State Superintendent of Education
LDOE Weekly Newsletter 12/4/2012
Teaching in today's age requires creativity and innovative thinking. The challenges students bring to our classrooms, and the ambitious goal of ensuring their readiness for college or career, necessitate educators who can develop solutions that meet the needs of diverse students. Our teachers do everything they can to customize learning for the child.
At the same time, old rules and regulations often work against innovation. Unnecessary reports take time away from focusing on student learning. Policies require that Baton Rouge sign off on decisions for kids no bureaucrat will ever meet or know. And some rules simply are antiquated, having been replaced by more up-to-date practices.
A quick look at Bulletin 741 here reveals just how many such regulations exist in our state. That is why, in order to allow educators to focus on educating, and in order to return decision making power to those closest to kids, the Department has proposed significant changes to this bulletin here. These changes would allow schools themselves to design plans for each child; they would further remove old processes that contribute little to student achievement. Such changes include
- Establishing two means of granting Carnegie credit for middle and high schools to use, one based on seat time and another based on the student's mastery of the subject matter
- Allowing students to earn credit for PE II, III, or IV by taking courses that provide at least 100 minutes of physical activity per week, such as dance team, marching band, or extracurricular athletic activities
- Removing state mandates related to summer school and repealing the requirement that the Department approve all local summer school programs
- Focusing the development of school calendars on the instructional minute requirement thereby allowing flexibility in the number and length of school days
- Revising ratios related to librarians and guidance counselors from required staffing structures to guidelines
- Permitting local school systems to create locally appropriate programs to address overage students who are behind grade level, rather than mandating participation in the Connections program
BESE will be studying these policy proposals, and all changes proposed for Bulletin 741, in the month to come, hearing a recommendation from the Department in January. The Department will be hosting a webinar on the proposed changes, Wednesday, December 12, 2012, at 10:00 a.m. Please click here for instructions on how to participate in this important webinar. I urge you to attend, or to have a staff member do so, as the changes proposed are significant and will require your attention to be implemented well. A link to the webinar will be posted to the LDOE website.
My hope is that these are tools you will use to design solutions tailored to each child's needs. They will provide educators greater flexibility in doing so. Innovation, after all, will almost always come from those who know students best.
As always, thanks for all you do for our children,
Louisiana Department of Education
Superintendents' Conference Call
Please see the attachment below for the 2013 Monthly Superintendents' Conference Call Schedule.
Attachment: 2013 Monthly Superintendents' Conference Call Schedule
Spotlight on Component 3c: Engaging Students in Learning
As Compass observations are beginning to take place across the state, the LDOE newsletters will include a regular feature on the components within the Compass Teacher Rubric, along with videos of exemplar performance, to help educators and evaluators become more familiar with the content of the rubric. In this Compass Spotlight, we'll turn our focus to Component 3c: Engaging Students in Learning with a look at a 6th grade math class.
Student engagement is centerpiece to the framework for learning and teaching. When students are engaged, they are intellectually active in learning important and challenging content that will prepare them to be college and career ready. The critical distinction between a classroom in which students are busy and one in which they are engaged, is that in the latter, students are developing a deeper conceptual understanding through what they do.
Click here to view a video of Effective: Proficient teacher performance related to this component.
Click here to view an explanation of the evidence and rationale for the Effective: Proficient rating in this video.
Course Choice Informational Webinars
Please forward to Principals & Counselors.
Beginning Thursday, December 6, 2012, the LDOE will host a series of Course Choice informational webinars for Professional School Counselors and district staff. The Course Choice Program will provide students and their families access to rigorous college and career publicly-funded course offerings that best match each student's abilities and needs beginning in the 2013-14 school year. The initial webinar will provide a Course Choice Program overview, explain forthcoming District Support Systems, outline key implementation dates, and identify future webinar dates. We encourage all professional school counselors to participate in this webinar:
Thursday, December 6, 2012, 3:30 p.m.
To join online select the following link: http://tinyurl.com/cczqofz . To connect with your telephone only call 1-888-621-7121 (toll free), enter event number 716092
The Course Choice Program is an integral component of Louisiana Believes, the state's plan to empower students and teachers. For more information go to www.louisianaschools.net/coursechoice or email email@example.com.
EOC Grade Conversion Tables
Please forward to Superintendents, District Test Coordinators, Principals, School Counselors.
