Nov 242012
 

Jean-Jacques Grandiere, photographed during the school’s playground build in 2011. (photo via facebook.com/ lyceefrancaisnola/)

The general director of Lycée Français de la Nouvelle Orléans resigned his position on Friday, and the board chair and another board member will take on some of his responsibilities until a new leader can be found this summer through a national search.

After about a year and a half with the new French-immersion charter school, Jean-Jacques Grandiere submitted his resignation Friday for unspecfied “personal reasons,” according to a letter sent from board chair Jean Montes to parents late Saturday morning. Montes and another board member, Dan Henderson, will fill in for Grandere during the transitional period, the letter states.

Grandiere’s resignation comes at end of what has been a turbulent year for the school’s leadership. In April, the board announced that principal Jill Otis would be resigning at the end of the school’s first academic year. Soon after, public conflict between several board members led to the resignation of two board members, and at least two others resigned more quietly. More recently, the school has weathered allegations of inequitable admissions practices at the state level, and cut its budget by $200,000 earlier this month to resolve a recently-discovered financial shortfall.

Questions about Grandiere’s future with Lycee Francais were raised several weeks ago at the school board’s last meeting, when members met in a closed door session to discuss his status and announced afterward that new leadership options might be needed soon.

See the letter to parents about Grandiere’s resignation below:

November 24, 2012
Dear Lycée Parents,

I would like to inform you that yesterday afternoon I received the resignation of our General Director, Jean-Jacques Grandière, citing personal reasons. We have reluctantly accepted his resignation and told him that the entire Lycée Français community will miss him. I will be bringing a recommendation to the Board to immediately form a committee to conduct a national search for a CEO/General Director to be in place by July 1, 2013. I envision that this process will include public forums. It is imperative that our parents, teachers and all stakeholders actively participate in selecting our new leader.

Steps are being taken immediately to ensure the continued smooth operation of the school. I have asked our board member, Dan Henderson, to volunteer to join me in filling in for Mr. Grandière during this transition. We will also hire an Academic Director that will start in the next two weeks.

Jean-Jacques asked me to pass on the following statement: “Although I know that I am leaving the school in good hands, I intend to stay in contact with the school as needed. I believe that with our current staff, the school will continue to thrive and fulfill its mission. I want to thank the students, parents, teachers, staff and board for their understanding and support during this time.”

Even with this latest challenge, we remain optimistic about the school’s future. Operational and financial issues are not unusual or unexpected for a start-up charter. Although we are facing financial constraints, our school administrative and academic teams are guiding us on the path to solvency and financial strength. The Department of Education recently gave us a positive report and vote of confidence. The French Consulate as well as officials at CODOFIL are steadfast in full support of our school. Applications for next year are already at an all-time high. There is no doubt as we stand together we will get through these challenges and end this year even stronger than before.

Mr. Henderson and I plan to meet with you on Friday at the Patton campus for the usual Coffee Hour Friday meeting next week at 8:45am in room 208. In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact me at 504-616-1652 or jeanmonts@mac.com.

I have sent a similar note to the entire Lycée staff as well so they are informed and making plans that will maintain the quality of our school moving forward accordingly.

Cordially,

Dr. Jean Montès

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  • NBonaparte

    So Montes is now running the school openly. He has been running things behind the scenes, which I imagine is one reason Grandiere resigned – he was not allowed to do his job because the board has been micromanaging the school. Is this an ethical conflict of interest? The chairman of the board is now also the CEO of the school – he is his own boss, quite literally. He is also a parent. Too much power for one person. Stinks to high heaven. Montes should resign, not Grandiere.

    • Dc

      This is annoying, that the stability of the school is compromised everyone knows this is the school for the masses and everyone else, is just a warm body to help generate revenue. There shouldn’t be a private forum to hear these concerns, it effects everyone we are all involved and its already too much stated behind close doors. When is it proper protocol for a board member to have a seat on the board and run the operation. (Sorry everyone that is hoping for a HUSH moment) To hell with these grievances of this board. I vote that the original board members should recuse themselves. I think replacement should be in order for those that have seen too many important members of LFNO leave because of their malice and controlling behavior. Out with the old in with the new!!!

