Issue: # 4 April  2009 
Glen Oaks

Welcome to the Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools Email Newsletter.  We will  keep you updated on current charter school issues, news, and events.  Please let us know if there is anything else you would like to see in our communications to you or if you have a charter success story you would like to share.   As always, thank you for your support and voice in Louisiana's charter school movement. 
2009 Legislative Session
As the statewide advocate for charter schools, the Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools (LAPCS) is striving to become a primary resource for policymakers as they seek to make informed decisions about charter schools. While there are those who would prefer that charter schools fail, and who spend much of their energy planting misleading, blanket statements about charter schools, the LAPCS staff works to provide thoughtful, accurate and fact-based information about charter schools, creating a relationship with elected officials that they know they can trust. We ask that you be a part of that effort as we begin the 2009 Louisiana Legislative Session.
The LAPCS urges all charter school supporters - charter board members, parents, school leaders, teachers, staff, and community supporters - to engage actively with state senators and state representative on issues impacting charter schools and the student we serve.
In the coming days through our website ( we will provide you with daily "Call to Action" updates including upcoming committee hearings, floor votes and talking points on key legislation. Please note:  because this is a short session, we are anticipating charter school bills will be heard as early as next week so there isn't much time to waste.
The LAPCS State Board of Directors has reviewed key bills and rated them based on their impact to charter schools. These are the bills that we will be tracking. To review this document, please click on the following link:
Again, your involvement is critical to not only protect against those who seek to bring an end to the academic successes of the charter school movement, but to build strong working relationships with those who control the future of the charter school movement. 
If you have any questions or information that you would like to share with us, please feel free to contact me at (504) 274-3651.
Caroline Roemer Shirley
Executive Director
DOE Charter Office Corner 
Welcome to DOE Corner.  In this section of the Newsletter, we will provide regular information from the Louisiana Department of Education through the Charter Schools Office.
New Charter Schools in Caddo and East Baton Rouge Parishes
Two schools in Caddo Parish (Linear Middle and Linwood Middle) and four schools in East Baton Rouge Parish (Dalton Elementary and Lanier Elementary and Crestworth Middle and Kenilworth Middle) will transfer to the jurisdiction of the RSD beginning July 1, 2009.
In Caddo Parish, Martin Luther King Neighborhood Association will operate Linear Middle School and Shreveport Charter School, Inc. will operate Linwood Middle School. In East Baton Rouge Parish, Advance Baton Rouge (ABR) will assume operation of Dalton Elementary and Lanier Elementary; Crestworth Learning Academy will operate Crestworth Middle School; and Pelican Educational Foundation will operate Kenilworth Middle School.
Request for Applications (RFA)
A Request for Application (RFA) for charter schools operators will be available online in the upcoming weeks. The RFA is designed for charters applicants desiring to operate a State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) authorized charter school to open in Fall 2010. For more updates on the application process, visit the charter school website at
Federal Public Charter School Grant Program (PCSP)
**Urgent Reminder** Louisiana's current grant award in the amount of $23 million dollars expires on July 31, 2009. Current PCSP grant recipients are reminded to submit reimbursement requests promptly. All unspent grant funds will be reverted back to the State. There will not be any extension opportunities after the deadline. If you have any questions regarding your PCSP grant, please contact Karen McCarvy at
Student Discipline Data
The deadline for correcting prior year student discipline data is April 27th. Excel spreadsheets should be returned with data corrections or a statement verifying that data submitted for 2007-08 was accurate and complete.  Corrections must be made now during the correction period. There will not be any extensions granted for prior year data corrections. . Please contact Bernadette McLaurin at  with any questions regarding the student discipline reports.  **Reminder** End of Year SIS Collection will start May 1, 2009.
Creative Scholars Camp
The Louisiana Center for Dyslexia and Related Learning Disorders at Nicholls State University presents Creative Scholars Camp for students entering 5th-9th grade (age not to exceed 16) starting July 14 - July 18, 2009. Campers have a choice of attending the day camp or overnight camp.  The mission of the Creative Scholars Camp is to provide interesting, effective techniques to improve reading comprehension, writing, and math skills of 5th through 9th students with characteristics of dyslexia.

For more information regarding the registration and payment information call (985) 448-4444. For program information, call (985) 448-4214.

