March 19, 2013

Superintendent's Message


Dear Colleagues,


I want to start by thanking you for all of the preparation your principals, assessment coordinators, counselors, and others put into preparing for the ACT series this year. This series of tests will allow high schools to see Common Core level growth, starting in 8th grade. As this recent study notes, many students who otherwise would not have taken the ACT score surprisingly well when given the opportunity. I thank you for providing your students that chance.


Preparations continue for next school year, even as we finish this year strong. I wanted to highlight a number of such efforts for your attention:

  • The state's most up-to-date MFP projections for each district are now online. Overall state expenditures are projected to increase, as is overall local spending. As you know, the MFP is a block grant and does not mandate specific programs; it calculates an overall cost of education in the school system, along with the share of that cost to be paid by the state. Programs such as gifted, talented, and special education are mandated by state law (not by the MFP), per the requirements of the child's IEP, and must be provided. You can find additional information about the MFP, including myths vs. facts, here.
  • In April the state will collect salary schedules adjusted according to Act 1 of last year's legislative session. The Department will be publishing a list of districts who have rewarded strong teaching and abided by the law's terms in late April. My thanks for all you have done to innovate in this area.
  • The Department has received applications for the Louisiana Teacher Leaders and is beginning preparations for the April 18-19 Leaders gathering in Lafayette. It is our hope that these master educators will not only gain knowledge about the Common Core transition but also deepen their ability to facilitate change at the school level, among your teachers. Click here for more detail.
  • This Thursday Department staff will open a dialogue with the Superintendents Advisory Council about pending Common Core transition policy decisions, focusing on school-level accountability, high school diploma requirements, and educator effectiveness measures. This will launch five months of dialogue on these issues, in anticipation of BESE considering these transition policies in August.

Times of change require forward-thinking leadership. I thank you for all you have done this year to heed not just the pressures of today but the needs of the future.


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





John White

Louisiana Department of Education

Twitter: @LouisianaSupe


In This Issue:
District Support

Cohort 2 Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy (SRCL) Subgrant Application


The District Support Toolbox has updates on potential federal grant opportunities, including the SRCL Cohort 2 subgrant. The application, with guidelines and timeline, can be found here beginning Wednesday March 20. This grant will directly support districts in their literacy efforts to benefit children from birth through twelfth grade. The second of two cohorts will begin the program in June 2013.


Applications are due April 16. If you have any questions regarding these materials, please contact Jill Slack at 225-329-4995 or via e-mail at

Compass Guidance for Teachers of Students with Significant Disabilities


All students can achieve rigorous learning goals - including students with significant disabilities. The purpose of Compass is to ensure that each teacher receives high-quality feedback and professional development to support him or her in improving his or her practice and helping students achieve such goals. The significant disabilities tool, which can be found under the Observation + Feedback section in the Classroom Support Toolbox, is intended to support the evaluator in this work by providing guidance to help him or her with the following:


  1. Work with teachers to set rigorous, meaningful goals for students with significant disabilities
  2. Develop a common understanding of the evidence reflective of Highly Effective performance
  3. Discuss specific, actionable feedback that is informed by students' special needs


This document is not intended to replace the Compass Teacher Rubric or other Compass resources; it is an optional tool for evaluators to use in supporting the development of teachers of students with significant disabilities. Please share any questions or feedback related to this tool at



2014 Teacher of the Year Selection Rubric Released


A rubric for the initial portion of the 2014 Teacher of the Year selection process is now available and will provide teachers and districts with guidance on application expectations. State selectors will use this rubric to identify semi-finalists from the pool of district-level nominees.  LEAs may, but are not required to, use this rubric to identify nominees.


Applications from LEA nominees are due to by 5:00 PM CST on Wednesday, April 24, 2013. 



Updates to the Compass Information System


Observations for teachers and counselors are no longer distinguished in the Compass Information System as "Formal" or "Informal."  This update aligns with recent improvements to Compass


  • To conduct an observation on a teacher or counselor that will count toward the final evaluation in the Compass Information System, select Observation in the observation-type drop-down menu.
  • To conduct an observation on a teacher or counselor for developmental purposes only, select Supplemental Observation in the observation-type drop-down menu.


Act 1 Compensation Plans - Submission and Reporting Update


The Louisiana Department of Education has received compensation plans from over half of the districts. Please remember that all plans must be submitted to by April 1, 2013 and will be reviewed against the criteria outlined in this rubric. Later this spring, the Department will report publicly on districts' progress  and will highlight districts with exemplar compensation plans.


