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Most Nevada charter schools opting for hybrid education in fall

Many Nevada public charter schools are aiming to use a hybrid model — a combination of in-person and distance education — when they reopen in August.

Nevada State Public Charter School Authority’s board heard an update on the plans during a Friday meeting.

Of the 37 charter holders managed by the authority, 27 have submitted fall reopening plans so far, Executive Director Rebecca Feiden told the board. Charter authority staff has reviewed and submitted 16 of the plans to the Nevada Department of Education.

“We are turning those around in five days,” Feiden said, adding that many plans have come in just within the last couple of days.

In June, the authority board decided each school it sponsors would develop its own reopening plan for the upcoming school year amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

Under a state mandate, schools must develop a reopening plan and submit it to its governing board for approval no later than 20 days before the school year starts.

At least one school intends to open fully in person with reduced class sizes, Feiden said without identifying the school. And one decided to start the school year completely remotely.

The authority expects it will receive and review all school plans by Aug. 7, according to meeting materials.

During its meeting, the board also:

— Approved a charter amendment for American Preparatory Academy Las Vegas to change its name and the grade configurations for its two campuses.

The charter school’s new name is Amplus Academy.

“The name itself is Latin,” the school’s board wrote in a letter to SPCSA. “It can mean distinguished, honorable, and esteemed; three words we are intending to incorporate into our new mission statement because they reflect our aspirations for both the culture of the school as well as our students.”

The school’s existing campus is in southwest Las Vegas and a second campus — slated to accommodate up to 650 elementary school students — is slated to open for the upcoming school year.

The change in grade level configuration will be for one year only. The existing campus will serve students in fourth through 12th grades, while the new one will serve students in kindergarten through third grades.

The school board wrote in a letter to the authority that it’s logical to try to keep all classes per grade level within the same building to maximize efficiency.

Amplus Academy is in the midst of a transitional process to become a standalone charter school after breaking ties this summer with its educational management organization, American Preparatory Schools. In turn, APS filed a lawsuit against the school in June.

— Approved a request by Explore Academy Las Vegas, slated to open in August, to reduce its enrollment cap to 150 students for the upcoming school year due to difficulties with recruiting amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The school was previously approved to enroll up to 330 students.

Contact Julie Wootton-Greener at jgreener@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2921. Follow @julieswootton on Twitter.

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