August 6, 2013

Superintendent's Message

Dear Colleagues:


As you know, last week the department released a preliminary projection of schools still struggling to be academically acceptable. While the final letter grades for schools have yet to be completed and will be released in October, the trend in low rated schools is a positive one, with the overall number of schools rated "F" projected to decline. This is good news for everyone, particularly the parents and children in communities where for too long struggling schools have been the norm. 


As a state, we have taken on the mission of achieving a level playing field for our children. The economy that they will inherit as adults is fiercely competitive and will not be kind to those unprepared to compete in the global market place. Louisiana's students are just as smart and just as capable as any children in America, and we owe them the opportunity to learn on a level that truly prepares them to participate in the American middle class.


At the same time, while we transition to a higher bar, we need not denigrate the successes of the past. We should honor educators' achievements just as we are forthright with our challenges. It is in this spirit that you will see this year's letter grades are relatively constant with last year's letter grades. The same should be true in years hence; as we transition gradually to more difficult assessments of student learning, if teachers and administrators commit to teaching those new expectations, and to learning those expectations themselves, we should respect their efforts through an accountability system that is balanced and makes every effort to be fair. Dropping letter grades precipitously and enforcing undue consequences in light of higher expectations would, I believe, serve neither the pride of educators nor the promise of students. While there will certainly be changes in individual school performance from time to time, educators and communities alike should be assured that the letter grade system, and our accountability system generally, embody a fair representation of their efforts. I believe this approach will serve our children, our schools and our state well, now and in the long run, just as I believe we can take on the challenge of a level playing field for every child in Louisiana. 


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




John White

Louisiana Department of Education

Twitter: @LouisianaSupe

In This Issue:

District Support


K-12 Math and ELA First Unit Plans Released


Earlier this year, the Louisiana Department of Education released a set of sample year-long plans for ELA and math across grades K-12. The Department is now releasing a more detailed first unit plan aligned to these plans. Districts and teachers are encouraged to use these yearlong plans and unit plans as a starting point for planning. Teachers should collaborate with their peers to adjust the plans to meet the needs of their students. These plans are aligned to the new ELA and math standards and fully aligned to Louisiana's state assessments.


The Department would like to thank all of the teachers who helped make it possible to release these sample plans. 


2013-2014 Science and Social Studies Educator Engagement Meetings


Please forward to curriculum coordinators, principals, and science/social studies teachers. In planning for 2014-2015 and beyond, the Department would like to solicit input from educators across the state on the direction forward with science and social studies standards, assessments and resources. The specific dates and sites for engagement are listed below. No RSVP is required. Please e-mail with any questions.


Monday, August 19, 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Claiborne Building, Thomas Jefferson Room

1201 North 3rd Street

Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70802


Tuesday, August 20, 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Monroe, Louisiana

Ouachita High School, Mane Center (behind Ouachita High)

681 Highway 594

Monroe, LA 71203


Thursday, August 22, 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Bossier, Louisiana

Bossier Instructional Center (next to Airline High School)

2719 Airline Drive

Bossier City, LA 71111


Monday, August 26, 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Chalmette, Louisiana

St. Bernard Professional Development Center (2nd floor of Chalmette Elementary)

Chalmette Elementary School

75 E. Chalmette Circle

Chalmette, LA  70043 


Thursday, August 29, 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm  

Crowley, Louisiana

Acadia Parish Educational Center (APEC)

2122 North Parkerson Avenue

Crowley, Louisiana 70526



Prekindergarten Coordinator Contact Information and Staff Data Forms


The Department is requesting LA 4, Title I, and special education prekindergarten coordinators complete and submit the coordinator contact information and staff data form electronically to Ms. Patsy Palmer at by Friday, August 23rd. The forms can be accessed here in the early childhood library.


If there are any questions, please e-mail



September Compass Report  


The Department is currently processing all final Compass evaluations and will release a comprehensive Compass report of this data in September. In the meantime, all Compass data is preliminary. Several districts are still in discussion with the Department about finalizing teacher results, and a significant number of these cases have not yet reached resolution. As such no final data is available by school or district. School and district level data should not yet be shared publicly.  


Please contact with any questions.

Assessment and Accountability


Reminder: Summer Retest Results Release


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

  • LEAP/GEE/LAA 2 Summer Retests - Summer retest results for LEAP/GEE/LAA 2 will be released through LEAPweb on August 7. Results can be accessed after 7:00 am using LEAPweb system logins at 

If school-level users have questions, they should contact their district test coordinator. If district test coordinators have questions, they should e-mail or 

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 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  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


2013 Advanced Placement Fall Counselor Workshops


As the Louisiana Department of Education reported last week, the number of college credits earned on Advanced Placement exams has increased by more than 1,000 credits or 25 percent over the past year-the greatest individual increase in state history. In order to encourage growth of AP® programs statewide, the Louisiana Department of Education is inviting school counselors to participate in an exciting professional development opportunity. Register today for a free 2013 Fall Counselor Workshop and take advantage of this opportunity to network with colleagues, share best practices, and more. Click here to reserve your spot now.


For additional information, please e-mail    


FY 2013-2014 General Fund Budget


Please forward to business managers and financial officials of city/parish public school districts. Louisiana R.S. 17:88 requires that district school boards adopt, no later than September 15, a budget of expected revenues and probable expenditures for the year and that copies of the budget be submitted to the State Superintendent of Education for review and approval. The following items outline the General Fund Budget requirements and collection process. 

If you have any questions, please e-mail


Maintenance of Effort (MOE) Fiscal Requirements


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 following MOE Applications are past due for completion in eGMS. Click here for a spreadsheet detailing those LEAs whose submissions are outstanding.


Maintenance of Effort Applications:


  • IDEA MOE Confirmation FY 2011 - Due Date: March 29, 2013
  • IDEA MOE Verification FY 2013 - Due Date:  April 10, 2013
  • NCLB MOE FY 2014 - Due Date: July 15, 2013
  • IDEA MOE Confirmation FY 2012  - Due Date: July 31, 2013


For questions regarding the reviews, please e-mail the Department's federal audit supervisor at or e-mail for eGMS technical inquiries or support.


USDA Required School Lunch Match


Please forward to business managers of city/parish school districts and Type 5 and Type 2 charter schools. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) requires that districts and schools participating in the School Lunch Program contribute a portion of their state funds to the operation of this program.  The contribution required of districts and schools must be supported by the Minimum Foundation Program (MFP) allocations. The attached memo and spreadsheet below provide details regarding each district's and school's required school lunch amount for FY2013-14. If you have any questions, or need further information, you may contact


If you have any questions, or need further information, you may contact



FY2013-14 MFP Required School Lunch Match - Memo

FY2013-14 MFP Required School Lunch Match - Calculation 


Annual Financial Report Survey


Forward to all business managers. Please complete the following Annual Financial Report information survey; this information will help us understand your needs and how we can best assist you you're your submissions. The survey is accessible here; please complete by Friday, August 9, 2013. If you have any questions about the survey, please contact


Education In The News


Louisiana students earn most Advanced Placement credits in state's history


Course Choice list 'cannot be ignored'


Education grants seek to improve La. schools


OneApp is best for families: Editorial


State shows gains in advanced testing


Ten Caddo schools shed their failing status


Course Choice demand exceeds availability


Louisiana schools work to end poverty, student by student: Letter 


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

LDOE Links

LDOE Website

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