Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter View our videos on YouTube                                                                 February 18, 2014

Superintendent's Message

Dear Colleagues:


While more than half of Louisiana jobs require an education after high school, only slightly more than a quarter of our citizens have an associate's or bachelor's degree. That does not mean everyone needs to graduate from a four-year university. But it does mean that, in order to thrive, graduates will need both technical workforce skills and strong literacy and mathematics backgrounds.


Raising our literacy standards will take time. In this two-year period of additional time to learn the new standards, the Department is providing increased, intensive support for schools and educators, including detailed information on technology, 2015 tests, and curriculum options


This week the Department is releasing curriculum options for English Language Arts. Included in this packet of guidance are our grade specific curriculum, assessment, and professional development recommendations. Districts, school leaders, and teachers can choose from among these tools to form the plan for teaching and learning that is best for their students in the 2014-2015 school year. In addition, to these suggestions, the Department will be publishing Instructional Guidebooks. These Guidebooks will assist teachers in sequencing yearlong plans, unit plans, and lesson plans. Below is a preview from some of the tools recommended inthis week's release:

  • Unit Plans and Instructional Guidebooks: The Department will release Instructional Guidebooks for every grade K-12. In ELA, these guidebooks will include a full year of unit plans for each grade level.  In fact, they will include more units than necessary to give districts choice in which texts to use.  Attached you can view a sample 6th grade ELA unit plan.  Each unit plan will include a full set of texts (many available online), at least three summative unit assessments and a scope and sequence of daily lessons (with full plans for over 50% of the lessons).  The 6-8 Guidebook and unit plans will be released March 1 in the teacher toolbox.   
  • Instructional Resource Reviews: Districts remain free to purchase any curricular, assessment, and professional development tools they wish. At this time, we have not yet reviewed an ELA curriculum that fully meets the tier 1 criteria.  If districts wish to purchase a curriculum, they should consider the reviews posted.  Each ELA program reviewed has strengths but will need to be supplemented.  The Department's unit plans are designed to address many of the common needs across curricula and they can be used to supplement an incomplete, purchased textbook.   
  • Professional development: Finally, as with Eureka Math, we know that to use our unit plans, teachers and districts will need extensive, ongoing support.  Thus, we will provide in person and virtual training that will begin in June and last the entirety of the school year.  We will release a full PD calendar later this spring.   

Please be sure to join your District Planning Team for the statewide District Planning call this Wednesday at 1:00 pm. On the call, Department staff will detail both math and ELA curriculum releases, professional development support, and will discuss upcoming field test details.


It is easy to talk about raising the bar; it is harder to do the technical work of putting the pieces in place. I thank you, your administrators, and your teachers for doing the hard work of curriculum analysis and choice.


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




John White

Louisiana Department of Education

Twitter: @LouisianaSupe 

In This Issue:

District Planning 2014-2015

District Planning Calls


The Department will host the next District Planning call this Wednesday, February 19th from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm. All of these materials will be referenced during the call:


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 prompted: 9725937.


PARCC website


The Department has developed a webpage dedicated to specific PARCC resources.  This page includes a field test overview, parent guides and teacher guides to understanding the PARCC test.  As resources are added to this site, districts will be notified through the newsletter.


Field Test Accommodations and Accessibility Features


The 2014-15 PARCC tests will offer more features to make the assessment easier to navigate for all students.  The 2013-14 field test aims to test a subset of all of those features.  The field test will include most of the accommodations available to students in Louisiana, similar to past field tests in our state.  The two documents below provide more specific information about the accommodations available to students.  

The 2014-15 PARCC tests will have more accommodations and accessibility features available and details about all of these features is forthcoming.  


Spring 2014 Field Test Support 


Please forward to test coordinators. The recording of the February 18th Field Test Administration Webinar and associated resources can be accessed here. Topics included navigating Pearson Access, registering students for test sessions, assigning accommodations, and staff training resources available.


Hands-on Training for School Level Users


School test coordinators and test administrators are invited to attend one half-day hands-on training session (8:30-11:30 or 12:30-3:30) for participants in Phase I (PBA) of the Spring 2014 Field Test at one of the following locations.  

  • February 24 - Ascension Parish
  • February 25 - Rapides Parish
  • February 28 - Bossier Parish 

Repeat offerings of these sessions will be available for participants in Phase II (EOY) of the Spring 2014 Field Test at one of the following locations.  

  • April 28 - Ascension Parish
  • April 29 - Rapides Parish
  • April 30 - Bossier Parish 

Topics include utilizing the student tutorial, navigating Pearson Access, and managing test sessions. Registration is available on Coursewhere.


Resources from each training will be available here and here.

District Support 


Department Names the 2015 Teacher and Principal of the Year Semi-Finalists


The Louisiana Department of Education recognizes that great teachers and school leaders are critical to student success. Annually, the LDOE, in partnership with Dream Teachers, honors the state's most exceptional educators through the Teacher and Principal of the Year programs.  This year, over 50 districts submitted nominations for Teacher and Principal of the Year. The Department is proud to announce this year's Teacher and Principal of the Year semi-finalists.


