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Superintendent's Message

Dear Colleagues:

 

As the calendar year turns, we begin to turn our attention toward preparing for the next school year. We plan curriculum, recruit educators, budget, and plan key strategies. If our planning stays on pace, we help our schools to be ready for upcoming challenges and changes. If we lose pace, the next school year can be consumed just with catching up.

 

The long, gradual transition to higher expectations for Louisiana's children has entered a new phase. This December students took End-of-Course tests aligned with the new expectations; this spring, the same will be true across grade levels. Next year, our students will take assessments that give them a chance to show what they can do when compared to students across the country.

 

As we enter this new phase, the Department will be visibly increasing the intensity of its support for your efforts, across a number of domains. Our technology readiness survey will report more specific measures of network capacity, for example. The state will produce a curriculum guidebook and will recommend published texts for their alignment to the new expectations. And we will support your planning efforts with easier to use budgeting templates that assist you in uncovering all dollars available for investing in and preserving the strategies most important to student success.

 

In order to promote consistent, focused implementation across your district and across the state, the Department will manage these processes through District Planning Teams you have established. The District Planning Teams will serve as a conduit of information, receiving up-to-date details about assessment, curriculum, technology, budgeting, and other planning decisions, in anticipation of the new school year. On a regular basis, team members will participate in calls and webinars with Department staff detailing these processes,  ensuring a clear line of communication between your district and the State.

 

I will be providing additional information on the District Planning Team this Thursday on the Superintendents' Conference Call. Then, Wednesday, January 15, the Department will host the first call for members of every team statewide, introducing them to the process and to the type of information available through their participation.

 

We have accomplished so much together. As our ambitions grow for our children, so too must our attention to detail and our focus on implementation. I hope the District Planning Team strategy brings our teams and our efforts that much closer together.

 

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

 

 

John  

 

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 Thursday, January 9, at 10:30 am.  You may begin dialing into the call 15 minutes in advance.  Please follow the instructions below:

 

To join the Superintendents' January 9, 2014 Meeting:

 

  1. Click here to log in.       
  2. Select: Participant Application
  3. When prompted, enter the Meeting Access Code: 9725937#
  4. Dial into the Phone Bridge: (866) 814-8483 (Use this phone bridge only)
  5. When prompted, please give the Meeting ID # 1630355
  6. 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. Click here for a list of upcoming conference call dates. 

District Planning 2014-2015

District Planning Calls

 

In response to feedback from educators, the Department is intensifying its support of districts. As districts launch the 2014-15 planning process, the Department is committed to providing districts with resources and ongoing support throughout the process.  The Department will be hosting a set of District Planning calls that will address topics related to curriculum, assessment, technology readiness, and fiscal planning. These calls will be held intermittently over the course of the next several months with more frequent calls early in 2014 and fewer calls as the school year comes to a close. While, superintendents should choose who from their districts participates in these calls, the Department recommends that the district test coordinator, the district technology coordinator and the chief academic officer attend these calls.  In addition, districts can choose to include other staff such as budget managers and federal programs staff.  A scope and sequence of what will be covered on these calls will be available on the first call.

 

  • Dates: January 15, January 29, February 19, March 12, April 2, May 7, June 11 
  • Time:  All calls will be held from 1 pm - 2 pm
  • Login information 
    • Click here to join by computer
    • If you will be participating in both the webinar and audio portions of this event please use your computer's audio for listening versus dialing in by phone. If you do not have speakers or need to join by telephone only, please do so by calling 877-336-1829. Enter this Access Code when you are prompted9725937#

 

***Note: This call is limited in capacity to 250 participants. While we do not anticipate exceeding this capacity, please listen in with your colleagues to the extent possible to keep as many lines open as possible.  Also these calls will be recorded and posted.

Field Test Info Sessions

 

The Department will be holding three information sessions around the state to prepare for the spring field test. These sessions are targeted towards the District Test Coordinators and the District Technology Coordinators.  Given space, we're asking that districts limit attendance to 2 people. The sessions will be recorded and posted for those who miss them.  

 

To register for the event, click here. To see an agenda for the day, click here.

