May 29, 2013

Superintendent's Message


Dear Colleagues:


High school pathways should connect with concrete steps after graduation. This is why I will be touring our state this June to discuss the Louisiana's career pathways and how we might prepare more students for jobs in high-growth, high-wage sectors. I hope you'll join me, and I hope you'll attend our Jump Start webinar on June 20th at 2:00 p.m. for those districts looking to get an early start on a better Career Diploma.


I was proud today to announce a 33 percent rise in the number of Louisiana Advanced Placement (AP) test takers this year alone. The future looks even more promising: 800 teachers are signed up for AP training this summer, and Senate Bill 202 passed through the legislature last week, providing students a TOPS GPA incentive when they take and pass rigorous courses.


It's in this spirit of expanding opportunity for life after high school that the state has launched Course Choice, providing in-person and online courses to prepare students for career or college. Recent court rulings have led the Department to recast Course Choice as a pilot program for the 2013-2014 school year. Funds will come from the Department and BESE, and districts will not have funds withheld on a per student basis when students enroll.  As the program will be a pilot, the number of available enrollments will be limited, and students who have already registered for a Course Choice course will need to register again. Though enrollments will be limited to high school-level Carnegie credit course offerings, students below 9th grade can enroll in a Course Choice course offering if they have the demonstrated ability to succeed with high-school level work. Essentially Course Choice can function for districts as the Louisiana Virtual School has for years, providing students with opportunities to accelerate their academic progress or to take courses necessary for them to graduate on time.


I urge the schools and families to enroll in Course Choice options if the offerings meet their needs for life after high school.


We will discuss career pathways, Advanced Placement, and Course Choice on our next superintendents call as well.


As always, thank you 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, June 10th, at 10:30 a.m. CST.  You may begin dialing into the call 15 minutes in advance. Please follow the instructions below:


To join the Superintendents' June 10, 2013, Meeting:


  1. Click here to log in. 
  2. Select: Participant Application
  3. When prompted, enter the Meeting Access Code: 2368350#
  4. Dial into the Phone Bridge: (866) 814-1915 (Use this phone bridge only; Do not use the AT&T Phone bridge listed on the link above.)
  5. When prompted, please give the Meeting ID #:1614983
  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. 



Cecil J. Picard Educator Excellence Symposium and Celebration 


Please forward to all district educators. Registration for the 7th Annual Cecil J. Picard Educator Excellence Symposium, on Friday, July 12, 2013 is now open. 


Join us as we honor the 2014 Louisiana Teacher and Principal of the Year finalists. The event includes: 

  • 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 the state's top educators and announce the 2014 Teacher and Principal of the Year. Clickhere for more information or contact


Final Evaluation Resources


Throughout the last month, we've released a number of resources to help guide districts through the end-of-year Compass process. The table below recaps the key actions districts will take in the coming weeks to ensure all teachers and leaders receive actionable and accurate final evaluations. Resources are available in the District and Teacher Support Toolboxes.


Upcoming Compass Milestones


Submit value-added invalidation requests to LDOE via for any teacher who qualifies (district leader)

Deadline: May 31

Submit final evaluation data in CIS (evaluators)

Deadline: July 29

Facilitate end-of-year conversations  (evaluators)

Start/End: Districts and schools develop timeline

Review value-added data and submit evaluations for these teachers (evaluators)

Available: Week ofJune 24

Deadline: July 29

*Please note that this date was updated 

Review Compass Final Report (all)

Released: September


By the end of this week, all value-added invalidation requests are due to the Department. These requests must be submitted by a district leader through the Compass Information System (CIS). More information about who is eligible is included in the Guidance for Districts on Managing Extenuating Circumstances.


In coming weeks, we will release additional resources for districts and schools that did not use the CIS data system this year and plan to upload evaluation results to CIS. We will also release additional information about submitting an alternate rubric request for the upcoming year.


Please contact with questions.


Compass Upload Process


For districts planning to upload their evaluation data into the Compass Information System, we will release additional guidance in the upcoming newsletter. This guidance is intended to guide planning and discussions with vendors. We released preliminary materials this past fall, but the process has been updated to reflect improvements made to Compass in January, and will enable districts to manage data entry for end-of-year evaluations.


The upload function in Compass Information System will be available on June 10th, and districts have until July 29th to upload all information.


For questions, please contact to schedule a conversation.


Compass Summer 2013 Evaluator Trainings


Summer 2013 Compass Evaluator Trainings for new evaluators of teachers and new evaluators of leaders have been scheduled. While participants are encouraged to attend sessions with participants from their own LEA, this is not required. Trainings will be held around the state. 


Participants must register on Coursewhere. Click here for Teacher Evaluators and here for Leader Evaluators. If you have questions or need additional information, please contact your Network Leader.

District Support

Birth to Five Early Learning and Development Standards


BESE recently adopted the Early Learning and Development Standards which are a single, comprehensive set of standards for children ages 0-5 (Bulletin 105). Beginning in 2013-2014, all pre-K educators should use these standards to guide instruction. These standards may be used with all children, including those with disabilities and English Language Learners. The codified version of Bulletin 105 will be posted on the Louisiana Register website for public comments on June 20th. 


If there are any questions, please contact or call 225-342-0576.
School Choice


Course Choice Program


The Course Choice Program will be launched as a pilot project for the school year 2013-2014. The course offerings will be limited to high school-level Carnegie credit course offerings, and each provider will be limited in the number of students that can be enrolled. The Course Choice Counselor Assistance Center will continue collaborating with school counselors to make sure courses are academically appropriate for each student.


Upcoming process:


  1. The Course Choice Registration System has been taken temporarily offline and all current enrollment requests have been reset.
  2. Students and parents who are interested in taking a Course Choice course offering and who have already requested registration will need to re-register. An email will be sent to students/parents as soon as the system is back online.
  3. Course Choice counselors will continue working with parents, students and school counselors to make sure interested students are placed in courses that are academically appropriate.

NCLB Title I Allocations         


Please forward to federal programs directors. The NCLB Title I allocations have been released for FY2014.  Please view your allocation by clicking here.
Prekindergarten Programs Electronic Data Submission Training


Each year, evaluation data is collected related to student achievement for the LA 4, Title I and 8(g) early childhood programs.  Districts/charter schools participating in these programs are required to report data from the Developing Skills Checklist, as well as demographic information via an intake form. Training on the data submission process for new early childhood teachers, paraprofessionals and administrators will be held in July at several locations across the state.  Please inform the Department of your training needs by using this simple survey by Friday, June 14, 2013. A listing of training dates, locations, and times can be found on the survey as well. 


If you have any questions, please contact Anita Ashford at 225-342-3647 or at


USDA Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program Application


Please forward to all LEA child nutrition program supervisors. The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program applications are now available for school food authorities. Complete the application and submit online for the 2013-2014 school year through the Child Nutrition Program website. More details can be found here.


Education In The News 



Course Choice questions continue


Common core ban resolution fails


Recovery School District's New Orleans schools are top gainers in test results 


Lafayette holds its own on LEAP, iLEAP


FirstLine charter network reports 8th year of test score growth


Education initiative enlists community input 


Common Core would be step up  



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

LDOE Links

LDOE Website

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