Additional information and the required forms will become available under the "Events" section on the dyslexia center website:
Charter Schools Office
1201 N. 3rd Street
Baton Rouge, LA 70802
Phone: 225-342-3640
Staff List
Kenneth Campbell
State Director of Charter Schools
Patricia McFarland
Operations Advisor
Folwell Dunbar
Education Advisor
Karen Sheppard
Operations Manager
Carrie Barbin
Administrative Assistant
Charter Chat with Senn Brown
Each monthly issue of our newsletter will feature an interview with a recognized charter leader, champion, or expert.  Is there anyone in particular you want to hear from?  Any specific questions you want answered?  Let us know!
This month we chat charters with Senn Brown, the Executive Director of the Green Charter Schools Network, based out of Madison, Wisconsin.
Question:  First, tell us about the Green Charter School Network (GSCNet).  What is your mission?
GCSNet  ( ) is a national non-profit organization of green charter schools, partnering organizations including all schools, and individual friends.  GCSNet was launched in Feb. 2008.  GCSNet's vision is for every person to be environmentally literate and to practice and promote sustainability in their community.  GCSNet's mission is to support the establishment, enhancement,and advancement of public charter schools with environment-focused educational programs and practices.   
"The Real Wealth of the nation"  (found HERE) by Tia Nelson, daughter of Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson, describes the Network's beginnings and mission.
Question:   Why focus on charter schools?  How are they positioned to more effectively take the lead on the implementation of environmentally focused operations and curricula?
Answer:  While GCSNet has a focus on "green" charter schools, its vision and mission speak more broadly to all schools and all people.  We've focused on charter schools for the same reasons that the federal government created a charter schools grant program and that 40+ states, including Louisiana, have enacted charter school laws  --  i.e. to facilitate the creation of innovative new and different public schools, expand educational options for young people and professional opportunities for educators, enhance student learning and achievement,  support school-site autonomy and accountability, and improve the entire public school system throughout the country. Because charter schools are generally free from many state requirements that apply to traditional public schools, they can be more innovative and very different from traditional schools.  Hopefully the innovative new schools in the emerging green charter schools sector in public education will improve schooling and learning for all students everywhere.  

Question:   Why is it so crucial that we begin NOW to discuss ways public education can supplement the creation of a sustainable society?

Answer:  I often recall the compelling and frequent comments of Gaylord Nelson, Wisconsin's former Governor, U.S. Senator, and Earth Day founder, about the importance of educating youth - next generation - about conservation, land ethics, and sustainability.  You'll find the best answer to "WhyNow?"  in  "The Real Wealth of the Nation"  (found HERE) by Tia Nelson,daughter of Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson, describes the Network'sbeginnings and mission.
  What are some ways that existing charter schools can be more environmentally aware? 
Answer:  The best way I can answer that question is to refer you to several of the schools ( a couple linked below) in the emerging green charter schools sector in public education.  We  believe that there are more than 200 green charter schools operating now throughout the country.  There are nearly twenty in Wisconsin.  Bottom line is to engage young people in hands-on environmental learning projects and learning experiences, redefine what it means to be an educated person, integrate environmental and sustainability topics throughout the curriculum, set high standards and expectations for students, and rethink public education's critical role in creating a sustainable society.   
Green Charter Schools: 
Many of the green charter secondary schools have project-based programs and integrated curriculums similar to EdVisions Schools
In Memory of Lloyd L. Lindsey, Jr.

