February 19, 2013

Superintendent's Message


Dear Colleagues,


Many of you are turning your attention toward next school year, even as your students prepare for this year's assessments. As such, this Wednesday at 3 pm, I will be delivering a talk on the state's priorities for the 2013-2014 school year, including plans for curriculum, assessment, and teacher support that will, I believe, help you and your teams plan for next year. I hope you'll join me Wednesday at www.livestream.com/LDOEcomm to join in the presentation.


Among the topics I will be discussing is special education. We don't need a new statewide plan for change, but we have to focus the plans we already have in place on our students with disabilities. This means clear reporting on special education outcomes, monitoring that focuses on results more than compliance, and support tailored to those who teach students with disabilities. 


This focus on special education starts with the way the state provides funds to school systems. As you know, this year's Minimum Foundation Program (MFP) proposes to shift special education funding away from the cookie-cutter approach that treats all children the same, toward a formula that recognizes the needs of the child, the plan for the child, and the results achieved with the child. The proposal also ends the penalty districts experience when rates of referral go down or when a child is removed from special education classification. See a description of the proposal here.


It's critical that districts and schools understand the proposal and have time to react to its policies. This is why, for the 2013-2014 school year, the proposal's financial impact will be limited to only 10 percent of its true impact. If a district would gain by $10 per student by virtue of the special education policy shift, the district will be limited to a $1 gain; a $10 per child loss due to the shift would result only in a $1 loss. As suggested by superintendents and special educators, this will be a pilot year, so that districts can adjust. 


In order to adjust, you will need full information on the policy itself. This Friday, you will receive a spreadsheet demonstrating each piece of data within the special education policy and a summary of how the policy would have affected your revenue had it been applied this school year. We are hoping this provides you a solid understanding of the policy and its impact, and we ask that you contact beth.scioneaux@la.gov to arrange an appointment to discuss the details.


Next week you will receive a draft copy of the MFP resolution and a full financial model projecting revenue in your district for 2013-2014. This model will represent only a projection and will include factors beyond the special education policy such as local revenue and overall enrollment. Again, our staff will be available for meetings to discuss the details.


Just as we raise expectations for all children, it's critical that we focus on students with the greatest challenges. 

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




John White

Louisiana Department of Education

Twitter: @LouisianaSupe


In This Issue:
District Support

Classroom Support Toolbox


As we continue our transition to the Common Core State Standards, the LDOE will be providing resources to support teachers as they begin planning for the 2013-14 school year. Tools will be provided to help teachers set goals, plan and evaluate student progress.  Next week the LDOE will  be releasing a Classroom Support Toolbox that includes these tools and more. 

In addition, the LDOE will be launching the application for the first ever Louisiana Teacher Leaders. This group of 2,000 educators from across the state will include at least one teacher from every school, as well as principals and district staff from each district. This group will serve as a critical resource to teachers around the state on all issues related to Common Core and Compass. The first meeting of the Louisiana Teacher Leaders will be April 18th and 19th. 


Please join us next week as we introduce this toolbox and the opportunity to apply for the Louisiana Teacher Leaders. Click the link below to join one of two live streaming sessions to receive an orientation to the toolbox. 

High School Diplomas

Please forward to all district superintendents, diploma and transcript contact persons, principals and counselors.


Districts are likely making preparations for the fast approaching graduation season. Please use the attached Diploma Order Form to submit your estimated counts for each type by March 1, 2013.  Allow enough for midterm and summer graduates and printing errors.


Only one order form should be submitted for each public school district.  Lab schools, Type 2 Charter schools, special schools and nonpublic schools that administer the state's assessments should also submit an order form.
Attachment 1: Diploma Order Form

Update on Value-Added Data Verification and Release


As in previous years, teachers in grades and subjects for which value-added data are available will verify their student rosters this spring. This roster verification process ensures that the correct set of student results is used in determining a teacher's value added score. Roster verification will take place between April 15 and May 10.  More information, including specific instructions for teachers, will be available via the newsletter and through webinars in late March.


Third grade teachers of math and English language arts; 4th-8th grade teachers of math, English language arts, science, and social studies; and teachers of Algebra I and Geometry will receive value-added results this year.


