Serving all of Louisiana

About us

Lycée Français de la Nouvelle-Orléans is the free French immersion public charter school serving all of Louisiana. We are a type-2 charter school and French immersion program located in New Orleans. Lycée Français follows the French national curriculum and also adheres to aspects of the Louisiana state curriculum. We are accredited by the French Ministry of Education for French curriculum through grade 6 and are continuously working towards accreditation for upper levels; accreditation is ongoing. For the 2020 – 2021 school year, Lycée Français serves Pre-K4 through 10th grade; a new grade level will be added every year up to 12th grade.

Lycée Français de la Nouvelle-Orléans students will matriculate into the finest colleges and universities throughout the world. Lycée Français will provide the opportunity for its students to achieve both the French Baccalaureate and the Louisiana high school diploma in an academically challenging and culturally diverse educational environment. | Charter Contract | Articles of Incorporation |



Lycée Français de la Nouvelle-Orléans was founded in 2011 by parents with the support of the school board, the French Consulate and the greater French community in New Orleans. Lycée Français de la Nouvelle-Orléans is a free public charter school financed by the state of Louisiana, managed by a board of directors and governed by a charter signed by the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE). The charter reflects the first objectives that Lycée offers: to provide a French curriculum education from kindergarten through high school in a non-denominational environment where social diversity is considered essential to the student’s education.

Lycée Français began with three pioneering classes on our first campus, located at 5401 South Claiborne Avenue. We expanded rapidly in 2012 with the implementation of a second campus at 5951 Patton Street. Each year, Lycée Français adds on a sequential grade to accommodate our growing number of students and faculty. For the 2014 – 2015 year, we added 4th grade. For the 2015 – 2016 school year, we added 5th grade and so on. We are excited about the 2020 – 2021 school year as this is our second year of high school!

Anti-Discrimination Policy

Lycée Français admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of culture, race, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, family situation, socio-economic differences, intellectual or athletic ability, or status as a handicapped person.

Lycée Français de la Nouvelle-Orléans

 Pronounced Lee-say Frahn-say de la Noo-vel Or-lay-on

The curriculum at Lycée is based on France’s Ministry of National Education. We supplement our curriculum with English classes to ensure that our students receive a well-rounded education and are prepared to excel in state and national exams. The French curriculum is organized as a series of multi-year cycles, during which students are expected to acquire specific knowledge and demonstrate given competencies. The cycle system acknowledges that learning occurs in a different way, and at a different pace, in every child. For example, some may be proficient readers early on, while others, equally bright, take longer. Children begin learning to read at the start of the 2nd cycle. By the end of the cycle, literacy is expected among all students.


1èr cycle – cycle des apprentissages premiers – l’école maternelle

Moyenne section – Prekindergarten
Grande section – Kindergarten

2ème cycle – cycle des apprentissages fondamentaux – l’école élémentaire

Cours préparatoire – First Grade
Cours élémentaire 1 – Second Grade
Cours élémentaire 2 – Third Grade

3ème cycle – cycle de consolidation

Cours moyen 1 – Fourth grade
Cours moyen 2 – Fifth grade
6ème – Sixth grade

Collège et lycée

Collège – 7th through 9th grade
Lycée – 10th grade through 12th grade

French Instruction

École Maternelle (Pre-K & K)

France’s renowned École Maternelle has been imitated in many countries. The French preschool is an integrated and essential first phase of the educational system. Maternelle teachers, who have the same 4-year college degree as primary teachers, have solid training in child psychology and physical development, as well as education. They begin preparing the youngest children for the work they will be asked to do later in elementary school.

Each subject and activity in Maternelle is linked. Rather than arithmetic, science and language being treated separately, the curriculum focuses on general concepts, such as logical thinking, which incorporate something from each field. For example, recognizing that learning has a physical component at early ages, the Maternelle program includes a daily gymnastic session, in which preschoolers must navigate a parcourse of balance beams, climbing structures and crawling tubes.