Lloyd Lindsey

On April 15, West Feliciana Parish Superintendent Lloyd L. Lindsey, Jr. passed away after a tragic fall at a friend's home in Nashville, Tenn. The 64-year-old served as the district's superintendent for more than 16 years. During that time, West Feliciana, one of the most diverse socio-economic areas of the state, showed dramatic improvement in student achievement, health services, inclusion and early childhood development programs. In fact, the district is currently ranked 2nd in the state.
In 2004, Lindsey was recognized by his peers as the Superintendent of the Year and was recently selected by members of the state's Accountability Commission to chair the group. He also played an active role in the state's finance and teacher quality committees and is a past president of the Louisiana School Superintendents' Association. Lindsey was highly respected at every level of the education community.
Our thoughts go out to the family and friends of this true leader in Louisiana's education system.
"Extreme Makeover" of ADVANCE Baton Rouge's Prescott Middle School teachers lounge
The new teachers lounge at Prescott Middle School
The project: a complete makeover of the teachers' lounge and workroom of one of the state's most underperforming middle schools. The partners: an educational nonprofit, a local church, two local designers, and various local businesses. The goal: to provide a warm and inviting lounge that is conducive to academic preparation for some of the hardest working teachers in America. On April 9, ADVANCE Baton Rouge partnered with Healing Place Church, Holly Harrison Interiors, LaMoyne Design Associates, and other Baton Rouge, Louisiana businesses to perform an extreme makeover of Prescott Middle School's teachers' lounge and workroom.
In January 2008, following four plus years of academic failure, Prescott Middle School was taken over by the State Department of Education (DOE) and placed in the state's Recovery School District.  In April of 2008, ADVANCE Baton Rouge applied for the charter of Prescott Middle in partnership with the DOE, and was awarded the charter in May of that same year. ADVANCE Baton Rouge took over the school officially in July with a brand new staff and leadership team ready to face the challenges of working in a high need school.
Prescott Middle teachers are faced with daily adversity in teaching their population of "at-risk" students. Most of their students are not proficient in either math or reading, and in some cases, are overage and at least two grade levels behind. The staff at Prescott Middle is a group of tenacious and talented educators who employ creative teaching strategies to help students return to grade level and pass state testing that will admit them into high school. "We are fired up, fixed and focused with our eyes on the prize. Our goal is to transform a dynamic curriculum into lessons for life," said Anton Witherspoon, Interim Principal, Prescott Middle School.
A grand opening took place on April 20 with a ribbon cutting ceremony by Baton Rouge Mayor Kip Holden, followed by a reception for sponsors, volunteers, teachers and community guests.
ABR and its partners in the extreme makeover project hope that their efforts will inspire other organizations and corporations around the country to take notice of the need for strong community partnerships that promote intensive educational reform. 

Prescott Middle school teacher reacts to the transformation

Job Listings Now On LAPCS Website
Please note that the LAPCS website now has a statewide job vacancy posting page on our website.  Please let your HR or recruiting staffer know that this resource is available. To access the page, click HERE.
The Eastbank Collaborative of Charter Schools also has a New Orleans job vacancy page available.  To access this site, click HERE.

Grant Opportunities

In partnership with NSNO, the LAPCS is pleased to bring you a comprehensive list of grant opportunities that may be of interest to Louisiana's charter schools.  The list is updated daily with new and interesting grant opportunities, so check back often! To visit the list click HERE.
****Register by June 30, 2009 and be automatically entered to win one complimentary conference registration!****
Registration is officially open for the 2nd Annual Louisiana Charter Schools Conference to be held September 11-12 at the Hampton Inn & Suites (Convention Center location) in New Orleans.  Special conference rates at the hotel are $79/nt. for a standard room and $129/nt. for a suite (Limited availability; Rate available until on August 11th).  Click HERE to reserve a room.
This year's conference will grow to a 2 day event with more breakout sessions, vendors, and networking events!
Request for Presenters!
We are also pleased to announce that we are involving our charter school community in this year's conference!  The Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools is soliciting proposals for speakers to present breakout sessions at the 2009 conference.  Please take the opportunity to share your knowledge, expertise, and best practices with your charter school peers. Deadline for submission is June 30, 2009.  Download the form HERE.
Award Ceremony Nominations! 
We are pleased to announce the kickoff of the 1st Annual LAPCS Charter School Awards.  These awards are designed to recognize the contributions of school leaders, teachers, board members, schools, and community leaders in their efforts to advocate for, support, or enhance Louisiana's public charter schools.  The awards ceremony will take place on Friday evening, September 11, 2009.  Download the information packet and nomination form HERE!
New Orleans Members Advisory Council
The LAPCS Members Advisory Council is a key organizational component in identifying problem issues, setting priorities, gathering data, communicating important issues, resolving problems, and more.  
Next MAC Meeting:
When:  May TBA
Where: TBA 
To register to attend the MAC Meeting, please email
MAC Committee Meetings 
During the December MAC meeting, we created 5 committees 
(Policy/Legislative, Operations/Finance, Quality Standards, Facilities, and Governance/Board) with the purpose of collectively finding solutions to challenges that many charter schools face.   All board members, school leaders, and school staff are welcome to sign up. 
If you would like to join one of these working committees, click here.

 Save the Date! 

