Delta Academy, a Las Vegas charter school for students with behavioral, emotional and social challenges, will remain open for at least six more years despite posting poor student performance.
The Clark County School Board on Thursday unanimously gave a six-year contract renewal to the school which takes in students who have been expelled, are on probation or were struggling in their previous schools. Even though Delta faces an uphill battle with students, board members noted that academic gains must be made.
“We make an investment in you,” board member Erin Cranor said. “And I expect we will have a return on that investment.”
Cranor sees the charter school succeeding, she said.
Currently though, only 59 percent of Delta’s seventh-graders and 10 percent of eighth-graders were at grade level in math, according to the Nevada Department of Education’s most recent report for state tests from 2011-12. Only 31 percent of the school’s seventh-graders and 20 percent of eighth-graders read at grade level.
The state also requires high school students to pass proficiency exams in math, reading, writing and science to graduate, although those are being phased out. But Delta’s pass rate on these tests ranged between just 23 percent and 40 percent for juniors. Across the district, more than 70 percent of juniors pass these tests on average.
Even though the district’s graduation rate sits at a low 61 percent, Delta’s is much lower. About 51 percent of its students graduate on time.
But the school caters to struggling students, school Executive Director Kyle Konold pointed out. About 85 percent of students come to Delta already credit deficient, he said.
“Parents have beaten their heads against the wall,” Konold said. “This is a second chance, a clean slate.”
Board President Carolyn Edwards praised the school for serving a “critical” purpose.
“But we’re not going to let you slide on that,” she said. “You have work to do.”