rating and 56 total points across all indicators. The school recently held four ACT boot camps for students. Various student engagement initiatives also continue.

Explore the presentation.

Board Heard an Update on Approved New Charter Schools for Fall 2022 – Coral Academy of Science

Prior to the lottery, 1,793 applications with the Cadence Campus had been submitted for 1,850 open seats. 607 new applications have been received since the February 15 Authority meeting. Final enrollment counts will take place in October.

Community outreach for the 2021-2022 school year included door-to-door routes, flyers, phone calls, media coverage, and bilingual support for various outreach initiatives.

Explore the presentation.

 Board Heard an Update on Approved New Charter Schools for Fall 2022

  • Battle Born Academy: The school began hiring in December and had 60 applicants for 11-12 positions. Enrollment is currently 55 applications, with another 200 interested. There is a delay in a permanent facility, but the school is exploring additional partnerships, including one with Discovery Children’s Museum. No delay is expected regarding school opening.
  • Sage Collegiate: The school met its lottery for third grade, and has a wait list in three grade levels (kindergarten, first, and third). From the most recent parent/guardian survey, transportation remains a barrier for some students. The school’s facility partner is expected to close on the property located at 4100 W. Charleston Blvd., with renovations commencing soon thereafter. The school is on track to meet its July 18 TOC deadline with the authorizer.

Explore Sage Collegiate’s update.

  • Cactus Park: The school has a groundbreaking event in two months and is in the process of hiring. The school is also exploring potential partnerships for funding and enrollment, board governance training, and talent strategy.
  • Strong Start: The school has confirmed its principal/executive director and has received a $1 million grant from the City of Las Vegas. The school has started its application window and lottery approval with the SPCSA, and is working on finalizing a permanent site.
  • YWLA: The school is currently 41 percent at lottery with 60+ scholars. The lease has been finalized for the facility and are currently building a hiring pipeline.

Board Heard an Update on Charter School Recruitment and Enrollment Plans

In 2019, the SPCSA adopted a five-year strategic plan that centers on a vision of equitable access to high-quality public charter schools for Nevada students. Three goals were established regarding that plan: 1) provide families with access to high quality schools; 2) ensure that every SPCSA student succeeds, including those from historically underserved student groups; and 3) increase the diversity of students served by SPCSA schools. While the SPCSA has seen progress towards these goals, it continues to serve a disproportionately low percentage of students in three student groups – students qualifying for free and reduced-price lunch (FRL), students identified as English Language Learners (ELL), and students with disabilities (IEP).

SPCSA recommends requiring certain schools to develop and submit a recruitment and enrollment plan to supplement additional strategies it has implemented to address these discrepancies. It has proposed focusing on one group at a time, beginning with FRL students, as this has the greatest discrepancy. Proposed strategies include comparing each school’s FRL rate to each school in the district; identifying the schools with the most significant FRL rates; identifying the 25 percent of schools that have the most significant gaps in FRL rates compared to the local district; and removing any school that had at least a 25% increase in the FRL rate from the 2021-21 to 2021-22 school years. SPCSA anticipates that 10-15 schools would be identified to submit and develop a recruitment and enrollment plan.

Explore the briefing.

Board Heard an Update on Emergency Grant Funding

In June, NDE provided the SPCSA and other local educational agencies with allocations for approximately two-thirds of the anticipated ARP ESSER funding. The SPCSA allocated this funding to each charter holder based on a straight per-pupil allocation, plus a supplemental allocation for each charter holder with greater than 40% of students qualifying for free or reduced-price lunch reflected in the October 2020 data.

SPCSA staff is considering allocation methodologies for the remaining one-third of the funds. Proposed approaches include carrying over the existing methodology from the first two-thirds of the ARP ESSER funding or exploring a set aside for some of the remaining funds to schools most impacted by a reduction in per pupil funding in the Pupil Centered Funding Plan transition.

Through Assembly Bill 495, the Legislature allocated an additional $15 million from the ARP Act Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Funds (CSFRF) to Title I charter schools. SPCSA staff have been in frequent communication with the Governor’s Finance Office regarding the timeline and process for allocating these funds.

Explore the briefing.

Board Heard a Presentation and Update on the SPCSA Growth Management Plan

SPCSA is required to provide an update for the Growth Management Plan every two years.

