LDOE Louisiana Believes
In This Issue
Superintendent's Message
School Safety
Superintendents' Monthly Conference Call
Academic Content
Assessments and Accountability
Information Technology
Education in the News
LDOE Links
LDOE Contacts

John White
State Superintendent of Education

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LDOE Weekly Newsletter  1/08/2013

Superintendent's Message

Dear Colleagues:


I hope you're settling in after the break and that the new year is off to a good start.


Many of you, your staff, your principals, and your teachers have put a great deal of effort into making the Compass system work in classrooms this year. It's a big change and a lot of work. I thank you for all you've done to see it through.


It's important in this time of changing expectations for students that Compass serve as a guide for teachers. They should be able to trust that teaching to its standards will yield better outcomes for their students on a higher bar. In short, Compass should be a professional development tool.


Over the last nine months, many of you - and certainly many educators in your schools - have shared perspectives with me and my team on how some adjustments would make Compass an even better professional development tool. We've listened, and this Thursday we will put forth recommendations for changes to the tool, some of which BESE will consider in the week to follow. 


The proposed changes fall into the following categories:

  • Early in the year, providing educators detailed data on which to base student learning targets and value-added score projections.
  • Throughout the year, providing educators videos of classroom practice that align with rubric descriptors, allowing concrete examples of practice at every performance level.
  • At the end of the year, providing clear accounting of value-added calculations and using the data as a "screen," whereby teachers on the far ends of the performance spectrum receive definitive ratings based on the numbers while principals have greater latitude to rate teachers in the middle.

I invite you to join me tomorrow, Wednesday, January 9, at 2 p.m. for a webinar to discuss an initial version of these and other proposals. Instructions for logging on to the webinar can be found here.


To join the Superintendents' January 9, 2013 Meeting:

1.    Go to https://ldoe.uc.att.com/la/meet/?ExEventID=Z14W4O&MeetingKey=GO96Z1N6&UserExtEventID=182778

2.    Select: Participant Application

3.    Dial into the Phone Bridge: (866) 802-4324

4.    When prompted, please give the Meeting ID # 1602040

5.    You will need to identify yourself in order to be placed into the meeting


My thanks again for your work and contributions to Compass and the other profound changes we are taking on together.


And as always, thanks for all you do for our children,




John White

Louisiana Department of Education

Twitter @LouisianaSupe

School Safety

In the wake of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Governor Jindal issued an Executive Order creating a study group to review and make recommendations for safety measures at the state's public and private pre-K and K-12 schools, colleges and universities.  The group - led by Colonel Michael Edmonson, Superintendent of State Police, and James LeBlanc, Secretary of the Department of Public Safety and Corrections - is tasked with identifying any improvement to the authority of state agencies and make any recommendations for changes or revisions requiring legislative action prior to the deadline for filing bills to be considered during the 2013 Regular Legislative Session.


The Department of Education will be represented in this study group and we are looking forward to the opportunity to work in collaboration with law enforcement and other state agencies to review and recommend any necessary changes to increase the safety of our students and citizens.  We urge superintendents, principals, and school boards to continue to be vigilant in maintaining crisis management plans and the preparations necessary to implement them.

Superintendents' Monthly Conference Call

 Action Item

Ladies & Gentlemen:


You are invited to participate in the Superintendents' Monthly Conference Call on Monday, January 14, at 10:30 a.m.  You may begin dialing into the call 15 minutes in advance.  Please follow the instructions below:


To join the Superintendents' January 14, 2013 Meeting:

1.    Go to https://ldoe.uc.att.com/la/meet/?ExEventID=SIBWJW&MeetingKey=A1HN0ANP&UserExtEventID=518677

2.    Select: Participant Application

3.    Dial into the Phone Bridge: (866) 802-4324

4.    When prompted, please give the Meeting ID # 1602041

5.    You will need to identify yourself in order to be placed into the meeting.


Please note that this call is for superintendents and charter leaders only.

Academic Content

 Action Item

Course Choice Informational Webinars


Please forward to School/District Staff and School Counselors.