The attached EOC Grade Conversion tables for Algebra I, Geometry, English II, English III, and Biology are to be used when adding the EOC test score in as a percentage of the student's final grade. Attachment 1 is used for the statewide grading scale for regular courses; Attachment 2, for the 10-point grading scale used by many districts for gifted, honors, AP, IB, and DE classes.
The first and second administrations of the US History EOC exam will take place in December 2012 and May 2013; standards will be set in the summer of 2013. Districts will not be required to count the US History EOC scores as part of the students' final grades until the December 2013 administration.
If your district uses a different scale for gifted, honors, AP, IB, or DE classes, please contact Dr. Susannah Craig at Susannah.firstname.lastname@example.org to request the EOC grade conversion tables appropriate for your district.
State-Certified Language Immersion Status
Please forward to Superintendents, World Language Supervisors, and Principals of Immersion Schools.
For 2012-13, BESE approved a process to certify world language immersion schools for maintaining high quality, highly-effective programs. Schools desiring to apply for State-Certified Language Immersion Status should read the attached guidelines. For more information, please contact Terri Hammatt at email@example.com.
Attachment 1: Immersion Guidelines.pdf
Assessments and Accountability
Deadline for Submission of CEA Form for Testing Additional Seniors
Please forward to District Superintendents, Charter School Leaders.
Testing Additional Seniors on the ACT
Some superintendents have expressed the desire to test all seniors or a certain subset of their seniors (e.g., students that have tested but scored below 18) since the accountability system uses the highest ACT score that can be matched to students. The cost is $32/student.
December 4 Update:
* Twenty-two districts have submitted the signed Cooperative Endeavor Agreement (CEA) and list of seniors to be tested at district expense.
* Thirty-five districts have submitted the Intent to Test form and still need to submit the signed CEA and the list of seniors to be tested at district expense.
* Six districts do not plan to test any additional seniors at district expense.
* Seven districts have not indicated a decision.
Deadline for Testing Additional Seniors (Friday, December 14):
*Please fill out the attached form and return the signed CEA and the list of seniors to Bernadette Morris, Louisiana Department of Education, 2012 North Third Street, Baton Rouge, LA 70802, if you are interested in testing additional students.
* The deadline to submit the signed CEA with the list of seniors is Friday, December 14. There are thirty-five districts that need to submit the signed CEA.
* There are seven districts that need to let the Department know their decision and, if participating, submit the signed CEA by Friday, December 14.
If you have any questions about assessment administration, contact Bernadette Morris at Bernadette.Morris@la.gov
Act 1 - Compensation - Submitting Compensation Plans for Review
The LDOE will provide ongoing support to districts as they revise their compensation plans and will conduct a final review of compensation plans this spring. All districts should submit their plans by April 1, 2013, for final review. At that time, we will assess each plan against a rubric that articulates the requirements of Act 1. Please access that rubric here.
We will review plans on a rolling basis before April 1.
If your district wishes to submit a compensation plan or request technical assistance, please do so through Act1@la.gov. If you have questions, please contact Act1@la.gov or Gary Jones at Gary.Jones@la.gov.
Act 1 - Compensation - Panel Discussion
On December 6, we will also host a Superintendents' Panel Discussion on Act 1 compensation reforms. Ms. Holly Boffy will facilitate this panel discussion, which will be an opportunity to hear from and ask questions of superintendents who are choosing to take a progressive approach to compensation reform. This discussion will take place from 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. and will include significant time for Q&A.
We will stream the discussion live on the internet, so if you are unable to attend in person, please join us virtually by clicking here.
Panelists will include:
Lonnie Luce - St. James Parish
Hollis Milton - West Feliciana Parish
Patrice Pujol - Ascension Parish
Wayne Savoy - Calcasieu Parish
Karla Tollett - Cladwell Parish
To register, please click here: http://www.solutionwhere.com/ldoe/cw/showcourse.asp?3784
Act 1 - Compensation Workshops - Still Time to Register!
Please forward this to any personnel you would want to attend the Act 1 Compensation Workshops. Intended audience includes Superintendents, business managers and HR directors.
The LDOE is hosting a workshop on educator compensation. This workshop will include sessions on:
- Sustainability testing: overview of a tool to test new compensation models for financial sustainability over time
- Communication: explore tools and resources that describe new, more complex salary systems to teachers and others
The workshop will also include office hours with staff members who are able to discuss or answer questions about your model or the sample models released in October.
