At their monthly meeting, Dec. 17, the board of Audubon Charter School — FAME — voted to induct new board members, re-instate French for 3-year-olds, establish an exploratory committee for a possible Audubon High School, and more.

As part of the annual turnover of board members, former vice-chairman Carlos Zervigon stepped down. New members voted in at the meeting were Eva Alito, Claire McDaniel and Sean Barney. Audubon’s Montessori and French representatives, recently elected off by Audubon’s parental board, were replaced by new parents representative  Jolyn King Mont, and new French parent representative George Thompson.

Along with Audubon’s two existing classes for Pre-K 4-year-olds, it was decided at the meeting to reinstate Pre-K French for 3-year-olds. As the new class will not be funded by the state, it will be a fee-based program. “We really need this though,” said Elfie Chynet, Director of the French school. “Because it’s all about the French they get before first grade.” Chynet’s eighth grade recently won first place in the 2011 Regional Louisiana FIRST LEGO League. Details at

The board also voted to add funding for two new staff members in the special education department by January.

A motion was also passed to start an exploratory committee to map out a loose curriculum and determine the feasibility of an Audubon High School. “This is something a lot of parents have inquired about,” said board chairman Cornelius Tilton.

Discussion included frequent reference to the “swing space,” a series of modular classrooms at Jean Gordon School, where Audubon students will relocate for 24 months to allow for an $11-million renovation of the Broadway campus. The school now has fewer students than were projected in the budget because some parents withdrew their children rather than follow Audubon to the swing space.

In other financial news, Benjamin Hicks, he school’s chief financial officer, complained that the Orleans Parish School Board had overcharged the school by $2,000 a month for the services of an information technology employee.

Along with Chynet, Tilton and Hicks, board members in attendance included Jean-Claude Brunet, Gloria Bingmon, Derrick Bardell, Timothy Jackson, Yvonne Locke, Myriam Maxwell-McGee, Wynn Seaman, Jacqueline Smith and Kemberly Washington.