Immediate Release


Greg Bortolin
Carson City, NV - September 06, 2016

More than $3.3 million has been awarded to 39 Nevada schools to support rapid school improvement that was authorized by Senate Bill 515 in the 2015 Legislature. The grant is intended to result in substantial school improvement efforts at one- and two-star schools with a strong roadmap for improvement.

“One of Governor Sandoval’s main goals in the 2015 Legislature was to do everything possible to support struggling schools,” said Steve Canavero, Ph.D., Superintendent of Public Instruction. “This funding will help principals in obtaining training for their teachers to utilize proven instructional strategies at these schools falling short of our expectations.”

The grant is a part of a comprehensive and holistic suite of tools schools can use to improve student performance. These tools include resources to pay for research proven strategies at school sites with leaders that have the skills needed to engage in this work as well as interventions at school sites where student performance has lagged for too long without evidence of improvement.

The funding allows principals to pay for:
• A third party to conduct professional learning
• Stipend time for teachers to conduct data analysis and curriculum alignment
• Identify best practices in the classroom for student achievement

Any one- or two-star school, as designated by Nevada’s Star system, was allowed to apply for this funding. Criteria used to determine that schools are underperforming are based on low student proficiency and growth at the elementary and middle level and a high school graduation rate of less than 60 percent at the high school level.

“Our goal is for underperforming schools to exit this designation within three years by earning at least three stars,” Canavero said. “The collaboration that now exists between the NDE and these recipient schools will allow not just for funding for improvement, but support from NDE in creating and implementing their improvement plans.”

Another element of SB 515 provides an opportunity for the Nevada Department of Education (NDE) to establish a Leadership Network which spearheads the advancement of Professional Learning Communities (PLC) to aid principals in developing effective instructional strategies at underperforming schools in the state. NDE’s first Leadership Network in June attracted 72 principals, district and school leaders from 10 counties and 41 schools in Nevada who worked together to build their capacity around developing PLCs. They will meet three more times throughout the 2016-17 school year to increase their knowledge of PLCs, gaining tools and protocols to assist in implementation and to problem-solve barriers they encounter. The next workshop is slated for November 3, at the Peppermill Hotel in Reno.