Lycée Français de la Nouvelle-Orléans
Operating Principles in Responding to the COVID-19 Crisis
Purpose: This document sets out operating principles that will guide our decision-making and actions to support our students, staff and communities through the uncertainty caused by COVID-1. These operating principles will act as a high-level framework for how we will make decisions and how we will structure and prioritize our work over the coming few weeks and until the end of the school year. During this uncertain time, we must ground ourselves in our ultimate aspiration:

Ultimate aspiration - To be a high-performing school that delivers a world-class educational experience for all students, and is one of education’s best places to work.

Our ultimate goal is that our students continue on their academic path to receive a Louisiana and French-American Baccalauréat so they can gain access to the best colleges and universities worldwide and become global.

Where We Are -  The rapid spread of COVID-19 has led to the closure of school facilities. We began virtual remote teaching and learning as well as remote administrative and academic  leadership early March. After the latest Governor’s proclamation on April 15, remote instruction will last through the end of the school year. More than ever before it’s important for us to keep our DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) intentions alive and well in order to meet the unprecedented challenges of today.

How We Will Operate - Students and Community Health First: First and foremost, our response to COVID-19 must be framed with protecting both the physical and mental well-being of our students, staff and families. We will put the well-being of people first, with care and compassion. There will be no quality teaching or learning without health plans in place. This includes acknowledging that each member of our community, including teachers and staff, is living in a new reality during this time. This may mean increased obligations to care for and support their respective children, parents, or other friends and kin, as well as balancing work and education at home. We will operate with grace and presuming positive intent while people continue to adjust to this new normal to take care of themselves and their families.

Keep Organizational Culture Strong and Ensure Equity : We will be thoughtful about the ways leadership can ensure that culture remains strong at schools and at our respective home offices. We will work to ensure that our remote culture reflects our in-person culture, and that we will continue to put equity for staff, scholars, and families at the center of all that we do.

Streamline Decision-Making : During these unprecedented circumstances, we should not expect to operate as usual. We must be open to change, understand that we may not have an answer to all questions, that our response time may be longer than usual, and that some decisions will require creative approaches as the problems we are facing are not only unusual, but complex and ever-changing. We want to accept every challenge with a positive outlook and as an invitation to learn to operate in a way that will make our work even better going forward.

Stay Focused and Flexible : We must remain flexible in defining what success looks like and allow for shifts where our prior definitions of “essential” and “success” conflict with today’s new  operating principles. That is why our work is geared to identify vital operations that will inform prioritization and planning. We will be informed by our continuous communications with parents, students, staff and stakeholders. We will do what is best for the sustainability of Lycée.

How We Will Focus : The areas below are where we need to focus our energy from now until the end of the school year. We will continue to develop strategies and tactics to advance our overall progress.

Delivering Strong Instruction : We aim to deliver the strongest instructional program possible. After close to a month delivering instruction on a Phase 1 plan, we took into consideration staff and parental feedback to shape our improved Phase 2 plan which begins on Monday, April 27th.  We will continue to support ALL students to ensure they continue to grow and progress in key academic areas. Our online instructional plan is built on the following principles: simplicity, coherence, flexibility, and positivity. Our plan includes a balanced offering of synchronous and asynchronous classes. We focus on core subjects: French and English language arts and mathematics for all levels, as well as humanities and sciences for middle school. The quantity of school work has been designed to match students’ developmental maturity: from 60-75mn a day for Pre-k up to 180-225mn a day for high school.  
Securing Student Enrollment : We will continue to work with EnrollNOLA on the recruiting and enrolling of students for the next school year.

Staffing and Recruitment :  People are at the center of our success as an organization. We need the right talent in place at the start of the new school year to continue our success, which means both retaining current staff and recruiting strong talent for open positions. We are currently hiring for the 20-21 school year and working with CODOFIL, the French Consulate and other partners for the recruiting of our International Associate Teachers.

Ensuring Sustainable Budgeting : We will undertake a comprehensive review of our current operating expenses and next year's budget (July 2020 to June 2021) to ensure that we are fully prepared for a more fiscally constrained environment.

Meeting Operational and Regulatory Needs : These are evolving, so we must stay on top of guidance from LDoE and other agencies, work to adapt, and communicate new expectations.

Preparing a re-entry plan:   We will plan for our transition back to normal operations when the time comes. We want to be able to immediately hit the ground running and support the academic and social-emotional needs of students when schools can return to - hopefully - a brick and mortar instruction, a hybrid solution, or a continued virtual world.

Please be on the lookout for communications on Phase 2 academic plans, grading and retention that will be sent before the end of the week. 

Stay healthy and thank you for your continued partnership and support. 

Lycée Français de la Nouvelle-Orléans | 504.620.5500 | |