Course Choice will provide students and their families access to rigorous college and career, publicly-funded course offerings that best match student's abilities and needs beginning SY 2013-14. In December we began informational webinars for professional school counselors and district staff. The webinars provided a Course Choice Program overview, explanation of forthcoming District Support Systems, and an outline of key implementation dates. Additional webinars will be conducted to answer stakeholder questions.  The next webinar is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, January 16, 2013.  We will discuss the various course offerings, course providers, and details about the Choice course catalog.


Tiny URL: http://tinyurl.com/bmsd8nq

Meeting key (if prompted): CO8XSSZX

Toll Free:  1-888-621-7121 (Toll Free:  Yes)

Event Number:  360879


To assist us in providing the most helpful information, please send questions to coursechoice@la.gov in advance.  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 or email coursechoice@la.gov.

 Action Item

Spotlight on Component 2c: Managing Classroom Procedures


As Compass observations continue 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. This week, we'll turn our focus to Component 2c: Managing Classroom Procedures with a look at a 5th grade English Language Arts class.


A well-managed classroom is a prerequisite to good instruction and high levels of student engagement. Through established and efficient routines and procedures, teachers are able to focus on preparing students to meet the rigorous Common Core standards by maintaining momentum and maximizing instructional time.


Click here to view another 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.

Assessments and Accountability

 Action Item

Spring 2013 Pretest Workshops


Forward to District Test Coordinators, District Technology Coordinators, Type 2 Charter Schools.


The Spring 2013 Pretest Workshop will be held in two locations: Baton Rouge (Wednesday, January 23, 2013, at the EBR Professional Development Center, Rooms 306 and 309, 3000 North Sherwood Forest Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA  70814) and Alexandria (Thursday, January 24, 2013, at the Gladys Higdon Instructional Resource Center (Media Center) of the Rapides Parish School Board, 502 Beauregard St., Alexandria, LA  71309), presented by the Office of Assessments and Accountability.  Please send the appropriate personnel, as space is limited. The District Test Coordinator and their backup should attend the workshop.  If you wish to send someone from special populations, you may do so as your backup. In addition, it is very important that your District's Technology Coordinator or the Technology Coordinator who assists with EOC testing be present for the afternoon session of this meeting (beginning at 1:15 p.m.) Registration will be from 8:00 until 8:30 a.m., and the meeting should end about 3:15 p.m.  A tentative agenda and the January-July 2013 Key Dates are also attached for your convenience.


Registration for the Spring 2013 Pretest Workshop is being managed through the online registration system, Coursewhere, https://www.solutionwhere.com/ldoe/cw/main.asp. Registration is open now. For registration questions, contact the LDOE Help Desk, 1-877-453-2721. 




 Action Item

Act 1 Compensation - Conference Call


On Thursday, January 17,  3:00  p.m., the LDOE will host a conference call for district leaders who are working to develop new compensation systems. During this conference call, we will share features of selected districts' compensation plans to give participants perspective on other districts' approaches to recognizing and rewarding excellence.  We will share a wide array of plans as well as provide time for Q&A with Department staff and TNTP technical experts.


To participate, please register for this call via Coursewhere by clicking here. You will receive an email the day before the call with dial-in information.

 Action Item

Act 1 Compensation: District Spotlight on Evangeline and Plan Submission Details


The Evangeline Parish school board recently approved a new salary system that makes effectiveness the primary factor in salary increases while also recognizing experience and expertise in high-demand areas. Better yet, by using base salary increases to recognize consecutive years of great results, Evangeline Parish is rewarding not just a single year of high-performance, but success in the classroom over time.


Under the new system, a teacher in a Value-Added subject can earn a stipend of $600 for one Highly Effective rating, in addition to other awards for years of experience and demand. If the teacher earns another Highly Effective rating the following year, that stipend becomes a base salary increase. By creating a system that uses stipends in the short term, and base salary increases  for consecutive performance, Evangeline is recognizing individual years of strong results while also rewarding consistent excellence in the classroom. The plan also includes clear paths to pay increases for teachers at all ratings levels, encouraging every educator in the district to develop and improve year after year. It's a bold approach that values teachers' hard work every year while making sure the best educators are rewarded for long, successful careers. 