      • Disillusioned Lycee’er

        Mm mm mm. Go one step further. Complete board replacement. The ones left standing appear to be our biggest liability.

        • Dc

          I am not quite understanding how THIS board operates as a functioning unit, every other month some board member has been replaced. Furthermore I think the Abrams Entertainment Attorney guy is not on the board any longer just holding a seat. Is it any entity out there that can govern their abusive practices? I thought that was BESE’s job to govern a type 2 charter, here lately it’s been said that LDOE should be receiving complaints, since the local school board turned the first app for LFNO Charter down there is no local governing body for a higher authority, SAD for Lycée ers

          • Joy Van Buskirk

            BESE turned down the first LFNO charter attempt, not OPPS.

      • Dc

        The problem with the school is the board. They mismanage funds, hire their friends, engage In Selective admissions and micromanage faculty. New board is needed ASAP

        • http://www.facebook.com/boathead Clark Thompson

          The education at Lycee seems pretty good despite the constant upheaval on top. You folks seem to know the personalities on this board. If there are still some bad actors, I hope you will get their resignation, get this turmoil over NOW, settle down and make this a great school. If they truly care about the mission of the school, one would hope these problematic board members would do the right thing and step aside.

          It’s not just Lycee affected by this. A rising tide floats all boats, and a broader base of francophones will benefit all french language schools in the community. So really, I do have an iron in this fire, as do many of my friends reading this post. Our kids at EB, ISL, Hynes, Audubon, are all affected by the actions of this board, admittedly less than many of these Lycee parents, but affected nonetheless.

          So Joy, DC, count me in your organization, here are the address’ of the folks that Joy suggested contacting. I’ve missed most state Reps for the region, please add yours in for the benefit of others who may also be concerned.

          Kira Orange Jones, Kira.OrangeJones@la.gov,
          Lottie Beebe Lottie.Beebe@la.gov,
          Neal Abramson abramson@legis.la.gov,
          J.P. Morell morrelljp@legis.la.gov,
          Walt Leger wleger3@legershaw.com,
          Chas Roemer Chas.Roemer@la.gov

          • Louie

            BRAVO!

          • http://www.facebook.com/amy.georgehirons Amy George-Hirons

            Thank you, Clark!

    • Joy Van Buskirk

      How can any parent with an ounce of common sense not realize that losing two school CEOs is commonplace and does not merit investigation. The board removed many responsibilities from the founding principal, usurping her right to manage the school, and, that folks, is what happened to Jean Jacques. How could any CEO survive board members that are at the school daily calling the shots, harassing and criticizing. The irony is that the board has discounted the years of experience of both successful CEOs, one in the public sector and the other in the private sector. Some members of the board decided from the get go that they are the experts in running a school. They now believe that the school should be run using a business model. Given that scenario, I hope the children produce good academic results, as each child is an individual that cannot be molded to achieve certain business specifications.
      Now two board members will openly run the school until June. A glimmer or truth and transparency. Board members are prohibited from managing a school on a day to day basis. However, due to poor board practices, it has driven off two CEOs and now has to face yet another budget problem – having to pay the departing General Manager his salary and benefits until June, while having to increase the salary of a French teacher who will probably have to double as the Director of Academics and a classroom teacher. That is why no new CEO can be hired until June. As far as the General Manager being ill or resigning for personal reasons, that is yet another bluff. However, no one will ever find out from Jean Jacques the truth as most assuredly JJ will be required to sign a non disclosure statement if he hopes to get his full salary and benefits for the rest of the school year. Hopefully, he had legal counsel and managed to get additional compensation beyond the aforementioned.

      • Dc

        Well I don’t quite know how to say this but in this way;
        For example, if we give the message that a bully is untouchable because he’s been elected to a term, we’re saying Board members have a special kind of entitlement. We’re saying…
        We believe in Board entitlement more than we believe in our mission.We’ll allow poison gossip, personal attacks, and relational aggression to take priority over our mission.
        What this means is that we’re sacrificing our mission in order to grant a special personal indulgence to a few people, sometimes only one person, who, in the final touch of irony, no one even likes or respects.
        When it comes to mission discipline we want Board members to be exemplary not exempt.

