Schools eye foreign exchange student limits

By AMY WHITFIELD State Journal Staff Writer Published:

Foreign exchange students who want to attend school in Franklin County may have to meet more requirements than in previous years under a preliminary policy presented by the Franklin County Board of Education Monday.

In addition to the state and federal requirements of residency and language assessment, the new policy would require students to register with the district no later than two weeks before the first day of school and would limit the program to students who have not graduated in their home country and are younger than 18 on July 1 of the year they wish to enroll.

The exchange programs would also be reserved for seniors only and the students would have to have three years of English language study prior to enrolling in the district, as well as proof of three years of secondary school attendance.

After completing the course of study, the foreign exchange student would receive a certificate of attendance, but not a diploma.

Also, the number of foreign exchange students would be limited to eight per high school and four per placement organization.

The revised policy comes from the request of the principals at both high schools after a policy established by the Franklin County High School Council concerning the enrollment of foreign exchange students was determined to be beyond the authority of school councils and was considered void. The authority now rests with the school board.

Both principals expressed the need for the new guidelines stating it would make the planning process easier if foreign exchange students were required to register no later than two weeks before the first day of school and noted only 31 students are allowed in a classroom and Franklin County students should get priority.

For more on this story, see the latest State Journal.

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