2 Nevada charter schools face possible closure over student performance

Updated February 16, 2018 - 8:45 pm

Two troubled Nevada charter schools were put on notice by an oversight board Friday, the first step in an administrative process that could lead to their closure if they fail to improve students’ academic performance.

Nevada Virtual Academy, an online K-12 charter school, and Quest Preparatory Academy, a K-6 charter school in Clark County, were both issued “notices of intent to terminate” by the Nevada State Public Charter School Authority.

Officials stressed that neither school would close before the end of this academic year and that they would have an opportunity to address their deficiencies.

“The notice does start this process but at various points in the process the board will have a number of options to do a number of different things,” the authority general counsel Ryan Herrick said.

In previous cases, the board has either appointed a “receiver” at troubled schools or approved a targeted academic improvement plan instead of shutting schools.

The next step in the process is for the schools to create a turnaround plan and bring it back before the board.

Nevada Virtual Academy

At Nevada Virtual Academy, authority members were particularly concerned about the school’s elementary program, which serves more than 500 of the school’s 2,000 students statewide.

The school had consistently been rated at “two stars” under the state ranking system. But this fall, the elementary program received a one-star rating, the lowest possible. In contrast, the middle school was rated a three-star school this year. High schools were not given star ratings this year, but the high school has an 84 percent graduation rates.

The school first opened in 2007, and had its charter reauthorized in 2013, though the low-performing elementary school already was a concern at that time, according to authority staff.

Scores of parents at the school attended the meeting, pleading with the board to keep it open. Leadership at the school also said they were aware of the issue, but argued a notice of intent wasn’t necessarily to prompt improvement.

“We are wholeheartedly invested in improving our elementary program,” said Yolanda Hamilton, the head of the school. “We are fully invested in that and are willing to put in the work to do that so we’d ask that you not issue the intent to terminate.”

The notice of intent to terminate was nonetheless unanimously approved.

The school has until April to present its turnaround plan. If the plan is accepted, the termination process will be closed, though the state will continue to monitor the school’s performance. If the plan is rejected, the board could move to close the school or appoint a receiver.

Quest Preparatory Academy

Quest Preparatory Academy already has an authority-approved receiver running the day-to-day operations, mostly due to financial issues.

The school’s financial problems date to 2012, when the authority threatened to revoke its charter over allegations of improper payments. A 2013 audit found suspicious spending by the principal at the time. Joshua Kern took over in 2015, and has continued to face money problems.

Amid the turmoil, academics have taken a downturn. In the latest state ratings, the elementary school was given one-star and the middle school was rated at the two-star level.

Even before the latest ratings, Kern had submitted a school improvement plan to the authority, which the board reviewed and approved Friday.

The board still voted unanimously to send a notice of intent to terminate, partially to make sure all schools are treated consistently, chair Jason Guinasso said.

Contact Meghin Delaney at 702-383-0281 or mdelaney@reviewjournal.com. Follow @MeghinDelaney on Twitter.