Assessment & Accountability

Spring 2013 Online Field Test (LEAP and iLEAP) Participants


Please forward to district test coordinators and technology coordinators whose districts will participate in the spring 2013 Online Field Test (LEAP and iLEAP).


The Louisiana Department of Education wishes to thank all districts and schools who volunteered to participate in the spring 2013 Online Field Test for grades 3-8. In preparation for the upcoming administration, coordinators should plan to attend one of the following training webinars:


District and School Test Coordinators (Please register for one of the three date options)

  • March 22, 2013  (10:00 a.m.)  Click here to register.
  • April 3, 2013 (11:00 a.m.) Click here to register.  
  • April 17, 2013 (10:00 a.m.) Click here to register.


School Technology Coordinators (Please register for one of the three date options)

  • March 22, 2013 (2:00 p.m.) Click here to register.
  • April 3, 2013 (2:00 p.m.) Click here to register.  
  • April 17, 2013 (2:00 p.m.) Click here to register.  


For more information, please contact



End-of-Course (EOC) Tests Webinar: Preparing for the May 2013 EOC Administration


Please forward to district test coordinators, district technology coordinators, and district accountability coordinators.


In preparation for the upcoming May 2013 administration, district coordinators are invited to attend a webinar on the EOC tests program, April 3, 2013 from 9:00 - 10:30 a.m.


Topics include:

  • Assessment Administration
  • U.S. History
  • EOC Tests System
  • Accountability Codes

April 3, 2013 from 9:00 - 10:30 a.m.

  • Click here to log on / Meeting Key (if prompted): SO7N1IZO
  • Toll Free: 1-888-621-7121 Event Number: 876697 


If you have any questions, please contact

Ensuring IEPs are Accurate:  LAA 1 and LAA 2


As a key part of Louisiana Believes, the Louisiana Department of Education is committed to streamlining monitoring processes so that district and school leaders can spend more time focused on student achievement.  At the same time, the Department is committed to helping our educators ensure all Louisiana students achieve their potential through proper supports. 


The Department has received a number of questions regarding IEPs for students taking alternate assessments.  In response, the Office of Student Programs provided technical assistance to districts regarding LAA 1 participation and received very positive feedback from the field.  Therefore, the Office of Student Programs is offering similar technical assistance for LAA 2 IEPs, as is helpful to your district.  Please contact Angela Randall at (225) 342-3668 with any questions. 

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 Louisiana Department of Education will offer online training to all school-based professional school counselors on their roles and responsibilities in the Course Choice approval process on the date below.


March 21, 2013 from 4:00-5:30 p.m. 

  • Click here to log on / 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 or email



International BaccalaureateŽ Diploma Program Information


The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program is a two year academically challenging and balanced program of education with final examinations that prepare students for success at university and life beyond.


IB Organization representatives will host informational sessions to discuss the IB Program and how to become an IB World School. To register or find out more information about this program, please email your request to Nan Ryan at


March 21, 2013:  1:00-3:00 p.m.

International High School of New Orleans

727 Carondelet Street  

New Orleans, LA  70130


March 22, 2013:  1:00-3:00 p.m.

Central Intermediate School

12636 Sullivan Road 

Central, LA  70818


In addition, to encourage the growth of Louisiana's International Baccalaureate Program, the Louisiana Department of Education is accepting applications for school leaders to participate in the 2013 IB Conference of the Americas. This conference will be held at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside July 18 - 21, 2013.  Interested school leaders should submit an application packet for registration fee reimbursement, via email, to Tristen Guillory at on or before April 15, 2013.  For additional information, please contact Tristen via email, at 225-219-0454, or by calling the Department's toll-free number, (877) 453-2721. 



APPLICATION - 2013 IB Conference Reimbursement Packet



Mid-year Minimum Foundation Program Adjustments 


Please forward to city/parish superintendents and business managers, and type 2 and type 5 charter school board presidents and business managers.


Per SCR 99, the MFP Resolution, the FY 2012-13 MFP Formula for March 2013 has been updated to include the October and February mid-year adjustments for students and the final local per pupil amount for charter schools. If you have any questions or need additional information, you may contact Christel Fulton at Please see the attachments below.



Circular 1148-E - Transmittal Memo for March 2013 MFP Budget Letter


October 1, 2012 Mid-Year Adjustement_Detail

February 1, 2013 Mid-Year Adjustment_Detail

FY2012-13 Final Charter Per Pupil Funding 



Minimum Foundation Program (MFP) Student Counts and Financial Data Audits for School Years 2012-2013 and 2013-2014


Please forward to SIS coordinators, business managers and administrators of charter schools and selected organization sponsors.


