Issue # 15
June 2010
Policy Update


The 2010 Louisiana Legislative session ended Monday, June 21st.  Please see HERE for the full recap of the session, including bills that directly affected charter schools.  

Later this summer, we will release our annual legislative report that details the entire session, as well as voting records.


BESE is scheduled to meet Tuesday, June 29th to July 1st, 2010. The most significant agenda item includes consideration of charter extensions for schools finishing their third year of operation.  We will update you on the results of the BESE meeting upon it's conclusion.

3rd Annual Louisiana Charter Schools Conference


****Register by July 15, 2010 to take advantage of our early bird rates!****
Registration is officially open for the 3rd Annual Louisiana Charter Schools Conference to be held October 15-16 at the Hilton Riverside Hotel in New Orleans.  Special conference rates at the hotel are $149/nt. (Limited availability; Rate available until on September 10th).  Click HERE to reserve a room. 
Request for Presenters
The Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools is soliciting proposals for speakers to present breakout sessions at the 2010 conference.  Please take the opportunity to share your knowledge, expertise, and best practices with your charter school peers. Deadline for submission is July 15, 2010.  See the online submission form HERE.
Award Ceremony Nominations
We are pleased to announce the 2nd 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.  Nominate a charter school leader, board, teacher, student, and champion to be honored at this year's event.  Also, we have added a "vendor" category this year so you can share with your fellow charter schools who the best company in Louisiana is that you work with!  Click HERE to access the online submission form.  Deadline for nominations is September 15, 2010.

Exhibit / Sponsor

Interested on sponsoring or exhibiting at the conference?  Register today, as there are only 25 exhibit table left available!  Click HERE to access our Sponsorship/Exhibit packet.

Stay tuned for keynote speakers and presenters!
Questions? Contact Elizabeth Garrett at or 504-274-3651

Transportation Study
Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools Partners with the Cowen Institute to Examine School Transportation and Identify Better Practices
The Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools is working with the Cowen Institute at Tulane University and other public education stakeholders to study school transportation in New Orleans.
Two main outcomes are expected from this collaboration:
First, we will have a better understanding of school transportation on a city-wide basis, including: 
  • How far students are traveling to school and for how long.
  • How much schools are spending on transportation and what are they getting in return.
  • How schools and bus vendors are designing and organizing their routes.
Second, we want to identify possible areas for increasing the efficiency, quality, and accessibility of school transportation.

The LAPCS will begin this collaboration with a meeting on school transportation where we will invite you to share your thoughts and concerns about transportation as well as ideas for potential solutions that might be tested through the study.

We will follow up in mid-July with more information about the meeting. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please contact Michael Schwam-Baird at or Andrea Chen at

ACSA Holds 1st Annual Educational Practitioners Symposium

On Friday,  May 21st, from 7:30a.m. to 3:00p.m., the Algiers Charter Schools Association (ACSA) held its 1st Annual Educational Practitioners Symposium at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel for all ACSA employees (school administrators, school teachers, school support staff, school clericals, and all central services staff).  This year's theme was: Nine Schools Sharing One Vision for Quality Education in ACSA Schools. 
Over 550 employees attended the event....that's representation from ACSA Central Services and all of the ACSA network schools, with the exception of O. Perry Walker High School who's staff attended the funeral of one of their faculty members on that day.
The Symposium provided employees with an opportunity to research and learn best practices across the association, like ACSA's Positive Behavior Support model, ACSA's Response to Intervention model, the Teacher Advancement Program (TAP) System in ACSA, and Public Leadership in ACSA.  After breakfast and an Opening Session, employees participated in three Concurrent Sessions, which were lead by a panel of experts from across the association, and they listened to ACSA's Chief Executive Office, Dr. Andrea Thomas-Reynolds, provide the key-note address during lunch.
This was an excellent opportunity for employees in the ACSA network of schools to gather together to share and learn best practices from each other.  There was plenty of positive feedback from ACSA staff members who said they look forward to ACSA's 2nd Annual Educational Practitioners Symposium.
Job Listings 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.
New Vendor Members

Introducing Y NOT CHECK Background and Fingerprinting Services.

We at Y Not Check Background & Fingerprinting provide Background Screening Services; Background Check, Drug Screening, Digital Passport Photos, and we offer Digital live scan Fingerprinting.
Our goal is to provide all applicants a fast, convenient and professional fingerprinting experience as well as guaranteed quality fingerprint images.  We offer both off-site and mobile fingerprinting service. Our technicians have done countless subjects with few rejections.
Contact: Yolanda Doucette at 504-523-5168,


Discovery Toys been offering families toys and games that lead to learning for over 30 years. And, with the recent expansion of our line, we can offer children even more exciting adventures on the path to success. ... We are putting education into the hands of our future. Teach.Play.Inspire.
Contact information:


Education2020 (e2020) helps districts provide self-paced digital instruction for grades 6-12. Our courseware is aligned to state and national standards and has helped students recover credits since 1998. With our web-based model, on-demand video lectures, and customizable settings, e2020 allows you to individualize instruction for every student. Visit   

Grant Opportunities

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.

  Members Advisory Council Meetings

New Orleans Members Advisory Council Meeting
August TBA

Baton Rouge Members Advisory Council Meeting
August TBA

On July 21st, the Cowen Institute for Public Education Initiatives at Tulane and the Center for Urban and Public Affairs at the University of New Orleans will host a statewide summit.  This event is part of the Helping Johnny Walk to School project of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
The purpose of the summit is to investigate a wide variety of issues related to school siting decisions and look for ways to help schools in Louisiana make the best school siting decisions.
The summit is open to anyone who interested in this issue, so please forward the attached flyer to any of your contacts who might want to attend.
Please see the attached flyer and look for more information about the summit in the coming weeks.