News
Nature Conservancy Ranch
The Nature Conservancy just bought the 900-acre 7J Ranch at the headwaters of the Amargosa River, north of Beatty. The property could become a research station, though ranching will continue.
Swift water rescue at Durango Wash in Las Vegas
On Thursday, February 14, 2019, at approximately 8:42 a.m., the Clark County Fire Department responded to a report of a swift water incident where people were trapped in the Durango wash which is located near 8771 Halcon Ave. Personnel found one person who was trapped in the flood channel. The individual was transported to the hospital in stable condition. Video by Clark County Fire & Rescue.
Flooding at E Cheyenne in N. Las Vegas Blvd.
Quick Weather Around the Strip
Rain hits Las Vegas, but that doesn't stop people from heading out to the Strip. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
Aaron Semas, professional bull rider, talks about his traumatic brain injuries
Aaron Semas, professional bull rider, talks about his traumatic brain injuries. The Cleveland Clinic will begin researching the brains of retired bull riders to understand the impact traumatic brain injuries have on cognition. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/ Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Matt Stutzman shoots arrows with his feet
Matt Stutzman who was born without arms shoots arrows with his feet and hits the bullseye with remarkable accuracy. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Secretary of Air Force Emphasizes the Importance of Nellis AFB
US Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson visited Nellis Air Force Base during Red Flag training and described how important the base is to the military.
Former Northwest Academy student speaks out
Tanner Reynolds, 13, with his mother Angela McDonald, speaks out on his experience as a former student of Northwest Academy in Amargosa Valley, which includes abuse by staff member Caleb Michael Hill. Hill, 29, was arrested Jan. 29 by the Nye County Sheriff’s Office on suspicion of child abuse.
Former Northwest Academy students speak out
Tristan Groom, 15, and his brother Jade Gaastra, 23, speak out on their experiences as former students of Northwest Academy in Amargosa Valley, which includes abuse by staff and excessive medication.
Disruption At Metro PD OIS Presser
A man claiming to be part of the press refused to leave a press conference at Metro police headquarters, Wednesday January 30, 2019. Officers were forced to physically remove the man. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
Clients at Las Vegas’ Homeless Courtyard talk about their experience
Clients at Las Vegas’ Homeless Courtyard talk about their experience after the city began operating around the clock. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Las Vegas parts ways with operator of homeless courtyard
Jocelyn Bluitt-Fisher discusses the transition between operators of the homeless courtyard in Las Vegas, Thursday Jan. 24, 2019.(Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas police and Raiders partner with SafeNest
Las Vegas police and the Raiders partner with SafeNest on Project Safe 417 (the police code for domestic violence is 417). The program partners trained SafeNest volunteer advocates with Metropolitan Police Department officers dispatched to domestic violence calls, allowing advocates to provide immediate crisis advocacy to victims at the scene of those calls. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
North Las Vegas police chief discusses officer-involved shooting
North Las Vegas police chief Pamela Ojeda held a press conference Thursday, Jan. 24, regarding an officer-involved shooting that took place on Jan. 21. The incident resulted in the killing of suspect Horacio Ruiz-Rodriguez. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Volunteers gather for annual Clark County homeless count
Volunteers gather for the annual Southern Nevada Homeless Census, Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019. (Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Who can understand hospital price lists?
Lists of costs for procedures, drugs and devices are now posted the websites of hospitals to comply with a new federal rule designed to provide additional consumer transparency. Good luck figuring out what they mean.
People in Mesquite deal with a massive power outage
People in Mesquite respond to a major power outage in the area on Monday, Jan. 21, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Group helping stranded motorists during power outage
A group of Good Samaritans are offering free gas to people in need at the Glendale AM/PM, during a massive power outage near Mesquite on Monday, Jan. 21, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
U.S. Sen. Jacky Rosen falls at Las Vegas parade
U.S. Sen. Jacky Rosen of Nevada fell and injured her wrist at the Martin Luther King Day parade in Las Vegas on Monday, Jan. 21, 2019. (Nathan Asselin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Local astronomers host super blood wolf moon viewing
The Las Vegas Astronomical Society paired with the College of Southern Nevada to host a lunar eclipse viewing Sunday night. Known as the super blood wolf moon, the astronomical event won't occur for another 18 years. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @rookie__rae
Tate Elementary shows academic progress after categorical funding
Students at Tate Elementary in Las Vegas has benefited from a program to boost education funding in targeted student populations, known as categorical funding. One program called Zoom helps students who have fallen below grade level in reading. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
The third annual Women’s March in Las Vegas
The third annual Women’s March in Las Vegas. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @btesfaye
First former felon to work for Nevada Department of Corrections
After his father died, Michael Russell struggled for years with drug addiction. When he finally decided to change for good, he got sober and worked for years to help others. Now he is the first former felon to be hired by the Nevada Department of Corrections. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @rookie__rae
Three Square helps TSA workers
Three Square Food Bank donated over 400 care bags to TSA workers affected by the government shutdown Wednesday, filled with food, personal hygiene products and water.
Las Vegas furniture store donates to Clark County firehouses
Walker Furniture donated new mattresses to all 30 Clark County firehouses in the Las Vegas Valley, starting today with Station 22. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Mount Charleston Gets Heavy Snow, Fog
Mount Charleston saw heavy snow today, and fog in lower elevations as a cold front swept across the Las Vegas Valley. (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Krystal Whipple arrested in Arizona
Krystal Whipple, charged in the killing of a Las Vegas nail salon manager over a $35 manicure, is expected to return to Nevada to face a murder charge.
Holocaust survivor on acceptance
Holocaust survivor Celina Karp Biniaz, who was the youngest person on Schindler’s List, talks about the most important message for people to understand from her life and experiences.
Holocaust survivor speaks about telling her story
Holocaust survivor Celina Karp Biniaz, who was the youngest person on Schindler’s List, tells of opening up about her experiences during Sunday’s event at Temple Sinai.
Jesus Jara State of the Schools address
Clark County School District Superintendent Jesus Jara delivers his State of the Schools address on Friday, Jan. 11, 2019. (Amelia Pak-Harvey/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
ad-high_impact_4
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like