 

Date

Location

Address

January 21, 2014

Cox Communication

2121 Airline Dr, Metairie, LA 70001

January 22, 2014

Claiborne Building

1201 N. Third St., Baton Rouge, LA 70802

January 24, 2014

Bossier Instructional Ctr.

2719 Airline Dr., Bossier City, LA 71111

 

Information about accessing materials for this session will be available next week.

 

District Support

 

Course Choice Program

 

Course Choice provides students and their families access to rigorous college and career course offerings that best match students' abilities and needs.  Course Choice final grades for fall semester and fall block courses will be available in the Counselor Dashboard after 5:00 pm on January 6, 2014. For assistance with accessing grades, please contact tiffany.thomas@la.gov or 225-342-3364. The Course Choice Spring semester begins on January 13, 2014

 

2015 Teacher and Principal of the Year Applications

 

All applications for district nominated Teacher and Principal of the Year candidates are due to excellenteducators@la.gov by 5:00 pm on January 17, 2014. Districts may nominate up to three candidates, one per division, for both Teacher and Principal of the Year. For more information on this year's selection process or materials, please click here.

 

Please send any questions to excellenteducators@la.gov.

 

Common Core Summit for Louisiana Administrators

 

Please forward to principals, assistant principals and curriculum coordinators. The Louisiana Association of Principals is hosting the Common Core Summit for Louisiana Administrators on February 19, 2014 in Baton Rouge to discuss implementation strategies for common core math, ELA, and assessment. Click here for more information.

 

Please email Debra.Schum@laprincipals.org with your name, school, and number attending to reserve your seat.
 

Webinar- Guidance on the Implementation of Act 151 and 291 for Students with Disabilities

 

Please forward to special education directors, charter school operators, school principals, assessment and accountability staff, guidance counselors, and special education teachers. The Louisiana Department of Education will be providing a webinar on Monday, January 13 to provide an overview of the law and it impact on students with disabilities, provide guidance to IEP Teams regarding changes on the IEP form, and review timelines for implementation. If you have questions or need additional information, contact your IDEA point of contact. 
 
Webinar information below: 
  • When: Monday, January 13th at 2:00 pm and again at 3:00 pm
  • Click here to log in.
  • To connect by phone, dial 888-557-8511 / Meeting Access Code: 7068573#
Assessment

 

School and District Accountability Webinar

 

The Department is hosting a second School and District Accountability webinar for those who were unable to join the webinar on December 18, 2013. The webinar is intended to provide an in-depth explanation of the accountability policies recently approved by BESE. The one-page Accountability during transition document describes these new policies.

 

Webinar information below:

  • When: Friday, January 10th at 10:00 am 
  • Click here to join by computer
  • To connect by phone, dial 877-336-1829 and enter access code 9725937# when prompted. 
 

Webinar on LAA 1 and ELDA Test Administration

 

Please forward to district test coordinators, special education directors, school administrators and school counselors. District Test Coordinators are invited to attend the Spring Test Administration webinar for the LEAP Alternate Assessment Level 1 (LAA1) on January 15, 2013 from 10:00-11:00 and the English Language Development Assessment (ELDA) on January 16, 2013 from 10:00-11:00. Topics include student participation, assessment content, design, accommodations, scoring, and reporting. For optimal results, click here to install the AT&T Connect application prior to the scheduled event.

 

Webinar information below:

 

  • When: Wednesday, January 15 from 10:00 am - 11:00 am and Thursday, January 16 from 10:00 am - 11:00 am
  • Click here to log in / Meeting Key (if prompted): 4762356#
  • To connect by phone, dial 877-336-1831

 

Spring 2014 District Test Coordinator Materials

 

District Test Coordinator Materials binders are expected to arrive in districts the week of January 20th. Materials include: 

  • General Information/Updates
  • Test Coordinator's Manuals
  • Test-specific information and forms
  • Accountability Coding
  • Information on Testing Special Populations 

Materials are also available online at DRC eDirect. Additional test administration materials are posted at ACT LouisianaEOC Louisiana, and PearsonAccess (if applicable). 

 

Deadline to Receive ACT Senior Retest Roster and LEA Test Security Policies

 

Please forward to district test coordinators.  The deadline to receive the ACT retest roster is January 15, 2014.  Send final lists to susan.kahn@la.gov. Deadline to receive the Statement of Assurance with the accompanying board-approved LEA Test Security Policy is January 31, 2014. Send both documents to susan.kahn@la.gov.