The parcourse is specifically designed to reinforce a concept, such as placing oneself in space: top-to-bottom, and left-to-right. Similar motions are then practiced on a smaller scale, during graphic exercises on paper. Although it wouldn’t be apparent to a casual observer, the children are learning pre-writing skills.

Music, art, stories, theater, puppets and field trips complement the “academic” subjects introduced during the Maternelle years. Although reading does not formally begin until 1st grade, preschoolers learn to write their own names and to recognize the names of their classmates and familiar words such as the days of the week.

Another essential aspect of the Lycée’s Maternelle program is socialization. The school day is highly structured, incorporating specific periods for free, self-directed play. Children learn to express themselves in a manner appropriate to the time and place, and to distinguish the difference. They are taught to respect others, and to understand the consequences of their behavior. Teachers rarely resolve disputes directly – this is something the children are encouraged to do themselves, acquiring both autonomy and a sense of responsibility and mutual respect.

École Élémentaire (1st - 5th)

Language skills and oral expression are high priorities. A significant part of every school day is devoted to poetry, creative writing, formal composition, speech and spelling. Reading begins in first grade and is first taught in French. After the first ten weeks of school, 1st graders begin to read in English. They are also taught to write in cursive and to read all written forms.

The teaching of mathematics is another point of pride for the French educational system. It is a global approach in which students are exposed early to a wide range of mathematical concepts: geometry, addition, subtraction and multiplication, algebra, fractions, the decimal system, etc. Each year these mathematical concepts are expanded and students’ comprehension deepens.

Logic and expression are always prioritized. Calculating the correct answer is not sufficient; a student must explain how the answer was obtained, and why. Logic and the ability to articulate one’s reasoning are emphasized in every grade and field. Multiple-choice and true/false questions are virtually nonexistent.

In all subjects, students are required to develop answers in thoughtfully organized essay form. Presentation, neatness, and respect for one’s study materials are viewed as necessary preconditions for serious learning. In primary grades, students learn study methods which they will use through high school and later in university.

Collège (6th - 9th)

Beginning with 6th grade, each subject is taught by a specialist whose university training differs from that of colleagues who teach primary grades. There is the equivalent of a homeroom teacher/advisor for each class. In 6th grade, students may begin to learn a third language in an academic setting. Computer classes also begin in 6th grade. Science is expanded to include biology, geology, chemistry and physics. Statistics and functions are added to the mathematics program. Students also study English literature, U.S. and world history, and geography.

The 9th grade is the Orientation Cycle, designed to help students select a field of specialization for high school. At the conclusion of 9th grade, students take the Brevet des Collèges examination in French, mathematics and history-geography.

Lycée (10th - 12th)

In the French education system, students choose a technical, professional, or pre-university high school. Lycée Français follows the college preparatory track of the French educational system. In addition to preparing for the French Baccalauréat, which will allow students to apply to French universities, our students obtain an American high school diploma.

High school students choose one of three general areas of study for the 11th and 12th grades, corresponding to the three most prestigious Baccalauréat diplomas. Students may also choose these tracks with the International option of the Baccalaureat: S = mathematics/biology/physics/chemistry; ES = economic sciences/math/history/languages; L = literature/languages/philosophy.

General studies continue, but approximately 50-70% of students’ course work will be in classes specifically oriented toward their chosen program. For example, all students take math, but the type of math class varies according to the diploma being sought. Every course is a year in duration, as opposed to quarter or semester-length classes. Baccalauréat examinations are administered by the French Ministry of Education. Over a period of several days students will complete a 3 to 4-hour written and oral examination in each of four or five subjects. The questions are theoretical, testing the student’s thorough knowledge of the field, ability to use abstract reasoning, and written and oral communication skills.

The benefits of second language immersion education are well established. Researchers confirm that students who are fluent in several languages develop cognitive and analytical skills that are more advanced than their monolingual peers. Second language immersion education also promotes adaptability, flexibility and creativity, as children are expected to toggle between multiple languages according to environment. This everyday challenge may explain why multilingual students typically receive high marks in academic achievement tests.

Articles and references on bilingualism

Updated: Oct. 2, 2020