Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter View our videos on YouTube                                                                    October 15, 2013

Superintendent's Message

Dear Colleagues:

 

I first want to thank all of you who have provided feedback on the state's elementary and middle school transition proposal. The proposal details accountability and testing provisions as the state adopts the Common Core State Standards in reading, writing, and math. It also articulates the basic philosophy that as we make this transition, started in 2010, we should be sure not to denigrate schools, humiliate educators, or punish students. Please send me a note if you have further thoughts on this proposal. BESE will consider elementary and middle school policy at its December meeting.

 

This will be followed by consideration of high school policy later in the winter and into spring. I shared some initial thoughts on the superintendents' call last night and look forward to further discussion in the months ahead.

 

As we make this transition, of course, we should provide teachers the time and guidance necessary to learn the new standards. The Department continues to update the Classroom Support Toolbox, including a large addition of resources last week. Additions included. 

  • Common Core FAQ: Click here for a list of frequently asked questions about the standards and grade-by-grade parent guides created by the National Parent Teacher Association, click here.
  • New Questions in EAGLE: To support educators as they work to implement the standards, the Department has also added several hundred math and English language arts sample questions to the EAGLE assessment tool.
  • New Practice Tests: Click here to see the new ELA and math practice tests that were recently added to the Teacher Support Toolbox. Educators now have access to twelve full-length practice tests to aid and enhance student learning throughout the year.  
  • Early Childhood: The Teacher Support Toolbox now offers resources designed specifically for early childhood teachers to support early childhood teachers as they set goals based on the Birth to Five Early Learning and Development Standards, plan and teach, and evaluate results. This includes a scope and sequence for ELA and math as well as a sample unit lesson plan. Click this link for access. Additional resources will be forthcoming.

The Department has also officially launched its informal instructional materials review and recommendation process for 2013-2014. Through this process, the Department will release reviews of submitted free and for-purchase math and ELA instructional materials.  Reviews will be released on a rolling basis beginning in December to support educators as they make choices about resources to use in their schools and classrooms.    

 

Finally, last week the Department announced the names of 60 Teacher Leader Advisors from across the state who will share responsibilities for further developing the toolbox.

 

None of these items - Teacher Leaders, tools, and recommended materials - can on its own provide the support our teachers need. But when put into combination with one another, allowing teachers the time to reflect and to plan, they can form a framework for a change process that will allow our teachers to grow and our students to thrive.

 

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

 

 

John  

 

John White

Louisiana Department of Education

Twitter: @LouisianaSupe

In This Issue:
District Support

Louisiana Standards Resources

 

The National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) has created short grade and subject-specific handouts for families in both English and Spanish. These resources provide specific examples of what students will be working on at each grade in English Language Arts (ELA) and math. Additionally, these resources offer parents suggestions about how they can best support their students at home as schools transition to these more rigorous standards. Click here to access these resources. Additionally, click here to find answers to frequently asked questions about the Common Core State Standards. 

 

Handbook for Parents of Children with Disabilities

 

The Handbook for Parents of Children with Disabilities has been revised and updated. Changes include a supplemental component that describes the special education process in Louisiana, as well as a glossary and a list of agencies that families can contact for additional information and support. The handbook can be accessed on the Department's website by clicking here. For more information, contact your IDEA point of contact.

 

Student of the Year Awards Program

 

The Louisiana Student of the Year Awards Program is scheduled for April 2014. The written guidelines for the program can be accessed here. The student selection information, timeline, portfolio requirements and student application can be accessed here.

 

Please complete the district committee members form and return it by e-mail Marian Johnson at the contact information noted below. This information will be used to secure the regional committees and to communicate directly with the coordinators on upcoming events and activities related to this program.

 

If you need further assistance, please contact Marian Johnson at marian.johnson@la.gov.

Content

 

Advanced Placement Course Authorization

 

School administrators should renew previously authorized AP courses that will be taught in 2013-14 by October 15.  This is also the preferred date by which to identify the correct teacher for the courses being taught on the School Status page. This is not a deadline but instead, a preferred submission date, to ensure the inclusion of these courses in the initial publication of the AP course ledger in November.

 

To remove an authorized course, please AP Course Audit Helpline. For additional information, please contact Tristen Guillory, AP Program Administrator, at tristen.guillory@la.gov

Course Choice Year Two Provider RFA 

 

During the second year of Course Choice implementation, the Department is seeking to attract applications from course providers who can provide innovative courses and services to students of all interests and abilities for example:

  1. Expanded Opportunities for Career-Oriented Students - innovative ways to expand access to high-value CTE training courses (construction crafts, advanced manufacturing, transportation, energy, healthcare) for students in more remote school districts;  
  2. ELA and Math Skills-Based Content; and
  3. Student Services (counseling, rehabilitative services, test prep)

The RFA process entails: 1) on-line applications 2) in-person or virtual interviews 3) independent panel reviews and 4) BESE review. For more information go to http://www.louisianabelieves.com/courses/course-choice or email coursechioce@la.gov.

 

American and Foreign Associate Language Survey

 

Please forward to all world language supervisors. To identify the number of American and foreign associate language instructors for the 2013-2014 school year please complete the attached survey and return to the Department by Friday, November 15, 2013.

