Dear Leaders, 

Now that the school year is well underway, I wanted to reach out on behalf of the Schools Team at NSNO. Amidst all the excitement of this moment, I recognize that your role can also be lonely and overwhelming. As a principal, I felt I had one of the best jobs in the world, and also among the most exhausting. There are tough questions to answer, hard decisions to make, and the stakes are so high. 

I also know you are supporting your teams and your scholars as they work through the very real trauma of the past few years. Our children in particular have been through a lot. 

As you support them, we are here to support you. Many of you already call me when you have a question, want thought-partnership, or simply need to vent. Please continue to do so. I am honored to be a sounding board, a resource, a colleague, and a friend. 

We of course miss Jawan on the team, but April and I are proud to continue the work we started with her, and we are thrilled to welcome our new Director of Programs, Jana Milan, to the team. You can learn a little more about each of us here

Together, we have set team values of empathy, connection, and support, and we will strive to embody that in every interaction we have with you. This year, we are offering many of the resources you’re used to–like our IQI hubs and grants–as well as some new ones. We cover some of those new offerings below, along with some other updates and sign-ups for you to review. In particular, we’re eager to meet with you at your Beginning of the Year IQI meetings. We also know many of you have already completed the school information form we shared last month, but we are passing along the link again for your convenience.  

This work is about curriculum, but it is also about care and collaboration. I believe what happens in one classroom affects the next, and what happens in one school impacts another. A lot of what we will do this year centers around pulling together as one on behalf of our children. We’re grateful to be on this journey with you. 


Nan, April, and Jana

The NSNO Schools Team  

What’s new with IQI this year? Look forward to these two highlights: 

In November, we’ll be revamping the Instructional Quality Initiative (IQI) page of NSNO’s website. It will include a password-protected “resources” link that will lead to spreadsheets listing which vendors and assessments each school citywide is using. We hope this will aid in your collaboration with other leaders and schools citywide. We’ll also have a link called “opportunities for educators” that we’ll update with grant and professional development opportunities, as well as “opportunities for scholars” with camps, clubs, after-school programs and resources that we learn of.

We have partnered with GNO Inc. and will be hosting the first ever STEM Summit for New Orleans K-12 educators this May.

IQI Sign-ups, Check-ins, and Milestones

We are excited to collaborate with many of you this year as part of the Instructional Quality Initiative. Whether or not you are currently a part of IQI, we would like to connect with you and learn about your needs as a school when it comes to curriculum and instructional support. 

  • Please sign up for your beginning-of-the-year check-ins (zoom or in-person) here. If you are a part of IQI, we’ll look forward to discussing your goals and needs. If not, we still want to connect around how NSNO can best support you. 
  • Be on the lookout for the IQI report, which we plan to release soon! 

Great Minds, Wit & Wisdom Louisiana Innovative Assessment Opportunity

Great Minds is working with the Louisiana Department of Education to develop and test a new accountability assessment based on the Wit & Wisdom modules to be used by schools that teach Wit & Wisdom. This new assessment would replace the LEAP test for schools that opt in. If you are interested in participating in a pilot of the Wit & Wisdom Innovative Assessment, please reach out to to arrange a field test for a select number of your schools’ fifth grade teachers and students. For more details about the field test, visit the web page linked here.

Opportunities for Educators

Save the Dates: 2023 Standards Institute Schedule  February 6-10, Anaheim, CAJune 12-16, Denver, COJuly 17-21, Washington DCRegistration: $3,000 per participant; Sign up to be notified when registration opens HERE.

Evaluation Support Request – Important Survey to EducatorsAs part of Louisiana’s Recruitment and Retention Plan, the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) is reviewing the current Louisiana educator evaluation system that was created over ten years ago in order to identify areas for improvement.

The evaluation systems review project utilizes a multi-method system of data collection including synthesis of national research, data collection specific to the effectiveness of the current system and components, focus groups with groups of stakeholders and leader and teacher surveys. A vendor will be selected to develop a new evaluation system that is grounded in research and best practices and has been proven successful. The newly developed system will emphasize professional development to foster continuous growth. Once developed, the evaluation components will be piloted and adjustments will be made prior to rollout across the state.  

The LDOE is asking for the input of educators that are evaluated and educators that are evaluators via a survey. The leader survey and teacher survey close on September 30 and will provide educators an opportunity to share opinions and ideas on the current evaluation system. We would appreciate your help in sharing these links with educators. 

Please email with questions.

Louisiana State University – Quality Science and Math Grant ProgramThe Quality Science and Mathematics (QSM) Grant Program awards grants up to $2,000 to Louisiana PK-12 public school teachers for purchasing non-consumable materials and equipment for standards-based, effective, innovative, and high-quality mathematics, science and STEM course instruction.Grant proposals for the 22-23 QSM application will be accepted through September 11, 2022. Click here for more information.

Opportunity for Scholars

Mock Trial Opportunity for High School Students

Successful Literacy Collaborative Events

We were thrilled to see so many of you at the literacy collaborative sessions this summer. We wanted to share just a few great pictures of the collaboration at work!

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