January 29, 2013
Superintendent's Message

Dear Colleagues,


In the months to come, just as we push forward through the end of this school year, we will take on the challenges of preparing for the next year. Together, we will review new tests, lay groundwork for curriculum, and outline plans for professional development. 


It is our goal to provide you necessary information early enough so that you and your teachers can come into the next school year fully prepared. Before doing this, however, it's important that we pause to ensure clarity on policies enacted this year. Included in this newsletter are additional resources and background regarding the ACT test and special education considerations here; changes to the Compass system here; and the large overhaul of Bulletin 741 passed earlier this month by BESE here. We have also provided further details on other complex, pertinent policy changes. 


Soon, 2013-2014 will be upon us. Before our announcements and newsletters turn in that direction, we wanted to clarify changes made this fall and winter. If there is additional information you need, please never hesitate to contact me.


As always, thank you for all you do for our children,




John White

Louisiana Department of Education

Twitter @LouisianaSupe

In This Issue:
Superintendents' Monthly Conference Call

The next Superintendents' Conference call is now scheduled for Tuesday, February 5, 2013, rather than Monday, February 18.  Please follow the instructions below to participate in this call.

To join the Superintendents' February 5, 2013, Meeting:

1.    Go to https://ldoe.uc.att.com/la/meet/?ExEventID=ZPM999&MeetingKey=OHD45LLT&UserExtEventID=154351 

2.    Select: Participant Application

3.    Dial into the Phone Bridge: (866) 238-0826

4.    When prompted, please give the Meeting ID # 1604277

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.



The Compass Information System Help Desk


During the month of January, many of you utilized the Compass Information System Help Desk.  We encourage your district to continue using the help desk to find quick answers to your Compass Information System (HCIS) questions.

Spotlight on Compass Data Reports


The Compass Information System (HCIS) will soon have new reports available to help your district identify trends in educator performance.  In the meantime, raw data reports to review teacher and leader SLTs and observations are available.  Use these reports to review teacher and leader observations by component, course, and subject.  Such data may help identify areas where teachers are excelling and where additional support is needed.   These reports may also help your district assess inter-rater reliability between evaluators.

District Support

Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale - Revised (ECERS-R) visits (2/1/13 - 3/31/13)


Several districts are scheduled for unannounced for ECERS-R (Early childhood environment rating scale) visits during the months of February and March 2013.   This tool is used during on-site visits to evaluate prekindergarten programs. Given feedback from the field, the department is making these visits optional allowing districts to 1) continue with the unannounced visits or 2) request to opt out of these visits.  If you are scheduled to have ECERS-R visits, please share your district's decision via this survey by February 4, 2013.  If you have any questions, please contact Anita Ashford at (anita.ashford@la.gov).   
Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC) Follow-up  Meeting

These follow-up LDC trainings are designed for middle and high school ELA, science, and social studies teachers; instructional coaches; district and school administrators, and network coaches participating in the Literacy Design Collaborative and SRCL who attended the initial LDC trainings. The LDC tools embed Common Core Literacy Standards into content area instruction.


The second day of the training has two purposes: 1) an optional opportunity for additional assistance with module refinements, and  2) a training for trainers for scaling LDC.  Participants should register on Coursewhere at LDC February Sessions.


The Saturday meeting is open  to both Cohort 1 and Cohort 2 teachers and administrators. Participants will receive additional support in pedagogy and with writing modules using the LDC framework. 


February 19 - 20, 2013

LA Tech Student Union Center

100 Wisteria Street

Ruston, LA 71272

Time: 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sign-in from 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.


February 21 - 22, 2013

Chalmette Elementary School

75 E. Chalmette Circle

Chalmette, LA 70043

Time: 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sign-in from 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

Webinars for Louisiana Connect: Individual Graduation Plan (IGP)


Beginning January 31, 2013, the LDOE will host a series of La Connect (IGP) webinar trainings to provide professional school counselors additional support in completing IGPs.  Act 704 requires that "each school guidance counselor employed in a public high school shall complete an academic profile for each student ...using...appropriate web-based student guidance system."  The system being used by counselors is Louisiana Connect and the deadline to complete IGPs for 9-12th grade students is February 28, 2013.    In advance of the webinar training, participants should print a copy of the IGP & Course Planner User Guide found at https://tinyurl.com/aoleg5h. 


Webinars are scheduled for the following dates and times.  To join the webinar, select the appropriate link and follow the online instructions.

Thursday, January 31, 10:00 a.m.


Meeting Key: UFMS0E1B


Tuesday, February 5, 1:00 p.m.


Meeting Key: C2PHQKD5


Wednesday, February 13, 10:00 a.m.


Meeting Key: DWXKCI3R 


To assist us in providing helpful information, please send questions in advance to martha.moore@la.gov.   


LAA 1 and LAA 2 Frequently Asked Questions


Last week the newsletter included a FAQ related to LAA 1 and LAA 2 testing that can be found here.  Also, provided this week is an addendum  to the FAQ, which explains the caps on LAA 1 and LAA 2 testing.  