All Teacher and Principal of the Year finalists will be honored at the 8th Annual Cecil. J. Picard Educator Excellence Symposium and Celebration on Saturday, July 12, 2014 at the Crowne Plaza Executive Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Congratulations to these outstanding educators! 

Assessment and Accountability


Graduation Certification


Please forward to district test coordinators and accountability contacts. The Louisiana Accountability Data Correction System will open to district users this week for the purpose of (a) correcting data used to calculate the cohort graduation rate and the graduation index for 2012-13 and (b) reviewing documentation for sampled legitimate leavers. 


Additional information, including secure system log-in, a user guide, and an introductory webinar will be sent via email to accountability contacts. 

Test Coordinator Webinar on February 24 and 25th


Please forward to district test coordinators and accountability contacts. On February 24th at 12:00 pm and February 25th at 8:00 am, the Accountability Team will conduct a webinar to review the school performance score formula for the 2013-14 school year, as well as resources to help districts in calculating their scores. 


Webinar login information below:

  • Click here to log in. 
  • Toll-free number: 877-336-1829 / Access Code: 9725937#


E-Rate Assistance                                                                                                                  


Please forward to district E-Rate coordinators. The Department is expanding its support around the federal E-Rate program. The Department will be hosting a series of webinars, application support days, and one-on-one support calls for every step within the E-Rate process. More information about these resources can be found here.


Upcoming webinars


E-Rate Updates

  • When: February 24 9am - 9:30 am
  • Click here to log in. 
  • Toll-free number: 888-808-6929 / Access Code: 9571670  

Upcoming E-Rate In-Person Applicant Assistance Day 


These 1-hour sessions are intended to provide schools and districts with one-on-one support in filing and/or reviewing their 2014-15 E-Rate application and forms. Available support will be provided on a first-come first-serve basis.  There will be 2 slots for each 1-hour time period.

  • Date: February 25
  • Time: 1-hour slots between 9 am - 3 pm
  • Location: Claiborne Building, Baton Rouge
  • Click here to register.

For questions regarding E-Rate Support, please email 


Apple iOS Management and Configuration for Learning and Testing


Please forward to district technology coordinators. As learning and testing evolves to include new devices and technologies, districts must keep abreast of the latest management, configuration and support techniques. The Department and Apple will be hosting three trainings to provide schools and districts with the latest guidance and technical information around iOS devices for both classroom and testing use.


Dates, Locations and Registration Information: 

  • East Baton Rouge: Thursday, February 20 2014 8:30 AM - 11:30 AM Central
    • Iberville Building at 627 N. Fourth St., Baton Rouge, LA 70802
    • Register here 
  • Vermillion Parish: Friday, February 21 2014 8:30 AM - 11:30 AM
    • Vermillion Parish School Board Central Office Technology Center at 220 S. Jefferson St, Abbeville, LA
    • Register here  

For questions concerning these trainings, please email



Data Management Conference Survey


To inform preparation for the upcoming Data Managers Conference, please complete the short pre-conference survey that will allow us to create a conference agenda that meets your needs.


If you have any questions, please contact


MFP and Child Count Data Collection - Due February 21st


IDEA and MFP funding count date is January 31st.  File uploading should be complete and error free by February 21st.  We will check the quality of data submissions and communicate possible count errors the week of February 24th to allow time for correction and ensure accurate funding.  Please be aware that all state data systems will be down at 12:00 pm on February 22nd for a mandatory update by DOA.


E-mail if you have any questions regarding SIS records and for questions regarding SER records


Update - State Systems and Email Down February 21st


In order to ensure that all systems can be backed up prior to the DOA scheduled down time, data collection systems will be shut down noon Friday, February 21st.  The Department's email will be shut down at 5:00 pm Friday, February 21st during which time we will be unable to respond to all emails. All data systems and email should be back online Monday morning. 



Upcoming Task Force and Commission Meetings 






Accountability Commission

April 4, 2014

9:00 am

North Dakota Room (1-155)

Claiborne Building  




SAME/ARMY Engineering and Construction Camp


The Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) is accepting applications from qualified high school sophomores and juniors interested in attending the SAME/ARMY Engineering and Construction Camp, June 22-28, 2014 in Vicksburg, MS.


Forty students from across the nation will be competitively selected to attend the camp. The students will be housed at the 168th Engineer Command Building and will engage in hands-on engineering and construction activities under the mentorship and supervision of SAME professionals and others from the local engineering community.  The program includes interaction with representatives of architecture/ engineering firms, construction companies, Military leaders, and Corps of Engineers' employees. The camp fee is $50, and the deadline for applications is April 4, 2014.


The camp brochure and application are attached. For more information, please contact Henry Dulaney at 601-631-7724, or Jennifer Chambers at 601-631-5562 or visit the website or our facebook page.

Education In the News


Common Core sample test questions unveiled


Louisiana students make gains in AP test scores


Private school enrollment falls 5% in Louisiana, even more in New Orleans, Baton Rouge areas

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

LDOE Links

LDOE Website

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