June 5, 2013

Superintendent's Message

Dear Colleagues:


Next week I will start two weeks of meetings across Louisiana, discussing our state's high school diploma policies and how we can improve them. I hope you will join us at your regional discussion. These conversations continue Louisiana's gradual transition to new academic standards. This fall BESE will consider academic policy such as promotion, evaluation, and graduation requirements.


Our diploma discussions this month will focus in great part on career education. While our state's high school graduation and college matriculation rates continue to rise, too few students are engaged in career education that will prepare them for high-growth, high-wage careers here in Louisiana. Only 2,400 students statewide are on the Career Diploma track, and the graduation rate of these students is very low. Just as important, nearly two thirds of industry based certificates today are awarded in basic computing and customer service skills, not the skills required for Louisiana's manufacturing and natural resources economy.


We can change this, and it starts with our diploma requirements. Parents and counselors tell me regularly that graduating from high school in our state should not be so complicated. Students should also have more flexibility to change paths mid-stream; there is no reason a 12-year old boy or girl should have to make life-altering choices in middle school. Finally, a high school diploma should connect directly with life beyond school. That means rigorous college preparation for those choosing that path, but it also means a true career credential and a job for those choosing the career path.


Implementing such a diploma system will not be easy. We can't regulate career education from Baton Rouge; a career path that connects to the workforce is going to look different from one region to the next. It is also going to take a real effort to communicate the importance of career preparation to parents and educators. And the state is going to have to value career education in rewarding its schools.


Doing this well starts with conversation. I hope you'll join us at our regional meetings over the next several weeks.


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




John White

Louisiana Department of Education

Twitter @LouisianaSupe

In This Issue:

Date Correction: Superintendents' Conference Call


You are invited to participate in the Superintendents' Conference Call hosted by State Superintendent John White on Tuesday, June 11th, at 10:00 a.m.  You may begin dialing into the call 15 minutes in advance.  Please follow the instructions below:


To join the Superintendents' June 11th, 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. 

Additionally, please click here to see the revised 2013 conference call schedule. Please note that this call is for superintendents and charter leaders only.

District Support


Louisiana Teacher Leaders' Summit - June 12th and 13th


The Louisiana Teacher Leaders will be coming together for their second conference focused on Common Core aligned instruction.  During this training participants will practice translating Common Core standards in to effective daily lessons and instructional tasks.  All Superintendents are welcome to attend the event. Event objectives, logistics, pre-reading and session materials will be posted on the Louisiana Teacher Leader page in the Teacher Toolbox on Friday.  For all additional questions and concerns email louisianateacherleaders@la.gov


Teacher Leader Event Reimbursement Information


The Department will cover the cost of hotels for the evenings of June 11-12, 2013, up to the state rate of $85 (plus occupancy and local taxes) per night for those participants making their own hotel reservations as part of the Teacher Leader Summer Training.  The Department will allocate funds directly to districts only and will not reimburse participants directly. A paid receipt from the hotel will be necessary for each participant for all reimbursements. 


Districts requesting reimbursements for lodging costs for this event should complete and mail the attached coversheet along with the participants' zero balance hotel invoices to the address provided on the coversheet by Friday, July 5, 2013.


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.


TL Reimbursement Coversheet


Alternative Education End-of-Year Report  


Please forward to district superintendents and principals. The Department of Education submits an annual report on Alternative Education to the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE). The board is required to report annually on the effectiveness of alternative education programs (R.S. 17:7.5) to the governor and the House and Senate Education Committees. The annual report is compiled from information provided by the districts. Click here to complete the report by Friday, June 14, 2013.


If you have any questions, contact Renee Montgomery at renee.montgomery@la.gov or 225.342.0159. 



Alternative School Proposal for Programs 


Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports Benchmarks of Quality Data


The Louisiana Department of Education is collecting annual Benchmarks of Quality (BoQ) data via an online survey, to verify the extent to which districts are implementing Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS). An LEA may enter the data for each school site by selecting the LEA and site, or the link may be sent to each site coordinator for data entry.
The survey will close on August 30, 2013. A scoring guide and scoring form are attached below to assist with data submission. Data will be summarized and reported when the survey closes.

Cecil J. Picard Educator Excellence Symposium and Celebration 


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


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. Click here for more information or contact excellenteducators@la.gov.