PARCC Accommodations Policies 

The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) has released two draft accommodation policies for public comment, the reading access accommodation and the calculator use accommodation. In addition to a full array of testing accommodations on the summative tests that Louisiana will begin administering in 2014 - 2015, PARCC is proposing the two accommodations that will expand access to its tests to an even wider range of students with disabilities.


PARCC will be accepting feedback on the two draft policies  listed above through 5:00 pm ET on February 4, 2013, via the online public survey below. Please read the full policy document and the policy graphic prior to completing the survey. The policy documents, graphic, and survey may be accessed via: http://www.parcconline.org/open-policies-public-comment.

Full Academic Year Definition


In October, BESE approved a policy changing the definition of a full academic year for the purposes of student accountability.  For 2012-13, students are considered to have been present for the full academic year for accountability purposes at the district level if they are enrolled on or  before October 1 and are present in that district for testing.  Students meeting this criteria will be counted in the districts DPS score.  At the school level, students will be counted in the school's SPS score if the students is enrolled on or before October 1, is present on February 1, and is counted in the district's DPS.  Students taking EOC tests initially in December, are counted where they test in December if they are also enrolled in the district on October 1.   

Graduation Exit Examination (GEE)/Louisiana Alternate Assessment, Level 2 (LAA2) Waiver Timelines

The Louisiana Department of Education, Office of Student Programs, has extended the deadline for the Graduation Exit Examination and Louisiana Alternate Assessment, Level 2 waiver requests for graduating seniors, which are eligible for spring and summer 2013 graduations. The purpose of the GEE/LAA2 waiver process is to allow local education agencies (LEAs) to make applications  to the state on behalf of students with disabilities pursuant to Bulletin 741, 2319B regarding the waiver of a Graduation Exit  Examination required component. Students considered eligible for the GEE/LAA2 waiver must meet all other graduation requirements, including completion of the minimum requirements of Carnegie Units for graduation. Students receiving the waiver will be eligible to receive a regular high school diploma. If you have questions or need additional information, contact Jennifer Spears at jennifer.spears@la.gov or (225)-342-3633. The 2012-2013 Waiver Packet is available at: http://www.louisianabelieves.com/lde/uploads/20914.pdf All waiver application packets are to be mailed to the attention of Jennifer Spears, Louisiana Department of Education, Office of Student Programs, IDEA Services, 1201 North 3rd Street, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70802. 


Increased Flexibility for Districts and Schools: B741 Changes Explained   


Last week, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education approved a large package of revisions to Bulletin 741, Louisiana Handbook for School Administrators, in order to provide increased flexibility to districts and schools. Click here to read a summary of the approved changes and please share this with your principals.    
B741 Tip


Each week the Department will spotlight an example of how the revisions to Bulletin 741, Handbook for School Administrators, can be or is being used to refocus district policies and practices on student achievement. To share examples of how your district is planning to take advantage of this new flexibility, please email Gary.Jones@la.gov
In addition, please review and share this list of the Top 10 Common Misconceptions regarding the Bulletin 741 revisions. It is important that your teams understand the full scope of the proposed changes, including what would 
 not change under this new policy. 


Tip of the Week:


Schools are currently required to develop a school calendar consisting of 182 days, of which 177 must be used to provide instruction to students. This regulation is on top of the statutory requirement of having 63,720 instructional minutes. The proposed revisions to Bulletin 741 switch the focus to the statutorily required 63,720 instructional minutes instead of the required number of days, giving schools greater flexibility in how they meet this requirement as they design their school calendars.




As schools and districts work to increase professional development and educator collaboration needed to increase student achievement and successfully transition to the Common Core Standards, they are pressed to find more time for these activities during the school year without stretching budgets to add additional days to the calendar. One school district has informed us that it is considering extending the school day by ten minutes each day. This would pack roughly 770 additional instructional minutes into the school year and allow for three instructional days for professional development and systematic planning among teachers across subjects and grade levels.


The ability to lengthen the school days has always been an option, but now it is possible to add up the extra minutes and create professional development opportunities within the traditional calendar. 

Verification of Student Estimates

Verifications were due Friday, January 25.  Attached is a listing of those LEAs that have not completed and submitted the required documents to the Department as of January 28, 2013. 


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, February 1, 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 2: City-Parish School District_MFP Projections Form.XLS

Attachment 3: Historical and Preliminary Projected K-12 Student Count for Parish and City Districts.pdf

Attachment 4: Memo_Verification of Student Estimates.PDF

Attachment 5: Verifications Not Received as of 1.28.2013.xls

Medicaid Cost Settlements Available for Behavioral Health Services


DHH Medicaid has approved implementation of a cost settlement process for forty-four (44) LEAs for behavioral health services provided between 1/2/2012 through 6/30/2012.  In order to be approved for the claim, submission of service documentation is required.  The LDOE is working with DHH to secure the necessary data to validate billable units for each LEA.  If your district is interested in submitting a claim, please review the Behavioral Health Data Collection Notification 2013 (attached) for guidance and instructions for completing the Behavioral Health Data Collection Chart.  For more information, contact janice.fruge@la.gov.


