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.

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, 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, December 8, 2023


State Public Charter School Authority Board Meeting


Access the meeting agenda and playback.


What happened at this meeting?

Public Comment #1

Public comment highlights included:

  • Gratitude to the SPCSA for the opportunity to serve kids through proposed school Thrive Point Academy of Nevada

SPCSA Executive Director’s Report

Highlights from the report include:

  • Executive Director Update: SPCSA’s recently appointed Executive Director, Melissa Mackedon, shared an overview of activities since appointment to the role. These initiatives included participation in the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) conference, engagements with Governor Lombardo’s education team, and conversations with each SPCSA staff member and school leaders to gather feedback on what the SPCSA is doing well and potential sticking points that may require adjustment or amendment to inform future decision-making.
  • Delinquent Schools’ PERS Contributions: SPCSA has been in contact with schools that have outstanding PERS obligations to address the remaining amounts. To mitigate this issue in the future, the SPCSA has incorporated PERS obligations into the pre-opening requirements for new schools and will offer training.
  • New Charter Schools Pre-Opening Checklist: Four schools scheduled to open in the 2024-2025 school year include Do & Be Academy of Excellence, Pioneer Technology & Arts Academy Nevada, Rooted School Las Vegas, and Vegas Vista Academy, and a fifth school, Thrive Point Academy of Nevada, received approval to open later in this agenda. Each school will receive a pre-opening process memo with requirements as well as a pre-opening checklist which includes 85 items related to governance, enrollment, administration, staffing, personnel, facilities, academic programming, finance, SPCSA check-in calls, and trainings — including newly added training on PERS and Infinite campus. Explore the memo on new charter schools and the draft checklist.
  • New Charter School Enrollment and Facility Update:
    • Do & Be Academy of Excellence is not yet in a lease but is considering three properties. Enrollment is open now through March 15, 2024, with lottery on the same day.
    • Pioneer Technology & Arts Academy Nevada has not finalized a facility but is evaluating two potential sites. One site would require amendment as it is outside of the approved zip codes. Lottery will take place at the end of March 2024.
    • Rooted School Las Vegas has signed the deed on a permanent facility and acquired 23 applications.
    • Vegas Vista Academy has established a facility and the lottery will be held on February 5, 2024.

      The Executive Director will provide the board with written monthly updates on school enrollment and facilities.

Board Conditionally Approved Thrive Point Academy’s Resubmitted Application

Thrive Point Academy is a proposed alternative high school that will open in the 89107 zip code with 300 students in year one. Thrive Point Academy’s resubmitted new charter school application was approved with the following conditions:

  • Enrollment will be capped at 450 students in year two and each remaining year of the charter contract. The school may apply for an amendment to increase enrollment on a fixed cap once approved for the Alternative Performance Framework (APF) by the Board.
  • The SPCSA will defer the issuance of academic notices until the school is eligible to apply for the APF. If not approved, notices will be issued.
  • By January 15, 2024, the school will submit a report on which staff members will provide strong levels of support while enrollment is capped at 450 and identify who will oversee the duties of specific roles not yet filled.
  • By March 15, 2024, school will provide a detailed plan with policy and procedures for the oversight of special student populations.
  • School must complete the SPCSA pre-opening process for new charter schools.

Explore the recommendation memo and the application.

Board Took Action on Charter School Contract Renewal Applications

Honors Academy of Literature was approved for a four-year term beginning July 1, 2024. Explore the recommendation memo.

Pinecrest Academy of Nevada was approved for an eight-year term beginning July 1, 2024. Explore the recommendation memo.

Nevada Virtual Charter School was approved for a five-year term beginning July 1, 2024. Explore the recommendation memo.

Board Approved the Charter Application and Rubric for 2024 Applications

Revisions include requesting additional information in the Notice of Intent, providing more self-assessment opportunities during the application trainings, and updating three sections of the rubric to include criteria focused on evaluating the “ability of applicants to establish a high-quality charter school.” 

Explore the presentation, application, and application rubric.

Board Reviewed Four-Year Graduation Rates for the Class of 2024

The four-year graduation rate for SPCSA Class of 2022-23 was 83.8% – the fourth consecutive year that the SPCSA has outperformed the state. Additionally, seven SPCSA student groups outperformed their state groups, including various English Learners and students with disabilities. More than half of SPCSA graduates earned an Advanced or College and Career Ready diploma. 

Explore the presentation.

Board Reviewed 2023-24 School Year Enrollment Data

The official SPCSA enrollment for 2023-24 is 61,883 students, and remains the third largest local education agency in Nevada. Over 45% of SPCSA students are enrolled at Title I schools. Year-over-year, enrollment rates increased for students identifying as Asian, Hispanic/Latino, or Two or More Races, as well as students who identify as economically disadvantaged, English Learners, and students with disabilities. 

Explore the presentation.

Board Reviewed the 2024 Demographic and Academic Needs Assessment

The Academic & Demographic Needs Assessment is an evaluation of student demographic information, the academic needs of students, and the needs of students who are at risk of dropping out. When reviewing charter school applications, the Authority must consider the degree to which the proposed charter school will address the needs identified in the Needs Assessment. SPCSA is required to update the Needs Assessment by January 31 of each year.

Findings this year are consistent with previous years: English Language Learners, economically disadvantaged students, IEPs,  and students in transition as well as Native, Black, and Latino students are underperforming relative to their peers. The same student subgroups, with the exception of economically disadvantaged students, have lower rates of graduation.

Explore the Needs Assessment.

Board Heard an Overview of SPCSA’s Organizational Performance Framework

The performance framework measures the success, financial viability, and effectiveness of the school/organization. Principles of the Organizational Performance Framework include defining organizational benchmarks, treating schools the same, enabling school flexibility and autonomy, protecting public interest, and ensuring schools respect the rights of students, staff, families, and public.

Explore the Organizational Performance Framework.

Board Heard an Overview of the SPCSA’s Financial Performance Framework

Principles of the Financial Performance Framework include financial benchmarks, treating schools equitably, providing schools with flexibility and autonomy, and ensuring transparency is provided to the public.

Explore the Financial Performance Framework.

Long-Range Calendar (next 3 months):

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

  • State of the SPCSA
  • Financial and Organizational Performance Framework results
  • Annual report to Nevada Department of Education
  • New schools update

Explore the calendar.

Public Comment #2:

There was no public comment in the boardroom or online.

The next Meeting of the SPCSA Board is scheduled for Friday, January 26, @ 9:00 a.m.

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