The 2022 Growth Management Plan will include gathering input with community working groups on March 30, 2022; meeting with school districts and NDE; and discussion with the Board in March, with possible action at the May Board meeting.

Staff members identified opportunities for revision, including updating enrollment and academic data; conducting a new survey for existing charter holders regarding possible future growth; summarizing key actions by the Authority in the last two years to further strategic goals; reevaluating existing policies and procedures; and considering opportunities for direct engagement with stakeholders to better identify community needs.

SPCSA Board comments were made regarding the importance of outreach and working groups to the plan revisions.

Explore the Growth Management Plan presentation.

Long-Range Calendar (next 3 months):

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

  • The Growth Management Plan
  • Overview of the renewal process
  • Amendment applications

Click here to see the long-range calendar.

The next Meeting of the SPCSA Board is scheduled for April 15, 2022 @ 9:00 am. 

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Nevada Ed-Watch 4/15/2021

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 2021 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. Members of the public may provide public comment in writing via email; public comment will be accepted via email for the duration of the meeting and shared with the State Board of Education during the public comment periods. Public comment may be emailed to NVBoardED@doe.nv.gov.

Click here for a list of all State Board Members.


Thursday, April 15, 2021
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 comment regarding:

  • Concerns that school principals lack autonomy
  • A need for guidance for SOTs to provide feedback on experiences with school staff
  • Concerns about the employee reassignment process

President’s Report

  • Silver State Governance Training
    • The Silver State Governance training supports boards in developing goals and guardrails to ensure that the board is focused on students and student outcomes. On April 9, 2021, the SBOE held a work session to begin drafting a new organizational vision focused on student outcomes in Nevada. SBOE will be scheduling an additional work session to continue the development of the draft. The draft vision speaks to ensuring that all Nevada students are equipped and feel empowered to foresee the future of their choosing as a result of collective efforts. SBOE will be seeking public feedback on the draft vision.

Superintendent’s Report

  • Legislative Update
    • Friday, April 9, was the deadline for bills in the Nevada Legislature to pass out of the houses in which they were entered. All six of the Nevada Department of Education’s (NDE) bills passed out of their respective houses. There were several amendments that were made to improve the bills.  Assembly Bill 265 regarding Alternative Routes to Licensure for administrators will receive no further action because it did not pass out of its first house committee pursuant to the April deadline.
  • Pupil-Centered Funding Plan Update
    • On April 7, the NDE participated in a workshop with the Senate Committee on Finance and the Senate Committee on Ways and Means to discuss the pupil-centered funding plan and is also working with the Commission on School Funding. Superintendent Ebert shared that the funding formula should provide additional transparency to the use of education funds. Currently, the Nevada Legislature is considering a phased approach to implementing the formula and the NDE anticipates it moving forward. 

Click here to read the Pupil-Centered Funding Plan Summary.

  • Blue Ribbon Commission for a Globally Prepared Nevada Update
    • SBOE is currently working with the Blue Ribbon Commission to begin implementation planning for competency-based learning.

Board Approved Consent Agenda 

Consent agenda highlights:

Board Approved Appointee to the State Public Charter School Authority Governing Board

The Nevada Department of Education is allotted two appointments to the State Public Charter School Authority (SPCSA) board. The SPCSA is the governing body that authorizes the opening and operation of public charter schools throughout the state.

The board approved a motion to appoint Erica Mosca as the SBOE designee. 

Applications for the appointment were open through March 2021 and screened by the Nevada Department of Education.  

Click here to view SPCSA appointee applications.

Board Heard Update Clark County School District’s Implementation of AB-469 (2017) 

Assembly Bill 469 (2017) required the implementation of a plan to reorganize Clark County School District following the passage of Assembly Bill 394 (2015) which provides principals with increased autonomy over schools and budgets. 

