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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.
Board Heard Update on New Charter School Campuses for Fall 2022
Nevada State High School – North Las Vegas Campus
The campus was approved on June 26, 2020. In April 2021, the Authority approved a request by the school to defer opening due to COVID-19. The school anticipates opening in Fall 2022 with 100 students in grades 11-12.
Coral Cadence Campus was approved with conditions on February 26, 2021. The school anticipates serving approximately 850 students in Pre-K through 8th grade in the initial year. 50% of students that will be served will qualify for FRL.
The board heard a presentation from representatives of Coral Academy about their community engagement initiatives and recruitment strategies. Coral Academy will return with an update on these efforts at the March meeting.
No action was taken by the board on this agenda item.
Board Approved Staff Recommendations on the Financial Performance Framework and Ratings for the 2020-21 School Year
The Financial Performance Framework is a tool utilized to evaluate a charter school’s financial well being, health, and performance as part of ongoing monitoring and the renewal decision making process. Charter schools have the autonomy to manage their finances consistent with state and federal law; however, sponsors must ensure that the schools they sponsor are financially stable. Schools that do not meet standards can be moved to the following interventions: Notice of Concern, Notice of Breach, and Notice of Intent to Revoke.
The board approved the following recommendations brought forth by SPCSA staff:
Accept performance data for all schools included in the presentation.
Remove the active Notice of Concern for Nevada Virtual Academy as the school is meeting standards.
Request a Targeted Remediation Plan from Explore Academy.
Issue a Notice of Concern for Signature Preparatory Academy.
Pinecrest Academy of Nevada – Approved (with modifications and conditions) to increase the enrollment caps of the existing Cadence and Sloan Canyon campuses and open Pinecrest Virtual Academy for the 2022-23 school year with an enrollment cap of 80 students in the initial year.
Somerset Academy of Las Vegas – Approved to adjust the enrollment cap and modify grade levels from K-8 to K-5 at the North Las Vegas campus for the 2022-23 school year as well as adopt a weighted lottery policy.
If fewer students apply than available seats, public charter schools are not required to run a lottery. If more students apply than available seats, a lottery is required.
Public charter schools conduct a two-part enrollment process for admissions:
An application which includes basic information (name, DOB, age, grade, contact info) prior to the lottery.
A full enrollment packet with detailed information (health information, IEP, EL, emergency contact) following the lottery.
Public charter schools may have preferences that give some students enrollment priority, such as siblings currently enrolled at the school, children of employees, and students within two miles of the school. The schools may also conduct a weighted lottery to give some students a greater chance of acceptance, such as students who are economically disadvantaged, students with disabilities, students with limited English proficiency, and students experiencing homelessness.
SPCSA monitors enrollment processes and application forms for compliance with SPCSA requirements and state and federal statutes.
Board Heard Presentation on and Approved COVID-19 Update and Plan for the Safe Return to In-Person Instruction
SPCSA staff shared updates regarding:
COVID Mitigation Plans: Under Emergency Directive 052, schools can either draft an additional plan that sits alongside their existing plan or draft a revised plan. The plan must include 1) a policy on face coverings, 2) a COVID-19 testing program, and 3) a method for detecting, responding to, and mitigating COVID-19 outbreaks. The plan must be passed along to the Department of Health and Human Services for approval.
Face Coverings: Under Emergency Directive 052, face coverings are optional in school settings and charter schools may develop a policy that requires use of them. Masks are still required on all public transportation, including school buses, and schools must continue to follow quarantine guidelines.
Ensuring proper handwashing, respiratory etiquette, cleaning and disinfection per CDC guidelines.