National Charter Schools Week 

May 4-8, 2009
We are working with the Eastbank Collaborative, New Schools for New Orleans and the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools to plan and coordinate a great week that celebrates Louisiana's charter schools including a Capitol Hill Day and other special events around the state.  If your school is interested in participating, let us know so that we can coordinate with you. Stay tuned for more details!
Saturday, May 16, 2009
9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Xavier University Student Center
3rd Floor Ballroom
OPEN TO ALL! A special opportunity for ALL Orleans Parish Public Schools!
Charter School Principals or Recruiters:  Reserve a free space now to interview the best and brightest certified teachers on May 16th!
A special opportunity for certified teachers or recent graduates certified in 2009!
Teachers!  Pre-register for the charter school teacher fair!  Interviews will be conducted on the spot!  To pre-register, visit
Full and part-time positions available in New Orleans Charter Schools!  Post your resume before the fair so principals can review it immediately!  Email resumes to Rose Peterson, and indicate your course/grade preference/area of certification.
Pre-registration for teachers is NOT required, but encouraged.
NAPCS Conference Logo
The only national conference devoted exclusively to public charter schools is sure to attract a tremendous line-up of outstanding school leaders and our country's top public officials. It will be an exciting time in Washington as a new administration and a new Congress get down to the nation's business next year. For more information, please visit

  New Schools for New Orleans and LAPCS present

Cocktail Reception and Networking Event for
Charter Board Members and School Leaders
with Special Guest
Dr. John King, Managing Director of Uncommon Schools
Dr. King is the founder of Roxbury Prep, one of the most successful charter schools in the country.  He is currently the Manging Director for Uncommon Schools, and will speak to us on academic excellence and building effective board member/school leader relationships to work toward effectively closing the achievement gap.

May 8, 2009 6:30-9:00 p.m.

S.J. Green Charter School
Edible SchoolYard
2319 Valence St.
Register today by emailing
Special Ed Cooperative
Thank you to all of you who participated in the first annual education provider fair hosted by the nola special education cooperative last thursday at tulane university. The event was a HUGE success...

- 20 charter school professionals representing 15 NOLA charter schools met 28 education providers representing 21 individual providers and organizations from nola, greater Louisiana and across the country!!!!

- Also in attendance: Dr. Corey Hebert, medical director for the Recovery School District, Margaret Lang, Director of Intervention Services, Recovery school district, Jim Cowie, Head of Pupil Appraisal for Jefferson Parish Public Schools, and Dr. Pat Cooper of the Early Childhood and Family Learning Center, NOLA.

We were so impressed by the education professionals, their credentials, experience and wide range of services that they offered to charter schools. This event represented the large pool of education professionals here in nola who are committed to partnering with charter schools to bring high quality programs and services to students with disabilities.

As a part of the fair, each school received a packet of marketing materials created by providers to describe offered services.  All in attendance agreed that this fair is a useful way for charter schools to connect with education providers and for providers to have a way to begin to build relationships with charter schools. Providers and school folks alike thanked us again and again for serving this need and including them in this important event. 

A special thank you to the following special educators who worked hard to make the fair a success:

Lara Lebherz
Joseph Tate 
Andrea Bond 
Margo Bouchie
Karin Greathouse

Thanks too to Caroline Roemer of the Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools, Nancy Burvant and the rest of the good folks at New Schools for New Orleans who helped us get the word out to all of you about this important night!

Please contact us directly for a list of education providers who attended and would like to partner with NOLA charter schools in the creation of special education programs.

-Beth Giovannetti and Nancy Opalack
Welcome New LAPCS Members!
*We currently represent 46 schools throughout Louisiana.
New Vendors / Non-Profit Members:
"SchoolReach is one of the most effective school community communication tools I have ever used."
- Mickey Landry, Lafayette Academy

"Two years after Hurricane Katrina, Lake Forest Elementary Charter was named the top-performing K-8 school-public or charter-in all of New Orleans. ENI's Target Teach process is an essential part of our instructional program and one of the keys to achieving our academic success!"