      • NBonaparte

        I wonder whether the press will investigate these irregular practices? That would be a great public service. If board members are forbidden to manage the school day to day, did the board have to seek the approval of BESE in order to appoint the board chair interim CEO? Clearly this board is comfortable bullying its employees – and parents are likely afraid to call the board on their bad behavior for fear of reprisals. The school had the right director – twice. It needs a new board, not a new director.

        • Joy Van Buskirk

          I agree that the press ought to start an investigation into the behavior of this board. However, website reporters do not have the staff or time to accomplish this mission. I am examining some options that might take care of this issue. I do not excuse parents from standing up against bullies who are running rough shod over teachers and staff. Fear is a convenient excuse. What kind of retribution could the board reign down on parents? If that happened, they need only pick up their phone and call their state representative and senator with legitimate complaints. The legislature funds schools. People have got to start using their elected officials to problem solve. You would be surprised how quickly legislators would react.

          • Wallflower

            Most parents do not have first hand information of the goings on at the school, including the micro-management of it. Those people that do have that knowledge (a few parents, teachers and staff), who have legitimate complaints about the improper actions of the board, need to speak out. There is only so much a parent can do, unless the sources are ready to make themselves known. Otherwise, it’s only “rumours” being spread by “concerned parents.” I’m on your side, Joyous, but parents need some support as well. We can’t do it by ourselves.

          • Joy Van Buskirk

            I understand that LFNO parents are deeply divided about the board. However, the board is dividing the parent body. The “concerned parents” as the board has labeled them, are parents who are observant. They have been watching what is going on. They have differing views than that of the board. Why does that make them opponents as far as the board is concerned? Why has a board member said that they are destroying the school? That is so far from the truth. They love this school. They, like the board supporters, have the right to their own opinion. I would suggest that they are not followers, but leaders. That is what differentiates them from those who do not care to analyze what is happening within LFNO, but just accept charmed answers and feel all fuzzy because they are in the inner circle. The Board Chair sees no problem with selecting small groups of parents to have coffee with to win them over to his position on how the school should be run. That violates every best practice outlined for a board to follow. Board members should not be meeting with selective groups of parents or any parents at all, unless a parent has a problem which has not been rectified by the CEO. Then a parent can petition the board to resolve the situation. Parents only need to look around when they are on the school site. Do you see board members there daily? If you do, it is wrong, and violates the tenets of the school’s charter which prohibits board members from micromanaging the school. What to do about it? Call BESE members, Kira Orange Jones and Lottie Beebe , call your state representative and state senator. Let Raphael Gang know from the State Department of Education Charter School Department, and leave a message with Governor Jindal’s Office. Ask your child’s teacher how he or she is doing given the upheaval in the school. If he or she having problems adjusting to the chaos, let the aforementioned officials know that your child’s teacher is experiencing problem – if that is a concern for you. Will the school be shuttered because you have concerns and have shared them with officials? Heck no. They do not want to close down this school, but need to provide oversight and guidance for the school.
            Make sure you stay vigilant about the Director of Academics pick. This person is extremely crucial to the school’s academic program. This is key to the school providing a quality education for its students. The person must speak French, have knowledge of the French Government curriculum, and have experience in this position. Look up the job description in the charter. Don’t be fooled, this person will not be running the school. He or she would not have the time to do so. This is a crucial job. The board will be running the school behind closed doors because it has created a vacuum – no CEO. That is bad news. The state should demand that they hire a CEO. Several current French teachers have been assuming the Director of Academic’s position since the beginning of school and receiving extra pay for doing so. The board chair stated JJ was doing double duty; that statement was not factual. The parents should demand that the new CEO have an administrative credential with experience in running a public school. Look at that job description in the charter. If you do not demand this, you will get some business person or a friend of the board as the CEO. Parents should request that the board permit them to meet with the finalists for this position. Parents will not make the final selection as that is the board’s responsibility, but you can make a recommendation to the board. They do not have to accept your recommendation though. Stay on top of these issues. They are important to the quality of your child’s education and also to the school climate. Jill and John Otis, Chachie Dupuy, Allen Kelly and I labored over this school’s charter. Do you know what we wanted and expect? We wanted a school that would provide a quality education for all children in New Orleans, black, hispanic, white, poor, middle class, etc. We did not want a selective private public school, but a school run by noble, qualified individuals who understand the mission of this school, its community character, and to build from that foundation. LFNO can be that and more. I understand that parents are happy that they have this school to educate their children, but at this point they are accept mediocrity. This school can be a shining example to our community. Another fact that you should know – other charter foreign language schools within this community have nothing but disdain for LFNO because of the behavior of this board. I have heard that time and time again. LFNO was not created to enjoy such a poor reputation with its sister schools. We had hoped that we would be a support for our sister schools, and in return receive likewise. That is now not the case. This is what happens when board members act inappropriately. make bad decisions, and go rogue. You have to nip this in the bud. Demand accountability; only the parents can do so.

