Accepting Student Exchange Visitors
The administrative procedures set forth in this document will provide Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) with the protocol necessary to maintain a successful, system-wide Student Exchange Visitor Program. The protocol complies with the requirements of the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs. For further information, contact Charlotte Weirich at 301-934-7208.
a. Acceptance of Sponsoring Organization. CCPS will accept student exchange visitors only through those sponsoring organizations that have been vetted by the U.S. Department of State and/or which are listed in the document entitled, Council on Standards for International Educational Travel (CSIET) Advisory List.
b. Student Exchange Visitor Demographics. CCPS will accept student exchange visitors between the ages of 15 years and 18 years 6 months, at the program start date. A student may reach the age of 19 during his/her exchange visit in CCPS. The student exchange visitor may not have graduated and/or received a high school diploma or its equivalent in his/her native country. Student exchange visitors will be hosted only at the high school level.
c. Schedule for Acceptance Process. The CCPS World Language Specialist will be the liaison for the acceptance process. The entire process must conclude by June 15 prior to the upcoming school year; that is, from the date on which the sponsoring organization contacts the liaison until the date on which the principal of the host high school approves the student exchange visitor. The principal will determine the number of student exchange visitors that may attend his/her high school during an academic year.
d. Attendance Zone. The host family must live in Charles County. The student exchange visitor will attend the CCPS high school for which the host family is zoned. An exception may occur if the host family has a child who attends an out-of-zone high school in Charles County. In that case, with the principal's approval, the host family would have the option of sending the student exchange visitor to the same out-of-zone CCPS high school that the family's child attends.
III. Acceptance Process for Student Exchange Visitors
Step 1. Survey of Principals. The CCPS liaison will survey all CCPS high school principals in February of each year about their willingness to host student exchange visitors in the upcoming school year. When a sponsoring organization contacts CCPS, the liaison will inform the organization about which high school principals are willing to host. Sponsoring organizations may not contact CCPS principals who have declined to accept student exchange visitors for the upcoming school year.
Step 2. Sponsoring organization contacts CCPS liaison for Student Exchange Visitor Program. The sponsoring organization MUST FIRST CONTACT the CCPS liaison for the Student Exchange Visitor Program. The liaison will then initiate the process and serve as the point-of-contact for the sponsoring organization.
Step 3. Liaison verifies sponsoring organization. The CCPS liaison checks the Council on Standards for International Educational Travel (CSIET) Advisory List. If the sponsoring organization does not appear on the list, the CCPS liaison contacts the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs. If that bureau verifies the legitimacy of the sponsoring organization, the CCPS liaison continues the process. If the U.S. Department of State does not verify the sponsoring organization, the CCPS liaison notifies the organization that CCPS will not be able to continue the process. The sponsoring organization must identify a local representative in order to be verified by CCPS.
Step 4. Liaison provides written procedures with Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and notifies sponsoring organization. The CCPS liaison provides the "Accepting Student Exchange Visitors Administrative Procedures" and the "Memorandum of Understanding" (MoU) to the local representative. The local representative must sign and return the MoU, formally agreeing to follow CCPS procedures. The local representative must also send a hard copy of the sponsoring organization's promotional literature. The liaison sends an e-mail or a letter to the local representative, granting permission to continue the process. MoU
Step 5. Sponsoring organization arranges a suitable match. The sponsoring organization arranges a suitable match between a student exchange applicant and a Charles County family. The local representative sends a copy of the student exchange visitor's application, his/her native country school records and the host family's application to the CCPS liaison.
Step 6. Liaison provides student exchange documentation to host high school's principal. The liaison provides the documentation to the host high school's principal for his/her review and approval.
Step 7. Principal approves/disapproves student exchange visitor. If the principal approves, he/she signs and sends the sponsoring organization's letter of commitment to the organization. The principal forwards the remaining student exchange documentation to the school's counseling department. If the principal does not approve, he/she returns all of the documentation to the liaison.
Step 8. Principal reserves right to remove student exchange visitor from host high school. If the student exchange visitor violates the CCPS Code of Student Conduct, attendance policy or academic standards, the principal of the host high school reserves the right to permanently remove the student exchange visitor from the school. The student is not allowed to transfer to another CCPS high school. The principal notifies the CCPS liaison about the removal. The liaison then notifies the sponsoring organization that the student exchange visitor may no longer attend a CCPS high school. The sponsoring organization is responsible for notifying the host family and the student exchange visitor.
IV. Student Exchange Visitor's Registration at Host High School.
The host family takes the student exchange visitor to the host high school's counseling department for registration before the beginning of the school year. The counselor, the host family and the student exchange visitor agree upon a suitable schedule. If the counselor has questions about grade placement and scheduling, he/she contacts the supervising counselor at the Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building.
V. Role of Sponsoring Organization in Orientation.
In accordance with U.S. Department of State Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs regulations, the sponsoring organization conducts formal orientation for the student exchange visitor and his/her host family.
VI. Removal of Student Exchange Visitor from Host Family's Home.
Charles County Public Schools supports the student exchange visitor and the host family but does not participate in removing the student exchange visitor from the host family's home if that situation should become necessary. If a student exchange visitor has to be moved, the sponsoring organization's local representative oversees the process.
VII. Conclusion of Student Exchange Visit.
In June, the CCPS liaison will report to the Assistant Superintendent of Instruction the number of Student Exchange Visitors who have successfully completed the school year.
VIII. Appendix (Reference Documents):
a. U.S. Department of State Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs; Title 22: Foreign Relations; Part 62; Exchange Visitor Program; Subpart B, Para. 62.25, Secondary School Students http://exchanges.state.gov/jexchanges/regs_and_resources.html and Electronic Code of Federal Regulations
b. Council on Standards for International Educational Travel (CSIET); Organizations Listed on the CSIET Advisory List http://www.csiet.org/publications-resources/publications/listed-programs.html
a. Student Exchange Visitor Program. Refers to a sponsoring organization's program that has been designated by the U.S. Department of State as legitimate for conducting secondary school student exchanges between the U.S. and other countries. The student will attend a U.S. public or private high school for one year or less on a J-1 visa.
b. Sponsoring Organization. A public (non-profit) or private (for profit) entity designated by the U.S. Department of State as legitimate for providing Student Exchange Visitor Programs in the U.S..
c. Local Representative. The sponsoring organization's employee or volunteer living in Maryland who has been designated to serve as the local point-of-contact between the sponsoring organization and Charles County Public Schools.
d. Host Family. A family residing in Charles County who demonstrates the willingness and the capability to provide a safe, secure, moral and law-abiding home environment for the student exchange visitor.
e. Council on Standards for International Educational Travel (CSIET). A private, non-profit organization recognized by the U.S. Department of State. Its mission is to identify reputable international Student Exchange Visitor Programs, to provide leadership and support to the exchange and educational communities and to promote the importance and educational value of international youth exchange.
f. Liaison. The World Language Specialist for Charles County Public Schools who serves as the administrator for the Student Exchange Visitor Program. He/she will be the point-of-contact for all matters pertaining to the program.