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CAOs from 22 states visit St. John public schools

LAPLACE — Chief Academic Officers representing the state departments of education in 22 states were in St. John the Baptist Parish this month to learn how the St. John the Baptist Parish Public School District is successfully using resources aligned to the Common Core State Standards.

The visit was part of a Council of Chief State School Officers convention taking place in New Orleans.

“Louisiana has made a deep investment in curriculum support and professional learning and other states are trying to learn from that,” said Michael Watson, chief academic officer for the Delaware Department of Education.

The chief academic officers visited classrooms at Lake Pontchartrain Elementary School and East St. John Elementary School to observe how the St. John Public School District has successfully implemented Eureka Math and the Louisiana Department of Education’s Guidebooks 2.0, curriculums aligned to the Common Core State Standards.

Lake Pontchartrain Elementary School teacher Jennifer Brock explains to visiting chief academic officers how she has used Eureka Math to successfully implement the Common Core State Standards in her classroom.

Lake Pontchartrain Elementary School teacher Jennifer Brock explains to visiting chief academic officers how she has used Eureka Math to successfully implement the Common Core State Standards
in her classroom.

Following the classroom visits, they sat down for a roundtable with the teachers.

Watson said the visit allowed him to temporarily step out of the role of a policymaker and focus on his core mission of striving for achievement for all children.

“I’m deeply impressed by the hard work of the teachers,” he said. “This has been helpful to me.”

St. John Public Schools Superintendent Kevin George said the visit shows people are starting to take notice of the progress being made by the school district.

“This is an incredible achievement because they could have gone to places much closer to the conference but they chose to come to St. John the Baptist Parish because of the success we have had in implementing the Common Core State Standards,” George said. “Our students are making gains and our district is receiving recognition because of it.”