The Louisiana Department of Education will begin conducting the 2013-2014 MFP audits. The attached memo provides guidance on the plans for the upcoming MFP Audits. 


The MFP audit cycle for 2013 will be conducted beginning March 2013 and continuing through January 2014.  The adjustments as a result of these audits will be included in the FY 2014-2015 MFP formula. The audit staff will make every effort to establish an audit schedule that is workable for both the audit staff and the LEA. To facilitate the completion of the MFP audits, timely responses to requests for documentation is necessary. LEAs will receive approximately four weeks to respond to requests for documentation. For more details, see the attached audit notification memo.


The following information is subject to be audited during the 2013 audit cycle:


  • February 1, 2013 MFP Student Count
  • October 1, 2013 Mid-Year Adjustment Student Count
  • February 1, 2013 Special Education Exceptionalities and Gifted/Talented Weighted Student Counts
  • February 1, 2013 At-Risk Weighted Student Count
  • October 1, 2012 Career and Technical Education Unit Count
  • FY 2012-2013 local tax revenue for districts where RSD operates schools or Type 5 charters

  • FY 2011-2012 local tax revenue data for all other LEAs
  • FY 2012-2013 Annual Financial Report (AFR)


For further information or questions, contact Jameka Henderson at or 225.342.8848



2013 State Audit Notification Memo



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



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 Confirmation remains open in eGMS for completion by LEAs. This process confirms that the FY10-11 actual expenditures met the MOE requirements for IDEA funding. The initial due date for completion of the MOE Confirmation was November 2012. The final extension of the confirmation data collection is Friday, March 29, 2013. Attached is the list of LEAs that have not yet submitted or have not completed the review. A failure to meet this due date may result in possible repayment of federal funds.


The IDEA MOE Verification was launched February 6, 2012. Due to spring break, the deadline for completion has been extended to April 10, 2013. This process identifies whether LEAs are on track to meet the MOE requirements for IDEA funding based on budgeted FY12-13 data. In order to complete the IDEA MOE Verification, the IDEA MOE Confirmation review must be marked "Final". Data from the confirmation is extracted to prepopulate fields for the verification review. If your FY10-11 data is not prepopulated, please contact Nakia Jason at the contact information below.


For further information and questions regarding the review, contact Nakia Jason, Federal Audit Supervisor at or 1-877-453-2721 or Jason Berard at for eGMS technical inquiries or support.



IDEA MOE Confirmation Outstanding Reviews


Louisiana Youth Seminar (LYS)


The Louisiana Youth Seminar, a high school leadership program in its 43rd year, will once again be held on the campus of LSU, July 21-26, 2013.  LYS is a unique and progressive leadership camp specifically designed for incoming high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors who demonstrate leadership abilities in their schools.  Young men and women from all backgrounds are encouraged to attend.  


LYS teaches leadership skills, such as, setting and achieving goals, solving problems, communicating effectively, conducting meetings, and developing self confidence and acceptance of others.  For more on LYS visit their website at and for information about scholarship opportunities visit or call 866-INFO-LYS.

LYS - 2013 - OnePager 



Louisiana Youth for Excellence


Louisiana Youth for Excellence (LYFE), from the office of the Governor, was created to provide abstinence education and a positive youth development program to young people in Louisiana. The program provides (free of charge) age appropriate, evidence-based, medically accurate curricula from Choosing the Best, a leader in abstinence-centered education and includes topics such as: 

  • Character building applications
  • Reducing the rate of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases
  • Mitigating the effects of at-risk behavior
  • Reducing the risk of teen pregnancy
  • Dealing with peer pressure
  • Reducing the number of high school drop-outs 

For more information about this fast-paced, exciting program, please call Deanne Bingham, Executive Director, Louisiana Youth for Excellence at 225-219-4999 or 



U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farm to School Census


Please forward to LEA child nutrition program supervisors.


The U.S. Department of Agriculture is requesting all LEAs to participate in an important national census survey regarding farm to school activities. The questionnaire will be open until May 3, 2013. To access the survey, click here.


Education In The News 


Course Choice arrives


Department of Education announces $5 million to turn around failing schools


Online course selection now available


Registration open for new state program that allows public school students to take outside courses on the state's dime


Sign-up opens for outside high school courses


Virtual school enrollment rising


Districts moving to address virtual needs


LSMSA to participate in  "Course Choice" program



LDOE Contacts
John White
State Superintendent of Education
Twitter @LouisianaSupe

LDOE Links

LDOE Website

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