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Lycée Français still has slots open

Lycée Français de la Nouvelle-Orléans officials are looking for five students to fill in their kindergarten and first grade classes, board members announced at a meeting Monday.

The school has fallen short of its projected enrollment of 401 students, which could negatively affect the $3.7 million budget the school had planned around the projected student count.

At the meeting, Lycée Français’s new CEO, Keith Bartlett, said the low student count could cost the school up to $45,000 in lost revenue from per-pupil allocations.

“I’m scraping together everything I can,” Bartlett said, referring to sections of the school budget he was trying to trim, such as contract work for back-office tasks. “I’m trying to be frugal.”

During his report, Bartlett suggested that school officials bring some services in-house that they had previously been contracting out, such as website maintenance, fundraising, outreach and some communications work.

Bartlett said the school will be looking for two part-time employees to fill these positions.

“We need full-time positions, we just can’t afford it,” Bartlett said.

The CEO said he was looking for ways to save money with service providers, too. The linen supply company, for example, could be replaced with the school’s own purchased products, which would save Lycée Français about $1,200 a year.

Lastly, he reiterated “a plea to parents” to pay their consumable supply fees, for supplies shipped from France. About 25 percent of parents still hadn’t paid the dues, Bartlett announced at the meeting.

During the meeting, parents raised concerns about the shortage of students.

“If we’re $45,000 short in state funds why aren’t we paying advertising dollars to get some kids?” parent Paula Griffin asked.

Bartlett said Griffin raised a good point.

“That’s a valid concern,” Bartlett said. The school advertises only on its website that spots are still available, board members said.

Board member Erin Greenwald countered, however, that it was important to remember that school had already started, and any students Lycée Français got at this point would probably be coming from other schools.

“It’s a very delicate situation that we’re in,” Greenwald said. “It may be too late for kindergarten and first grade.”

Parent Darren Beltz brought up the question of home-schooled kids, however.

“I know a few parents who chose homeschool, who are maybe questioning that decision,” Beltz said, while encouraging the school to do more advertising for the spots.

During the meeting, the board voted to adopt a set schedule for future meetings. Board members also made public a list of goals to be completed by the end of the school year.

The board voted to adopt the eight goals and make them public on the Lycée Français website.

The goals include:

  • Adopt a long-term facilities plan

  • Establish measurable objectives for student achievement for a given year for both French and American curriculum and adopt a plan for monitoring such achievement

  • Adopt a plan to achieve French Baccalaureate accreditation

  • Establish a capital fund and a plan for growing the fund that includes efforts to encourage participation from all families

  • Adopt a long-range plan for direct hiring of French Baccalaureate certified teachers, including a plan to assist with obtaining visas for such teachers

  • Adopt an accurate and positive financial forcast for future years

  • Adopt and implement a growth plan for middle and high school

  • Implement a robust development plan to include aggressive efforts to obtain grant funding

The meeting lasted approximately an hour. Besides Greenwald, board members Tim Gray, Alysson Mills, Ann Meese, Courtney Garrett, Ben Castoriano and Mary Jacobs Jones were in attendance.


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About Della Hasselle

Della Hasselle, a freelance journalist and producer, reports environmental and criminal justice stories for The Lens. A graduate of Benjamin Franklin High School and the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, Hasselle lived in New York for 10 years. While up north, she produced and anchored news segments, wrote feature stories and reported breaking news for, a hyperlocal news site. Before that, she worked at the New York Daily News. She obtained her master’s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She can be reached at (917) 304-6121.

  • Not a Fan

    Bye Bye Sweet Olive!

  • frenchfriend

    What happened to the incredible waiting lists that Sweet Olive touted??? This school had NO kindergarten lottery, but then mysteriously claimed to have a 150 kid plus waiting list for the K later in the year ( So interesting that all prk 4 lycee kids were allowed to move up sans lottery because not enough applied back in January and then like magic poof,150 kids new kids show up and don’t get in) Smell a rat? Not one eye brow was raised?!? Smoke and Mirrors?/ Sweet Olive did not do their job with outreach last year or this year to fill those spots. Their performance is dismal.
    So glad Adults are in charge, but this board needs to look at the 75,000 sweet olive contract ASAP!! Getting rid of them may be all they need to balance the budget.

  • Nola

    Perhaps if the application period last year had been clearly advertised and proper outreach had been done, instead of creating an application period under the radar so that it would not be neccesary to have a lottery for Pre-K’s to enter Kindergarten, there would be a waiting list now. Mr. Bartlett! Watch out! The goal has always been to keep the application period on the down low so only friends of friends have spaces. Now, there are not enough friends of friends to fill those spaces and pay the bills. Perhaps the folks in charge of Outreach and Development can find some “lost” applications. But, I guess there would have been a reason they were “lost” in the first place.

  • frenchfriend

    or shredded to cover their tracks.

  • Lee Barrios

    How much is the consumable supplies fee and are students on free and reduced lunch required to pay it?

  • frenchfriend

    $250 and it is not required. Pressure to pay is a different matter.

  • Lee Barrios

    Wow! Traditional public schools are not allowed to ask for anywhere near that much for things like locker fees or materials fee and it is not required. St. Tammany was pretty restrictive about teachers asking students to buy their paperback novels.

  • AmyGeorge

    Lee–The $250 consumables fee is not mandatory for anyone at the school. Those of us who are able to do pay the fee to help offset the cost of supplies but we do not have to do so.