Nevada’s Private School Leaders Show Up Strong for 2022 Summit

This year’s annual Nevada Private School Summit showed in bold, bright colors just how dedicated, and how diverse, our state’s community of private school leaders remains through whichever challenges may emerge.

Faith-based schools in attendance included Catholic, Lutheran, Jewish, Christian, Seventh-Day Adventist and Islamic institutions, while independent secular schools included two specializing in serving children with special needs and the autism spectrum, an academy for gifted children, and different student-centered and “hands-on” learning models.

Nevada has a relatively small private schools sector – 150 schools serve about 20,000 students statewide. This constitutes about one-third of the number of students currently enrolled in Nevada’s charter schools.

These schools are generally small in size, and contrary to what some less familiar with this community may think, very much serve children from working families who make sacrifices in order to pay tuition. The state’s Opportunity Scholarship program provides funding to only about 1,000 children, who generally attend less costly schools.

Nevada’s private schools are also some of the heaviest-regulated in the country, subject to stringent, and expensive, requirements dictating the number of days (at least 180), even hours, in a school year, minimum number of square feet allotted for each child (30), administrator and staff qualifications, curriculum accreditation, and other components of mandatory renewal of state operating licenses every two years. Several leaders expressed frustration at not being included in consequential education policy conversations by Governor Sisolak’s administration, and at being subjected to excessive delays and uncertainties receiving the expressly allocated shares of federal funding targeted to nonpublic school students.

This year, as in previous years, school leaders gathered to share observations and experiences and to learn from national experts including bestselling au

thor and schools innovation expert Anthony Kim discussing practical strategies to rethink teacher retention, Lisa Snell of the Stand Together Trust analyzing recent national schooling trends, and Foundation for Economic Education Director of External Relations Marianna Davidovich.

Participation, while strong, was lower than in previous years, amid this sector’s own version of staffing and educator shortages prevalent across K-12 education right now. Nonetheless, this strong-spirited community of veteran leaders proved its enduring eagerness to be there to support each other, their schools and communities, to be vitally present to meet the needs of the families who make them their choice.

We at Nevada Action for School Options proudly support this hardworking community of education leaders in putting on this important annual gathering. If you’ve not had the opportunity to visit these schools to see them in action, please let us know and we would be happy to help make arrangements.