Issue: # 8
Fall 2009 

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. 
Policy Update


During the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE)  September meetings several charter-specific items were discussed.

Charter Renewal Policy

REVISED Charter Renewal Policy:  BESE considered a revised renewal policy for charter schools and approved such policy as a notice of intent.  The policy is designed to to reward strong performance and to provide incentives for charter schools to strive for continual improvement - specifically tying a school's renewal term to a school's academic, financial, and legal/contractual performance.  To review the revised policy, click here.
LEAP Testing Dates

        * REVISED Testing Dates for School Year 2009-2010:  BESE added a Phase 1 Testing component for the LEAP and GEE that must be administered on March 23, 2010 (make-up dates are March 24-25, 2010) for the ELA Writing and Math CR items of the LEAP and the Writing and Math/SC/SS CR items of the GEE.  Phase 2 Testing encompasses the remaining LEAP and GEE test items and will occur as scheduled April 12-16, 2010 (makeup dates are April 19-21, 2010).  For more details, click here.
        * Proposed Testing Dates for School Year 2010-2011:  BESE approved the proposed testing dates for SY 2010-11.  For more details, click here.
 As always, please let us know if you have any questions or desire additional information.


Type 5 Charter Applicants Approved
BESE approved five Type 5 Applicants last week:
         FirstLine Schools, Inc.
         Morris Jeff Community School, Inc.
         New Beginnings Foundation, Inc.
         ReNEW Schools, Inc.
         Spirit of Excellence Learning Academy, Inc.
Congratulations to these newly-approved entities!
Type 2 Charter Applicants Deferred
Type 2 applicants were not considered by BESE in October.  Instead, these applicants will be reviewed in December.
Common Application Timeline Approved
Pursuant to existing BESE policy, all Type 5 charter schools must adhere to a "unified application process" (see Bulletin 126 for details).  Accordingly, BESE approved the following timeline for the 2010 Common Application Process (which enrolls students for the 2010-2011 school year):
April 9:    Applications Due
April 30:  Lottery Conducted
Schools receiving more applicants than projected available seats will conduct a lottery to determine acceptance.
May 7:    Notice of Acceptance
Schools will contact families to let them know if their child was accepted. Parents may be contacted by multiple schools.
May 21:  Enrollment Deadline
Parents must enroll in the school of their choice. Schools may request additional documents in order to complete registration.
*Note: LEAP testing will be conducted March 23, 2009 (Constructed Response only), April 12-16, 2009 and April 19-21 (Make-Up).
MFP Public Hearing:  Type 2 Funding
Among the many issues raised, BESE members heard testimony regarding funding for Type 2 charter schools - in particular, whether funding for legacy Type 2 charter schools (those in operation before July 2008) should be moved inside the MFP.  These discussions are ongoing, and, as always, the LAPCS will keep you updated on any developments.
Many thanks to Anita Breaux from Glencoe Charter School for traveling to BESE to participate in the public hearing!
Legislative Update: House Concurrent Resolution 164
Pursuant to HCR 164, a taskforce (which included a representative from LAPCS) convened October 8th in Baton Rouge to discuss both the problems attendant to the growing cost of providing teacher-retiree health benefits and possible solutions thereto.  Patrick Dobard, the Deputy Director of Governmental Affairs for the Louisiana Department of Education, reported the taskforce's recommendations to BESE during the Legislative Committee meeting last week.  Specifically, the taskforce recommended Representative Patricia Smith, the sponsor of HCR 164, seek an appropriation from the legislature this spring to fund an expert study of the issue.  Given the issue's legal and regulatory complexities, as well as the need to find an outcome that does not ignore the financial burden potentially placed on retired teachers, the taskforce agreed that no person internal to the taskforce carried sufficient knowledge or experience to offer an adequate range of possible solutions.
LAPCS will keep you posted as funding is secured and an expert identified.
Consideration of Bulletin 129 - The RSD Bulletin
BESE deferred consideration of this item.  Once this Bulletin is approved as a Notice of Intent, then a 60-day window for public comment will begin.  We will notify you when the public comment period begins.
2nd Annual Louisiana Charter Schools Conference draws over 550

Thank you to all of you who attended the 2nd Annual Louisiana Charter Schools Conference, September 11-12, 2009.  We had over 550 attendees from charter schools all over the state of Louisiana. 