Results for all teachers will be available June 5, 3013. This includes results for Algebra I and Geometry teachers, who previously received results in July.


Act 1 Compensation District Spotlight: Caldwell Parish


Caldwell Parish is taking bold steps to reward excellent teaching with a new compensation system that factors classroom effectiveness more significantly than any other criteria.  You can access the actual plan here and an explanation of the system here. Teachers in value-added subjects can earn a $500 stipend for a year of Highly Effective instruction, and those teaching subjects with Student Learning Targets can earn a stipend of $250.  Caldwell's plan rewards demand with a $110 base salary increase at each step level, and Effective teachers are also recognized with a $110 base salary increase at each step level for experience.  Together, these bonuses and salary increases give Caldwell Parish more tools to help attract and keep teachers who are achieving great results in the classroom.


Please remember that all plans must be submitted to Act1@la.gov by April 1, 2013 and will be reviewed against the criteria outlined in this rubric. Recently, we've seen districts submit multiple plans for approval. This gives them some flexibility on what they would like to bring to their boards. We encourage other districts to consider submitting multiple plans.


Certification, Preparation and Recruitment


Teachlouisiana.net is the state's central job posting site for public school teaching and leadership positions. If you would like to use this service, please create an account on teachlouisiana.net. You will then be contacted to discuss the site's features and for help in posting roles. Existing users do not need to take any action but can find full instructions on how to use the service for posting vacancies by clicking on the Human Resources tab at the top of the screen.


If you have questions, please contact Barbara Burke at barbara.burke@la.gov


ACT Deadline for State-Allowed Accommodations


Please forward to district test coordinators, special education coordinators, and ACT school test accommodations coordinators.


The window for submitting additional documentation required of ACT-Approved Accommodations closed Friday, February 15. To check on the status of the second review, contact ACT directly at 1-800-553-6244 ext. 1788. If the student is still denied ACT-Approved Accommodations, consider State-Allowed Accommodations.


High schools should be finalizing plans for students who are to be provided State-Allowed Accommodations during ACT testing. Parents and students must be informed that ACT scores provided to students through State-Allowed Accommodations are not college reportable, and they should sign the form located at

http://media.act.org/documents/State-Allowed+Accommodations+Form.pdf for the student's cumulative record.


The deadline for high schools to order ACT testing materials for State-Allowed Accommodations is Wednesday, February 27. If you have questions, contact Bernadette Morris at bernadette.morris@la.gov 
School and Course Choice


Course Choice Professional School Counselors Informational Webinar Series


Please forward to all high school principals, counselors and teachers.


Course Choice will provide students and their families access to rigorous college and career course offerings that best match students' abilities and needs beginning SY 13-14.  The registration process will begin on March 7, 2013.  The Louisiana Department of Education will be offering online training to all school-based Professional School Counselors on their roles and responsibilities in the Course Choice approval process at one of the following dates/times.


February 21, 2013, 3:00-4:30 p.m. 

Click:  http://tinyurl.com/d9mclkq

Meeting Key (if prompted): ND0M4XOD

Toll Free: 1-888-621-7121

Event Number: 192286


February 28, 2013, 4:00-5:30 p.m. 

Click:  http://tinyurl.com/c2jsda7

Meeting Key (if prompted): THDU6RTE

Toll Free: 1-888-621-7121

Event Number: 924592


March 14, 2013 from 3:00-4:30 p.m. 

Click:  http://tinyurl.com/d3gmo76

Meeting Key (if prompted): HUVTSFV2

Toll Free: 1-888-621-7121

Event Number: 131056


March 21, 2013 from 4:00-5:30 p.m. 

Click  http://tinyurl.com/c8hrxha

Meeting Key (if prompted): IRBRM450

Toll Free: 1-888-621-7121

Event Number: 266969


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.louisianabelieves.com/courses/course-choice or email coursechoice@la.gov

Training for Middle School Counselors 
Webinar on Louisiana Connect and Individual Graduation Plans (IGP)

Please forward to curriculum supervisors, career and technical Supervisors, middle/secondary supervisors, principals, middle school counselors and designated teachers.