READ MTI Contest
Read MTI is excited to announce that they have joined the Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools. The LAPCS' mission is to increase student achievement by supporting, promoting, and advocating for quality charter schools in Louisiana. Read MTI is a non-profit organization that works primarily but not exclusively, with Title 1 and disadvantaged schools. They have successfully teamed up with parishes throughout the state of Louisiana in closing the achievement gap in early reading and look forward to bringing that same success to the charter school members.
If you look at the illiteracy rates for adults, high school graduates, and 4th graders nationwide, you will notice an important similarity. They are all about the same. Approximately 1 out of 3 cannot read functionally. What happens in 4th grade is a transition from 'learning to read to reading to learn.' By 4th grade a student should be fully proficient at reading but at a minimum, reading at 'Basic' or better. The key to reading success by 4th grade can be predicted by 1st grade and must be taught at the foundational level. Not coincidentally, 1 out of 3 students have speech sound issues that directly lead to reading difficulties or failures.
In support of LCSA and its members, Read MTI has donated one school support training program to the organization. Although school support programs are usually customized to the needs and culture of the school district, one of the most popular formats will be duplicated for this donation. Reading Foundations School Support will consist of working with an elementary school within the association and providing instructional strategies via Reading Foundations, data assessment training, in-classroom practicum support and follow up online support for their teachers and reading support teams. The LCSA will be conducting a competitive essay contest to determine the best candidate to receive the donation. To qualify, a school must have in place a literacy team or an administrative liaison responsible for implementation, progress monitoring, and data collection.
Qualifying schools should write a brief narrative describing how Reading Foundations would align with their current literacy initiative and goals and how this project would benefit their students. The best response will be determined by the LCSA.
An informative overview session will be held online prior to the selection process so that school members may learn more about Reading Foundations and the benefits of addressing speech sound issues when creating the foundational skills necessary for reading success. Reading Foundations focuses on the 1st of the 5 pillars of reading success as defined by reading research, the National Reading Panel and the National Early Literacy Panel. That first pillar is critical because it is the keystone to all the subsequent interlocking components. The difference between low achieving and high achieving schools is in recognizing and addressing their students with speech sound issues.
If any school is reviewing data researched, proven best practices for closing the achievement gap, then this is a must attend event.
For more information or questions please contact:
Andrea Chen              504 274-3651  
Ronn Dimitrik             866-732-3684                              
Online informational session scheduled dates:

Wednesday, July 7th at 11:00 AM CST
Tuesday, July 13th at 4:00 PM CST   

To participate, ON THE DAY OF THE SESSION, click on the link below and join the meeting.

Access Code:              4445193         
Dial in phone #:           866-740-1260    

Articles of Interest 
"Education: Tackling the Turnaround Challenge"
Social Innovation Conversations
January 2010

With large percentages of children nationwide performing below state levels in K-12 schools, school turnarounds have become an important activity of many states and school districts. In this panel discussion, moderated by Jordan Meranus, a state and district school leader-one in Louisianna, one in Maryland-field questions on school turnaround challenges. They spoke at Driving Dramatic School Improvement: Strategies for Turning Around Our Nation's Failing Schools, a conference at Stanford University cosponsored by FSG Social Impact Advisors and the Stanford Social Innovation Review.

"Public Financing Supports Growth of Online Charter Schools"
New York Times
June 3, 2010

Laura Drews has converted a corner of her San Jose dining room into a public school. Every weekday, she guides her first-, fifth- and eighth-grade children through their class assignments, delivered through textbooks and desktop computers.

"Storming the School Barricades"
The Wall Street Journal
June 5, 2010

'What's funny," says Madeleine Sackler, "is that I'm not really a political person." Yet the petite 27-year-old is the force behind "The Lottery"-an explosive new documentary about the battle over the future of public education opening nationwide this Tuesday.

About Us 
The mission of the Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools (LAPCS) is to increase student achievement by supporting, promoting, and advocating for the quality charter school movement.

Caroline Roemer Shirley, Executive Director
Contact Caroline at
Andrea Chen, Membership & Programs Director
Contact Andrea at 
Elizabeth Garrett, Communications Director
Contact Elizabeth at

Renita Thukral, Policy Director
Contact Renita at

Sherman Whites, Business & Operations Director
Contact Sherman at
In This Issue
Policy Update
2010 Conference
Transportation Study
Job Postings
Grant Opportunities
Upcoming Events
National News
Patty McMurray Receives Outstanding Volunteerism Award from Louisiana State Bar Association

Mrs. McMurray, one of the founding board members of Children's Charter School and attorney for Adams & Reese received the award for her work in education.. Congratulations!  Read More...

Lusher and Edna Karr students get summer scholarships to study at Berklee College of Music

New Orleans teens Philip Sylve, and Alfred Jordon, Jr., were recently awarded full Berklee City Music Summer Scholarships to attend Berklee College of Music's Five-Week Summer Performance Program for high school students in Boston Read More...

Lanier Elementary School to be featured on NBC's new show "School Pride"

The school, part of the ADVANCE Baton Rouge Network, was chosen to be on NBC's new prime time show which will makeover the school.  Congratulations!
Read the article on The Advocate about the show HERE.


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!
Questions? Email

Click HERE to become a fan of the LAPCS Facebook Page!