        • Dc

          If I am wrong please correct me isn’t there a board member for Lycée on WDSU staff? Something else of interest to all the Lycée ers, friends and families. Check into the exemptions for donations of a Louisuana Public School with Louisiana Department of Revenue it should be a credit on your 2012 return. As a non-profit Lycée should have the donations form.

  • Dee

    Fire the full-of-himself Monty; Hire Romney. Now. Don’t wait. Mitt will turn this school around in no time. All kidding aside, I feel sorry for the kids and parents and teachers. The teachers and parents are dedicated to the little ones, and they are feeling the brunt of the textbook definition of a board gone wrong. An independent committee of parents and an outsider with no connection with the school should investigate all the recent events. The board must realize their instability and their appearances of impropriety (assuming that nothing more is going on) is causing needless anxiety, which has no place in an educational environment. I am afraid that many parents and teachers already have one foot out the door, or have at least thought about it.

    “liberte egalite tromperie cupidite, l’orgueil”

    • Dc

      Believe it or not Monty is only a small part of the issue it’s that bulldog tenacity, with a great fundraising ability. There is many that will ironically support this bad behavior, because of the cost of a private school. I have seen not long ago, investigations and endictments take place because of these types of practices. Whomever is advising them official or an unofficial basis I hoping they know the terminology on “aiding and abbeding”

    • Joy Van Buskirk

      I have read your post, and I, too, am concerned for the teachers, the employees who were terminated, and the two departed CEOs. They are good people and served admirably, given the circumstances that exist at the school. i am disappointed that LFNO parents have shown little or no respect for those that have been forced to leave. They served your children with affection and concern. Where were you for them? They cared deeply for your children, and wanted the best for them. They were treated with contempt and cast aside by the board without any thought of consideration or consequence. A good number of parents sent their children to LFNO due to the founding principal. She worked tirelessly to get the school up and running, and succeeded although some thought it would not happen. Why didn’t the parents stand up for her? Where were you? I guess that Jean Jacques realized that he would experience the same lack of support. I cannot blame him for leaping to that conclusion. As for the teachers, what has happened to the parents who attended the PTO meeting when the teachers stood up as a group asking for your support? Do you have any idea how much courage that took? Did you not understand that these teachers are weary from the toxic environment in which they teach daily? Do parents think that the teachers can give their all to the students while they are waiting for the next axe to drop? What is wrong with you parents? You professed to care at the PTO meeting. Just what have you done to make their teaching environment more tolerable? How about summoning up some courage and doing something to assist them? Have any of you even asked your child’s teacher how he or she is coping with this chaotic school environment? Do you even care?
      I still believe that the board members whose children attend LFNO should step down from the board, as they are the ones who have been micromanaging the school on a daily basis, and creating an environment that is intimidating and stressful. i now recognize that LFNO parents do not have the stomach nor the courage to demand such. There are some who think that this board is the best thing since sliced bread. I just don’t get it, but we all have a right to our opinion. I respect the dad that stood up at the last board meeting indicating that he thought those board members were the problem. He got his point across, and although he received no response from the board or any support from the parents in attendance, he had the guts to state what he believed. Kudos to him.
      In 1980 two teachers created Audubon Montessori School. They ran that school successfully together for the first two years of its existence. They made mistakes along the way, but had 40 sets of parents fighting for them against a recalcitrant and entrenched school board that was making it difficult for the school to function. Not a day went by when the parents weren’t checking in with those teachers to determine what they could do to make their lives easier in dealing with the Orleans Parish School Board. They demonstrated the courage of their convictions at school board meetings and with the central office personnel. They were awesome. I was one of those teachers and Jill Otis the other. After observing the upheaval at LFNO, I now can see how blessed we were to have parents who sacrificed their time and efforts on our behalf – cheering us on, fighting the school board, whenever necessary. They achieved more victories than I can remember. These parents were grateful that two teachers had given them a golden opportunity to provide a quality education for their children. Too bad the LFNO teachers do not have those same courageous parents fighting for them today.