The State Superintendent of Public Instruction was given specific authority over monitoring the implementation of the reorganization. As such, the following components have been identified as necessary to be addressed by CCSD:

  • Authority to select school staff
  • Assignment of central staff to schools
  • Allocation funds to schools
  • Purchase of equipment, services, and supplies available from the district by schools
  • School carry forward of year‐end balance (e.g. school carryover funds)
  • Weighted per‐pupil funding

The Department identified the following problems to be solved by CCSD related to three of the six criteria:

  1. Complying with the requirement to grant principals control of teacher selection and placement; cases still exist where the central office assigns teachers to schools.
  2. Negotiating collective bargaining agreements with CCEA and ESEA that are consistent with the law (SB 224)
  3. Complying with the requirement to grant principals the freedom to determine which services, suppliers, and equipment to acquire; cases still exist where the central office is unacceptably constraining the range of principal choice with respect to certain services, suppliers, and equipment
  4. Providing schools precincts with access to carry forward funds early enough for schools to purchase additional personnel positions and instructional supports.

Board members discussed the need to determine the timely use of carryover dollars, the need for systems improvement to select licensed teachers, the need for solutions that help principals think outside the box to impact student outcomes, the potential for regulation that will give principals better access to carryover funds, and student outcomes-focused budget training for principals.

The Board plans to schedule work sessions with CCSD to understand its challenges and determine specific areas of support.

Click here to view the presentation.

Click here to view CCSD’s 2018 Plan for the Implementation of Actions to Finalize Compliance with AB 469.

Requests For Future Agenda Items

  • A summary of key education-related bills following the close of the Legislative session
  • A breakdown of any changes in responsibilities for the SBOE following bill decisions
  • A working session on the SBOE’s vision and goals
  • A statewide report detailing efforts on academic recovery of students related to the impact of COIVD-19


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Nevada Ed-Watch 8/27/20

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, August 27, 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: 

  • Concerns about the implementation of the Pupil Centered Funding Formula 
  • Concerns about health and safety related to reopening school buildings 

President’s Report

President Wynn provided an update on the Connecting Kids Nevada initiative:

Under the Governor’s COVID-19 Taskforce, Connecting Kids Nevada was launched which provides a central statewide platform to connect all Nevada students in need with resources to receive devices and internet connectivity. Additionally, a Family Support Center hotline has been created for qualifying Clark County students to receive internet for school. The Family Support Center can be reached at  888-616-2476 and is open Monday-Saturday 7am-6pm. 

Currently, four Nevada school districts have 100% of students connected to devices and the internet for learning. 

Click here to visit Connecting Kids Nevada

Superintendent’s Report

State Superintendent Ebert report highlights:

  • Due to shifting public health conditions, multiple school districts pivoted from their planned model for reopening. In order to implement those adjustments, opening timelines for some districts have changed. Currently, 10 school districts have begun the school year, with three beginning the week of August 31st, and four districts opening on September 8th. 
  • The majority of Nevada school districts are implementing some form of hybrid learning. Two school districts are implementing full time distance learning for at least the first quarter. Three school districts are implementing in person learning. 
  • The Department of Education received 71 applications from 45 applicants for their ESSER competitive grant. Funding priorities for this grant are wraparound services, high quality professional development, and digital instruction materials. The department is expediting the grant review process and have compressed their reviewing timeline from 6 weeks to 2 weeks. 

Board Heard Update on School Reopening Implementation 

Superintendents of three school districts and the Director of the State Public Charter School Authority each provided updates to the Board on the implementation of school reopening. 

Clark County School District (CCSD): 

  • Three schools have opened under hybrid learning, four schools have opened fully in person, with all other schools opening with distance learning only. 
  • CCSD has expanded elementary lessons for Nevada Learning Academy and has implemented professional development for substitute teachers. 
  • Approximately 63,000, or 8%, of CCSD students are still in need of a device and connection to the internet.
  • 300 food distribution sites have been deployed throughout the district. Food distribution has trended upward since the first day of school, with approximately 40,000 meals being distributed August 26th.
  • Schools are establishing multi-disciplinary teams to provide social-emotional supports to educators and students. 

Click here to see the CCSD presentation.

Washoe County School District (WCSD): 

  • Elementary schools have opened fully in person. Middle and high schools have opened with a hybrid model. All families have the option to engage in distance learning only, including temporarily. Approximately 8,500 elementary students are engaged in distance learning only.
  • Approximately 12,000 students are still in need of devices. WCSD has purchased 25 devices for buses to become internet hubs, along with receiving 6,000 hotspots. 
  • WCSD students receive breakfast and lunch to-go. Students may also take meals for multiple days. Additionally, WSCD has implemented a partnership to provide dinner to-go for students as well. 
  • WCSD is implementing health safety protocols, as well as multiple social-emotional initiatives to support educators, students, and families. 

