New Program Would Bring Foreign Kids, Extra Tuition To Sandwich High School

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By: James Kinsella
Published: 08/30/13

The Sandwich public schools may tap into a program that would bring foreign students into the high school.

C. Richard Canfield, Sandwich superintendent of schools, told the school committee at its meeting last week that the program would offer the benefits of a mutual cultural exchange between the foreign students and Sandwich High students.

Dr. Canfield said the program also would offer a probable premium in tuition payments by the foreign students.

To embark on the endeavor, the Sandwich schools would take part in what is known as a “Student and Exchange Visitor Program.”

A school district must obtain federal certification to participate in the program, which allows that district’s high school to enroll nonimmigrant students and exchange students.

At present, Dr. Canfield reported to the committee, the Cape Cod Collaborative is working with Cape school districts that are interested in developing a regional partnership to bring international students to Cape Cod.

The collaborative, the superintendent said, is working with an international scholars program known as “INSPIRITAS.”

Dr. Canfield said INSPIRITAS, which works to develop regional partnerships throughout the United States, is working with schools in China that are eager to join in these partnerships.

The superintendent said INSPIRITAS takes care of all housing, usually through paying the households hosting the students, as well as non-school-related support.

He said the organization also collects all tuition and fees, and pays the school district the tuition established for every student accepted and enrolled.

Dr. Canfield said foreign students view their participation in the program as a way to help gain entrance to a top-tier American university.

To move the process forward, Dr. Canfield asked the school committee at last week’s meeting to agree to place an item for a vote on the agenda for its coming meeting. The item would allow the district to spend $2,400 to apply for the necessary federal certification.

The committee agreed to add the item to the next meeting’s agenda.

Ellin J. Booras, the principal of Sandwich High School, said she saw the program as an incredible cultural interchange opportunity for Sandwich students. Dr. Booras said space is available in the high school’s classes to take in the foreign students.

While Dr. Canfield estimates that Sandwich could take in up to 100 students through the program, he said Dr. Booras has advised starting small in terms of enrollment.

Nauset Regional High School in North Eastham already has five students enrolled who come through the program, Dr. Canfield said.

Nancy A. Crossman, vice chairman of the school committee, advised that Sandwich school officials sound out Nauset school officials on their experience, so as to not reinvent the wheel.

Aside from the academic and cultural benefits, the program also can generate money for the Sandwich schools. Dr. Canfield said some of the families of the foreign students are prepared to pay tuition of up to $50,000 for a year, about $40,000 more than the district’s current expenditure per pupil.

School committee member Robert Catalini said he would like to have an idea what Sandwich proposes to charge the foreign students when the time comes to vote on the certification application.


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