As in other systems, stakeholder engagement is a top priority, which is why Evangeline has published the new salary system for teachers and other stakeholders to review.  Visit the Evangeline website for more details.


All districts should plan to submit their new compensation 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. Until then, we will review plans on a rolling basis. Please access that rubric here. In addition to reviewing your plan, we are available to  review and provide feedback on your draft plan, discuss communication needs, help with sustainability testing, and much more. In order to submit your district's compensation plan for review or request support from the LDOE prior to formally submitting your plan, email Act1@la.gov or Gary.Jones@la.gov.


 Action Item

FY2010-11 IDEA Part B Maintenance of Effort (MOE) Confirmation


Please forward to Business Managers and Financial Officials of Public School Districts, Charter Schools, Lab Schools, and Other Entities and State Agencies defined as an LEA for these purposes.


To adhere to Section 34 CFR 300.203 of the IDEA Part B Federal regulations, LEAs are required to annually submit to the LDE a Maintenance of Effort "Confirmation" calculation for IDEA programs. The LDE launched the IDEA MOE "Confirmation" Application for 2010-2011 within the Grants Management System (eGMS) on October 2, 2012. The deadline for submission for this review was November 16, 2012. In an effort to afford all LEAs an opportunity to submit the required forms, the IDEA MOE Confirmation module in eGMS is currently open for submission as previously notified with a 2nd extension of  January 16, 2013.


As of  January 7, 2013, these LEAs have not submitted the IDEA MOE Confirmation Application in eGMS.


Please have the fiscal agent for your LEA review the attached memo and complete the IDEA MOE Confirmation in eGMS as soon as possible. For further information and questions regarding the review, contact Nakia Jason, Federal Audit Supervisor at Nakia.Jason@la.gov or 1-877-453-2721 or Jason Berard at Jason.Berard@la.gov for eGMS technical inquiries or support.


Attachment: 2010-11 IDEA B MOE Confirmation Memo

 Action Item

eGMS Carl Perkins Application Update


Please forward to Carl Perkins Directors and Parish/City Schools Business Managers.


The FY 2012-13 Carl Perkins application in eGMS is being updated to include the FY 2012-13 Final Allocations and the FY 2011-12 Reallocations.  Allocation schedules are attached for your reference.


Should you have questions regarding the allocations or budget concerns, you may contact Julie Cutrer at (225)342-0181.  For program related questions, you may contact Paul Theriot at (225)219-0489.

 Action Item

Verification of Student Estimates


Please forward to Business Managers and Financial Officials of City/Parish Public School Districts, Charters Schools, Lab Schools and Other Entities and State Agencies defined as an LEA for these purposes.


Please see the attached memo regarding the verification of student data estimates per the Education Estimating Conference. 


Each LEA should complete their corresponding row in the applicable excel file provided below.  Completed forms should be signed, scanned and emailed to Zalinsky Matthew at zalinsky.matthew@la.gov by Friday, January 25, 2013.  You do not need to submit the entire document, only the page containing your LEA's information.


If you have questions or need further information, you may contact Zalinsky Matthew via email at Zalinsky.matthew@la.gov or via phone at 225-342-6216.

Attachment 1: Charters, Other Entities and State Agencies_MFP Projections Form.xls

Information Technology

 Action Item

Improving Your District's Technology Footprint at a Lower Cost


Districts and schools in Louisiana can now enjoy special pricing and great discounts on a wide range of technology devices, services, software and networking products to improve their schools and their technology footprint.  Through newly negotiated options under existing state contracts, schools and districts will be able to purchase new computers with discounts of up to $450, get Windows OS upgrades on existing district-owned devices to Windows 7 or Windows 8 FREE of charge, have access to reduced priced technology services and support, as well as new guidance and models for wireless networking, service options for iPads and thin client test delivery models.


The state will be posting contract information, pricing and details in the next week's LDOE Weekly Newsletter and on our website www.louisianaschools.net/techcontracts. For more information, contact Carol Mosley at carol.mosley@la.gov.

 Action Item

Dropout Data Certification


Please forward to Accountability & Data Coordinators.


