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Message from the Executive Director


I really can't believe it's been a decade since we started LAPCS. Lots has taken place in those years, including me getting wrinkles and gray hair! Throughout the year, LAPCS staff and I have the opportunity to connect with so many of you in your schools, in the legislature, and at education events hosted by others, but the LAPCS annual conference is the one opportunity to bring the entire charter school community together. No matter your charter type; geographic location; or the number of years in operation, the conference has something that supports everyone's effort to be a great school. From learning sessions to networking to awards and keynote speakers, the conference is planned and hosted entirely with you in mind. I'm excited to have Supt. White for the first time in 3 years as a speaker. While I know his presence and influence is part of your work every day, we look forward to hearing his thoughts on the state of K-12 education in Louisiana and his views on the future of public education. Please join us in New Orleans and be part of the conversation as we look towards the next decade and the role charter schools will play in the lives of so many students and teachers in Louisiana.  
Caroline

UPCOMING EVENTS

in New Orleans
November 7:
Top Shelf Workshop

KEYNOTE SPEAKER ANNOUNCED FOR 1OTH ANNIVERSARY LAPCS CHARTER SCHOOLS CONFERENCE

John White, State Superintendent of Education for  Louisiana, will be a keynote speaker at LAPCS’ 10th Anniversary Celebration at the Louisiana Charter Schools Conference in New Orleans.  White will speak at the annual conference and will address this year’s theme — preservation and longevity. Since taking the position in 2012, Supt. White has been instrumental in improving the outcomes for children in Louisiana.
“Through the determined efforts of John White, our state has seen dramatic gains in education. As a result of his work pushing tougher school standards, students across Louisiana are performing at levels never before seen,” said Executive Director Caroline Roemer. “Louisiana is now a part of the national conversation about education and curriculum changes. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to have Supt. White speak at our 10th Anniversary Celebration.”
White has received many accolades for launching Louisiana Believes, the state’s plan to ensure every child is on track to college or a professional career. White is credited with a turnaround in the state’s education system with literacy gains; improvements on ACT scores of college readiness; and progress on the high school graduation rate. We look forward to hearing more from Supt. White and understanding his vision for continuing education excellence. 
REGISTER NOW!
Registration is currently open for the Louisiana Charter Schools Conference, which will be held on December 13-14, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans. The Conference brings together hundreds of charter school educators, leaders, and supporters from across Louisiana and beyond for a full day of learning and networking. For more information and to register, visit lacharterschools.org/conference.
SUPPORT. PROMOTE. ADVOCATE.  IT'S WHAT WE DO! 

Big Election Win 

New Orleans voters overwhelmingly approved renewing three property tax millages that support textbooks, teacher salaries, and essential programs like dropout prevention. Together they provide nearly $40 million to all schools citywide. Overall, a total of 1048 of 1053 precincts supported the measure.  
Primarily through our sister organization, Louisiana Charter Schools in Action (LCSA), we successfully mobilized an army of supporters to help inform the public about the importance of the millages to your students and schools.

Parent Power at Northshore Charter

Over 150 Northshore Charter School parents attended a Bogalusa City Schools Board meeting this month to discuss their outrage over the board’s plans to deny them the ability to seek an alternative in the Bogalusa City Schools system.
Parents and community members are angry over proposed plans to force the school to cut enrollment by reconfiguring the school from a K-12 to a K-5 school. Northshore parents have collected signatures from nearly 500 families whose children currently attend the school. 
LAPCS successfully helped NCS mobilize parents who were fighting for their choices to send their children to Northshore Charter School.
Principal Dee Dee McCollough said, "When we needed direction in organizing parents to advocate on behalf of our school's future, we called LAPCS. The support and advice given by LAPCS proved to be exactly what was needed to turn out over one hundred parents in support of school choice in Bogalusa."

