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 one a month, generally on Fridays.
Click here for SPCSA meeting schedule and materials.
Can community members engage at SPCSA Board Meetings? While all meetings of the SPCSA are typically held publicly at the Nevada Department of Education building in Carson City and the Nevada Department of Education building in Las Vegas (1st floor boardroom), all meetings are now held virtually due to the COVID-19 crisis. Members of the public may view the meeting online via the link on the SPCSA’s Public Notice web page and the agenda and any supporting materials can be found here. Public comment may be given on any agenda item at the beginning of the meeting, or public comment regarding any matter that is SPCSA-related may be given at the conclusion of each Board meeting. Members of the community giving public comment can utilize the following conference call line: 1-312-584-2401; extension 3952176# with a time limit of three minutes per speaker. Alternatively, public comment may be submitted in writing to email@example.com, 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, November 5, 2021
State Public Charter School Authority Special Board Meeting
Click here to see the meeting agenda
What happened at this meeting?
Members of the public provided comment on the following:
- Support for the approval of the application for Rooted School.
- Support for the model and potential outcomes aligned to Rooted School.
- Support for the approval of Pioneer Technology and Arts Academy (PTAA) Nevada.
Authority Held Regulatory Hearing on Update to Proposed Charter School Applications
The Authority is making changes to SPCSA regulations aligned to the submission of potential charter school applications and letters of intent. Changes include a shift from two application cycles annually to one, to be open between April 15 and April 30. Additionally, the change shifts letters of intent (LOIs) to submit an application to being due 90 days prior to the application submission, rather than 120 days. It also makes changes to the requirements outlined in the LOI, specifying information about the school, including proposed zip codes and any intention to work with a charter management organization or an education management organization.
The approved changes will go before the legislative commission for final approval, at which time the changes will go into effect.
Click here to view the changes.
SPCSA Executive Director’s Report:
- Review of Plan to Return to School
- Upon the reopening of schools during the pandemic, SPCSA was required to develop and post a plan that was adopted at the June 25, 2021 meeting. Federal requirements indicate the SPCSA must seek input on whether to revise the plan every six months. Staff is currently reviewing their plan and anticipate minor updates. They encourage members of the public to provide input and feedback to staff. An updated version of the plan will be presented to the Authority board at the December meeting.
- Initiatives related to Serving All Students Equitably
- Implementation of Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS)
- There are currently 23 schools in an MTSS implementation cohort to support the integration of MTSS into schools with fidelity. Staff is also preparing deep dives into school restorative justice plans alongside an expert partner.
- COVID-19 Update
- Since the start of the school year, there have been 791 COVID-19 cases for students on and off-campus, resulting in approximately 2,000 students/educators being impacted by quarantine or closures.
- The SPCSA will work with state and local health agencies upon the rollout of additional vaccines for children now that they have been approved by the FDA.
Board Approved Charter School Contract Amendment Applications
- Sage Collegiate Charter School – Approved
- Sage Collegiate Charter School’s amendment to add additional grades for their year one opening was approved by the Authority. Sage Collegiate will now open with grades K-5 rather than K-2. Click here to view the staff memo.
- Eagle Charter Schools of Nevada – Approved
- Eagle Charter Schools of Nevada’s amendment to move their school’s location to the 89110 zip code was approved by the Authority. The relocated facility is located in an area of need as identified by the SPCSA. Click here to view the staff memo.
Board Reviewed Six 6) New School Applications for Approval or Denial
SPCSA staff presented information to the Board about new school applicants, followed by Board discussion and an opportunity for each school to present before the Board.
Pilot Ed Cactus Park ES: Approved with conditions
Cactus Park ES was approved with the following conditions:
- By January 1, 2022, and before the school begins accepting student applications, provide an updated lottery policy that complies with Nevada Revised Statutes and Nevada Administrative Code.
- By February 1, 2022, identify and onboard at least one additional board member who has experience and expertise in finance.
- Provide a quarterly report to SPCSA staff during the incubation year on the status of fundraising and grant awards as well as a description of any impacts to the school’s budget.
- Provide updates regarding the newly established CMO.
- Clarify terms of the consulting agreement to detail specific services to be provided during the incubation year, as outlined in the incubation plan and scale strategy.
- Complete the SPCSA pre-opening process for new charter schools.
Click here to view the Cactus Park ES staff report.
Young Women’s Leadership Academy (YWLA): Approved with conditions
YWLA was approved with the following conditions:
- By January 1, 2022, and before the school begins accepting student applications, provide an updated school enrollment policy that makes clear that any student, regardless of gender, may apply and enroll at the school.
- By March 1, 2022, YWLA will submit board-approved procurement policies.
- By July 1, 2022, YWLA should submit a long-term facility plan to SPCSA staff for review to ensure that the school has sufficient space beyond year one of operations.
- By July 1, 2022, YWLA Las Vegas enters into a memorandum of understanding with one or more community colleges, state colleges and universities to offer dual credit courses pursuant to NRS 389.310.
- By July 1, 2022, YWLA Las Vegas provides a signed attestation by both the lessor and YWLA Board Chair confirming that the proposed year one facility and organization will not exercise any control over the educational program of the charter school, pursuant to NRS 388A.090.
- Complete the SPCSA pre-opening process for new charter schools.
Click here to see the YWLA staff report.
Strong Start Academy: Denied
The SPCSA staff did not recommend the application for Board approval. The Board concurred with staff’s recommendation not to approve the application due, in part, to concerns regarding proposed vendors relationships that are underdeveloped and lack of clarity regarding how elements of the proposed academic program can be executed.
Click here to see the Strong Start Academy staff report.
Wallace Stegner Academy: Denied
The SPCSA staff did not recommend the application for Board approval. The Board concurred with staff’s recommendation not to approve the application due, in part, to the timeline for hiring the school principal and potential cash shortages in the first year of operations.
Click here to see the Stegner Academy staff report.
Pioneer Technology and Arts Academy (PTAA) Nevada: Denied
The SPCSA staff did not recommend the application for Board approval. The Board concurred with staff’s recommendation not to approve the application due, in part, to concerns regard the engagement of proposed board members and the process for selecting and hiring the principal.
Click here to see the PTAA staff report.
Rooted School – Clark County: Denied (5-3)
The SPCSA staff did not recommend the application for Board approval. The Board concurred with staff’s recommendation not to approve the application due, in part, to concerns about how the academic plan will be executed and the financial viability of the school.
Click here to see the Rooted School staff report.
Long-Range Calendar (next 3 months:)
Agenda items over the next three SPCSA board meetings are anticipated to include:
Click here to see the long-range calendar.