At least 10 teachers have agreed to stay at embattled Lycée Français de la Nouvelle-Orléans amid promises that the school is on track to hire a permanent leader and add new members to its governing board, the school’s top administrator reported.
Interim CEO Gisele Schexnider wrote in an email to The Lens late Monday that the charter school met the Council for Development of French in Louisiana’s recent demand that it secure commitments from at least 10 French exchange teachers willing to remain for the 2013-14 school year.
Last month, the Council for the Development of French in Louisiana’s executive director Joseph Dunn sent Gisele Schexnider a letter reporting that as of Feb. 20, only four of the school’s 18 teachers planned to remain.
Dunn told Schexnider that if Lycée could get written assurances from at least 10 teachers by March 15, that would demonstrate a “good-faith effort” in the face of an “unprecedented exodus.”
Two weeks ago, State Superintendent John White visited the school and asked faculty members to stay at the school, despite recent leadership turmoil. He promised change — but said that change would take time.
White’s March 6 request appears to have worked. A few days later, Lycée’s board adopted a host of changes to its bylaws that include requiring all current board members to resign in June and reapply for the positions if they still want to serve.
White first intervened at the 340-student school in December, shortly after its second chief executive resigned within a year. He worked with the Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools to secure a consultant to aid in the school’s effort for stable leadership.
CODOFIL helps supply the school with teachers certified in the French national curriculum, enabling a unique opportunity for students to earn both an American diploma and French baccalaureate.
On Monday, Schexnider also wrote that some teachers were leaving because their work visas were expiring at the end of the year and others had originally planned to only stay until the end of this year. She did not specify numbers for either.
Dunn did not return phone or email messages seeking comment Monday.