The LDOE will host a webinar training February 27, 2013 for Middle School Professional School Counselors focused on LA Connect and completing IGPs for 8th graders.  Eighth grade students should complete their IGP by the end of the 2012-13 academic year. 
In advance of the webinar training, participants should print a copy of the IGP & Course Planner User Guide found at http://tinyurl.com/ags9zo2.


Wednesday, February 27, 1:00 pm

  1. Click this link: http://tinyurl.com/bcvjpub
  2. If prompted, enter the Meeting Key: UFMS0E1B
  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 the link below to download and install the participant application before the event. http://uc.att.com/support/download_attc_participant.html


To connect with your *TELEPHONE ONLY* (no computer), follow the instructions below. 

  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:  822347
    • To mute/un-mute your phone, dial *6
    • To learn other telephone commands, dial *9
To assist us in providing helpful information, please send questions in advance to martha.moore@la.gov. 
2013-2014 LEA Needs for Foreign Associate Teachers 


The LDOE will soon begin recruiting foreign associate teachers (FATs) of French and Spanish who meet the highly qualified teacher designation and qualify for the Louisiana World Language Certificate for the SY 2013-2014.


Teachers will be assigned to LEAs based on individual academic and professional credentials.


To assist the Department in selecting the teachers best suited for your district/school, we request that you complete the attached LEA Projected Needs Form.. 


Although final decisions will not be made until April 2013, the information you provide will assist in making tentative decisions for 2013-2014. Every effort will be made to satisfy your requests in recruiting and placing teachers in programs that follow the scheduling guidelines outlined in Bulletin 741 and the Guide for Administrators of Elementary Level Second Language and Immersion Programs in Louisiana Schools.


Please note that we are requesting that completed forms be returned to us no later than Thursday, February 28, 2013. 

Attachment: LEA FAT Form

FY 2012-2013 IDEA Part B Maintenance of Effort (MOE) Verification

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.


The IDEA MOE "Verification" Application for FY 12-13 grants is complete and became accessible through the Grants Management System (eGMS) on February 6, 2013. Data from the FY 10-11 IDEA MOE Confirmation will be prepopulated in the Verification for your convenience. The deadline for submission of both IDEA MOE applications is March 29, 2013.


Please have the fiscal agent for your LEA review the attached memo and complete the IDEA MOE Verification in eGMS. 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.


Special Instructions: The FY 12-13 IDEA MOE Verification can only be completed after the IDEA Confirmation for FY 10-11 is considered final.



FY 2012-13 MFP Budget Letter (February 2013) 

Please forward to superintendents, business managers and financial officials of city/parish public school districts.

The February Minimum Foundation Program (MFP) Budget Letter contains payment information for the city or parish school districts inclusive of the third quarter payments for the Student Scholarships for Education Excellence Program (SSEEP).  Third quarter SSEEP payments are based on the February 1, 2013, count date.


Attachment 1: Circular E - February 2013 MFP Allocation.pdf

Attachment 2: Table 2 - MFP Allocation and Adjustments.pdf

Attachment 3: Table 2A-1 -MFP Electronic Fund Transfer Payments - Annual.pdf

Attachment 4: Table 2A-2 - MFP Electronic Fund Transfer Payments - Monthly.pdf

Attachment 5: Table 5F - Student Scholarships for Educational Excellence Program - Third Quarter



The Extended School Year Services (ESYS) Program


Please forward to ESYS Project Directors/Coordinators and Business Managers and Financial Officials of Public School Districts and Charter Schools. Attached are the final allocations to the FY 2012/2013 ESYS Program.


Complete and submit the attached budget revision documents to reflect your revised allocations.  Submit this information no later than close of business on Thursday, March 7, 2013 to DOEStateBudgetsRevisions@La.Gov.  Revised grant award notifications will be available in the Grant Award Program (GAP) system by close of business on Friday, February 22, 2013.


Should you have questions regarding this information, please contact Julie Cutrer at julie.cutrer@la.gov or 225-342-0181.


Attachment 1: ESYS Final Allocations Memo - FY2012-2013 

Attachment 2: ESYS FY 12-13 Final Allocation Schedule 

Attachment 3: ESYS Budget Revision Forms 



eGMS FY 12-13 NCLB/IDEA Combined Application Update


Please forward to federal directors, business managers and financial officials of public school Districts and charter Schools and selected organization sponsors. 


eGMS will be updated by close of business on February 22, 2013 to include the FY 12-13 final allocations for those programs included in the NCLB/IDEA Combined Application and a supplement to the FY 11-12 IDEA allocation.  Please note that the process to utilize these funds will vary depending on the status of your application. 


