April 30, 2013

Superintendent's Message

Dear Colleagues:



Too often we forget to say, "Job well done." There's a lot we can do to change this for our educators, and there is no one magic wand. It starts with providing feedback on performance, so that we constantly improve. It involves making time for teacher collaboration, to review student work and to reflect on what we can do better for each child. And it can mean giving teacher leaders a role beyond the classroom.


Compensation is not everything in this equation; educators don't do this work because they're looking to get rich. But honoring effective work in the classroom is critical. That's why it is so important that, as detailed in this report, 63 Louisiana school districts have established compensation schedules that honor effective teaching and school leadership, per Act 1 of last year's legislative session. No two districts are alike, and the compensation policies reflect varying needs. Some strictly address issues of performance in the classroom. Others create incentives for teachers to take on the hardest-to-staff schools or subject areas. The report includes a listing of some of the most creative and profound shifts so that you can see how colleagues have addressed this important challenge.


In this first year of statewide Compass implementation, I am grateful for all you have done to use the system as a true professional development tool. Please be sure to end the year strong, especially in having teachers verify student rosters so that their end of year ratings are accurate, and in having end-of-year conversations so that each teacher reflects on this year and establishes plans for next. Your willingness to honor those teachers who have gone above and beyond is a testament to our state's commitment to progress in the classroom.


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




John White

Louisiana Department of Education

Twitter @LouisianaSupe

In This Issue:

Superintendents' Conference Call


You are invited to participate in the Superintendents' Conference Call hosted by State Superintendent John White on Monday, May 6, at 10:30 pm CST.  You may begin dialing into the call 15 minutes in advance.  Please follow the instructions below:


To join the Superintendents' May 6, 2013 Meeting:


  1. Go to https://connect4.uc.att.com/stateoflouisiana/meet/?ExEventID=82368350
  2. Select: Participant Application
  3. When prompted, enter the Meeting Access Code: 2368350#
  4. Dial into the Phone Bridge: (866) 261-3330
  5. When prompted, please give the Meeting ID # 1612738
  6. 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.
District Support


Planning for June Teacher Leader Event


The Department will again cover the costs of hotels for participants who attend the June Teacher Leader event on June 11th and 12th. Based on feedback from participants, participants will be making their own hotel reservations at the hotel of their choice.The Department will reimburse districts after the event for all hotel costs (at the state rate of $85 per room per night). The Department will reimburse districts with an allocation to cover their assigned number of Teacher Leader participants. Districts can then reimburse teachers directly. 


Given the proximity to the event the Department will not cover hotel costs for the following districts: Acadia, Iberia, Lafayette, Pointe Coupee, St. Landry, Vermillion and West Baton Rouge.


If you have any questions or concerns please email louisianateacherleaders@la.gov.  

Literacy Design Collaboration


The Literacy Design Collaborative is a framework for preparing students for college and career by engaging science, social studies, and ELA middle and high school students in:

  • Regular practice with complex text and its academic language
  • Building knowledge through content-rich non-fiction
  • Reading, writing, and speaking grounded in evidence from text, both literary and informational

The Department will conduct a Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC) orientation webinar on May 2, 2013 at 3:15 p.m. for districts interested in learning more about LDC and the application process. The application will be posted in the May 7th newsletter. Click here for more information about the LDC support plan for next year. Please contact Jill Slack at jill.slack@la.gov if you have any questions.   


Webinar information below:


  • May 2, 2013 at 3:15 p.m.
    • Click here to log on
    • Toll-Free:866-434-5269 / Meeting Access Code: 2873170# 



Literacy Design Collaborative Meetings


Please forward to all current Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC) participants. LDC participants should register here for the following May meetings. These meetings are designed for middle and high school ELA, science, and social studies teachers; instructional coaches; district and school administrators and network coaches currently implementing LDC. The second day at both locations is optional for teachers.


See below for more information on the two meeting options.


Option 1:

Where: Ruston, Louisiana


  • May 7 - Teacher Session
  • May 8 - Teacher Session and Training of Trainers

Option 2:

Where: Chalmette, LA 


  • May 9 - Teacher Session
  • May-10 - Teacher Session and Training of Trainers


2013-14 Pupil Progression Plans


The Department will provide LEA's an updated 2013-14 pupil progression plan template in the May 15, 2013 newsletter. For more information on pupil progression plans please contact susannah.craig@la.gov.

