September 17, 2013

Superintendent's Message

Dear Colleagues:


Graduates of Louisiana schools will be competing with graduates from across the country for jobs and opportunity. They will need to have fundamental reading, writing, and math skills if they are to participate in the American middle class as adults.


This requires us to shift our expectations, both for ourselves and our students. As educators, we have raised the bar by setting goals for our students and by establishing a common standard of teaching excellence. For our students, this means aligning fundamental skill expectations with those held across our country.


To be successful, we should make this transition carefully. We cannot denigrate educators, humiliate schools, or hurt students in the process. To that end, the Department has begun sharing with you recommended transition policies regarding tests and accountability in the years to come. BESE will begin considering these decisions at a meeting on elementary and middle school policies in December, to be followed by a meeting regarding high school policy in January.


At this week's Superintendents' Advisory Council, the Department will detail three proposals related to the elementary and middle school meeting in December:

  1. Schools will begin administering the PARCC reading, writing, and math assessment in grades 3-8 in spring 2015.
  2. Unlike other states, if schools learn the new expectations, Louisiana will pursue a course whereby the distribution of test scores does not dramatically shift. Instead, BESE will establish a timeline for raising the bar gradually, over multiple years, as the board has done in the past.
  3. Because of this approach to test scores, letter grades will not dramatically shift either. But in the transition year, BESE would create a "floor" for every school to ensure consistency nonetheless.

I hope you are able to review and consider these recommendations for the December meeting. I look forward to your feedback and continued guidance.


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




John White

Louisiana Department of Education

Twitter: @LouisianaSupe

In This Issue:
Assessment and Accountability


Spring 2014 PARCC Field Test Reminder


Please forward to district test coordinators, where applicable. Pearson recently circulated an e-mail indicating the schools in your district that were selected to participate in the spring 2014 PARCC field test. This communication is a reminder to confirm participation by completing this confirmation form no later than September 18. If there is a compelling reason that any of the schools selected in your district are unable to participate (e.g., insufficient number of devices, insufficient bandwidth, course not offered), please specify the reason within the confirmation form.
If you have any questions, contact Bernadette Morris at

EOC Tests - Technology Updates for 2013-2014


Online testing is becoming more prevalent in Louisiana schools; therefore as districts and schools prepare for another successful year of End-of-Course (EOC) testing, Pacific Metrics and the Louisiana Department of Education want to ensure that all schools have the latest and most up-to-date information related to technology and test delivery enhancements currently underway.


For the 2013-2014 school year, EOC tests will be delivered on both the Windows and Macintosh platforms. Click here for a list of supported systems/browsers, including bandwidth projections and the latest version of the EOC secure browser. The EOC Technology Guidelines will be available on September 27, 2013, on the EOC Tests home page under Technology Resources.


For questions, contact the EOC Test Help Desk at 1-866-810-1095 or

District Support
Graduation Support Profiles


Graduation Support Profiles can be used to identify and intervene with first-time 9th graders at-risk of dropping out. This report will identify 2013-2014 first-time 9th graders and their need for support for on-time graduation. Each report contains at-risk indicators to help districts identify which students will need the most support. 2013-2014 Graduation Support Profiles are currently being generated based on data entered into SIS with the following remaining data submission deadlines: September 20 and October 1. The first group of reports (from data submitted on September 6) will be on the FTP site no later than Friday, September 20th.  


These reports will be provided to districts via their SIS FTP site, and SIS data coordinators will securely provide these reports to superintendents and certain charter directors who will distribute to their staff. The Department will be announce when the profiles are delivered via the newsletter and on the Data Coordinators' Portal in Insight.


If you have any questions, please email or email


Clarification for September 26th Teacher Leader Call


As a part of our monthly Teacher Leader webinar series the Department will be leading a call on September 26th to discuss the Believe and Succeed initiative. Through Believe and Succeed, the Department has provided grants to districts to improve schools and create new schools for students. Many teacher leaders requested to learn more about the Believe and Succeed initiative. As such the Department chose to host an informational webinar. This conversation will highlight the districts who are already participating in this initiative including Avoyelles, Jefferson, Natchitoches, and Rapides. The call will also highlight the path forward for districts and educators to apply for grant options for the upcoming school year.


If you have questions or concerns please email  


Literacy Design Collaborative


Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC) participants can register here for the Teacher Institutes on September 24-26. These trainings are designed for cohorts 2 and 3 middle and high school ELA, science, and social studies teachers new to LDC, instructional coaches, and district and school administrators. Click here for a list of participating districts by cohort, and click here for participant expectations and training dates. 


If there are any questions, please email


Advanced Placement 101 Webinar


The College Board will be hosting a webinar to provide an overview of Advanced Placement (AP) explore materials that will introduce students and parents to AP and upcoming developments and changes to the program. Participants will learn strategies to promote early awareness of AP and maximize the effectiveness of school counseling services. These strategies can be used to draft a plan for AP in their school/district. Participants were required to register by September 16th, 2013.