BESE: ESSA Plan Amended & Approved

At the October BESE meeting, members approved a small amendment to the state's ESSA plan that changes the plan's school rating formula. It increases the point value for Basic proficiency to 80 points instead of 70 (Mastery achievement remains at 100 points); establishes a Mastery floor point value of 85, and permits LDOE to use the best science score out of two years for the upcoming school year calculations. These actions do not make substantive changes to the actual ESSA plan.
The changes apply to the current school year, not the state-issued letter grades for the 2016-17 school year set to be unveiled in the first week of November.  
Part of your LAPCS membership allows you access to exclusive Legal & Policy updates; if you do not receive our Legal & Policy Updates, please email Sarah Vandergriff.
IMPORTANT DATE: March 12, 2018, is the start of the 2018 Regular Legislative Session

Pupil Progression 411

Beginning this school year (as required by law), each LEA is to develop individualized pupil progression and academic plans for third and fourth graders who score "Below Basic" on two or more core academic subjects, as well as offer summer remediation to eighth graders who qualify for T9 programs.
After questions from member schools, LAPCS clarified the following points with LDOE staff:
  • Core academic subjects for purposes of determining PPPs are: ELA, Math, Science, and Social Studies
  • LDE will provide details on PPP submission information, deadlines, and templates in their upcoming October 31, 2017, newsletter to schools

SAVE THE DATE

FROM LDOE: School report cards will be released to the public the week of November 6, as will Early Childhood Profiles. You and your staff will have received briefings on both K-12 reports and early childhood reports prior to the release.

CASH PRIZES UP TO $15,000

Spread the news! Families and students can share their school choice stories in a video and be eligible to win cash prizes (up to $15,000)! The goal of the Choices in Education contest is to amplify the voices of students and families, who are “the real experts on choice,” said ExcelinEd CEO Patricia Levesque.
Prizes will be offered based on the sincerity and passion of the content, including
  • 3 Grand Prize Winners – $15,000 cash prize
  • 3 Finalists – $5,000 cash prize
  • 2 People’s Choice Winners – $5,000 cash prize
Video submissions will be accepted beginning October 25 through December 1.


GUEST COLUMN:


Moving Beyond Founder's Syndrome


BY DR. KEITH COURVILLE, ED. S., PhD 

"Founder's Syndrome," has become a recent "hot topic" in organizational research and human resource planning. When organizations over-rely on their founders to set guidelines, rules, and procedures, the organization may face a great challenge in replicating its success, growing past the “start-up phase,” or handling any transfer of power to future generations. Even worse, in this type of environment, the overreliance on one person may result in an organization that is ruled by decree, fails to use the full potential of its employees, and cannot accept constructive criticism.
However, one does not have to be a founder to fall into the same pitfalls associated with this phenomenon. One trap that leaders should seek to address is our natural "blind spot" in regards to our employees. Employees, even in the best work environment, will not directly share their opinions unless there are structures and practices that recognize and support a communication process. 
As a school leader, you should employ practices such as annual third-party surveys focus groups, and leadership committees to more fully understand the experiences and feelings of your employees. Without structures that promote communication, organizations run a higher risk of burnout, dismay, and lower morale among their employees. Low morale is particularly concerning within schools, where teachers need to be at their best to succeed at the daily interactions necessary to have a positive impact on students. This week, let us all take a moment to reflect on how we can support our employees and become better attuned to their experiences and needs as human beings.
(Dr. Courville is the Executive Director of Associated Professional Educators of Louisiana.)

GRANT OPPORTUNITY FOR A MIDDLE SCHOOL DRUG PREVENTION PROGRAM

The Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence (CSPV), University of Colorado Boulder, is seeking schools containing grades 6-8 or 7-9 in selected states to implement the evidence-based LifeSkills Training (LST) Program, a middle school substance abuse and violence prevention program consistently proven to reduce alcohol, tobacco, and drug use. Positive outcomes also have been shown for violence, risky driving behavior, and other high-risk behavior. LST is recognized as a Model or Exemplary program by various government and private agencies, including the Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development list maintained by CSPV. 
DEADLINE: Applications must be received by October 18, 2018. Sites are encouraged to apply earlier, as priority will be given to applications received by March 30, 2018.


   Louisiana Public Charter Headlines


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MEET OUR 10th ANNIVERSARY SPONSORS | #LAPCS 10

For the last 10 years, Louisiana Charter Schools Conference sponsors have provided value to our attendees through the content, services, and products they provide, both during the conference and throughout the year. They are great sponsors and have a ton of knowledge about the charter movement and about the products and services their companies offer. 
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About LAPCS
The Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools (LAPCS) is a membership organization that serves as a voice for charter schools in Louisiana. We work in partnership with charter schools and community supporters to support, promote, and advocate for high-quality charter schools that provide educational choice to families statewide. Learn more about us and get involved.
lacharterschools.org | info@lacharterschools.org
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