-Mardele Simmons Early,CEO/Principal
Lake Forest Elementary Charter School
Teach for America is interested and ready to meet with charter school principals to discuss partnering with your school to place our corps members as teachers starting in the fall.  Please contact Jeffrey Fingerman at or 504-250-9147. 
"Our partnership with Teach for America is instrumental in our work to close the achievement gap in New Orleans. The intelligence, dedication, and hard work of TFA corps members far exceeds the proportion of exceptional talent normally found in the average teacher applicant pool. Teach for America finds great people and sets them up for successby offering development in instructional practices that have provenresults." 
- Ben Kleban, Founder and CEO, New Orleans College Prep
Articles of Interest 
"The challenges for charter schools"
American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
March 2-3, 2009
Charter schooling continues to grow apace. The nation's four-thousand-plus charter schools now enroll more than a million students and are approaching (or have exceeded) traditional district enrollment in communities like Dayton, Ohio; New Orleans, Louisiana; and Washington, D.C. Many of the most successful charter school providers are embarking on ambitious growth plans; most notably, the famed KIPP Academies hope to nearly double the number of their schools in the next five years, from fifty-seven to roughly one hundred.[1] The climate for expansion seems hospitable: President Obama has called for doubling federal support for charter school facilities. But what will it take for charter schooling to succeed at scale?  
"The Union war on charter schools"
Wall Street Journal
April 16, 2009
An opinion article in the Wall Street Journal describing Union efforts taking place  in New York against charter schools and school choice.  
"How to raise the standard in America's schools"
April 15, 2009
National standards have long been the third rail of education politics. The right chokes on the word national, with its implication that the feds will trample on the states' traditional authority over public schools. And the left chokes on the word standards, with the intimations of assessments and testing that accompany it. The result is a K-12 education system in the U.S. that is burdened by an incoherent jumble of state and local curriculum standards, assessment tools, tests, texts and teaching materials. Even worse, many states have bumbled into a race to the bottom as they define their local standards downward in order to pretend to satisfy federal demands by showing that their students are proficient.
"Charter School Achievement:  What we Know, 5th Edition"
National Alliance for Public Charter Schools 
April 15, 2009
The report reviewed 140 individual studies and found evidence that many charter schools are helping to increase academic performance, graduation rates and college matriculation. It warned, however, that research is not keeping pace with the growth of charter schools and that more must be done to eliminate the gaps in research and gain clear insights into achievement. 
"Demand for Charter Schools is High, Seats are Few"
Wall Street Journal 
April 23, 2009
The Wall Street Journal reports that despite President Obama's call for more charter schools, most states seem to be "in no hurry to oblige." Enrollment in charter schools has more than doubled in the last six years, and an estimated 365,000 students are on waitlists nationwide. 
About Us 
The mission of the Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools (LAPCS) is to provide a clear and distinctive voice for Louisiana's charter schools, educating the public about their progress and ensuring that they thrive for the benefit of students statewide. The Association provides leadership, member services and public information to serve and support the charter schools in their pursuit of academic excellence.   
Caroline Roemer Shirley, Executive Director
Caroline has 20 years of experience organizing, developing, and managing corporate and political communications strategies and public policy initiatives.  As the Executive Director of the Association, 
she is building a statewide coalition of charter school leaders, board members, and charter proponents.  
Contact Caroline at
Andrea Chen, Membership & Programs Director
As a former New Orleans public school teacher, Andrea Chen has supervised the development and certification of teachers through the University of New Orleans Graduate School of Education, The New Teacher Project, and Teach For America.  She is a graduate of Stanford University, where she majored in Philosophy and Anthropological Sciences, earned her M.Ed. in Education Policy and Management from the University of New Orleans and Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Contact Andrea at 
Elizabeth Garrett, Communications Director
Elizabeth is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in Business Marketing.  Since graduation, she has worked in marketing for the Community Coffee Company.  Before joining LAPCS, she participated in outreach efforts for the Louisiana Children's Museum and the New Orleans Mission. 
Contact Elizabeth at
In This Issue
Legislative Session
DOE Update
Charter Chat
Job Postings
Grant Opportunities
Upcoming Events
Articles of Interest


2009 Louisiana Charter Schools Conference
September 11-12, 2009
New Orleans, La

***See more information about venue and keynote speakers in "Events" below***


Interested in saving 15-85% off the list-price on office and classroom supplies? 

 Learn more about our STAPLES Statewide Charter Schools Buying Program open to all LAPCS members!  Click HERE!


Avoyelles Public Charter School Students lend a hand
The students helped create an innovative easter egg hunt for the students at Louisiana School for the Visually Impaired.  Read more HERE
International School of La teachers recognized by LatiNola
Each month LatiNola honors organizations and people for their work in celebrating the Latino community and helping confront the social justice issues of everyday in New Orleans. The teachers at ISL were awarded for bringing cultural awareness and diversity to our community. Congrats ISL!
Warren Easton Student awarded Louisiana Young Heroes Award!
Helen Meridy, a senior, was one of eight Louisiana students to receive the honor.  Congratulations! 
Doris Hicks, MLK Charter School Leader, awarded honorary degree from Dillard University!
Congratulations, Ms. Hicks! 
KIPP McDonogh 15 Students receive scholarships from Konica Minolta Colorful Tomorrow Foundation!
Read more HERE! 
American Institute of CPA's honors Beverly Nichols.
The AICPA honored Bev Nichols, Board Member of Priestly School, with an individual public service award for all the work she does in New Orleans.  Congratulations, Bev! 
Quick Links
Have a Voice! 
Have you joined the LAPCS as a member?  For more information about membership  and it's many benefits, click here.