If you do not receive registration confirmation, please contact the Southern Regional Office at or Tristen Guillory, Louisiana AP Program Administrator, at 


Supporting Teachers in English Language Arts Planning


Dr. Tim Shanahan recently released shared some thoughts about the sample English language arts (ELA) year-long plans posted in the Toolbox. He commended the use of texts within these plans and the bundling of these texts into grade level appropriate sets. He also provided some feedback about how to use the standards in conjunction with these texts. In response to this feedback, members of the Content team reached out to Dr. Shanahan to learn how we could improve our resources and to share with him our sample unit plans. After speaking with him, he agreed that referring to both the sample year-long plans and the sample unit plans for planning guidance can clear up confusion that may exist. We have added two links on the year-long plans to direct teachers to the sample unit plans. Teachers should refer to the appendix of each sample ELA unit plan to see examples of how to use specific standards with each text. 

School and Course Choice

Course Choice - Student Progress Monitoring


Course Choice providers submit a grade in progress report for every student on the 1st and 15th of each month.  The first progress grades were made available for review on September 16, 2013 in the Louisiana Course Choice online portal.  School counselors may log in at any time to view the grades in progress reports for students registered in a Course Choice class. The Counselor Assistance Center also is available to support parents, students, professional school counselors, and course providers for the Course Choice program. 


To reach a Course Choice Counselor, please call 1-877-453-2721 or email


Statewide Superintendents Collaboration - Reimbursement Reminder


The last day for submitting hotel reimbursements from the Statewide Superintendents Collaboration will be September 27, 2013. As a reminder, districts can be reimbursed for up to 4 participants' hotel rooms (at the state rate) with proper documentation. Click here for the reimbursement form with instructions on how to submit. Click here to view the list of districts that can still submit reimbursements for participants' hotel rooms.


If your district has reimbursement requests for presenters, please contact

Professional Learning Communities (PLC) at Work Institute - Request for Registration Reimbursement


The due date for districts and charters to submit a reimbursement request for registration fees to attend the PLC event in New Orleans on August 27-28 has been extended to September 20, 2013. Any requests submitted after this date may not be honored. Only districts and charters not receiving SRCL grants are eligible for reimbursement. Please complete the appropriate form below, and submit it to the link on the form by the due date.

 Contact with any questions.
Child Nutrition Program Commodity Storage Cost Reimbursement


In recognition of the increased cost of the National School Lunch Program, the Louisiana Department of Education has cut $1.6M from state level administrative expenses to provide districts financial relief in providing meals that meet federal requirements.  This cut allows LDOE to automatically reimburse districts for transaction fees associated with participating in USDA's Commodities Program for the 12-13 school year. To view reimbursement amounts by district, click here.  Reimbursements will be automatically issued to eligible school districts September 2013.   


Please contact John Dupre by email at for additional information. 



Legislative Resolution Study Groups - Updated


The 2013 Legislative Session resulted in several resolutions requesting study of specific topics. The following groups will be meeting throughout the fall and submitting reports and recommendations to BESE and the legislature in the winter. 


  • Bullying Prevention - September 20 and October 10
  • Task Force on Textbooks and Instructional Materials - September 25 and October 23
  • Agriculture Education Study Group- 
    September 25 and October 22
  • MFP Task Force- Next meetings on September 23, October 21, November 21, and December 13
    • Information available on the Current Initiatives section of the BESE website


Other Meetings of Interest:


  • Superintendents' Advisory Council - September 19
  • Special Education Advisory Panel - September 25
  • Accountability Commission - October 2
  • Next BESE meeting - October 15-16 


Contact with any questions. 



New Requirements for Driver's License Insurance Process for Minors


Effective September 16, 2013, a new requirement will be added to the driver's license issuance process for all minor applicants.  R.S. 32:431.1 calls for all minor applicants to produce proof the applicant has either received a diploma or is currently enrolled in a high school program. All minor applicants, on or after September 16, 2013, are required to obtain a completed school attendance form from their high school prior to applying for a driver's license.  The form was developed by the Department of Education and has been provided to the Department of Public Safety for dissemination to all schools. Schools may download the template, modify the template with the school's information and then, save the form.  Click here to access this form and clarifying instructions


If any schools have questions regarding the form, please contact 225-925-1795.

Roster Data Submission


Please forward to SIS data coordinators. To assist with the December EOC test pre-gridding process, please submit your roster file to the Department via an FTP site.  Previously, districts submitted these data directly to Pacific Metrics; however, the Department received feedback that this process was cumbersome and led to inaccuracies. As such, the Department is revising its process so that districts are able to submit their rosters directly to this FTP site for this administration of the EOC and for all future administrations of EOC. Please follow these directions and file layoutand please submit via FTP by September 23, 2013. Please note the file layout is slightly different than the layout used last year.


If there are any questions, please email

Application for Early Childhood Teacher / Writers


The Department is seeking effective early childhood teachers with strong skills in instructional planning and deep understanding of the Louisiana Birth to Five Early Learning and Development Standards.  Through a contract ($1,000) with the LDOE, these teachers will create and review a series of developmentally appropriate, high-quality instructional materials based on the new standards for use by educators across the state. 

Interested early childhood teachers in programs serving children ranging from three to five years of age are asked to submit the attached application to Ivy Starns by Tuesday, October 1 at ivy.starns@la.govFor more detailed information, click here.


Education In The News


Louisiana ranked 4th among states for school choice efforts


State superintendent to visit Lafayette next month


State-run early childhood program expanding to all parishes by 2015


La. education chief in Vernon on Oct. 30 and Avoyelles, Rapides on Nov. 7


81% of teachers in Avoyelles have good evaluations

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

LDOE Links

LDOE Website

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