World Language Students
The Regional School District #19 Board of Education recognizes that students from other countries and distant lands provide the high school with a more diverse student body and an opportunity for all students to share a mutual understanding of the commonalties of the human experience and an appreciation for each person’s and group’s uniqueness, integrity, and value. The board directs that the superintendent, or his/her designee, shall consider and may approve applications from foreign students to attend Edwin O. Smith High School tuition-free based on the following:
Foreign students will be permitted to attend the high school for up to one full school year for the sole purpose of a cultural/educational experience.
For the purpose of this policy, a foreign student shall be defined as a non-United States citizen who resides in another country and who requires approval from the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service to enter the country. The high school must grant permission before the Immigration and Naturalization Service will allow the student to enter the country. Foreign students may enter the country for educational reasons with a J-1 visa when participating in a formal exchange program, or with an F-1 visa. F-1 visas are those typically sought by students who wish to make individual arrangements for living accommodations and school attendance.
Students will be admitted to the district on a space available basis each year. Foreign exchange students with J-1 visas and sponsored by organizations, screened and approved by the administration, may be considered for admission. No more than three (3) non-tuition paying students may be accepted for any school year. Admission will be on a ‘first come, first served basis.’ Foreign students on a J-1 visa shall not be required to pay tuition.
The board may also accept privately sponsored foreign students on a F-1 visa for attendance only upon payment of an unsubsidized tuition at the established district rate; tuition payments may not be waived. Students on F-1 visas may remain in the United States for no more than twelve (12) months.
The following shall apply to all foreign students:
- Foreign students must be an appropriate age for a secondary education as set by guidelines consistent with state laws and may not be a graduate of the school system in the country he/she is native.
- Upon acceptance, foreign students must reside within the district with a host individual/family. Students will only be allowed to reside with the approved host family.
- The foreign student’s parent(s) or guardian(s) must provide written documentation that they have designated one or more members of the host family as guardian(s) for the student for school purposes. Such designation shall provide such members of the host family with the authority to act on behalf of the foreign student in all matters related to school including but not limited to the authority to consent to emergency medical treatment and the authority to make decisions concerning the student’s educational program.
- Host families will be required to demonstrate financial responsibility for the student.
- Students will be admitted to the district on a space available basis each year, the number of foreign exchange students shall not at anyone time exceed one-percent (1) of the enrollment reported on October 1 of the previous school year.
- The superintendent, acting for the board, reserves the right to withdraw the foreign student’s privilege of attending Edwin O. Smith High School when the superintendent concludes that the best interests of the school would be served by doing so. Any decision shall be communicated in writing to the host family, which shall be responsible for making arrangements for the student to return promptly to his or her own country.
- A high school diploma may be awarded to a twelfth grade foreign exchange student who successfully meets all of the academic requirements established by the district for graduation.
- Exchange students will be encouraged to participate in all student activities and will be eligible to participate in interscholastic athletics, provided academic requirements and Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) criteria are met.