Administrative Procedures for 2020-21

Update: Due to the COVID-19 closure of school buildings, Charles County Public Schools will not accept Student Exchange Visitors this school year.

I. Purpose

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 Educational and Cultural Affairs. For further information, contact the Director of Student Services at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. who will serve as the CCPS liaison for sponsoring organizations.

II. Overview

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 which are listed in the document entitled Council on Standards for International Educational Travel (CSIET) J-1 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 for a school year at the high school level only. Student exchange visitors who have successfully completed 12th grade may participate in graduation activities, but will not receive a Maryland diploma.

c. Schedule for Acceptance Process. The Director of Student Services will be the liaison for the acceptance process. The student application deadline is July 31, 2020. CCPS will review the application and provide notice of its acceptance or rejection by a high school principal by August 15, if possible. Each high school will accept a maximum of five Student Exchange Visitors.

d. Host Family / Attendance Zone. The host family must live in, and have a permanent address in, Charles County. The student exchange visitor must live at that permanent address with the host family for the entire school year. The student exchange visitor must attend the CCPS high school for which the host family is zoned. Student exchange visitors are not permitted to reside with relatives.

III. Acceptance Process for Student Exchange Visitors

Step 1. Communications. The CCPS liaison will inform all CCPS high school principals in January of each year about Administrative Procedures for accepting student exchange visitors in the upcoming school year. In February, the liaison will post the CCPS Student Exchange Visitors Administrative Procedures for the upcoming school year on the CCPS website.

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) J-1 Advisory List. If the sponsoring organization does not appear on the list, the CCPS liaison notifies the organization that CCPS will not be able to continue the process. Additionally, the sponsoring organization must identify an acceptable 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 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 liaison sends an e-mail to the local representative, granting permission to continue the process.

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, immunization 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 would not be 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

The host family should complete online registration at Student exchange visitors should have met all vaccination requirements prior to registration. Once the online registration is complete, the host family makes an appointment with the school counselor to determine 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 Educational 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 Deputy Superintendent 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, and

b. Council on Standards for International Educational Travel (CSIET); Organizations Listed on the CSIET Advisory List:

IX. Glossary:

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 Director of Student Services of Charles County Public Schools serves as the coordinator for the Student Exchange Visitor Program. He/she will be the point-of-contact for all matters pertaining to the program. 

Student Exchange Guidelines and Memorandum of Understanding icon acrobat