Jun 04, 2015

Representatives from Every Public School in the State Prepare for 2015-2016 School Year

NEW ORLEANS – More than 5,000 Louisiana educators, representing every school in the state, gathered today at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans for the third annual Louisiana Teacher Leader Summit. The Teacher Leader initiative is a nationally-recognized effort to ensure classroom educators are making decisions and visibly leading academic changes in the state. This year, Teacher Leaders themselves will lead many of the approximately 250 professional development sessions being held at the Summit. Topics include challenging standards and curriculum, unifying the early childhood system, and Jump Start career pathways.

State Superintendent John White started the two-day event by praising educators for five years of hard work in raising academic standards in Louisiana. He also explained how the standards review process kicking off this summer will ensure clarity, consistency, and transparency.

“I applaud all of our state’s dedicated, hard-working educators as they prepare for another successful year in 2015-2016,” said State Superintendent of Education John White. “Our kids are as smart and capable as any in this country. The most important thing we can focus on is making sure the expectations we hold for them are as high as they are in any state in America.

The Teacher Leader initiative was created at the urging of teachers who believed classroom educators needed a greater voice in statewide academic decisions. Louisiana’s Teacher Leaders held their first statewide summit in April 2013 with 2,000 educators in attendance. Over the last two years, the number of Teacher Leaders has grown to more than 5,000. During that same time, the Department of Education has expanded the opportunities available to Teacher Leaders, offering a blend of in-person and online trainings not just during the summer but throughout the school year. These professional development opportunities cover a variety of topics related to ELA, math, social studies, science, early childhood education, and special education. For a full calendar of 2015-2016 Teacher Leader events, please click here.

Districts and schools nominate Teacher Leaders based on their leadership ability and the positive impact they have had on students and peers. Teacher Leaders foster collaboration among fellow educators creating both formal and informal opportunities for teachers to reflect on student learning results, access and adjust planning tools to meet student needs, and share instructional best practices to help fellow teachers improve.

In April, the Department released a comprehensive package of supports for districts and principals, including its first ever Principal Instructional Guidebook. This series of Guidebooks offers educators a simple reference guide for state policies and tools. Each Guidebook provides practitioners with detailed information on state policies, statewide programs, and access to tools that help individual educators achieve goals with their students. Likewise, the guidebooks provide a variety of options for use in the distinct, unique plans each district and school should have for itself and its students. The Department released the following guidebooks for districts and schools:

As a special recognition for the dedication and hard work of Louisiana’s educators, the Louisiana House of Representatives passed House Resolution 139 and the Senate passed Senate Resolution 172 commending the 2015 Louisiana Teacher Leaders and Teacher Leader Advisors and designating June 4, 2015, as Louisiana Teacher Leader Day at the state capitol.

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