Compass Upload Process


All districts are uploading Compass data into the Compass Information System (CIS) by July 29th. If your district used a system other than CIS this year, please use the guidance below to upload your data.  

The upload process has been updated to reflect improvements made to Compass in January and will enable districts to manage all data entry for end of year evaluations.


For questions, please contact compass@la.gov.


Special note to districts using the TAP/NIET Rubric:


Districts using the TAP CODE System to store and manage classroom observations will be provided directions via a separate email to TAP district contacts. If you have questions, please contact sheila.talamo@la.gov. The email will be sent no later than Friday, June 7th.


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.

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


Districts receive a response to value-added invalidation requests (LDOE)

Date: June 14

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 of June 24

Deadline: July 29

Compass Final Report released

Released: September

Please contact compass@la.gov with any questions.

Assessment & Accountability


School Performance Score Calculation


Please forward to all principals and accountability contacts. To help districts calculate projected school performance score and letter grade results, the Department previously released the 2013 Annual School Performance Score Calculator.  Because we are also releasing letter grade results under the old, 200-point system, we also added the 2013 Growth School Performance Score Calculator. 

  1. The 2013 Annual School Performance Score will determine the letter grade that is used for all accountability decisions. This SPS is calculated using the rules that are approved in the NCLB waiver (dropout/credit accumulation, ACT, non-proficient super-subgroup bonus points, no points for non-proficient levels, no attendance).
  2. The 2013 Growth School Performance Score will be used to measure growth for one year. This SPS is calculated using most of the 2011-2012 rules (points are awarded to non-proficient achievement levels, attendance and dropout are included, no ACT scores).  

Schools with letter grade of "A" must grow 5 points, and schools with letter grades "B" through "F" must grow 10 points. Schools can be eligible for reward in one of two ways:  

  1. Earn points by increasing the SPS from 2011-2012 to 2012-2013.
  2. Earn points for demonstrating growth with the non-proficient super-subgroup.  

All calculators can be found here, and a webinar that assists users with the completion of the calculators can be found here.


End-of-Year Assessment Survey


Please forward to district and school test coordinators, technology coordinators, and school administrators. As we end this testing year, the Louisiana Department of Education would appreciate feedback from districts and schools about the processes for assessment administration and vendor-provided customer service for all assessment programs including PLAN, EXPLORE, ACT, ITBS, LEAP, iLEAP, EOC, LAA 1, LAA 2, ELDA, and the spring 2013 Online Field Test. Feedback collected from this survey will help improve the Department's communication and frame the development of supporting materials for districts and schools for 2013-2014. We appreciate the effort and commitment districts and schools displayed during this school year, and we look forward to next year.


Please complete the online survey by June 17, 2013. Click here to begin the survey.

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. 
For more information go to www.louisianacoursechoice.net or email coursechoice@la.gov.

Jump Start Webinar


High school pathways should connect with concrete steps after graduation. Superintendent White will be touring the 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. Events at South Louisiana Community College in Lafayette on June 10th at 2:00 p.m. and at Baton Rouge Community College on June 20th at 9:00 a.m. will be live streamed. Click here to view. Please feel free to join the discussion in your area and to attend the 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.


FY 2013-2014 NCLB Maintenance of Effort (MOE)


Please forward to business managers and financial officials of public school districts, charter schools, lab schools, and other LEAs. The NCLB MOE application for FY 13-14 will be accessible through eGMS on June 6, 2013. Approval of MOE is part of the business process for obligation of federal grant funds for FY 13-14. The deadline for submission of MOE applications is July 15, 2013.


For questions regarding the review, contact Nakia Jason, Federal Audit Supervisor at nakia.jason@la.gov or Jason Berard at jason.berard@la.gov for eGMS technical inquiries or support.


Data Coordinator Webinar


Please join us for the Data Coordinator June webinar on Wednesday, June 5 at 2:00 p.m.  Please see blackboard for agenda and login information, or you can click here to join.


All applications are available from the LEADS portal, the Insight portal, and eGMS will be unavailable from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, June 5, 2013, for normal production server maintenance.


Education In The News 


More La. students taking Advanced Placement classes


Harder tests push students


Bill allows parents to require immersion programs


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

LDOE Links

LDOE Website

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