Leaders from the Louisiana Department of Education and Livingston Parish Public Schools visited French Settlement High School on May 1 for a Teacher Advisory Spotlight Session hosted by Math and STEM Teacher Erik Willie.
The session focused on new Math and English Language Arts initiatives taking place at the state level, with updates being made to the LDOE website and resources to better suit the needs of teachers and students.
FSHS Principal Mr. John Chewning and several Math and ELA teachers ranging from Grades 5-12 participated in the meeting.
Mr. Willie began the presentation by highlighting the Teacher Advisory Council's quarterly meetings with Dr. Cade Brumley and various department heads at LDOE to provide input and resolution to various agenda items throughout the year. The advisory panel recommended a permanent adjustment to Bulletin 130 Regulation for the Evaluation and Assessment of School Personnel to allow just one compass evaluation for highly effective teachers per year.
"The most crucial element behind these meetings has proven to be the priceless input of educators from across the state," Willie said. "We continue to have important discussions about policies and practices that will affect the classroom in positive ways."
During the meeting, data was viewed from National Assessment of Educational Progress scores in Louisiana from the last 20 years. These scores rank Louisiana in comparison to all other states. Willie shared that Louisiana saw a positive increase in ELA and Math scores for both 4th and 8th grade, even through the pandemic in 2020. Louisiana has been recognized as having the largest reading growth in the nation for 4th-grade students.
Mrs. Jamie Hebert shared new initiatives and resources available to math teachers that can be found on the LDOE website.
"No doubt, there are still those gaps of unfinished learning that need to be addressed as we continue to teach new material, Hebert said. "We want to give you all the needed resources in conjunction with your current curriculums to make that a possibility."
Mrs. Hebert also drew attention to the family resource page from LDOE, giving resources to families for working on remedial and fluency skills at home.
Mrs. Shantell Lee pinpointed goals and resources for teachers to access when teaching ELA. The Louisiana Department of Education is currently emphasizing developing strong literacy skills specifically in 4th -8th grade. Many of these students missed out on fundamental lessons after their school year ended abruptly in 2020 due to COVID.
Mrs. Joni Landry wrapped up the meeting reminding all in attendance that the state department will continue to offer resources that best fit the teachers' and students' needs.
"We are always readily available to answer questions. I'll make sure that you are pointed to the right person and the proper resources. We truly want to thank you for all that you do as educators. French Settlement High School continues to have an outstanding reputation for academic excellence. We are always hearing great things at the department," she said.