      • NBonaparte

        I think that many parents may fear reprisals from the board against their children – they have bullied the teachers and directors. I agree that parents should not sit ont he board – that is a clear conflict of interest.

      • Josh Reyher

        Ms. Van Buskirk,

        My name is Josh Reyher, I am a new parent at Lycee. What is your affiliation with the school? I see from prior posts you don’t have children in the school and you claimed you were somehow involved in the founding? Have you attended any of the recent meetings?

        Outlined in the meetings and here on messenger, funding was not sustainable due to limited grant funding and the student head count funding process. While the loss of the
        administrative support staff is sad, where else can it come from? As outlined at the Board meeting, the school will be on firmer financial footing by the end of the year. Going forward I think every parent will be looking at the budget report and funding issues and helping to track the money spent.

        Everytime an accusation has been made, the Board has answered the questions asked by state officials and no issues of inappropriate action have been found. I see a lot of unnecessary axe grinding and personal attacks that have no place in constructively improving the school. A lot of this sort of talk does more to increase the angst of parents and teachers.

        Your admonishment of the PTO and parents is unfounded. Parents have been stepping up to fill in the gap on the administrative side. Additionally, a father’s group has been started. All are working to support the teachers. Recent fundraising by the father’s group obtained additional classroom supplies for the teachers and will acquire new equipment for Claiborne campus.

        The time for pointing fingers and grinding axes is over. Can you help move the ball forward? Encourage your friends to end the Marce D’hiver on December 8th. Fete De Musica is in March, can you get people to attend. You seemed to be pugged in to the charter system, do you know of other grants that may be available?

        • Joy Van Buskirk

          Mr. Reyher,
          Thanks for using your name. Glad to hear that you have your child enrolled at LFNO. I have a vested interest in this school as I wrote the majority of the charter. I wrote governance, half of education, and formulated the entire budget – no small task. Because of my involvement in the charter, the former BESE member who represented the district in which the school is located, dropped her opposition to charters schools, and requested that her colleagues vote with her to approve this charter. BESE members look to the member whose district the school resides in for a recommendation. This charter was approved by BESE not the OPPS and is a Type 2 state charter school. I had worked with this BESE member for a decade, as part of my job description required me to attend BESE meetings and work with its members. Neither Jean Montes or Paige Saleun assisted in writing the this charter. They did not go to Baton Rouge to orally defend this charter with NACSA. Frankly, they were no where to be found during the work process. This board is not following the Governance section included in the charter, and violate state laws continually. Raising money, creating clubs, etc. is all wonderful. This cabal is not about supplying teachers with materials. I do not wish to sound rude, but you just don’t get it. The teachers are teaching in a stressful and toxic environment. Do you have any idea what that means for them? Have you bothered to ask your child’s teacher how he or she is coping with all that is going on in the school? Today lunch room monitors did not show up. No one was there for before care. No notice was given to the teachers. What school do you know of that has lost two CEOs in a period of six months? Find a listing of charter schools and their board members. Call some board members to find out if they are running their charter school on a daily basis. You do not have to take my word for it. The teachers have had four masters in the past year – the board chairman, two board members – all who have children attending LFNO, and a hired CEO. Do you have four bosses telling you what to do on a daily basis? Each with a different opinion? These teachers have been operating in an environment of intimidation and fear. Would you be a happy employee if you had to deal with this on a daily basis?This board has been micromanaging this school on a daily basis for nine months. They are prohibited from doing so by their charter. Boards hire a CEO to manage the school. They have hired two who have had outstanding credentials – one with a private French school in San Francisco for more than 15 years, and one who was the principal of the first public Montessori and French school in LA for 24 years. That school has the identical program to that of Lycee. You now have a Board chairman has no experience in K-12 education running LFNO. Where is his experience? What contributions has he made to K-12 education in the past five years or three? Finally, I want this school to succeed, as it is in my best interest. However, i will not assist a board that is continuing to use poor judgment, who drives out its CEOs and engages in irresponsible board practices. If they were not using taxpayer money to run this school, that would be one thing, but they are. Therefore we all have a vested interest in ensuring that those handling that hard earned taxpayer money know what they are doing.