 

LEAs should collect all data from individual schools and submit LEA totals on a single form or forms that includes data from the entire district. Charter school principals should return forms directly to the Department. Foreign associate teachers and all Louisiana teachers, including any high school teachers who have been assigned one or more sections in grades PreK-8, should be included. Completed forms can be emailed, mailed, or faxed to David Beste; specific directions are on the attached form, here.

Assessment

EOC Tests Webinar: Preparing for the December 2013 Administration

 

An informational webinar will be held on Friday, November 1, 2013 (10:30 − 11:30 a.m.) for district test coordinators and district technology coordinators who will be preparing for the December 2013 EOC administration. Topics include: assessment administration, online assessment procedures and resources, assessment development and reporting updates, an overview of new system features, accountability code updates, and help desk services and support.

  • Click here to join the webinar.
  • Toll free number: 877-848-7030 / Meeting access code: 9854078#

To prepare in advance for the webinar (for all devices), click hereIf you have any questions, please contact Dana Maxie at

dana.maxie@la.gov.

 

 

Including Seniors in 2014 ACT Testing 

 

Please forward to district test coordinators. During last year's March 2013 ACT assessment, districts were permitted to test seniors who had already taken the ACT at the districts' expense. If a district wishes to pay for seniors to be tested this spring during the state-wide ACT administration on March 18, 2014, then districts will need to sign an agreement with the Department's finance office by Friday, November 29, 2013.  The cost has increased from $32 per student to $33 per student.

 

If you wish to include your seniors in the state ACT testing, please complete the attached agreement and fax to 225-219-0474.

 

If you have any questions, please contact Bill Morrison at bill.morrison2@la.gov.
Policy

Please see below for a list of dates and times for upcoming task force meetings. 

Meeting:

When/Where:

MFP Task Force

October 21, 2013

10:00 am

Thomas Jefferson room

Claiborne Building

Agriculture Education Task Force

October 22, 2013

1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Zachary High School

Instructional Resource Task Force

October 23, 2013

9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Louisiana Municipal Building

 

Finance

 

LEA Extended Sick Leave Survey

 

Forward to business managers of city/parish public school districts, lab schools and LSMSA.  The survey was due by Friday, October 4.  Attached is a summary indicating which LEAs have not responded. Act 788 of the 2012 Regular Legislative Session requires LEAs to annually submit a report to the Department on the number of extended sick leave requests granted each year, the number of leave requests denied, and the reasons for such denials. Complete this survey regarding extended sick leave for FY2012-13. Responses were due by Friday, October 4.

 

If you have any questions about submitting this survey you may contact zalinsky.matthew@la.gov.   

 

FY 2013-2014 IDEA Part B Maintenance of Effort (MOE) Verification

 

Please forward to business managers and financial officials of public school districts, charter schools, lab schools and state agencies. The IDEA MOE verification application for FY 13-14 grants is now accessible through the Grants Management System (eGMS). The deadline for submission is November 15, 2013.

 

The following steps must be completed:

 

  1. Assure that the FY2012 IDEA MOE confirmation in eGMS is complete and marked final. (MOE confirmations must be marked "Final" for Department staff to pre-populate the FY2012 data into the FY 2014 verification. If you have not completed the FY2012 confirmation, you must complete it before you will be able to complete the FY2014 verification.)
  2. Complete the IDEA assurance form located under "assurances" in the LEA central data section; and
  3. Upload a copy of the LEA's general fund budget as support for the data submitted. Clearly identify on the general fund budget those amounts that are used to meet maintenance of effort in the verification calculation.

If you have questions regarding any review, contact Nakia Jason, Federal Audit Supervisor at Nakia.Jason@la.gov or 1-877-453-2721 or Jason Berard at Jason.Berard@la.gov for eGMS technical inquiries or support.

Data

2012-2013 Audit Assurance Information

 

Please forward to all LEA business managers as well as all PEP, SIS, CUR and SPS data coordinators. The FY2012-2013 audit assurance information packet and glossary are linked here and here. Data will need to be prepared as directed in the packet and provided to your independent auditor. The results of the audit are due to the legislative auditor's office by December 31st. A Louisiana Department of Education contact name has been assigned to each of the schedules and is available to assist if guidance is needed.  

Student Programs

Title I, Part A - Annual Comparability Report

 

LEAs should be able to document that the services provided with state and local funds in Title I schools are comparable to those provided in non-Title I schools in the district. Please see attached instructions to complete and submit the Comparability Report via email to your NCLB point of contact, by Monday, November 4, 2013

 

Title I, Part D, At Risk Youth Annual Count

 

The Louisiana Department of Education has an annual requirement to collect the number of students enrolled in residential facilities for at risk children located in LEAs. The annual report is required by the U.S. Department of Education, and the information is used to determine Title I funding for the 2013-2014 school year. LEAs should consult with all local institutions for at risk children located within their geographical boundaries, verify the information received from local institutions, and email the attached form to your NCLB point of contact by December 13, 2013. Please be reminded that the completed documents from all local residential facilities and records supporting the report must be maintained at the LEA.

 

If any additional information is required, please contact your NCLB point of contact.

 

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ReNEW Schools makes sure childrens' 'Future Takes Flight'

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

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