To see view some of the material presented at the conference, please click HERE.

Please stay tuned for information about next year's conference!

Dr. Howard Fuller addresses the Louisiana Charter School Community as Friday's Keynote Speaker

An impressive 550 charter school community members came to the 2nd Annual Conference, doubling last year's numbers

RSD Superintendent, Paul Vallas, gives his "State of the RSD" at the conference

Caroline Roemer Shirley facilitates the "Legislative Climate" panel discussion with representatives from BESE, the legislature, the Governor's office, and CABL

First Lady of Louisiana, Supriya Jindal, voiced her and the Governor's support for charter schools

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.

Upcoming Deadlines:

CVS:  Caremark Community Grants (October 31, 2009)

National Gardening Association Youth Garden Grants Program (November 2, 2009)

Target Grants for Field Trips (November 3, 2009)



Humanity First USA is a 501(c) 3- registered charity and is the US chapter of Humanity First International, which was established in the early 1990's to restore disaster-stricken and under-developed and vulnerable communities around the globe. Humanity First USA is made up of unpaid volunteers with diverse professional backgrounds including business,, and education sectors.

Humanity First USA has been actively involved in Hurricane Katrina relief and rebuilding efforts and seeks to continue support of post-Katrina affected New Orleans through branching out its already established Our Kids, Our Future (OKOF) initiative to the area.  OKOF seeks to empower the community, school staff, and students of some of the most underserved schools districts across the country.  In keeping with its tradition to support the creative potential of the children of New Orleans, Humanity First will be awarding mini-grants to schools and teachers in areas affected by Hurricane Katrina. The Our Kid, Our Future Mini-Grant Program has been developed to enable creative teachers to bring more innovation into their classrooms and provide more learning opportunities for their students. Schools and teachers who are awarded grants will have to meet pre-established criteria and must submit proposals detailing the use of the grant money.

Some examples of proposals (accompanied with cost estimate) by teachers in other cities have included

    * Tutoring and mentoring programs for students

    * Putting computers into the classrooms

    * Donating school supply kits to every student in need

    * Providing much needed library books and teaching tools

    * Issuing mini-grants to motivated teachers

    * Granting academic awards to outstanding students

    * Providing preventive healthcare services

Attached is the detailed Mini-Grant Application Form that we would request school officials review and circulate among their staff. Grants will be awarded on a rolling basis throughout the year, with a maximum award of one per teacher, per academic year. It is in the applicants' best interest to apply early. Email is the preferred method but application may be submitted via fax and mail also.


Apply as soon as possible since there are a limited number of grants available. Recommended application deadline is November 15, 2009.


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. 

Baton Rouge Members Advisory Council Meeting

Next MAC Meeting:

When: November 10th, 2009, 4:00 - 5:30 pm

Where:  Business First Bank, 8440 Jefferson Hwy, Baton Rouge, LA,
            2nd Floor Conference Room

New Orleans Members Advisory Council
Next MAC Meeting:
When:  November TBA
Where: TBA
To register to attend the MAC Meeting, please email

MAC Committee Meetings 
During the December 2008 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.


          Credit:  Associated Press

APRIL 26-28, 2010

What is Plain Talk About Reading?

Sponsored by The Center for Development and Learning (CDL), Plain Talk About Reading is the nation's premier reading institute. The Institute has gained its reputation because of its unwavering focus on providing the latest scientifically based reading research (SBRR) and strategies for those who teach reading at all ages and grade levels.

From the nation's leading researchers, you will learn the current findings on reading instruction, reading difficulties and reading intervention. Plus, from seasoned practitioners, learn classroom strategies that put this knowledge to work.

Who Should Attend?

