405R-G - Admission of Foreign Students

  • Foreign Exchange Program (J-1 Students)

    The school principal may grant approval for high school students to attend Frederick County Public Schools under the auspices of an approved foreign exchange program. The list of approved foreign exchange organizations is maintained in the Office of Student Support Services. Additions/deletions to the list of exchange agencies operating in Frederick County shall be maintained by the Office of Student Support Services.

    1. Only those organizations sponsoring foreign exchange visiting students which meet the following criteria, will be allowed to place exchange students in the Frederick County Public Schools.

      1. Approved by the United States Information Agency (USIA).

      2. Approved by the Council on Standards for International Educational Travel (CSIET).

      3. Listed in the most recent Advisory List published by CSIET and disseminated with assistance of the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP).

      4. Maintains a trained representative serving this area who selects and trains host families and counsels students.

    2. Foreign exchange students are admitted on a temporary, cultural exchange basis for one school year and not for high school graduation purposes. Any student who has met the requirements for high school graduation in the country in which he/she lives or has completed schooling in his/her home country or is nineteen years of age or older shall be ineligible to participate in the foreign exchange program in Frederick County. A transcript of all courses taken in grade 9 to the present must accompany the application for admittance to a Frederick County school as an exchange student in order to verify grade placement and to develop an appropriate educational program. An English translation must accompany all records.

    3. English as a Second Language services are not offered to foreign exchange students; they are expected to display sufficient knowledge of English to enable them to function adequately in the high school setting. Upon request of the receiving school principal, exchange students may be required to demonstrate their ability to function in an average grade level class. Students not capable of functioning in regular classes shall not be enrolled. A test of language proficiency, an audio tape, and a brief essay in English may be required.

    4. Students will be required to obtain an Exchange Visitors Visa (J1 Status) from the United States Information Agency. This is handled solely by the sponsoring exchange agency.

    5. Host families and sponsoring exchange student organizations must comply with the Regulations of the Exchange Program. Compliance ensures quality control and protection for the student, i.e., health, accident, and liability.

    6. No tuition charge will be made for approved foreign exchange students. They are expected to pay for gym equipment, other applicable student fees, and optional items such as class rings and yearbooks.

    7. Placement of foreign exchange students in specific schools must be approved by the principal, following these procedures:

      1. The sponsoring family must submit their request in writing to the school principal along with a letter of request from the approved foreign exchange organization that will be representing the exchange student. The student's visa status shall be indicated at this time.

      2. The sponsoring family will confer with the receiving school principal or designee in all cases and will provide pertinent background information to the principal, including a transcript of the student's school record. At this point, the principal or designee will ensure that the exchange student has a complete, accurate immunization record. Approval by the principal will not proceed without proper documentation of immunization.

      3. If space is available in the receiving school and the principal approves, the student may be enrolled. No more than 3 exchange students will be enrolled in any one school.

      4. If enrollment is approved, the sponsoring family will be responsible for confirming visa status, providing any pertinent documents requested by the receiving school, and paying appropriate fees prior to the student's final enrollment by the guidance staff. The immunization records will be reviewed by the school nurse to ensure compliance with local and state requirements. Enrollment shall be denied if the immunization record is incomplete or all fees have not been paid prior to the first day of classes.

      5. The enrolling school shall, at the time of registration, ensure that the exchange student is fluent in English. This may be accomplished by having the student write on a topic in the presence of a staff member. If doubt exists as to the degree of English fluency, the school will refuse enrollment until the student's English proficiency is further verified. Under no condition will a student be enrolled when it is determined that he/she is incapable of functioning in regular grade level classes for the student's age or when required records are not available or in proper order.

    8. Requests received after August 1 will not be considered. No sponsoring agency will bring foreign students to Frederick County without prior approval for the student to attend Frederick County Public Schools.

    9. Foreign exchange students must be at least fifteen (15) years of age, and must not have reached their nineteenth (19) birthday, on the day of enrollment.

    10. Foreign exchange students will be enrolled only as full-time (seven credits) students. They must be enrolled in English and U.S. History and/or U.S. Government.

    11. Foreign exchange students will be graded and evaluated based on Frederick County Public Schools policy and regulation 415. Foreign exchange students will be granted credits for successful completion of course work.

      The school division will not award a high school diploma to any foreign exchange student.

      At the time of registration, the foreign exchange student and host family will sign an Acknowledgement of Foreign Exchange Student Non-Graduation Status Form indicating compliance and awareness of information stated in district policies, regulations, and procedures.

    12. Foreign exchange students will be subject to the same policies, regulations, code of student conduct, and attendance requirements as non-foreign exchange students. They will be accorded all the rights and privileges of non-foreign exchange students, except as noted, during their period of enrollment.

    13. The local representative of the sponsoring organization shall:

      1. Facilitate the completion of registration process.

      2. Complete and sign Acknowledgement of Policies and Regulations.

      3. Check on the student's well-being in the host home on a monthly basis.

      4. Obtain copies of every grade report, and if necessary, contact the school(s) to request such copies.

      5. Notify the school attendance clerk and principal of any change in host family or school status.

      6. Ensure that only one student is placed in each host family.

      Should the sponsoring organization fail to meet the requirements specified in this regulation or those required by CSIET or USIA, the placement of the exchange student(s) may be terminated.

      Should the guarantee or documentation provided by a sponsoring organization prove to be invalid, further acceptance of foreign exchange students from that organization will be dependent upon proof of compliance with district policies, regulations, and procedures. The burden of proof rests with the sponsoring organization.


    Cross Reference(s):
    Regulation 405R-G-Appendix A: Acknowledgement of Policies, Regulations, & Procedures Governing Foreign Exchange Students

    Regulation 405R-G Appendix B: Acknowledgement of Foreign Exchange Student Nongraduating Status


    Adopted: July 11, 2008
    Amended: July 3, 2018
    Amended: September 12, 2018