Click here to see the WCSD presentation.

Churchill County School District: 

  • All Churchill CSD schools will open for in-person instruction, with the option for any K-12 student to engage in distance learning. In person school will be conducted Monday through Friday with morning and afternoon student cohorts.  
  • All students are connected with a device. Some students are still in need of internet connectivity. 
  • Student meals will be provided at the end of each day for children to take home for the following day. Full time distance learning students will pick up meals for multiple days twice per week.
  • The district has hired additional school counselors and is implementing multiple strategies to support the social-emotional needs of the school communities. 

Click here to see Churchill CSD’s presentation

State Public Charter School Authority (SPCSA) 

  • SPCSA authorizes schools in multiple counties throughout the state. Aligned to the Emergency Directive 030 and the Governor’s Roadmap to Recovery framework, charter schools within counties that are designated at the Baseline Mitigation Level may reopen in person but are not required to. Schools in counties categorized as Mitigation Levels 1 or 2 must open with distance-learning, although there are limited allowances for in-person learning for students who meet specific need-based criteria. 
  • Approximately 7,500 students are still in need of a device. This number is inclusive of students who have access to a shared device. 1,700 students are still in need of access to reliable internet. The SPCSA is supporting schools to connect students with hotspots and internet service.  
  • SPCSA is identifying supports for schools to mitigate learning loss that has occurred as well as social emotional supports for school communities. 

Click here to see SPCSA’s presentation 

Board Approved Consent Agenda

Consent agenda highlights:

Board Heard Update on Commission on School Funding

The Commission on School Funding will be recommending to the Board an alternative definition for the “at-risk” student weight within the new school funding formula. Based on legislation, “at-risk” may be defined as students eligible for free or reduced lunch, or an alternative definition may be adopted. The commission recommends adopting an alternative definition that is inclusive of factors related to academic risk, attendance, behavior, and home and enrollment stability. This would be tracked through Infinite Campus, however one barrier is the ability of Infinite Campus to meet the specific functionality necessary to identify students under a definition that includes multiple variables. 

A specific recommendation for adoption will come before the board at a future meeting. 

Board Heard Update on the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Workgroup 

The workgroup held its second meeting on August 20th, where they had the opportunity to hear about access to devices and internet connectivity for students. Additionally, the group heard about the state of the education system for American Indian and Alaskan Native students in Nevada. Moving forward, Member Hudson will lead the workgroup.  

Click here to see the Indian Education presentation

Board Heard Update on Work of Digital Engineers 

The mission of the Digital Engineers is to ensure educators, families, and students receive equitable access to and support with digital learning across Nevada. 70 resources have been posted for access by the public on the Digital Engineers website, with the majority of resources focused on educator preparation. Additional resources for families and students can also be accessed on the website.  The board discussed a need to ensure that the website is intuitive for all users.

Click here to see the presentation

Requests for Future Agenda items: 

  • Ongoing reports from school districts on the implementation of the school year, including lessons learned

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Nevada Ed-Watch 5/5/20

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.


Tuesday, May 5, 2020
State Public Charter School Authority Board Meeting

Click here to see the meeting agenda 

What happened at this meeting? 

Board Approved Litigation Dismissal and Contract Renewal for Nevada Connections Academy

SPCSA staff shared updates and recommendations regarding the resolution of Nevada Connections Academy v. Nevada State Public Charter School Authority.

The SPCSA board denied an application for the contract renewal of Nevada Connections Academy’s middle and high schools, which resulted in litigation against the SPCSA. SPCSA staff recommended that the litigation be resolved with approval of a three-year contract for Nevada Connections Academy high school. The Nevada Connections Academy elementary and middle schools will close at the end of the 2019-20 school year. 

Under the new contract, the school’s enrollment will be capped at 850 students, with an enrollment freeze for 11th and 12th-grade students. If the school receives a 1-star rating on the Nevada School Performance Framework (NSPF) for either the 2020-2021 or the 2021-2022 school year, the school must close. 

Click here to see the settlement agreement. 

Click here to see a recommendations memo.


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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 12/17/19

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 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.