Reading teachers and coaches
Reading specialists
State, district and school level reading program administrators
Speech/Language Pathologists
Educational diagnosticians and consultants
Who are the Presenters?
This Institute features a who's who of experts from researchers to practitioners, including Anita Archer, Robert Sternberg, Suzanne Carreker, Robert Brooks, Jill Slack, Judi Dodson, Lucy Hart Paulson, Michael Fullan, Reid Lyon, Susan Ebbers, Linda Farrell, Michael Kamil, Jack Fletcher, Michael Hunter, Vicki Gibson, Jan Hasbrouck and many more (see complete list).

What are the Topics?

The Institute will address how we can remediate and prevent reading difficulties as well as how children learn to read and why some children have difficulties learning to read. All sessions are designed to deliver not only the latest research on reading but also effective strategies that can be implemented in your classroom tomorrow.

Additional Questions?

Please call the Center for Development and Learning (CDL) at 504-840-9786 for additional information.


The Coalition of Essential Schools 25th Anniversary Fall Forum is coming to New Orleans, November 5-7.  Fall Forum is the CES's largest annual professional development and networking event bringing together thousands of educators, students, parents and leading thinkers in education from around the country.
CES is committed to ensuring that local New Orleans educators, pre-service-teachers,parents and others committed to Changing Schools and Changing Lives in New Orleans who are interested in participating in the CES Fall Forum, we have created a volunteer program which allows locals to volunteer just 5 hours of their time in support of conference registration and other logistics in exchange for greatly discounted registration rates. Space is limited, so if you are interested please contact us soon. For information about volunteering at Fall Forum and receiving discounted Fall Forum registration, contact Kyle Meador at
Fall Forum features over 200 sessions led by teachers, principals, and educational consultants from all over the country and abroad. Among the highlights are: opening keynote speaker Gloria Ladson Billings; featured speaker Grant Wiggins; anti-racist educator Tim Wise; Art Start Hip-Hop founder Chris "Kazi" Rolle; vice president of National Youth Leadership Council Wokie Weah; the Forum for Education and Democracy; CES co-founder Deborah Meier; Boston Arts Academy Headmaster Linda Nathan; CES's 25th anniversary celebrations and reflections; New Orleans panel discussion; and an Equity Town Hall.
To help you plan your participation at Fall Forum, we have created an online version of the conference program guide. With over 200 sessions in the conference program, choosing which sessions to attend can be difficult and time consuming. Searching the program online is the easiest way to find sessions of interest, allowing you to build a complete itinerary in advance of your arrival. Please remember that indicating interest in a session online does not reserve a space for you in that session. Seating at all Fall Forum sessions is on a first-come, first-served basis at the conference facility. Visit the the CES website to view the program.

October 27-28, 20009

-- Seating Is Limited - Enroll Now --

The School Leadership Center (SLC) presents its two-day October Fall Institute dedicated to area principals and teachers to improve student performance, featuring Dr. Mike Shacklefordon "The Differentiated Classroom: Hope for All Students K-12," and math specialist Char Forsten on the innovative "Singapore Math Strategies."

The Fall Institute is open to school leaders from public, charter, private and parochial schools in the greater metropolitan area, according to organizer Dr. Betty Porter, SLC. It will take place on Tuesday, October 27 and Wednesday, October 28 from 9 a.m.  to 4 p.m. at the Gates of Prayer, at 4000 West Esplanade, Metairie.

Participants may attend either or both days. The registration fee is $75 per day; $100 for both days, including light breakfast, lunch and printed materials. To register, please call Dr. Porter at 504-267-7239 or .

The School Leadership Center of Greater New Orleans is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to developing educators to lead schools in which teaching and learning are enriched and optimized. The Center serves public and non-public schools in five Louisiana parishes: Orleans, Jefferson, St. Bernard, St. Tammany, and Plaquemines.

For more information, call Dr. Betty Porter, Director of the Research Program, at 504-267-7239.

