Apr 16, 2015

Districts Also to Expand Successful TAP Professional Development Model 

BATON ROUGE, La. – The Louisiana Department of Education today released a comprehensive package of supports for principals including its first ever Principal Instructional Guidebook, along with grant opportunities to fund two key initiatives, an expansion of the successful TAP professional development model and the new Louisiana Principal Fellowship program. Over the past three years, the Department has provided resources and direct support to teachers and districts across the state to support schools’ transition to higher academic expectations. Now the Department is completing that comprehensive instructional support with tools and training for principals. 

The plan for increased support comes on the heels of changes made to the state’s system of educator improvement, Compass. Principals now have greater authority to evaluate staff, just as they are more accountable for student improvement. 

“The success of schools depends on the strength of the leader,” said State Superintendent John White. “We have made changes to empower principals and hold them accountable. It is important we support them so that they can better support teachers and students.” 

The Guidebook is an outline of the state's academic toolbox and a how-to manual for principals in their work with students and teachers. It provides detailed information on state policies, statewide programs, and access to tools that help principals build a team, choose and use curriculum, assessments, professional development, and collaboration and set goals and provide support to teachers. It is one in a series of three Guidebooks the Department will issue this year, covering early childhood and high school programs, in addition to the academic work of principals. 

Districts will apply to receive funds to support implementation of two principal support initiatives: 

  • The Louisiana Principal Fellowship will be a yearlong learning process for cohorts of school and district leaders from a given school system seeking to grow fundamental academic and management skills.
  • The Louisiana TAP expansion will customize the TAP professional development model for schools and school systems interested in growing this best practice professional learning system.  

Both of these initiatives support and bolster changes made to the Compass professional learning system this winter, putting principals fully in charge of developing and retaining the educators in their charge. Perhaps more important, both efforts will focus on helping principals to form learning environments for teachers in their schools, bringing important reforms into one comprehensive plan at the school site level. 

For more information on the Department’s efforts to support principals in 2015-2016, click here.