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September 5, 2012

EdConnect Header - LA Believes

 In This Issue   



  • Thank You to School Districts for Life-Saving Response to Hurricane Isaac
  • Louisiana Schools Re-opening Statewide
  • New Compass Evaluator Make-Up Training Schedule
  • Network Teams Hold First Meetings With School Districts
  • Apply to Be a Course Choice Provider
  • Perry Initiative to Hold Workshop for High School Students
  • National Teachers Hall of Fame Accepting Applications for 2013 Class
  • Education in the News...


Educator Resources (Links)


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Dear Colleagues:


I hope each of you and your families are safe in the wake of Isaac.  While most of your schools are up and running, my thoughts are with those of you in St. John, Lafourche, Jefferson and Plaquemines who are still repairing damaged roofs, cleaning out flooded classrooms and waiting for power to be restored. If there's anything that I or anyone on my staff can do to support you and your school during this time, please don't hesitate to let me know. 


As we move from response to recovery, we have been in touch with our colleagues at DCFS who are supporting the move of families from large shelters in Alexandria and Shreveport to more local housing options-either hotels or local Red Cross shelters.  As we learn about families moving to these shelters, we will be connecting with your schools to support the enrollment process for these students in the schools that are most convenient for them.  


Lastly, we've been getting many questions around issues of seat time, accountability and Compass given the storm's impact on schools.  We've put together this FAQ that should start to answer some of these questions.  We will update this over the course of the next several weeks and share through this newsletter.


As always, thanks for all you do for our children. 





John White

Louisiana Department of Education

Twitter @LouisianaSupe


Thank You to School Districts for Life-Saving Response to Hurricane Isaac


Louisiana school districts deserve our deepest gratitude for their leadership and assistance during Hurricane Isaac response and recovery. Each of these districts loaned buses that were used by the National Guard to support evacuations out of the state's most impacted areas. Districts shared their resources on short notice, and East Baton Rouge, Ascension and St. James offered up significant numbers of buses Thursday morning to support last minute needs. Additionally, all of these northern parishes offered bus resources if the Department needed them.  


Our school districts answered the call to aid in the evacuation of thousands of Louisianans. They provided a lifeline to many, especially to those who needed immediate medical attention during the storm. We cannot thank them enough for their efforts during the storm and its aftermath.


Nearly 4,000 people were evacuated using school buses donated by area school districts. Those needing medical attention were evacuated to special needs shelters on the LSU campus, and those not needing medical assistance were transported to shelters in Alexandria and Shreveport.

Louisiana Schools Re-opening Statewide


Almost all school districts will be able to open school this coming week, and at the latest, a few districts will open soon thereafter.


Louisiana is prepared to provide the families who have been displaced by Hurricane Isaac with options to continue their children's education. Families who are unable to return home because of the effects of the storm can enroll their child in a public school in the parish they are currently residing. Local parishes are prepared to accept students who are displaced, regardless of the length of their enrollment in the communities in which they are currently living.


Parents who are staying with family and friends or who have temporarily relocated can enroll their child in the local public school for the duration of their evacuation - whether their relocation lasts a couple of weeks or several months. When families return home, parents will be able to transfer their child to their original parish school. Students who have relocated to a neighboring parish as a result of the storm can remain in school in their original parish.


New Compass Evaluator Make-Up Training Schedule


Due to the recent cancellation of Compass Evaluator Make-Up Trainings resulting from Hurricane Isaac, a revised training schedule has been posted on the website and may be accessed using the following link: http://www.louisianaschools.net/compass/training_calendar.html


If you were previously registered for one of these sessions during the week of August 27-30, you do not need to re-register; your name will remain on the roster.  If you need to cancel your registration, please log on to Coursewhere and click on the Modify/Unregister from Events link.

Network Teams Hold First Meetings with School Districts


The state's network teams held their first meetings with district superintendents. The meetings have been very productive, and each district is proposing specific plans for adopting the Common Core standards and Compass. Some plans focus on increased observation and feedback sessions. Others expand common planning time so that teachers can review student work against Common Core rubrics. The Department is here to support you and your district's plans for achieving the new standards and other reforms in Louisiana Believes.


One key tool for you this year will be assessment. Assessment, after all, is how educators measure what students learned and, thus, our effectiveness as educators. It is important that teachers know how assessments are changing in our state over the next three years, and what this means for classroom instruction in schools. More information including links to assessment guides is available in the Department's Academic Strategy Memo.

Apply to Be a Course Choice Provider


Applications for the Course Choice program will be accepted through October 12, 2012. So far, a variety of innovative applications have been submitted from industry, higher education, online education, teachers, and schools. Course Choice was established earlier this year by Louisiana's education reform legislation (Act 2), and it enables students and their parents to choose from a diverse selection of academic and career-oriented courses that will best prepare Louisiana students for success in college and the workplace. Believing students can achieve high expectations for learning - and empowering parents with the tools to ensure their child's success - are core principles of Louisiana Believes, the state's plan for continued improvement.


For more information on applying to be an authorized Course Choice provider go to http://www.louisianaschools.net/coursechoice/, email coursechoice@la.gov or follow Course Choice on Twitter at twitter.com/LACourseChoice.

Perry Initiative to Hold Workshop for High School Students


The Perry Initiative will be holding a hands-on, one-day workshop at Tulane University on Saturday, October 6, 2012, 9:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m., for young women interested in pursuing careers in orthopaedic surgery and engineering. Thirty-six local high school women will take part in the all-day program. They will perform surgical simulations to correct scoliosis deformity, set a broken leg, and repair a rotator cuff. Throughout the day, they will learn from prominent women surgeons, engineers, and business women in the field of orthopaedics. 


Women currently compromise only 7 percent of the surgeon and engineer workforce in orthopaedics. The event organizers believe that early exposure to these exciting, hands-on careers is key to boosting diversity.  Please share this opportunity with your students and encourage them to participate.  Questions regarding the program may be addressed to Kristen M. Coakley, Ph.D., Program Coordinator at coakleyk@perryinitiative.org


Students may apply directly online at http://perryinitiative.org/programs/student-online-application/.  The application deadline is September 15. More information on The Perry Initiative can be found at: www.perryinitiative.org

National Teachers Hall of Fame Accepting Applications for 2013 Class



The National Teachers Hall of Fame is now accepting applications for its 2013 class. A copy of the application form can be accessed by visiting www.nthf.org and clicking on the Nominate a Teacher tab. Applications are also available at this link


Education in the News...


Town Talk: Parishes set for displaced students


Advocate (Opinion): A new push gets results


Advertiser: Students, teachers face new ways to learn, teach


Business Report: Applications rolling in for school's course choice program


Advocate: Charter requests skyrocket


Advocate: Public session to focus on education reforms