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BESE August 2015 Meetings

Tuesday, September 15, 2015  
Posted by: Lauren Nero
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Academic Goals and Instructional Improvement Committee

  • Granted a waiver of the secondary school librarian requirement at Delhi High.

  • Granted a waiver of the maximum 26-student requirement for Hammond Westside Montessori School for three accelerated combination classes (grades 1-3). The maximum will be 31 students.

  • Granted a waiver to allow students at the EBR Scholastic Academy and Great Scholars Academy to attend blended classes will gifted and non-gifted students.

  • Granted a waiver to St. Charles Parish to allow the pilot program, Academic Academy, to continue blended classes of gifted and high-potential students.

  • Authorized of New Orleans Video Access Center, Inc. as a course provider for Course Choice Program.

  • Received a report regarding Course Choice noting that in 14-15 there were over 27,000 students enrolled.

  • Considered revising the stakeholders seated on the Special Education Advisory Panel after request from a member of that panel expressed an interest. The procedure for appointing members and how those appointments can be diversified will be provided to the Board during the next meeting.

  • Discussed the fact that replacements to the Louisiana State Standards Review Committee will be chosen from the entity that is legally established.  For example, if member from Lafayette Parish is being replaced, the Lafayette Parish School Board will name the replacement.

  • Approved of revisions to the Louisiana Handbook for School Administrators to align with legislation from the 2015 Regular Session.

  • Approved of a change to the Louisiana School, District, and State Accountability System that allows middle school students enrolled in high school courses to complete EOC exams without having to also take 8th Grade LEAP exam for that subject area.


Administration and Finance Committee

  • Approved 6 contracts totaling $233,400.00 including contracts for ELA Professional Development, Principal Fellowship Program, Legal Services for the LDOE, assistance on evaluation and review of Charter applicants, and for development and maintained of the website for public comment on Louisiana Math and ELA standards.

  • Approved funding for 8(g) Statewide programs including Jump Start Regional Partnerships, Math Instructional Effectiveness Support, Principal Coaching and TAP Expansion, Educator Preparation Pilot Program, Louisiana Supplemental Course Academy, International Choices for College and Career Education, and the Louisiana Renaissance Language Immersion Program.

  • Approved funding for a contract with a consulting company to advise the LDOE in interpreting federal status and regulations and providing training to LDOE staff while assisting with compliance with requirements of federal programs.

  • Approved funding for a contract with LSU Health Sciences Center to provide support to Type 2 and 5 Charter Schools with Special Education Programing implementation.

  • Considered a report from LDOE Legal Counsel regarding La. R.S. 17:3995 passed by the Louisiana Legislature.  The report stated that according to this law and it’s interaction with the MFP, as of July 1, 2015 charter schools must get funding on a per-pupil basis, not an average pupil basis.  Additionally, the funds must be based on the location of the pupil’s home, not the location of the school the pupil is attending.


Educator Effectiveness Committee

  • Approved the Mild/Moderate Special Education Add-on Endorsement Programs submitted by the Louisiana Resource Center for Educator Certification Solutions.

  • Revoked the Level 2 Teaching Certificate of Shelley Dufresne.

  • Issued a Louisiana teaching certificate to Ms. Lisa Broussard

  • Recognized Ms. Carla Jackson, 2015 Louisiana Teacher of the Year and introduced Ms. Kelly Stomps, 2016 Louisiana Teacher of the Year.


School Innovation and Turnaround Committee

  • Approved the following charter school applications: Grambling High Foundation, Inc. (Type 2), Choice Foundation (Type 5), FirstLine Schools (Type 5)

  • Revised the Charter School Performance Compact


BESE Board Meeting

The meeting was called to order with 10 of 11 members present. Superintendent White discussed the emerging Principal Support Network and stated that there has been a task force created and charged with the responsibility of providing feedback and guidance on this network.  The Board then discussed the Louisiana Standards Review Process and the fact that the first meeting of the Review Committee is scheduled to be held on August 19.  There was a consensus that this process must be transparent and the safeguards set in by the compromise (veto power held by Legislature and Governor after the recommendations are made by the Committee) are very important.


There was then conversation about what high-stakes tests will be given during 2015-2016.  Supt. White stated that the tests will be based on the same standards as last year, and the tests will remain reflective of the standards. There are currently sample tests available on the LDOE’s website for educators.  Pres. Roemer commented that although this has been a very trying time, there have been policies put into place for this transitional period of time- namely that school performance scores will be determined on a curve.


The actions of the Academic Goals and Instructional Improvement Committee were approved.  The actions of the Administration and Finance Committee were approved.  During that approval process, there was additional discussion about charter school funding with the LDOE committing to providing documentation about how MFP formula is implemented and how this law will effect that funding.


Kira Orange-Jones, noted that the 10th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina is approaching.  She noted that the educational community has noted the tremendous growth.  Ms. Orange-Jones invited the Board to join her at the Katrina +10 Youth Rise Rally that will be held August 28 at 10 a.m. at the UNO Lakefront Arena that is equal parts a celebration of progress in education in the decade since Hurricane Katrina and a motivational rally for New Orleans students.


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