Until now the administration used to harass teachers to push them out! Now that many teachers are about to leave it shows how badly the new administration has shaken the school let alone the major conflict of interest that the principal has and ignores. The biggest problem is unquestionably this: teachers leave by themselves because they just cannot stand the working conditions anymore! YES, the campus is modern and facilities are nice BUT a working environment is much more than that. And when teachers are put under intense pressure to meet unrealistic goals, when they cannot express views or concerns without fear or reprisal, when they are treated unfairly and sometimes bullied, then they decide to leave in large numbers. I don’t think students will benefit in any way from the so called ‘renewal’ like someone put it. Where is the ‘retention’ that was a goal of the school?
As a French family recently expatriated in Chicago, we were surprised to read reviews so critical, recurrent and precise as early as 2016. After several months within the Lycee community, these criticisms seem to reflect the reality of the Lycee being gangrened by conflicts of interest, privileges and favoritism, marks falsified, discredited families applying for scholarships, employees treated with disrespect, abuse of power. If the school is a place where arbitrariness is king, then our responsibility as parents and clients is to express to the management our deep disagreement. As school’s officials say it, the school exists and lives thanks to the tuition that we pay. We therefore have the right to demand explanations, including a financial and human resources audit if necessary, and any changes in the administration so that the school can operate with respect for the people, environment and ethics. We also have a duty to inform the local supervisory authorities so that control measures can be initiated, pending corrective action being taken. We do not accept the excesses described here which taint the honor of the school and by ricochet families who have their children enrolled there. Nor do we not accept that the Lycee is a non-right area. This situation must stop as quickly as possible before the damage becomes irremediable. We hope that this statement will be fully understood by the readers and apologize for any inaccuracies in English.
I just found out from a very trustworthy source that at the end of this school year a dozen of faculty members will leave the Lycee, only for the Secondary level! It is very unlikely that the new administration decisions have nothing to do with that unusual turnover. This is extremely concerning for the stability of the school and the quality of our children’s education. It is up to anyone to interpret what are the reasons for this situation. As far as I’m concerned, I made my mind…
We are an American family who always appreciated a bilingual education for our son. We chose the Lycee years ago for its rigorous French program. He is flourishing and we couldn't be happier for his teachers and the effort they put on a daily basis. After all these years and after discussing with other parents, it is the first time that we are dissatisfied with the administration. It seems that the new president is totally detached from the heart of the school (teachers) and totally attached to the elite parents. We can only hope that there will be a realization of teachers efforts and a shift to education rather than clientele satisfaction.
Never do I see a more vigorous defense of the Lycee's tuition increases or financial aid program than from people who seemingly do not have any need for it, nor do they appear to have any personal experience with it. Since we first came to the school in 2005, the socioeconomic makeup of the school shifted immensely. There have always been some exceedingly wealthy families here; it is, after all, secular private school in a major city. However, there used to be far more of what a previous commenter has deemed "normal" families. These normal families are disappearing for a variety of reasons. The year before the baseline used below when 08-09 tuition was $13,100, tuition increased by 20% in one year, from $10,900 to $13,100. That year the school also went to a flat tuition structure. If a family has been at the school more than a decade, they have seen their tuition costs rise more than 80%. If you chose the school back then for the language immersion (which you were thrilled existed at a tuition you could stretch for) then you probably have a very different view about the reasonableness of the costs over time. The parents who can easily afford the Lycee and see it as a bargain in comparison to Latin et al are coming from a very different place than many of the committed and dedicated Lycee families who have expressed real frustration with what's been happening at the Lycee. As a family that *does* have to rely on financial aid to stay, we do have personal experience with what has been and is now available. And we were told that aid was over $1 million total the year before and barely reached $550,000 this year. We also learned that in our calculation of need the school considers some of our retirement account an asset; in other words we're supposed to cash out retirement to pay for some of tuition. The measures meant to help "normal" families *are not working* and the school is losing the middle-upper middle class because it has failed to create an effective plan to properly grow. I haven't even spoken to the academics or character of the school--and there are many wonderful things about this place, terrific people on both the staff and in the parent community. But the way that the school is failing it's long-time families who have committed so much of our children's lives to this community is appalling.
We see tremendous deterioration in day to day school management (discrimination in tuition policy and staff haemorrhage = collateral damages). Our short-term support to the school and its principal who brought in disastrous changes is highly questionable in this context.