Content

ACT Student Readiness Award

 

Louisiana will be participating in the ACT College & Career Student Readiness Award program this year. Your LEA has an opportunity to nominate an exemplary student from one of your schools whom  exemplifies performance on the ACT in relation to the College Readiness Benchmarks in English, mathematics, reading, and science. One student will be selected from Louisiana to compete with students from other states.

 

Participating districts should submit a nomination packet and supporting documents to Tristen.guillory@la.gov no later than Friday, January 24, 2014.

 

ACT 359 - TOPS Core and TOPS Weighted GPA Informational Webinar

 

The Department will be hosting a webinar detailing changes to TOPS  as a result of legislation passed last spring via ACT 359. This legislation created incentives for students to take more rigorous AP, IB, GT, and dual enrollment courses by giving courses approved by the state additional weight in the calculation of the TOPS GPA. This new legislation takes effect with the class of 2018 (students entering 9th grade in Fall 2014).

 

Webinar information below: (*No pre-registration required)

 

  • When: Tuesday, January 14th from 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm and Thursday, January 30th from 2:00 - 3:00 pm
  • Click here to log in / Meeting key (if prompted): 2527299#
  • Toll Free: 877-411-9748 / Access code number: 82527299

 

For additional information, please contact Tristen Guillory, AP/IB Program Administrator, at Tristen.guillory@la.gov.

Policy

 

Upcoming Task Force and Commission Meetings 

  

Meeting:

When/Where:

 

Accountability Commission

January 9, 2013

1:00pm

North Dakota Room (1-155)

Claiborne Building  

Data

 

Kindergarten Developing Skills Checklist (DSC) Data Reconciliation

 

Please forward to district kindergarten coordinators/kindergarten contacts for DSC assessment and SIS coordinators. For those who have not completed the kindergarten DSC data reconciliation, please work with your SIS coordinator to download the file from the FTP site and complete the data corrections by January 14, 2014.  Instructions can be found here.      

 

If you have any questions or need additional information about data reconciliation, please contact Susan.Yuan@la.gov. If you have questions about FTP, please contact Sherry.Randall@la.gov. 

 

Dropout Correction and LEADS Data Submission Deadline

 

Friday, January 10th is the final day that dropouts can be corrected. Dropouts directly impact accountability scores, so be sure to review the GED completer file and run all dropout reports, which will identify needed changes. Please email Sherry.Randall@la.gov if you have any questions.

 

The LEADs collection links class/course (CUR), student (SIS and SPC), and instructor (PEP) data.  It is critical for this data to be submitted timely and accurately as it impacts CVR, delivery of student data, Vocational-Education Counts, highly qualified reports, and class size reports. All data must be submitted by Friday, January 10th, so we can provide comparison reports that will assist in ensuring accurate data prior to the system being closed on January 17th.  Please email Yanzi.Liu@la.gov for all PEP questions and Sherry.Randall@la.gov for all CUR and SIS questions.

 

LEADS Portal, INSIGHT Portal 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, January 8th, from 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm, for normal monthly production server maintenance.

Other

 

National Tournament of Academic Excellence

 

The State of Florida is hosting an academic tournament for students across the United States, the National Tournament of Academic Excellence (NTAE). The tournament will be held at the Convention Center of Walt Disney World's Contemporary Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida on June 14 - 16, 2014.

 

The NTAE showcases the excellence of the U.S. educational system and rewards individual scholastic achievement of student participants. To participate in this event, please complete the attached contact form and return to Lisa W. Rawls, Academic Competitions Coordinator. If you require addition information, please see the attached memo from Pam Stewart or please feel free to contact Lisa by phone at 863-968-5168 or email at lisa.rawls@polk-fl.net.  More information can also be found here. 

Education In the News

  

Department of Education announces new Believe and Prepare teacher support grant

 

'Cold feet' hindering efforts to improve education in La.

 

Mood of Louisiana: Education a top priority

 

Economic picture improves for EBR schools

 

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

LDOE Links

LDOE Website

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