This year, Dropout Data Certification will be completed through the normal SIS dropout cleanup process. We will not distribute rosters. Please work with your SIS coordinator to be sure that dropout data is correct. Dropout data will be used in the dropout/credit accumulation index for students who were enrolled in grade 8 in 2011-12, and it will be used for the calculation of the cohort graduation index and graduation rate. All corrections must be submitted through SIS no later than January 18, 2013.


Please remember that data errors not corrected by your district/school by January 18, 2013 cannot be used as grounds for an appeal of accountability scores in October per policy outlined in Bulletin 111.

 Action Item

SER Coordinators Webinar


Please forward to all SER Coordinators


A webinar will be conducted on Thursday, January 17, at 10:00 a.m.. on the SER/SIS cross check report and the MFP count.


To join the iMeeting, follow the instructions below. You may begin dialing in 15 minutes prior to the start of the meeting. 

  1. Go to:  https://ldoe.uc.att.com/la/meet/?ExEventID=EOJ6M0&MeetingKey=9WQCG2J3&UserExtEventID=799082  a few minutes before the Event's scheduled start time. 
  2. If prompted, enter the Meeting Key: 9WQCG2J3
  3. When prompted, select the participant type: Participant Application (Windows User) or Web Participant (Macintosh User)
  4. Once you have been logged into the event, a window will pop-up to provide you with audio options (i.e. computer-based sound or telephone dial-in information).   Note:  Turn your Pop-Up Blocker OFF.

If you have not used AT&T Connect before, go to http://uc.att.com/support/download_attc_participant.html to download and install the participant application before the Event.


Contact Susan Kaufman, susan.kaufman@la.gov, if you have any questions. 

Action Item  

Data Coordinator's Monthly Webinar


The next monthly Data Coordinator's Webinar will be held on Wednesday, January 16, 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. The agenda will be available on Blackboard by January 10. To join the iMeeting:

  1. https://ldoe.uc.att.com/la/meet/?ExEventID=VRSOYB&MeetingKey=DXQKMPI5&UserExtEventID=387260  a few minutes before the Event's scheduled start time.
  2. If prompted, enter the Meeting Key: DXQKMPI5
  3. When prompted, select the participant type: Participant Application (Windows User) or Web Participant (Macintosh User)
  4. Once you have been logged into the event, a window will pop-up to provide you with audio options (i.e. computer-based sound or telephone dial-in information).

If you have not used AT&T Connect before, go to http://uc.att.com/support/download_attc_participant.html to download and install the participant application before the Event.


To connect with your *TELEPHONE ONLY* (no computer):


1. Dial the number of the location closest to you:

  • US Local:  1-617-231-2724 (Toll Free:  No)
  • US Toll Free:  1-888-621-7121 (Toll Free:  Yes)

2. When prompted, enter the Event Number:  387260


3. While connected:

  • To mute/un-mute your phone, dial *6
  • To learn other telephone commands, dial *9

If you have any questions concerning the Data Coordinator's Monthly Webinar please contact John Fielding, Jr. at john.fielding@la.gov.  

 Action Item

Run Parent/Guardian Listing and Parent/Guardian Missing Reports


Please forward to all SER Coordinators.


Please run your Parent/Guardian Listing and Parent/Guardian Missing Report found under GENERAL on your reports tree. This information is used for SPP Indicator 8-Student Surveys.

  • The MISSING report lists students with no Parent/Guardian information. This report should be BLANK.
  • Run the LISTING report in Excel. Use the sort feature to identify missing or inaccurate data.
  • Sort by address, city, state, and zip code to find fields that have the words UNKNOWN in them or have other questionable data. (For example: incorrect or misspelled city names, zip codes with fewer than 5 digits, incomplete street addresses...)

This data cleanup should be done as soon as possible.


Please contact Susan Kaufman, 225.342.1856 or susan.kaufman@la.gov, if you have any questions regarding the above action item.  


Action Item

Update on Teacher and Principal of the Year Processes   


The 2014 Teacher and Principal of the Year applications will be made available in late January/early February. The application and selection processes will be updated to ensure alignment with Louisiana Believes and an efficient process for applicants and selection committee members. Please contact Molly Horstman at molly.horstman@la.gov with any questions about the Teacher or Principal of the Year programs.

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