Revised grant award notifications will be available in the Grant Award Program (GAP) system by close of business on Friday, February 22, 2013. Should you have questions regarding this information, please contact Rashaunda Matthews at rashaunda.matthews@la.gov or 225-342-3784.


Attachment 1: eGMS 2012/2013 Allocations Update Memo 

Attachment 2: Final Allocations - FY 2012-2013  


Increased Flexibility for Districts and Schools 


Bulletin 741 Changes Explained  


In each newsletter, 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.  Click here to read a summary of the approved changes and please share this with your principals.  


Revision: The new policy retains the 1:450 counselor-to-student ratio in secondary schools, but allows for an exception to the ratio for schools that are providing academic guidance, post-secondary counseling, and personal developmental support through alternate means.


Implementation: High schools in Louisiana have already discovered and implemented additional methods of providing counseling services to students in all grade levels outside of the traditional guidance counselor role. Previously, these services could only supplement the use of guidance counselors. However, the new policy allows districts and schools to focus their resources on the services they believe offer the highest reward for students.


Examples of how districts are currently providing academic, post-secondary, and personal development counseling services are listed below: 

  • Graduation coaches that include a variety of individuals in different districts including part-time employees with practical experience, regular school employees such as teachers and paraprofessionals who are paid an extra stipend to work with groups of at-risk kids, or retired teachers or community members who volunteer
  • Contracts with nonprofit organizations such as Career Compass to provide post-secondary counseling and technical support for the college application process and the Capital Area Human Services for coping skills lessons in elementary schools and mental health assistance in all grades
  • Collaboration with local higher education institutions to provide assistance in the college application process or assistance in the transition from high school to college
  • Graduation advocates or community mentors that meet on a regular basis with students identified as high risk of dropping out to discuss grades, attendance, behavior, tutoring and career awareness
  • Contracts with community health providers for social workers and licensed mental health providers
  • Freshman Academies that assign a mentor or coach to all students during their first year of high school to work with them through their high school career and keep them on track until they graduate
  • Local business leaders or professionals who volunteer as career coaches to educate students about local career opportunities and the paths required to acquire positions in those industries
  • Jobs for America's Graduates (JAG) coaches  
School Safety and Crisis Management 


As you may recall, the Louisiana House of Representatives Select Committee on Homeland Security met last month to discuss school crisis management and response in light of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut. Representatives from the Bossier, Calcasieu and St. Charles Parish School Systems were present to share their plans and to advise on steps that all schools can take to more effectively address crisis situations affecting the safety of students and school employees. 


Attached for your review and information are the presentations from Bossier and St. Charles:




Part 1: http://www.louisianabelieves.com/lde/uploads/20953.pdf

Part 2: http://www.louisianabelieves.com/lde/uploads/20954.pdf

Part 3: http://www.louisianabelieves.com/lde/uploads/20955.pdf


St. Charles




The committee is expected to meet again prior to the 2013 legislative session. In addition to the committee hearings, Governor Jindal authorized a task force to review and assess the state's current programs and plans in order to identify any necessary improvements or changes in light of this tragedy. The group will also identify the need for improvements at both the state and local level in order to enhance school safety.


In order for the LDOE and the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) to support you with crisis management response plans and to assist the committee and task force with their work, we would appreciate you completing this brief survey on school safety by Wednesday, February 27. Thank you for all you and your staff do to ensure the safety of our students.


Contact: Erin Bendily (erin.bendily@la.gov) or Gary Jones (gary.jones@la.gov). 


Education In The News 


High standards long overdue


Caddo piloting program to meet new tech standards


OPSB approves $2M for technology upgrades


White: Voucher use should grow


BESE members' tour a good idea in time of change


State forges rapprochement


Central La schools pleased with how voucher program has worked


Parents explore school options at expo





LDOE Contacts
John White
State Superintendent of Education
Twitter @LouisianaSupe

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