Welcome New LAPCS Members!
New School Members


Stefanie Allweiss, LLC
Human Resources and Mediation Consultant

Ms. Allweiss is available to service Louisiana Charter Schools as a Human Resources Consultant to Administrators, Board members, School Leaders and Principals on the selection, drafting, and implementation of relevant and required employee and student policies and handbooks, unique to each Charter school.
Ms. Allweiss recently presented a workshop on "The Human Resources Handbook: Personnel, Staff and Student Policies" at the 2d Annual Louisiana Charter School Conference on September 11, 2009.
Ms. Allweiss brings with her 25 years of experience as a Labor and Employment lawyer, followed by more than three years as the Executive Director of Employee Relations and Equity for the Tulane University community.
Ms. Allweiss is currently a member of the mediation/arbitration panels for the firm of ADR,inc. She is an Independent Consultant for NSNO (New Schools For New Orleans) where she serves as a Facilitator/"Coach" to Board of Governors of designated Louisiana Charter Schools to work with Board members on governance issues, Board development, and the success of the schools' identified missions.
As a Human Resources Consultant, Ms. Allweiss continues to develop and present Harassment/Discrimination and Progressive Performance training for management and employees.  
Ms. Allweiss can be reached at 504-858-8713 or at

To view Ms. Allweiss' presentation from the 2nd Annual Louisiana Charter Schools Conference, please click HERE.
Articles of Interest 
"Study Shows Better Scores for Charter School Students"
New York Times
September 22, 2009

The New York Times, along with many other media outlets, report on a study that was released by Stanford University Economist, Carol Hoxby.  that shows that New York City charter school students outperformed their peers who did not make it through the lottery.

"Orleans Parish School Performance Scores Continue to Improve"
The Times Picayune
October 14, 2009

School performance across New Orleans is continuing to improve steadily, with the percentage of city schools in the academically unacceptable category decreasing during the past year, according to data released by the state.

New Orleans schools' recovery depends on increased federal involvement, report says"
The Times Picayune
October 15, 2009

If the federal government doesn't do more to assist with the recovery of New Orleans schools, gains made over the past four years will prove unsustainable, according to a new report by the Southern Education Foundation.

"How Teachers Unions Lost the Media"
The Wall Street Journal
October 2, 2009

An opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal explains how the 300 highest-performing charter schools are shifting the national conversation about education: "The success of these charters shows that being born black or Hispanic in poverty to poorly educated parents won't necessarily lead to bad educational outcomes...And if charter schools can close the education gap, why not traditional public schools?"

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
Contact Caroline at
Andrea Chen, Membership & Programs Director
Contact Andrea at 
Elizabeth Garrett, Communications Director
Contact Elizabeth at
Sherman Whites, Business and Operations Director
Contact Sherman at

Renita Thukral, Policy Director
Contact Renita at

Jenna Christianson-Barker, Business and Research Assistant
Contact Jenna at


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!


  LAPCS Member Schools:

Please remember to renew your membership fees in the Association for SY 2009-2010!  Annual membership renewal fees  were due Thursday, October 15th, 2009.  Currently 60 charter schools are members of the Association.

The 50% discount applies to this year as well, so your total membership dues will be $4/student.  We realize that in our first year of having members, we had schools join at different times during the year.  We would like to have all schools on the same membership dues schedule, so we will be crediting schools that joined after October 15th of last year. 

If you have any questions about what your membership dues will be for this year, please email or call Andrea Chen at or 504-274-3651.  Cjecks can be mailed to our mailbox at 5500 Prytania St., #126, New Orleans, LA 70115.


Lusher and Ben Franklin High School Graduates start the fall with full scholarships at Berklee College of Music
Both young men were part of the Tipitina's Music Internship Program and Berklee's five week Summer Program.  Read more about Benjamin Smith and Linton Allen's impressive resumes HERE.

Lafayette Charter High School one of two high school in Lafayette to increase ACT scores.
Lafayette Charter High School had a two point increase in their ACT scores this past year.  Impressive! Read more HERE.

Children's Charter School lauded for it's incentive program.

Children's Charter School and it's new principal, Mark Commanducci were praised in The Advocate for their"positive behavior support" program.  Read more HERE.

MLK Charter School Principal named to National Association of Educational Progress

Doris Hicks was named to the NAEP Governing Board, also known as the Nation's Report Card.  This is a great honor and representation for Louisiana!
Have a Voice! 
Have you joined the LAPCS as a member?  For more information about membership  and it's many benefits, click here.