Next Up Blog

This 10-minute video features 11 of the talented young poets, all finalists in the “When I Get My World Back” poetry competition we held this spring during National Poetry Month.

During National Poetry Month, and in the early weeks of the pandemic shutdowns, we asked our young poets to reflect on any of three elements in the poetry they submitted to the contest, inspired by the theme “When I Get My World Back”:

A place you would like to visit

A thing you would like to do

A person you would like to emulate

Participants were in grades K-12, and include students attending traditional district, public charter, private and homeschools around Nevada.  We are confident you will enjoy what our inspiring young poets shared with us in their poetry submissions.

As schools and school districts look ahead to the 2020-21 school year, it is essential that decision makers stay informed about the priorities and perspectives of our professional educators regarding what constitutes a safe reopening of school buildings, as well as supports the needs of educators and school-based staff in school reopenings. With this in mind, the Guinn Center, Nevada Succeeds and Nevada Action for School Options have produced this survey.

We hope you will take a few minutes to complete the following questions. Responses will be compiled and shared with education decision makers across Nevada.

This poll is written for all Nevada K-12 educators and professional staff to participate in, including those who work in school district public schools, public charter schools and private schools.

Click here to take and submit the survey.

All surveys will remain confidential. The information from the opening questions will be used to disaggregate the answers for purposes of objective analysis, and WILL NOT be used to allow for the identification of any survey participants. You are not required to provide a response to these, or any, questions in the survey if you do not feel comfortable providing an answer. The survey is 11 questions and we anticipate the survey will take you no longer than 10 minutes to complete.

The deadline for completed surveys to be counted is Wednesday, June 24th at 5pm. We ask that you complete the survey only once. We also hope that you will help us to maximize participation by sharing this with any colleagues or fellow educators.

If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to Kenneth Retzl – kretzl@guinncenter.org

Thank you for your work for Nevada students.

Signed,

Guinn Center
Nevada Action for School Options
Nevada Succeeds

This report you can download here was produced as a collaboration we had the pleasure to undertake with the National Charter School Institute.

During the COVID-19 Pandemic, schools around the nation were forced to pivot to remote education plans with very little time for planning. We did what we had to do, with mixed results and an extraordinary amount of patience from our families.

Now, charter schools and authorizers alike must act nimbly and quickly to create an environment for schools to succeed meeting the needs of their students and fulfill their mission under the difficult conditions necessitated for safety and required by government authorities.

This report focuses on seven essential domains schools need to address, with descriptions and examples of how they can incorporate them into distance learning plans moving forward:

  1. Curriculum, Instruction and Evaluation
  2. Student Engagement/Behavior and Social-Emotional Support
  3. Equitable Access to Learning
  4. Special Populations
  5. Staff Professional Development
  6. Family Engagement
  7. Resiliency for Managing Through Crisis

While this report was written for charter schools, it is our hope that educators and leaders across different sectors of K-12 education will find it a useful guide.

Nevada School Options is partnering with the National Summer School Initiative (NSSI) to offer a free daily virtual summer school program for students in grades 3-8. We are excited to offer this high-quality, free resource to Nevada families to help make up for grade-level instruction lost during the COVID shutdowns and to prevent “summer slide” learning loss from the extended summer break.

If you are interested in enrolling your child, please email ashley@nevadaaction.org.

Parents and educators alike are concerned about students experiencing a steep learning loss after COVID-19 shutdowns. By studying the typical amount of learning loss that occurs during a summer slide, research predicts the possibility of some students returning to school in the fall retaining only half of the learning gains made in math the previous year, and some students may return a full year behind in mathematics. 

These losses are predicted to occur because of the extended summer slide, and also due to the content not taught as a result of the school closures. With school closures, many students missed out on the final quarter of learning during the past school year.

In addition, the typical summer slide learning loss will be more significant this year as school closures led to an extended summer break.

We understand the concerns that parents have voiced to us regarding their child’s progress and educational growth. We know that parents across the state are worried about their child falling behind. It is our hope that this summer school program will help to alleviate some of the learning loss children are experiencing in Nevada.

The program will run June 29-July 31, with students participating from 9am-1pm Monday-Friday. Classes are conducted virtually with local teachers providing support and feedback for each class.

This program is led by a national design team of world-class educators and curriculum designers. The NSSI concept paper is available here for you to take a look at. 

There will be four hours of online instruction with master teachers available for students enrolled in the program. Additionally, there will be local partner teachers that will create a virtual community with their students in classroom-sized groups. These partner teachers will provide valuable learning help and regular, timely feedback on every student’s work.

The classes will be focused on English and Math, with mindfulness and movement blocks built in. 

We are currently organizing classes for different grade levels on a first-come, first-served basis. Please contact Ashley Campbell at ashley@nevadaaction.org or 702-202-3573 if you would like to enroll your child, if you have questions or would like to get involved.

While schools and districts are trying to sort out when and how they will be able to open, a different model for schooling is emerging that just might be a right answer for many families. Though microschooling is not a new concept, it is one that many parents might not be familiar with. 

MicroschoolingNV.org is a new initiative that is building a dynamic ecosystem of diverse microschooling opportunities in Nevada, beginning with the Greater Las Vegas Microschooling Collaborative.

Microschooling is an updated version of the one-room schoolhouse. It offers flexibility in both core content and specialized learning. Microschooling offers a solution, often a short- or medium-term solution, to families who want something different. We are working to incubate a network of microschools across the valley during 2020 — take our Microschooling Interest Survey to see where you might fit in!

Microschooling succeeds with flexibility, not tied to any strict definition. Often a microschool serves ten students or less, when housed in a family home, or up to 25 students when located in a dedicated facility. 

Costs can remain relatively low, depending on setting, teacher arrangement, device needs, and curricular choices.

Microschools often serve students of different ages in the same setting. 

A microschooling network can be fluid, so that students can move between microschools depending on circumstances or interest. A “digital backpack” can allow a student to transfer relatively seamlessly and without lost learning time.

A family may choose to utilize microschooling as a “for now” solution, say as a reaction to an unsatisfactory circumstance at their previous school, such as a bullying situation.

Instruction in microschooling is driven by the needs of the learners in both core and specialized areas. In the established, and flourishing, microschooling ecosystem that the Greater Las Vegas Microschooling Collaborative envisions, students and families will have the fluidity to move between a variety of programs available for both core subjects and specialized learning. 

This will apply to specialized learning as well. If a parent is looking for an arts microschooling experience one year for their child, and then during the course of the year the child’s interests sway more to science, the student can be effortlessly transferred to a new microschool, with progress and individualized learning plans following the student to the new location.

Microschools offer temporary or long-term solutions, depending on what families are looking for. This makes it an appealing option for families that might be struggling with bullying, or feel that the assigned teacher at their child’s current school is perhaps not the best match for their child and want a temporary, one-year solution. 

Look for Part II – Microschooling: Homeschool Co-op, Private School, or Public/Public Charter School?