Compass End-of-Year Conversations and Results


As the year comes to an end, teachers and school leaders are talking with their evaluators to reflect on the year's accomplishments and begin planning for next year. The Department has developed a variety of resources to support your district as you begin this process.


Over the last couple of weeks, the Department has released these resources:


Next week, the Department will release additional resources for evaluators and teachers to use in completing end-of-year conversations, including:

  • Final evaluation pages in the Compass Information System and corresponding technical user guides 
  • Process to request invalidation of value-added scores within the CIS system for teachers who meet invalidation criteria, outlined here
  • Updated End-of-Year Process Guide for Educators with additional FAQs from the Teacher Leader event
  • Coming Soon: In June, we will release value-added scores and resources.

All of these documents are available in the Toolbox.  Please contact compass@la.gov with any questions about these resources or the Compass end-of-year process.



Save-the-Date: Cecil J. Picard Educator Excellence Symposium and Celebration


Please mark your calendar for the 7th Annual Cecil J. Picard Educator Excellence Symposium. On this day, the Department, along with Dream Teachers, will honor the 2014 Louisiana Teacher and Principal of the Year finalists, and celebrate their dedication to preparing students for rigorous academic challenges and future success in college and a career. Our exciting all-day event will include: 

  • Luncheon hosted by Dream Teachers featuring Ron Clark, New York Times bestselling author and founder of the Ron Clark Academies
  • Common Core centered professional development workshops led by Louisiana Teacher Leaders  
  • Awards ceremony and dinner to honor our state's top educators and announce our 2014 Teacher and Principal of the Year.

Click here for more information or contact excellenteducators@la.gov. Registration begins May 13, 2013. While a small fee applies to the luncheon, all other events are free of charge.  Space is limited, so plan to register early. 



2012-2013 Teacher Exit Interview Data Collection Period Now Open


State law requires all local education agencies to compile and report on the reasons teachers are leaving a school or district. Please share this information via the data collection portal by August 1, 2013. This portal is now open at www.teachlouisiana.net. Simply log in to the Teach Louisiana web site, click on the "Human Resources" tab and click on the "Exit Interview" link.


Please contact barbara.burke@la.gov with questions.

Assessment and Accountability

Spring 2013 Assessment Results


Please forward to district superintendents, district test coordinators, school test coordinators and principals. Spring 2013 assessment results will be released as indicated below:




  • EXPLORE and PLAN summary reports and student score files around May 10.
  • ACT school and district summary reports will be released around August 23.
  • A webinar explaining how to interpret ACT series reports will be available on May 10.

LEAPweb results releases:


  • LAA 1, ELDA, and GEE results will be released on April 29
  • LEAP, iLEAP, LAA 2 will be released on May 17
  • EOC results will be available 48 hours after testing and summary reports will be released in July
  • Summary reports for all assessments will be released in Mid July
  • Interpretive guides for all assessments will be available through eDIRECT and the EOC website.
  • A webinar explaining how to interpret LEAP/iLEAP results will be available on May 10.

 If you have questions, please e-mail Susan Yuan at susan.yuan@la.gov.  



LEAP and GEE/EOC Remediation


Please forward to LEAP and GEE/EOC remediation program coordinators. State legislation and policies found in Bulletins 1566 and 741 indicate requirements for LEAP and GEE/EOC remediation.


Below is a brief summary of these requirements:


  • Students not meeting the required standards for English, math, science or social studies on the LEAP test must be offered 50 hours of remediation.
  • LEAP summer remediation must be provided for English language arts and mathematics. 
  • Districts may offer up to 20 hours of remediation prior to the end of school once the student test scores are released.
  • Students who still need to pass the EEC assessment for graduation must be offered 50 hours of remediation in the content area(s) that they did not previously pass. This may be offered at any time during the year.
  • Students who did not meet passing requirements on a course EOC assessment needed for graduation, must be offered 30 hours of remediation on that course content. This may be offered at any time during the year.

Formal reports on remediation programs from schools or districts are no longer required. There will be no online data reporting system for LEAP remediation and no digital file reports for GEE/EOC remediation.