Tuesday, December 17, 2019
State Public Charter School Authority Board Meeting

Click here to see the meeting agenda 

What happened at this meeting? 

The Board Approved a Contract Amendment for Founders Academy

The Board approved the SPCSA staff’s recommendation for the approval of a contract amendment request related to the financing of Founders Academy’s current facility. 

The Board Heard an Overview of the SPCSA’s New School Application Process and Standards for Approval

Staff members provided an overview of the New School Application process and standards for approving schools for authorization under the SPCSA. The presentation included information about the application  evaluation process, and the importance of a proposed school’s alignment to both the SPCSA Growth Management Plan and the Academic and Demographic Needs Assessment. 

Staff members also provided an overview of the Rubric used for evaluating New School Applications.

If denied, a proposed school has 30-days from the formal notice to resubmit an application addressing its deficiencies. If denied upon resubmission, the applicant may also appeal the Board’s decision. 

Click here to see the presentation, which includes the criteria for approving and denying new schools.

Public Comment: A representative of the Clark County School District’s Office of Charter Schools provided testimony expressing appreciation for the collaborative process of the SPCSA.

The Board Reviewed Seven (7) New School Applications for Approval or Denial 

SPCSA staff presented information to the Board about seven new school applicants, followed by Board discussion and an opportunity for each school to present before the Board.

Summaries of each proposed school’s application approval or denial are below.

Alaka’i Heritage Academy: Denied 

The SPCSA staff did not recommend the application for Board approval. The Board concurred with staff’s recommendation and discussed concerns about the proposed arts-integration model, the incubation year budget, and plans for professional development aligned to the arts-integration model.

Click here to see the full Alaka’i Heritage Academy application report.

Las Vegas Collegiate Charter School: Approved with Conditions

Las Vegas Collegiate was approved with the following conditions:

  • Submit an updated incubation year plan that clarifies how the Board will monitor progress towards key milestones and the available supports to the proposed school leader. 
  • Provide either more detail as to how the existing staff will manage the range of administrative responsibilities in year 1 OR provide an alternative scenario that includes additional contracted support. 
  • Work with the local jurisdiction to address traffic flow and pedestrian safety during student arrival and dismissal.

Click here to see the full Las Vegas Collegiate application report.

Pinecrest Academy of Northern Nevada: Approved with Conditions

The SPCSA staff did not recommend the application for Board approval. The SPCSA Board went against Staff’s recommendation and approved the application with the following conditions: 

  • Implementation of a weighted lottery in conjunction with a targeted marketing effort and a transportation plan to ensure a student population that reflects the population of the Washoe County School District
  • Implementation of a National School Lunch Program upon school launch
  • A revised Model Budget reflecting the school’s incubation year, English Language Learner Program, and marketing plan
  • Waived student fees for those who receive Free or Reduced-Price Lunch

Public Comment: Members of the public provided testimony in support of the Pinecrest Academy of Northern Nevada application. 

Click here to see the full Pinecrest Academy of Northern Nevada application report.

Nevada Strong Academy: Denied

The SPCSA staff did not recommend the application for approval. The Board concurred with staff’s recommendation and discussed the need to refine the application and clarify the relationship between the school and the Education Management Organization (EMO). 

Click here to see the full Nevada Strong Academy application report.

Sage Collegiate Charter School: Denied

The SPCSA staff did not recommend the application for approval. The Board concurred with staff’s recommendation and discussed the potential of the school’s plan with more time for development.

Click here to see the full Sage Collegiate application report.

Girls Academy Leadership School (GALS): Denied

The SPCSA staff did not recommend the application for approval. The Board concurred with staff’s recommendation and discussed the importance of having a single-gender school in Clark County. The Board inquired about GAL’s team’s experience with students from underserved communities and what lessons they have learned from the Denver campus performance. 

Click here to see the full GALS application report.

Pahrump Valley Academy: Denied

The SPCSA staff did not recommend the application for approval. The Board concurred with staff’s recommendation and discussed concerns about the proposed school’s capacity to carry out the vision and plans for the school.

Click here to see the full Pahrump Valley Academy application report.

The Board Discussed Potential Update to its Long-Range Calendar

The SPCSA Staff and Board are considering adding a second February Board Meeting to manage the volume of anticipated application resubmissions.


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