Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter View our videos on YouTube                                                                      October 1, 2013

Superintendent's Message

Dear Colleagues:


In a time of more rigorous expectations for students, Compass is a tool for helping educators define high expectations.


As this year's Compass Annual Report shows, several districts that established a high bar for classroom observations led the state in student achievement gains. The same is true of 63 schools that ranked among the top in both teaching expectations and student achievement.


The same is also true for Student Learning Targets. Eighteen schools both set very ambitious targets and ranked among the state's top gaining schools. In these schools, teachers and administrators chose to set the bar high and to accelerate the rate of improvement for each child.


Students come to our classrooms having experienced different rates of success in the past. Each student is on a particular trajectory, culminating in his or her prospects after high school. Last February, as an enhancement to the Compass system, the Department committed to providing trend data that would show educators a projected score reflecting a student's historical trajectory. This week you will receive those data, called Student Achievement Trend Data.


We could take these data to be predictive of a student's future successes, but they are not and should not be taken as such. For one, there is no accurate way of projecting the future. But more important, our job as educators is to shape the future, not to accept a historical trajectory as destiny.


Instead, educators should use the information as one source to inform what they and their students will achieve together this year. The data will not serve as Student Learning Targets, for example, but the data provides background to assist in setting ambitious but reasonable Student Learning Targets. Understanding the student's historical trend will also help teachers understand the ultimate value-added score produced at the end of the year.


The data will be shared with districts this Friday, and we will be hosting webinars to walk through how to access and use the data.  Your teams should determine how best to distribute this information to schools and teachers, and I'm asking that districts treat this data with the same sensitivity as LEAP and EOC data to ensure we are protecting the privacy rights of our students. If we can do more to ensure you have access to this information and are able to use it effectively with teachers, please don't hesitate to contact your network staff.


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 Wednesday, October 9th, at 10:30 am CST. You may begin dialing into the call 15 minutes in advance. Please follow the instructions below.


To join the Superintendents' October 9, 2013 Meeting: 

  • Click here to log in. 
  • Select: Participant Application
  • When prompted, enter the Meeting Access Code: 9725937#
  • Dial into the Phone Bridge: 866-253-5757 (Use this phone bridge only; do not use the AT&T phone bridge listed on the link above.)
  • When prompted, please give the Meeting ID #: 1624311
  • 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. 



Student Achievement Trend DataFTP


On Friday, districts will receive a report with student achievement trend data for all students in value-added grades and subjects. This data illustrates how students have performed historically and it represents how students would perform if their historical trend were to continue.


The following additional resources are available in the toolbox to support educators' use of value-added targets: 

Districts should treat student achievement trend data with the same level of security precautions as they do LEAP/iLEAP student test results. Reports will be available on the Department's secure FTP site, to which SIS Coordinators have access. Compass contacts and SIS Coordinators will receive an email when the reports are available on the FTP site. Districts should develop a plan to share this data with principals and teachers in a secure manner. Schools should only have access to data for  students in their school and teachers should only have access to data for the students they are currently teaching. Teachers should not have access to student social security numbers. 


To learn more about how to use and distribute student achievement data, please register for a webinar taking place this week. Both district Compass contacts and data coordinators should plan to attend one of the webinars.


**Please note that the times for both webinars have changed**

  • Option 1
    • Date: Wednesday, October 2
    • Time: 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
    • Click here to log in to webinar.
  • Option 2
    • Date: Thursday, October 3
    • Time: 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    • Click here to log in to webinar.  

Compass Information System Enhancements


The Department will release the latest series of enhancements to the Compass Information System (CIS) this Thursday, October 3rd. The enhancements, detailed below, are designed to accommodate varying approaches to conducting observations and site visits: 

  • Redesigned observation and site visit screens: These screens will have a more flexible design and will enable observers to upload notes and other documents. These screens now accommodate multiple approaches to scoring as well.
  • Flexible evaluator assignments: Allows multiple evaluators for a single employee and the ability to rate any rubric component.

***Data entered prior to October 3rd will remain as entered.


A series of CIS user guides were released last week and provide guidance on how to use these enhanced screens. 

Please contact with questions. 


Updated District Compass Contact and Administrator List


A new district compass contact and administrator list can be found in the Compass library. This list includes contact information for individuals in each district or charter school who can provide support to teachers and leaders with respect to the Compass process and the Compass Information System. 

District Support

District Events Calendar Launched

A calendar of important dates for districts has now been posted on the Department's website. The calendar will include information for the following types of events: trainings, assessments, monitoring, data submissions, deadlines, openings or releases, meetings, and other dates impacting districts statewide.


Calendar features include color-coded event titles that are clickable for more information, a search feature, weekly, monthly, and agenda view formats, and a print option.


Assessment and Accountability


2013-2014 DIBELS Data Reporting Deadlines


Please forward to DIBELS Coordinators. DIBELS NEXT is administered three times during the school year to monitor reading. If you have questions regarding the administration requirements for DIBELS NEXT, e-mail or Please note that the fall 2013 reporting deadline has been extended to Friday, October 11, 2013.



