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A Commitment to Excellence: Professional Learning for Louisiana Educators

May 6, 2024|By Genesis Moreno

Through an ongoing relationship with the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE), the Charles A. Dana Center continues to support Louisiana educators through new professional learning courses—another significant step forward in enhancing math education in the state.
Led by Dana Center professional learning specialists Michael Greenlee, Cassidy Kist, and Mary Davis, these courses are designed to support numeracy skills instruction aligned with new legislation in Louisiana
“Teachers experiencing the Act 260 Numeracy Training will not only expand their knowledge of vertical progressions, but they will also ascertain how students experience the math in grades prior and subsequent to the grade levels they teach,” said Jamie Herbert, director of math for LDOE. “I am also excited that teachers have the opportunity to reflect on how they can impact student dispositions and build the understanding that all kids are math kids.”

Focus Areas

Professional learning courses are focused on deepening content knowledge in numeracy for grade bands 4–8, with supporting content for K–3 and high school. “My hope is that once teachers complete the courses, they will feel more knowledgeable and comfortable with areas of mathematics they were once hesitant to teach,” said Cassidy Kist, lead developer on 4–8 content. 
Educators will learn instructional strategies to facilitate content-rich math lessons and classroom discourse while also building meaningful connections for students. Lessons will be delivered through an immersive learning experience using Canopy, Louisiana’s new professional learning platform.
“High school math educators, who often specialized in mathematics during their postsecondary education, tend to have a strong grasp of the subject. However, the evolving emphasis on numeracy presents a challenge that our training modules aim to address. These modules provide diverse strategies to ensure all students can engage effectively during instruction,” explained Mary Davis, lead developer on high school content.

Numeracy Modules - Louisiana Department of Education
Source: High School Numeracy Modules, Louisiana Department of Education

Empowering educators with the knowledge and tools they need will allow them to successfully implement standards-aligned curriculum and instruction. These evidence-based pedagogies will undoubtedly have a lasting impact on student success across the state.

“Louisiana is one of the first of many states implementing statewide legislation for upper elementary and middle school math. This is becoming a new trend, and it’s exciting to see that numeracy is getting the attention that it's needed for years,” shared Michael Greenlee, lead developer on K –3 content.  

Along with numeracy content for educators, this project extends professional learning opportunities to district and school leaders through real-time data analysis on LDOE’s math programs. School and district-level leaders will be equipped with capacity-building tools and strategies to improve math instruction systematically, including how to gauge transfer to the classroom during observations.

Building on Success 

This project builds upon previous work undertaken by the Dana Center and LDOE over the past seven years.

“The Louisiana Department of Education has shown incredible support for their educators by prioritizing professional learning and growth,” said Greenlee. “Our work in Louisiana since 2017 has supported well over 3,000 educators, benefitting every math student in the state.”  

With over 25 asynchronous modules set to launch for each grade band this fall, this initiative is set to make a significant impact during the 2024–2025 school year. The Dana Center's commitment to providing high-quality professional learning experiences continues to drive efforts in supporting educators and students alike. Together, we are shaping a brighter future for Louisiana's students.

About the Author

Genesis Moreno

It’s been both a challenge and an incredible joy to discover the right combination of words to share an idea. Dedicating my career to exploring creativity has led me to meaningful work that empowers others. Working at the Charles A. Dana Center is where my passion for purpose and creativity meet.