New Savings Offers for K-12 Schools on Technology & Services


On February 1, DOE will release its second edition of Connected, our bi-monthly catalog featuring discounted services and products for PK-12 schools and districts in Louisiana.  This issue provides new offers from the technology company CDW-G, details on how to order discounted Microsoft Windows OS upgrades for Windows 7 and Windows 8, as well as information and guidance on Apple iPads for testing and learning.

Connected can be downloaded from LDOE's website ahttp://www.louisianabelieves.com/data/footprint/.  


For more information please contact Carol Mosley at carol.mosley@la.gov.

Technology Readiness Footprint & Webinar

The Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) is committed to supporting its schools and districts in their efforts to become technology ready. The department has created a second edition of Louisiana Believes: Louisiana's Technology Footprint to serve as a tool for LEAs and schools to analyze their current technology readiness status.  The LDOE will also offer follow up support to districts to enhance technology devices, infrastructure, and bandwidth. The first follow-up webinar meeting will take place on February 5, 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. Meeting information is provided below.


Webinar Information:

Meeting link:  https://ldoe.uc.att.com/la/meet/?ExEventID=RNKG7I&MeetingKey=1GFXEVWE&UserExtEventID=245947
Meeting key: 1GFXEVWE
Phone call-in number: 1-888-621-7121, Event Number:  245947

Final versions of the January 2013 district footprint documents can be downloaded at  http://www.louisianabelieves.com/data/footprint/

If you have questions, please contact Carol Mosley at carol.mosley@la.gov.


February Data Coordinator's Webinar


You are invited to attend the February Data Coordinator's Webinar on Wednesday, February 20, 2013, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. The webinar agenda will be posted in Blackboard this week.


To join the iMeeting, follow the instructions below. 

  1. https://ldoe.uc.att.com/la/meet/?ExEventID=HKSFE2&MeetingKey=ZMKPQM1T&UserExtEventID=954790 a few minutes before the Event's scheduled start time.
  2. Enter the Meeting Key: ZMKPQM1T
  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)


To see the complete list of dial-in access numbers


2. When prompted, enter the Event Number:  954790


3. While connected:

    - To mute/un-mute your phone, dial *6

    - To learn other telephone commands, dial *9


Please email John R. Fielding, Jr, john.fielding@la.gov if you have any questions concerning the February Data Coordinator's webinar.  

New Link for the LA 4 Reporting Site

The link that was used to submit LA 4 reports has been changed. The new link is:


District/charter user IDs and passwords will remain the same. This is the link you will need to use from this point forward to submit all LA 4 reports. Please be reminded that January Enrollment and Before- and After-School Enrichment Reports (if applicable) are due by the close of business on Monday, February 4, 2013. You will no longer receive further reminders regarding LA 4 Reporting, so please refer to the attached 2012-2013 Reporting Timeline to view the due dates of all reports for the remainder of the school year.  If you have questions regarding LA 4 reports or reporting procedures, please contact Ms. Nicholy Johnson at (225) 342-3647 or Nicholy.johnson@la.gov. 


Student Leadership Opportunities


LYAC Membership Applications:

The Louisiana Legislative Youth Advisory Council (LYAC) is now accepting membership applications from high school students who have an interest in addressing teen issues and representing the voices of other young people around the state. LYAC is a 21-member youth council composed entirely of students, including two student members from each of the congressional districts and additional at-large members.   Applicants must be enrolled in a public or private high school, a home school, or participating in a GED skills program during the 2013-2014 school year. Students may apply online or complete the PDF application and mail to the address listed on the application. Both applications may be accessed at http://civiced.louisiana.gov. Deadline is March 15, 2013. 


LYAC Leadership Awards: 

The Louisiana Legislative Youth Advisory Council (LYAC) is seeking to publicly honor some of the state's great young high school leaders. Nomination forms are now available for the youth council's third year of LYAC Leadership Awards. The award was designed by the members of LYAC to recognize young leaders who serve as a positive example to other teens, achieve a significant civic accomplishment at school or in the community, demonstrate outstanding youth leadership, and promote responsible citizenship. The award is a unique peer-to-peer honor. Awards of recognition will be presented by the youth of LYAC to a young leader from each congressional district in the state and one statewide winner. Nomination forms are available online at http://civiced.louisiana.gov. The deadline to nominate a teen for an award is March 1, 2013.  

For more information on the Legislative Youth Advisory Council or the Leadership Awards, contact the staff at (225) 342-6145 or breauxs@legis.la.gov

Education In The News


Department of education introduces new website


White signs over nearly $300,000


Superintendent John White visits Jefferson Parish to speak about voucher program


Jefferson schools rewarded


Don't forget Course Choice


EBR public schools get high marks for technology gains


Students getting early start with AP courses


Louisiana parents: Our voucher schools are 'wonderful'


Lafayette 'schools of choice' enrollment on upward trend


School voucher mom: 'This is going to help my children come out of poverty'

LDOE Contacts
John White
State Superintendent of Education
Twitter @LouisianaSupe

LDOE Links

LDOE Website

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