Nevada Connections Academy Parents: 'Protect Our School Option'
NCA to operate in 2017-18 school year while ongoing hearing with authorizer continues; available background information and resources
Nevada Connections Academy (NCA) is a high-quality online public school option for students in grades K-12 from across the state, currently serving more than 3,000 students.
While Nevada Connections Academy students outperform the state averages on many key indicators across all grades, it has been criticized about its graduation rate falling below 60%, even though that rate is because of the high number of students who transfer into the school credit deficient during their junior and senior year. Over the past several months, the school has faced a closure threat by its authorizer, the Nevada State Public Charter School Authority (SPCSA), because the school’s graduation rate is below 60%.
NCA has worked closely with the SPCSA on a comprehensive graduation improvement and is already seeing gains; however, the school is still undergoing a formal review as part of the notice of closure issued to the school.
After hours of public comment and nearly three days of discussion among the Authority members and NCA administration at the end of May, the Authority decided additional time was needed to make a decision on the “notice of closure” issued to the school. Given that a decision was not reached, the school will be open for the 2017-18 school year and will continue serving families across the state.
The continuation of the May hearing is scheduled for August 23, at which the Authority will vote to determine whether the school’s graduation rate was above the 60% benchmark and whether the school’s plan to improve the graduation rate is sufficient.
If the Authority agrees the plan is sufficient, the hearing is over and the school will continue with the implementation of the plan. If the Authority does not agree the plan is sufficient, the second phase of the hearing will begin where the Authority will decide the course of action it plans to take against the school. The second phase of the hearing is anticipated for late September
“We appreciate the Authority’s time and willingness to consider all facts as part of this hearing—and for ensuring that our families will be able to continue receiving a high-quality education with Nevada Connections Academy in the 2017-18 school year,” NCA School Leader Steve Werlein said. “We will continue to provide a high quality school option to students in Nevada and our talented, loyal teaching staff will continue to educate students who not only want, but need this option.”
Information and resources regarding the school’s fight to stay open can be found below. For media inquiries, please contact Michele Voelkening at 702-610-4064.
- May 2017 Charter Authority Hearing News Coverage:
- December 2016 Charter Authority Hearing News Coverage:
- Press Release: Nevada Connections Academy and Its Families Take Legal Action Against the Nevada State Public Charter School Authority (SPCSA)
- Declaratory Judgment Action (Full-Text)
- NCA Request Letter: NCA has requested the SPCSA correct a public misstatement regarding its actions
- Press Conference on 10/14/2016 Announcing Legal Action
- Video Footage
- News Coverage
*Updated June 5, 2017