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Lycée charter secures commitments from French teachers for 2013-14, school says

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.

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About Marta Jewson

Marta Jewson covers education in New Orleans for The Lens. She began her reporting career covering charter schools for The Lens and helped found the hyperlocal news site Mid-City Messenger. Jewson returned to New Orleans in the fall of 2014 after covering education for the St. Cloud Times in Minnesota. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with majors in journalism and social welfare and a concentration in educational policy studies.

  • Could it have anything to do with the teacher pay allocations in Supt. White’s new MFP? Mr. Arceneaux was at the BESE meeting to give profuse support and gratitude to Mr. White for this specific c onsideration to the French teachers:$file/AF_4-1_FY_13_14_Proposed_MFP_Resolution_Mar2013.pdf

  • Page 15 of 26
    1. Any city or parish school system, Recovery School District, LSU and Southern Lab Schools, Office of Juvenile Justice, New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA), Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts (LSMSA), Type 2 Charter Schools, Special School District (SSD), and Louisiana School for the Deaf and Visually Impaired (LSDVI).employing a Foreign Language Associate or a graduate of the Escadrille Louisiane program shall receive a supplemental allocation from BESE of $20,000 per teacher. The state must maintain support of the Foreign Language Associate program at a maximum of 300 Foreign Language Associates employed in any given year.
    2. These teachers shall be paid by the employing city, parish, or other local public school system or school at least the state average classroom teacher salary (without PIP) by years of experience and degree beginning with year three. The $20,000 supplemental allocation must be allocated to the school where the teacher is employed and the funds used to support the total cost of the teacher salary.
    3. First year teachers will receive an installation incentive of an additional $6,000; second and third year teachers will receive a retention incentive of an additional $4,000. These amounts must be provided to each Foreign Associate Teacher by each school district or school in which they are employed.

  • Nola

    I personally can’t wait to see how many of those teachers actually stay. I wonder how binding those written assurances are? Of course now we will never know. Fudge the truth now, apologize or play dumb later…This seems to be the LFNO modus operandi.

  • frenchfriend

    This is great !!!! this allows Joseph Dunn to stay. If Gisele is exaggerating to get codifil to send teachers that will be on her shoulders when they can’t supply, not Joseph.

  • frenchfriend

    Special treatment for politicians kids and a school for the white kids( no pun intended) is quite obvious

  • jppss parent

    Lee – I appreciate that you posted this, but this “benefit” that is listed above is used by all school districts including Jefferson Parish. This is a statewide not just to the “privileged” which you are alluding to. If a school board employs a foreign language associate then BESE pays for part of their salary.

  • ET

    if the troika remains the teachers will split the place before school starts. how to push them off the board?

  • nickelndime

    For starters, CODOFIL is not going anywhere – never was! “Posturing on paper,” documentation, etc. They are French, for gawd’s sake – not stupid. That 10-French teacher committment was going to happen because of money – it’s always about the money (BESE Board documents). Corruption, greed, power, – typical Lousiana politics. Lee is on point with her comments and documentation. BESE/White/Dobard/Gang like to play “hide the elephant.” Plus, the public has a short attention span. Interest is already waning. Reid has already told them – nothing in writing, speak to no one, yada yada yada. Adams and Reese’s Lee C. Reid’s “MO” – always start with the bylaws (billable hours, billable hours, billable hours…). This school has received differential treatment, and not just because it is a Type 2-State authorized charter school (as White said).

  • Since all the teachers were gotten thru CODIFIL don’t you think for simplicity all visas would end at the same time? If I was a teacher working under the stress of the wrath of these people, I’d sign a letter saying anything to keep them off of my back and go on my merry way.

  • lyceescoutmom

    I love that the same group of miserable, angry people keep up the same string of comments. Is your precious audubon or uber-over-priced EB going to absorb over 300 children if LFNO closes? I think not. It’d be nice to see all of you miserable jerks do something productive to insure that the children of LA and NOLA don’t have to sit on waitlists to get into a decent school. Until you can post something productive, why don’t you all go over to Lusher and complain about their ridiculous track record in regard to children with special needs…or jump off a bridge.

  • nickelndime

    Dear lyceemom, LFNO is not going to close. What part did you miss? I am rolling on the floor!!! Do you NOT realize how thick this web of corruption is?!!!

  • jppss parent

    “Since all the teachers were gotten thru CODIFIL don’t you think for simplicity all visas would end at the same time?”
    Some of the teachers were already here and on their last year of visa anyway. Lycee might not have been their first school to be assigned to when they originally received their visa. I believe a 3 year visa is the standard for incoming foreign teachers. Unless they marry a US citizen during their tenure they have to re-apply or go home to apply again later. This is also standard to any foreign employee working for any company in the US.

  • écoeuré

    Oh great, another one of Paige’s henchmoms. *yawn*

    “Jump off a bridge”. Classy. Also, the “angry people” just saved your school, and gave hundreds of new kids the opportunity to pursue French immersion in the New Orleans area without having to kneel before Zod. Get over yourself.

  • French Cliché

    This is a soft ten and there is nothing in stone, or binding on the teachers at this point. The real decision time for them is in May.

    If the board, and this incompetent academic “director” don’t leave, don’t count on more than half this number.

  • gladtobeEBparent

    I am an EB parent and want to

  • gladtobeEBparent

    Why do you assume that the “angry people” are affiliated with Audubon or EB? If I may say so, you sound a little angry yourself, and perhaps you should be, given that there are problems at LFNO. As an EB parent, I should point out that most of us either don’t give much thought to LFNO (we focus on own our school and how to improve it) or we hope that LFNO gets its act together and fulfills its mission. Perhaps you should focus on your school and refrain from maligning the other two amazing schools that LFNO may become some day. As as for the tuition as EB, I am not wealthy but am certainly glad I made the decision to put my child before money and not jump on the LFNO bandwagon. I sacrifce a lot to send my child to EB and do so happily because I think my child is worth smaller class sizes and a stable environment with involved parents and teachers. Other than Catholic schools, I challenge you to find another private school is the area that cost less than EB. In any event, good luck with your school. We are all rooting for you but we are far too happy at other schools to consider jumping off a bridge.

  • Dori

    Speaking of EB, how long are they going to make us wait to send out acceptance letters for K? They won’t even give a date. There’s several LFNO parents that will happily pay up to get out. Although, other private schools are already asking for hefty deposits, and I’m about to pay/enroll for a non-immersion school rather than risk my child having to return to Lycee. Better hurry up guys.

  • gladtobeEBparent

    I will find out and respond soon. Thanks for asking.

  • frenchfriend

    Please refrain from asuming we are all a “group of angry and Miserable people”. If your husband had not told us all to NOTcomplain to BESE when we had the chance, we would not be in this position in first place.

  • That is true. How is it allocated though? Why was Mr. arceneaux so openly appreciative to White about his MFP if no additional concessions were made? Why has the line item in the EBR projected MFP for East Baton Rouge gone from $44,000 this year to $244,000 next year as indicated on a document presented by Chas Roemer to the gifted parents Tuesday night. I am just trying to make sense of this nonsensical situation. This is taxpayer money after all and it seems a small group of children are benefiting inequitably.