          • Louie

            VERY well said! Too bad you are still not on that board! This school really needs you. Keep up with your mission!

          • Josh Reyher

            Ms. Van Buskirk,

            Thank you for your response. I am currently digesting the application and governance document. It is fairly lengthy.

            I know a fair amount about leadership and building teams to succeed. I share your concern with the loss of CEOs. When I speak to my daughter’s teachers I work to build them up and reassure them. I understand they are nervious and unsettled. That comes naturally from uncertainty of our situation. Financially the school will be on solid ground by the end of the year. The room parents are stepping up to get people to assist with phones, desk etc. I believe the accusations flying on “The Messenger” amplifies the anxiety and is not very constructive.

            So what are the irrepsonsible board practices? All the accustations posted here, mostly anonomously, say the Board is on some power kick. Makes no sense to me. There is no benefit only headache to such actions. As I mentioned in anohter post, if you would like share specfics with me, I would love to buy you a cup of coffee at Satsuma on Maple.

        • Joy Van Buskirk

          Sorry, I forgot to respond to one of your questions. Not only did I attend the recent LFNO PTO and board meetings, but I also attended the BESE meeting held here in NO. I was not vocal during those meetings. After getting her marching orders from Paige Saleun, the current PTO President confronted me, rudely asking me to leave her PTO meeting. She stated that the open meetings law did not apply to a PTO meeting. Luckily for her my mother taught me well, and I was polite. Too bad she was not.

          • LyceeDad

            You should have been asked to leave. As well as the Media and other non-parent and non-teacher gawkers and hagglers. What right did you have to be at a PTO meeting? The meeting didn’t apply to open meeting laws and shame on you for going. What was your purpose? All I witnessed was you, the former principal and the bitter fired employees RUDELY talking in the corner the entire meeting. Luckily for you security wasn’t called to haul you and the others out for disrupting a PTO meeting.

          • Joy Van Buskirk

            It is easy for you to make those statements hiding behind Lycee Dad. You do not have the courage to stand up for your convictions using your name? I will not respond to your claptrap until you do.

          • http://www.facebook.com/bernie.badon Bernie Badon

            Joy I admire you for standing up and speaking your mind. I just heard that Mr. Chair was going to have me removed if I came to another meeting.I guess he didn’t like my guestions. Someone needs to check the books concerning the uniforms and why people have to buy them from a board members friend. Whats up with erverything done thru friends?

          • http://www.facebook.com/bernie.badon Bernie Badon

            I don’t think someone asking a question that someone goesn;t like is just cause to call security and have them removed.

        • Disillusioned Lycee’er

          Josh:

          For someone that’s a new parent, you sure seem to demonstrate a whole lot more than the other new parents around here, then you go on the quest to best the veterans. Just where are you getting your information that you can claim to know better? I have a pretty damned good idea where it’s coming from, but I’ll give you the opportunity to set the record straight.

          • Josh Reyher

            To the anonomyous,

            I never claimed to know better nor am I trying to best anybody. I am just looking for constructive ideas. As to the source of the facts, looking at the financial statments the actual state grant for 2011 came in at $215k, less than had been anticipated. Mr. Morris of the Messenger did a nice job capturing most of what Ms. Ruocco outlined. Ms. Ruocco outlined every shortfall (Headcount, No Student Left Behind, etc) and followed up each shortfall with a solution to correct the situation. Please make no mistake it is a serious issue but I believe we will correct by the end of the year.

