Nevada Ed-Watch

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.

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, 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 27, 2022
State Public Charter School Authority Board Meeting
Access the meeting agenda and playback.

What happened at this meeting? 

Public Comment #1 

Public comment was heard on:

  • National School Choice Week and the Las Vegas School Choice Fair (over 16,000 attendees, 85 schools/campus)

SPCSA Executive Director’s Report

  • Legislative Session Preview:
    • SPCSA will provide an “SPCSA 101” presentation to the Assembly and Senate Education Committees and a budget presentation to the Subcommittee on K-12 Education. Dates are not yet finalized.
    • SPCSA will share a recap of education and charter school related bills that have passed at the June or July 2023 board meeting.
    • The SPCSA Legislative Session memo includes a list of bills that the SPCSA is currently tracking. View the memo here.
  • Executive Order 2023-003:
    • On Jan 12, 2023, Governor Lombardo issued  Executive Directive 2023-003 which requires agencies to review regulations subject to that agency’s enforcement power and identify regulations that can be improved, streamlined, clarified, and eliminated. The report is due to the Governor’s office on May 1, 2023 and must include a list of 10 regulations that the agency recommends eliminating.
    • SPCSA is going through admin code 388A and will revisit this item at the March 2023 board meeting.
  • New Charter School Applicant Training and Guidance:
    • SPCSA worked to review and update the new charter school application ahead of the April 2023 application deadline. Staff also updated the  application guidance document with more details. 
    • SPCSA has held three unique training sessions: 1) overview of application/how the process works, application types 2) info to include in cover sheet/meeting the need, and 3) academic section of application. Recordings are available on the SPCSA website. 
    • Two training sessions will take place in February that will focus on the financial planning/budgeting and operations/addendum sections of the application.Trainings are live-streamed for virtual access. Letters of Intent are due January 30, 2023.
  • SPCSA Monitoring of Special Education Enrollment Practices:
    • Beginning next week, SPCSA staff will make random, unannounced calls to SPCSA-sponsored schools, roleplaying as a parent of a child with a disability seeking information on admission and enrollment. Staff will use a script and document school responses. The purpose of this process is to determine whether a barrier to entry exists (such as a family being denied or discouraged to apply on behalf of the student) and to ensure compliance with NRS 388A453. Schools will receive notice if no barriers are found. If barriers are found, the school will be notified and the SCPSA will conduct a second random call. The SPCSA will offer technical assistance to support schools in remediating barriers to entry. Schools have been notified of this process. 

New Schools Update

  • Eagle Charter Schools of Nevada:
    • Eagle Charter School will open as a K-5, growing to K-8. Year One planned enrollment is 540. The location will be 2025 E. Sahara Ave in Las Vegas. 
    • The school shared updates on pre-opening activities, student recruitment/enrollment, hiring, facility oversight, and charter application conditions. Explore the update.
  • Rooted School – Clark County:
    • Rooted School will open this fall with Grades 9 & 10. Year 1 planned enrollment is 180. The school has a space at Nevada Prep Charter School.
    • The school shared updates on the facilities, charter application conditions, branding and marketing, student recruitment, and staffing. Explore the update.
  • Southern Nevada Trades High School:
    • The school will open with grades 9 and 10. Planned Year One enrollment is 200 students. The school is planning its location at 1580 Bledsoe Lane in Las Vegas, and shared updates on school building construction, hiring, and community outreach efforts. Explore the update.
  • Pinecrest Academy – Springs Campus:
    • The school has submitted an amendment requesting a good cause exemption to adjust school location, enrollment cap, and grade levels served. The original campus was to open in 89107 but the school was unable to secure a lease. The temporary campus will be located at 6151 W Charleston Blvd in Las Vegas for at least the first two years. Explore the update and the recommendation memo.
    • Board approved a motion to grant the good cause exemption request and conditionally approved Pinecrest’s request to occupy a temporary facility at 6151 W. Charleston Blvd, Las Vegas, NV, 89146, through the 2024-25 SY.

Board Heard an Update from Mater Academy of Northern Nevada

The Board received a presentation from Mater Academy of Northern Nevada about their work toward ensuring student success. Mater is a K-8 school with 311 elementary school students and 182 middle students serving a diverse student population that includes 100% FRL, 38% multi-language learners, and 15% IEP. The school saw significant growth in NSPF index scores for the 2021-22 school year, attributing that growth to their focus on a “family-like” school culture, dedicated staff, high rigor and grade level expectations, instructional assistants that are trained like teachers, working with an instructional data coach, formative and summative assessments, and strong focus on social-emotional learning and supports, PBIS, and restorative justice. 

Explore the presentation.

Board Discussed the SPCSA Annual Review and Overview of SPCSA-Sponsored Public Charter Schools

There are 78 campuses currently served by the SPCSA, 85% of which are in Clark County. The current student count is just under 60,000 students, or about 12% of public school students statewide. The SPCSA goals and their respective progress include:

  • Provide families with access to high quality schools: 80% of SPCSA schools are earning an index score of 50+, and 55% are projected to be 4- and 5-star schools; SPCSA graduation rates are 86%.
    • Opportunities include continuing to close achievement gaps among students.
  • Ensure that every SPCSA student succeeds – including those from historically underserved student groups: All SPCSA student groups outperformed their state peers in 3rd-8th grade, and most outperformed their state peers in 11th grade math and ELA. Most SPCSA student groups’ graduation rates exceeded the respective statewide student group.
  • Increase the diversity of students served by SPCSA schools: Demographics show steady progress towards alignment with the state, including students who qualify for free and reduced lunch and English learners.

Explore the State of the SPCSA presentation and the organization’s strategic plan progress report.

Board Approved the Annual Report to the Nevada Department of Education

The board presented its annual report to the Nevada Department of Education, as required by NRS 388A.351. The report contains information on student and school performance, progress made on SPCSA’s strategic plan, performance framework results, and status of current schools, as well as schools scheduled to open.

Explore the report.

Board Approved the Updates to the COVID-19 Plan for the Safe Return to In-Person Instruction

Updates to the plan include:

  • Providing access to COVID-19 testing resources for interested schools, beginning in the 2021-22 school year
  • Additional academic monitoring or oversight in 13 school campuses
  • Updating enrollment

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

Board Approved Participation in the National Association of Charter School Authorizers’ Leadership in Action Cohort

The Board approved the Executive Director’s and/or her designee’s participation in the National Association of Charter School Authorizers’ Leadership in Action cohort. There is no cost for participation, but the agency would be responsible for travel costs.

Explore the recommendation memo.

Long-Range Calendar (next 3 months):

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

  • Financial Performance Framework results
  • Legislative session updates
  • Revolving loan application recommendations
  • New schools update

Explore the calendar.

The next Meeting of the SPCSA Board is scheduled for Friday, March 3, 2023, @ 9:00 a.m. 

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