If you have any questions on remediation requirements, please contact Ann Wilson at ann.wilson@la.gov



Preparing for the 2013 Accountability Release - Updated Webinar Session     


Please forward to district test coordinators, accountability contacts and principals. The school and district accountability team will now host a webinar on May 14, 2013 at 11 a.m. to overview the transition plan for letter grades in fall 2013 including:


  • Details regarding the plan to release two letter grades. Click here for an overview. 
  • An overview of the updated SPS calculator
  • Updates on the simulated data available to districts

Webinar information below:


  • May 14, 2013 at 11 a.m.
    • Click here to log in
    • Toll Free: 888-363-4735 / Meeting Access Code: 7937571#


ACT Reports Training


ACT will present workshops across the state to provide information on interpreting and utilizing the EXPLORE and PLAN reports. Training will include learning to analyze the many available reports that will help districts pinpoint the skills and knowledge that students possess and identify gaps in students' learning. Half-day training sessions will be available from May 29th - May 31st and June 4th - June 6th.


District and school level staff including graduation coordinators, middle and high school supervisors, secondary special education supervisors, testing and data coordinators, middle and high school counselors, middle and high school principals and members of the Louisiana Teacher Leaders may click here to begin registering on Coursewhere. 

School and Course Choice


Course Choice Counseling Assistance Center


The Louisiana Department of Education Course Choice Program is seeking contractors with Louisiana professional school counselor credentials to serve as part of the Louisiana Course Choice Counseling Assistance Center. Course Choice is an innovative new program designed to offer Louisiana students an unprecedented collection of high-quality course offerings provided by universities, technical and community colleges, online course providers, business and industry, and educational entrepreneurs. The program will enable students to enroll in academic, career and technical training courses that will help them obtain post-secondary degrees and secure high-paying 21st Century jobs. 


Contractors will be responsible for helping professional school counselors and students successfully participate in the Course Choice Program. A contractor will serve as a Course Choice program expert which includes:


  • Developing in-depth knowledge of all courses offerings and course providers
  • Providing teacher and counselor training and support for implementation of the Course Choice Registration System
  • Providing individualized student planning and support
  • Contributing to Course Choice program reporting 

 For more information contact Dianne Gauthier at dianne.gauthier@la.gov or 225-219-0442.



FY2012-13 Fiscal Risk Assessment


Please forward to business managers and superintendents of city/parish public school systems, and business managers and board presidents of type 2 and type 5 charter schools. It is once again time to review the data summary on which your fiscal risk assessment classification will be based. Each LEA's preliminary FY2012-13 fiscal risk assessment data was sent in a separate email to the specific LEA/school system the week of April 22nd.  Please review this information and provide any comments or additional information regarding factors you feel need further explanation. These responses are due to the Department Friday, May 3rd. Upon receipt of this information, Department staff will review and update LEA fiscal risk assessment data summaries as applicable with comments provided. Fiscal risk assessment classifications of "No Action, Monitor, or Dialogue" will be based on this final information. The fiscal risk assessment data summaries and the classifications will be provided to the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) at the June 2013 meeting. Beginning in July, you will be notified of any follow-up actions necessary as a result of the classification assigned to your LEA. Please see the attached memo for additional information about the fiscal risk assessment process. 
For further information or questions, contact Zalinsky Matthew at zalinsky.matthew@la.gov or 225-342-6216. 




Educational Screening and Evaluation


After last week's newsletter, the Department received many questions about language regarding re-evaluations of exceptional students in the Bulletin 741 powerpoint slides. Previous policy in Section 112, Educational Screening and Evaluation required re-evaluations of exceptional students to occur at least every three years. Federal IDEA regulations allow this requirement to be waived if the parents and the public agency agree that the re-evaluation is unnecessary. The revisions approved by the board align BESE policy to the federal regulations and will allow for the exception. If you have any questions, please contact Bridget Devlin at bridget.devlin@la.gov with any questions.



LEADS and INSIGHT Server Maintenance


Please be aware that all systems accessible from the LEADS Portal and the INSIGHT Portal will be down on Wednesday, May 1, from 3:00 PM until 9:00 PM, for normal monthly production server maintenance.


USDA Farm to School Census - Reminder    


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 questionnaire, click here.  


Education In The News 


Our Views: High schools Showing Gains


Teachers, Principals Of The Year Honored


Letter: We Can Do Better For Children


Graduation Rates On The Rise


Calcasieu, Cameron To Participate In Early Childhood Pilot Program


Arm Educators ... With Information


Survey Finds Support For Tougher Academic Standards For TOPS



LDOE Contacts
John White
State Superintendent of Education
(toll-free) 877.453.2721 
Twitter @LouisianaSupe

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