DIBELS NEXT Benchmark Assessment Collection

Beginning of the DIBELS NEXT Assessment Window

Length of the DIBELS NEXT Assessment Window

Timeline for Entering Data into the DIBELS Data System



Fall 2013

1 week after the district's starting date of school

three weeks or 15 school days

within two weeks after the assessment period ends

September 30, 2013

This deadline has been extended to Friday, October 11, 2013

Winter 2014

1 week after students return to school from the winter break

three weeks or 15 school days

within two weeks after the assessment period ends

February 21, 2014

Spring 2014

5 weeks before students' last day of school

three weeks or 15 school days

within two weeks after the assessment period ends

May 30, 2014




Advanced Placement Workshops


The new cohort graduation index recognizes a score of 3 or higher on at least one Advanced Placement (AP) exam or an International Baccalaureate (IB) exam of 4 or higher as the highest level of achievement earned by a cohort graduate. 


There will be an upcoming professional development opportunity that that will provide information, tools, and strategies to build successful Advanced Placement programs in your schools.


When:  October 11, 2013

Where:  Benjamin Franklin High School

Registration Fee:  $185 per participant for College Board members; $215 for nonmembers            


PD Sessions:

  • AP Workshop - Calculus AB
  • AP Workshop - English Literature and Composition
  • AP Workshop - French Language and Culture
  • AP Workshop - Organizing Your AP Exam Administration: A Workshop for AP Coordinators
  • AP Workshop - Spanish Language   
  • AP Workshop - US History                                

Click here to register online or to download a registration form. For additional information, please contact Tristen Guillory, AP Program Administrator, at

Counselor Support Toolbox


Please forward to chief academic officers, curriculum supervisors, career and technical supervisors, principals, and school counselors. This summer the Department of Education partnered with school counselors across the state to create a Counselor Toolbox. This Counselor Toolbox is now live and available for use.  To learn more about the resources included, join us for an introductory webinar where counselors will share this new tool


Webinar log in information:


Webinar #1

  • Tuesday, October 8, 2013
  • 1:00pm - 2:00pm
  • Click here to log in
  • Toll-Free Number: 888-621-7121 / Meeting Access Code: 369692#

Webinar #2

  • Wednesday, October 9, 2013
  • 10:00am - 11:00am
  • Click here to log in
  • Toll-Free Number: 888-621-7121 / Meeting Access Code: 857737#


If there are any questions, please contact 


Course Choice Year Two Provider RFA


On Wednesday, September 25, 2013, the Department released the year two Course Choice Provider Request for Application (RFA).


The RFA kicks off a four step process for prospective course providers: 1) on-line applications 2) in-person or virtual interviews 3) independent panel reviews and 4) BESE review. The Department has designed the RFA process with multiple feedback opportunities to help applicants submit their best possible packages.


For the second year of Course Choice implementation, the Department is focused on attracting applications from course providers who can provide innovative courses and services to students of all interests and abilities.


An informational webinar about the Course Choice Program and an overview of the RFA process will be held this Thursday, October 3, 2013, at 3:30 pm.


Webinar information below:

  • Click here to log in.
  • Toll free number: 877-336-1829 / Meeting access code: 5434828# 

For more information go to or email


Impact of Federal Government Shutdown


The shutdown of the federal government should not immediately impact parish school systems. Grants to states under Titles I (Part A, Neglected and Delinquent, Homeless, Migrant, and School Improvement) and II, IDEA Part B, and Technical and Career Education funds are provided through a method known as advance appropriation. These grants were funded in the 2013 appropriation with a second installment due today, October 1 for the school year that began July 1. Since these funds were previously appropriated, they require no further Congressional authorization and are not impacted by budget delays or a government shutdown.


Our current USDA funding should be sufficient to carry us through for the next 30 days until the new funding can be authorized. This is also true for TANF (JAG and LA4) and CCDF (Early Childhood Pilots) funding received through Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS).


Additionally, we have been informed that there will be G5 system support staff available in order to allow the Department to make drawdowns to reimburse claims by the LEAs.


If you have any questions, you may email or call 225-342-4989.


AFR Data Submission


The goal for the FY2012-13 AFR submission was to transition "Filebuilder" users to the "Online Update" functionality within the AFR collection system. However, the system is experiencing difficulties with the "Online Update" function, so we have determined that it is necessary to disable this option. We have made "Filebuilder" available to those who do not have the capability to extract a ready-made file for "Upload" from your accounting system. Please note that the "Upload" feature is working properly; it is only the "Online Update" feature that has been disabled.


If you have already used the "Online Update" feature to load your data, please look at the "inquiry" page and verify the accuracy of your data.  If this data needs to be corrected, please contact David Kibbe for assistance. If you need to use file builder, we have updated the tool and it is located here. If you have never used file builder and need assistance, please also contact David Kibbe. You may contact at To accommodate for these technical difficulties, the Department will consider your AFR submission to be timely if it is submitted no later than close of business Friday, October 4, 2013. 


Thank you for your patience as we work toward a resolution for these issues, and we apologize for any inconvenience. We are working towards a smoother process for future submissions. 


Education In the News


State superintendent visits Caddo pre-K pilot


Six schools earn blue ribbon status


Two Jefferson Parish public schools named Blue Ribbon Schools


Jefferson Parish schools work to expand Advanced Placement participation


Louisiana needs to stick with Common Core standards: Editorial


Common Core a conservative win for La.


Two groups praise Common Core


Gov. Bobby Jindal calls Department of Justice move 'PR stunt'


Cantor blasts Justice lawsuit against La. vouchers


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

LDOE Links

LDOE Website

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