Dates and locations:
Bossier, LA - Wednesday, December 5
Workshops: 12:30 PM - 4:00PM
Office Hours: 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Registration Link: https://www.solutionwhere.com/ldoe/cw/showconference.asp?3782
Baton Rouge, LA - Thursday, December 6
Workshops: 9:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Office Hours: 2:30 PM - 3:30 PM
Due to space constraints, we will only be able to accommodate people who pre-register for these sessions.
If your district needs ongoing support or individual consultation, please firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Gary Jones at email@example.com.
Updates on Act 3 - Louisiana Early Childhood Education Act of 2012
Please forward to Early Childhood Supervisors of LA 4, Title I, 8(g), Early Childhood Special Education and NSECD Programs.
A workgroup of early childhood stakeholders charged with creating a set of Birth to Five Standards has been led by two of the country's leading experts to assist with the development of the LouisianaBirth to Five Early Learning and Development Standards. These standards outline what children aged birth to five should know and be able to do. The document is represented in a continuum of development across the age spans, anchored by the ELA and Math Common Core State Standards.
The standards will be posted on the BrightStart Early Childhood Advisory Council website at: www.BrightStartla.org beginning Wednesday, December 5, 2012, through the close of business on Monday, January 7, 2013. The website will also provide a link to surveys to provide feedback on the standards. See the attached letter for further instructions and information on the new standards.
If you have any questions or need additional information on Act 3, please contact the Early Childhood Section at 225-342-3647.
November LA 4 Reports Reminder
Please forward to District/Charter LA 4 Coordinators
This notification is a reminder that the November LA 4 Enrollment Report and the Before- and After-School Enrichment Report (if applicable) are due by the close of business on Wednesday, December 5, 2012. Please make sure your reports are submitted in a timely and accurate manner. If you have questions regarding reporting procedures, please contact Ms. Nicholy Johnson at (225) 342-3647 or Nicholy.firstname.lastname@example.org.
DHH File With Early Steps Participants
Please forward to SER Coordinators.
A DHH file containing Early Steps participants has been added to your file share section of SER. The file is named "<your lea name> - From DHH- <month>". If you do not have a file, you did not have students on the list.
The DHH file is an Excel spreadsheet that contains a list of children, ages 2 years 2 months or older, who are identified as having a current IFSP and are currently in the DHH system for the given month. These children are potential Part B participants. Transitioning children are those who have an active IFSP, regardless of whether or not they qualify for Part B. These files are intended to aid in the Part C to Part B transitioning process.
Reminder: When adding these students to SER, you must complete the Part C transition fields at the bottom of the Pre-Referral Activities page. This data will be used in the completion of the SPP, Indicator # 12, Early Childhood Transition. School districts are required to be at 100% compliance in having the IEP completed AND IMPLEMENTED (services started) by the child's third birthday. An interim IEP and/or timeline extension is not allowed for the child transitioning from Part C to Part B.
This announcement applies to LEAs 001-069 and 396. Contact Cindy Delaughter at email@example.com with any questions you may have regarding the DHH file and Early Steps participants issues.
Rural Education Achievement Program (REAP) FY 2011 Final Report
Please forward to all LEAs, SSD, BESE Schools and Type 2 Charter Schools.
The attached memorandum is to inform REAP districts that the REAP Final Report for FY 2011 is not required. In adhering to the Burden Reduction Act, REAP districts are not required to complete and submit the annual REAP Final Report. Information contained in the report is now included in the Consolidated Application. The districts must continue to insert Program Overview data into the eGrant as was done with the paper application.
If you have any question or concerns, contact Joan Eskridge at 1-877-453-2721 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Title I, Part D, Neglected, Delinquent, and At Risk Youth Annual Count
Please forward to LEA Federal Program Directors.
The Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) has an annual requirement to collect the number of students enrolled in residential facilities for Neglected or Delinquent Children located in Local Educational Agencies (LEAs). The annual report is required by the U.S. Department of Education and the information is used to determine Title I funding for the 2012-2013 school year. LEAs should consult with all local institutions for neglected or delinquent children located within their geographical boundaries. LEAs must verify the information received from local institutions and submit the attached Annual Report of Children In Institutions for Neglected or Delinquent Children, Adult Correctional Institutions and Community Day Programs for Neglected or Delinquent Children form to LDOE by December 18, 2012. Please be reminded that the completed documents from all local residential facilities and records supporting the report must be maintained at the LEA.
If any additional information is required, please contact Edeltress Brown, via e-mail at email@example.com or by telephone at 225.342.1506 or 877.453.2721.