            Now the implication that I am a puppet is a bold statment to make from behind a mask. Now if you would like to discuss in person I would be more than happy to buy you a cup of coffee at Satsuma on Maple. I do believe they have the best coffee uptown. Plese feel free to contact me directly, jsreyher@yahoo.com

          • Disillusioned Lycee’er

            I’m not suggesting you’re a puppet. I’m insinuating that that you’re a douchebag. One that advertises Satsuma’s bitter coffee to boot.

            Ta!

          • http://www.facebook.com/amy.georgehirons Amy George-Hirons

            And I’ll say that you’re a jerk, Disillusioned. I’d say something harsher but I’m going to use my real name. Josh–I’d be happy to meet with you for coffee sometime.

          • http://www.facebook.com/amy.georgehirons Amy George-Hirons

            Being new doesn’t mean we have to remain silent. It doesn’t mean we can’t read. It doesn’t mean we’re not going to meetings. It doesn’t mean we don’t care. It doesn’t mean we’re not concerned. It just means our children our newly arrived. We have as much at stake in this as any other parent of a child at our school.

        • Another one

          You will not be able to track this misappropriations there is a lot of misstatements on financial reports, it’s only a few that can attest to this and they won’t. How could you ask Ms. Joy to help LFNO? That was an insult. Her original efforts clearly has not been received by this board!

  • Mjones12@gmail.com

    So the person most invested in the well-being of the students and teachers is resigning? And the board is staying? Seems the wrong way around. Let’s get together and change this absurd situation!

    • Dc

      Right on Organize

      I know Educators can feel intimidated by the fact that the Board has the ultimate legal authority in a nonprofit, and by the VIP status of some of their Board members. But…
      The discipline of the mission trumps everything else.

    • Joy Van Buskirk

      Easier said than done. LFNO parents lost an opportunity when BESE came to town 10 days ago. They could have spoken to the board in regard to the escalation of problems for the past six months within the school. I read disturbing and outrageous comments by Paige Saleun on the Lycee Francais Facebook page – posted on the day of that BESE meeting – that were not only intimidating, but extremely unprofessional as well. She spoke about “concerned parents” that had contacted BESE and DOE about LFNO. She said that these parents do not have the best interest of LFNO and that there is a personal agenda against individuals by them. (Guess that would be she) She said much the same about former employees and board members. (Guess that would be me – a former board member) She then asked “Why are you “concerned parents” – you know who you are and so do we – doing this?” ( This questions smacks of unprofessionalism and intimidation. Why are some parents concerned? It is simple – to save the school from a dysfunctional board. She need only to look herself.) She then says that “the school is in a major crisis because of these parents. You know who you are, the school could be on the verge of failure because of you. Going to the BESE meeting tonight is not a good idea. Those who want the school to fail will be the ones to show up tonight.” This statement is so blatantly deceitful. BESE is not going to shut down any charter school. It kept open two charters in New Orleans that had major publicized problems concerning embezzlement, etc. Her mantra is to try to put the fear of God in parents by blatantly stating BESE will shut down the school. Baloney. Does anyone actually believe that BESE members will risk the wrath of the parents of 330 students? If you believe such, you simply are politically naive and lack common sense. Charter schools in New Orleans have been heralded nationwide. Think BESE and SDE want to have a story posted on the front page of Louisiana newspapers stating they have shuttered a popular charter school in New Orleans?

      The day following the BESE meeting Saleun posted again on the LFNO Facebook page maligning my character and others. I will not bore you with the details as I have considered the source, and have grown to understand that deception is part of her many character flaws. I cannot understand why she is so opposed to partnering with First Steps, the outreach program that was one of the primary reasons to getting this school chartered. However, if anyone dropped the ball in regard to this partnership, it was Sweet Olive whom the board assigned this project in October, 2011. Saleun either conveniently forgets the facts, or is immune to telling the truth.

      The two days of Saleun posting on the school’s Facebook page lays out the realities of how broken this board is. For those who support this board, so be it. I can only wonder how you can read her venomous posts and not know that this board is dysfunctional. She has posted comments on this same page questioning the General Manager’s competence by stating he had dropped the ball on certain issues. That is slander and speaks to the root of the problems within this board. Board members who are operating under best board practices would never engage in such behavior.

      • DGP

        Agreed. I see it like this – if you have a bunch of mammals in a room, close the door, come back and the only ones left alive are the two hyenas, guess who did it.