July 30, 2013

Superintendent's Message

Dear Colleagues:


First, congratulations on the incredible Advanced Placement (AP) results announced today. A one-year 25 percent increase in students scoring three or higher is a tremendous accomplishment and bodes very well for the future given that more than 700 Louisiana educators trained at AP institutes this summer. AP benefits not just the students who receive credit, but all students in high schools whose teachers learn to teach at the highest levels. You can find a list of top performing schools here. You can also request a list of those students whose PLAN scores indicate the likelihood of AP success by emailing ken.bradford@la.gov.


There is no playbook for greater expectations. If we're going to continue to see such positive outcomes, educators are going to have to be empowered to make decisions for themselves and use the best tools possible to do their jobs well. 


That starts with leadership. Superintendents and principals should be free to make decisions about how dollars are spent and how curriculum is designed.  They should also be free to make the most important decision of all: which educators are best to serve our students. Act 1 of the 2012 legislative session provides this freedom and remains in full effect as law. Please see this memo for an explanation of the current status of Act 1 and what it means for hiring, assignment, dismissal, compensation, and reductions in your district. Making these decisions according to the interests of kids and taxpayers is our most important responsibility as leaders.


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




John White

Louisiana Department of Education

Twitter: @LouisianaSupe

In This Issue:


Planning for the 2013-2014 School Year - Rubric Choice


This year, districts and evaluators made many decisions about how Compass is used in each district and school, including the rubric used with teachers and leaders. That choice is available to districts this year, too.   If you choose to use an alternate rubric, please share that information here by September 1, 2013.


For districts using the Compass Teacher Rubric, no changes have been made. For districts using the Compass Leader Rubric, note that the below components were refined based on feedback from educators:

  • Component 2a: Facilitates collaboration between teams of teachers
  • Component 3a: Observes teachers and provides feedback on instruction regularly

These rubrics and additional Compass resources are all available in the District and Classroom Support Toolboxes.

Network teams are available to discuss these design decisions with you and your staff. Please contact Compass@la.gov with questions.


Compass Personnel Evaluation Reporting


The Compass Information System (CIS) will serve as method for collecting personnel evaluation data, as outlined in Bulletin 130. Additional fields will be added to CIS over the course of the year to ensure that all required data is collected. There is no need to send additional data or plans to the Department. The Compass Information System will be available for 2013-14 updates starting in mid-August. Further guidance will be released in upcoming newsletters.


Department Names the 2014 Teacher and Principal of the Year


Congratulations to the 2014 Louisiana Teacher of the Year, La'Keisha McKinney, a reading and math teacher for gifted students in third through sixth grades at R.J. Vial Elementary School in St. Charles Parish and to the 2014 Principal of the Year, Ajit "AJ" Pethe, principal at Luling Elementary in St. Charles Parish.

Click here for more information on our 2014 Teacher and Principal of the Year honorees.

District Support


Reminder: 2013-2014 Prekindergarten Updates Webinar


In response to feedback as well as questions from the field, the Department will host a webinar for LA 4, Title I, 8g, Special Education and NSECD Early Childhood Coordinators in order to help educators prepare for the upcoming school year. The webinar will provide program updates for 2013-2014 and will also cover information regarding allocations, monitoring, Early Learning and Development Standards training and other matters. The webinar will take place on Wednesday, July 31, 2013 from 2:00 - 3:00 pm.


If there are any questions, please contact nicholy.johnson@la.gov.


Webinar information below:

  • Click here to log on.
  • Toll-free: (888) 273-3658 / Meeting access code: 3691141#

Child Nutrition Program - Online Application Renewal Process


Please forward to all LEA Child Nutrition Program supervisors. The School Food Service CNP Online Application Process for school year 2013-2014 as well as program updates are now available on the CNP website. For more information click here or email john.dupre@la.gov

Assessment and Accountability


Summer Retest Results Release


Please forward to district superintendents, district test coordinators, school test coordinators and principals. 


  • June 2013 EOC Retest Administration - The EOC June 2013 reports are available from the EOC Tests system. Student Reports, Class Reports, School Reports, and School and District CSV files are available and can be accessed from the Reports tab (Previous Administrations).


  • LEAP/GEE/LAA 2 Summer Retests - Summer retest results for LEAP/GEE/LAA 2 will be released through LEAPweb on August 7. Student Reports, School Roster Reports, and CSV files can be accessed using LEAPweb system logins at https://www.leapweb.org/. 


If school-level users have questions, they should contact their District Test Coordinator. If District Test Coordinators have questions, they should e-mail bernadette.morris@la.gov or susan.yuan@la.gov.


EOC Tests System User Accounts


The EOC Tests system provides districts and schools with summative data about student performance on end-of-course assessments. In order to secure this data and ensure privacy as required by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the user accounts are reissued every year. EOC Tests system user accounts for the 2013-2014 school year will go into effect on the morning of August 5th. District test coordinators should review the district technology coordinator and school test coordinator information for each school in the district. All updates should be entered into the system before distributing the new school level accounts. As a reminder, all users must have a signed security and confidentiality agreement on file. Click here for a copy of the agreement. 


If you have any questions, please contact at dana.maxie@la.gov.

School and Course Choice


Course Choice Enrollment Deadline


The Course Choice program offers a full range of academic courses to Louisiana students across the state in math, English language arts, science, social studies and foreign languages. Course Choice will also offer Advanced Placement and CTE (career and technical education) courses, as well as a broad range of elective courses and college credit opportunities. Enrollment requests for Course Choice will only be accepted until school starts in early August.  This is the final opportunity to work with students to enroll them in courses they need to qualify for TOPS, graduate and/or explore their academic interests.  


Additionally, a series of online informational training to all school-based professional school counselors on the program and school roles and responsibilities in the Course Choice approval process will be held at the dates/times below.

  • August 5, 2013 9:00-10:00 a.m.
  • August 8, 2013 9:00-10:00 a.m.
  • August 12, 2012 2:00-3:00 p.m.   

Webinar information below:  

  • Click here to log on or call toll-free: (877) 336-1831 / Meeting access code: 2416498# 

Detailed information, including course descriptions and registration procedures, isavailable on the Course Choice website at www.louisianacoursechoice.net.  For additional information about Course Choice or if you need help using the registration system please call 877-453-2721 or email CourseChoice@La.Gov

Data Coordinator's Webinar


In order to stay informed of the latest changes, due dates and all relevant information on the core data systems, please join us for the next Data Coordinator's Webinar on August 7, at 2:00pm. Please see the INSIGHT Coordinator Portal for participation instructions and agenda. If there are any questions, please e-mail john.fielding@la.gov.


LEADS, INSIGHT Portals and eGMS Scheduled Maintenance 


To facilitate proper maintenance of applications and corresponding databases, all applications available from the LEADS Portal and INSIGHT Portal, as well as eGMS, will be down on Wednesday, August 7, from 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm, for normal monthly production server maintenance.


Education In The News


White: Course Choice list 'cannot be ignored'


Course Choice online voucher program's waiting list continues to grow


La. ACT test results positive news


Teachers coming into local classrooms more prepared


ACT scores improve locally


OneApp is best for families: Editorial


State education officials: We're sticking with Common Core



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

LDOE Links

LDOE Website

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