State appoints receiver to oversee Las Vegas charter school

Updated June 23, 2017 - 3:44 pm

One of Nevada’s two state-sponsored charter schools under threat of closure has agreed to let an appointed “receiver” take responsibility of the school’s performance in order to remain in operation.

The Nevada State Public Charter School Authority, a governing board for charters in the state, voted unanimously Friday to appoint John Haynal to serve as the receiver for the Discovery Charter School in Las Vegas in an effort to improve its academic performance. Haynal is a “franchise principal” in Clark County, and has experience turning around low-performing schools.

“This is absolute something where the school has collaborated in good faith with the authority,” Patrick Gavin, the executive director of the state board, said of the decision to give the charter a new lease on life.

The charter serves more than 400 students in kindergarten through eighth grade on two campuses in Las Vegas. It was under threat of closure based on state tests.

Discovery’s latest test results from 2015-16 show elementary proficiency rates of 24 percent in math and 46 percent in reading, according to state data.

When a charter school underperforms, the authority has the power to shut it, reorganize its governing board or appoint a receiver to help the school improve.

A second state charter, the online Nevada Connections Academy, also is on notice that it faces possible closure, but has been fighting the decision.

As a franchise principal, Haynal is responsible for overseeing three struggling Clark County School District elementaries in Las Vegas. He has served as the principal of Owen Roundy, Vegas Verde and Elaine Wynn elementary schools since 2012.

Adam Johnson, chairman of the charter board, said he was pleased that Gavin and the Discovery school worked together to craft the receiver plan. He said the authority will keep a watchful eye on the school.

“I’m pleased with the direction. I just want to make sure we are really clear on our expectations for improved academic outcomes for our students,” he said.

Haynal will work with the school for up to three years, said Africa Sanchez, the school’s lawyer. Haynal was the only person who responded to the school’s request for a proposal, she said.

“John will come in and become a true receiver as the authority and the school understands,” she said. “It’s going to be more expansive, it’s going to be for a longer period.”

Who is John Haynal?

Haynal, a “franchise principal,” will serve as Discovery Charter School’s receiver. He’ll be responsible for the operations of the school and efforts to improve practices and student outcomes. Haynal has worked in Clark County schools since 2001 and has been a franchise principal since 2012. As a franchise principal, Haynal oversees multiple schools that serve at-risk students.

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

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