SD83, following developed guidelines, will be working on building an international student program.
At the Board of Education meeting at A.L. Fortune on Tuesday, Superintendent of Schools/CEO Peter Jory recommended, and the Board approved in principle, the creation of an international program, within outlined guidelines, that will hopefully see some international students in School District No. 83 for September 2019.
“It’s an exciting addition to the district,” commented Board Chair Marianne VanBuskirk after the vote.
Trustee Amanda Krebs also added she was very strongly in favour of developing the program.
In his presentation, Jory pointed out a thriving International Program would benefit our local communities, enhance learning opportunities for our students, and create financial opportunities for our School District. “If we grow this program with homestays and field trips it is a way to not only enrich the learning in our school district but it is also a financial endeavour.”
He noted that in order to be successful, the international programs need to be developed thoughtfully. There will be an investment in staff time, which should be carefully managed to reflect workload. Students should be recruited and placed in a manner that maximizes their experience, minimizes facility pressures, and positively impacts learning and results, both for them and for resident students. Once in District, he noted, international students need to be supported both academically and emotionally, as they are far from home.
He suggested, and the board approved, the following guidelines:
- Identify a key staff member to initiate and grow the International Program
- Allocate staff efficiently as per the budget framework
- Develop the Program in alignment with the District Strategic Plan and Education Plan
- Use partnerships with other school districts to identify best practices and to reduce recruiting costs
- Manage placement to fit within current facilities and projected resident enrollment
- Allocate the profits generated by the International Program to the Local Capital Fund, prioritizing the construction of a downtown elementary school in the Salmon Arm area.
Jory noted he has had conversations with three different districts which have mature international programs that are running low on “seats and beds” in their own district, still have the relationships and don’t want to say no to requests who may recommend that the students come to a program in SD83. “It is a great opportunity to use those best practices, adapt them for our own environment, and develop a healthy international program here.”