Student looking at globe

As part of its effort to boost students’ global and intercultural awareness, the Arkport Central School District is considering launching an international student program. 

Please read below for some information about the potential program and the opportunity to share your thoughts and feedback.  

How would the program work?  

Members of the school community would volunteer to host an international student for one year. Participating families would need to be able to provide a clean, safe environment for the student to adapt and thrive in their new surroundings and would be supported by international and residential coordinators that would support the student and their host family on a regular basis. 

A background criminal check would be required for all family members within the household to ensure that these new students would be safe during their stay in America. In addition to tuition, host families would receive reimbursement for the cost of housing.  

The program would be launched with assistance and support from the Rural Schools Association (RSA). RSA is a statewide membership organization providing advocacy and services to 320 rural school districts in New York State. They also operate the Rural Schools Program at Cornell University and would assist the district with locating the best qualified students from around the world, securing a federal licensing and processing payments.  

How would students be selected?  

International students would have to take part in a thorough application process that would include an in-depth online interview, and an application packet including complete health records, vaccination records, and multiple signed agreements. Participating students would need to be academically strong and vaccinated for COVID-19. 

How would host families be selected?   

While any parent/guardian can apply to host, the district will be looking for caregivers of all ages who have success in raising kids, will treat students as their own children, and are interested in a lifelong experience. Individuals who are interviewed and found to be acceptable hosts will be matched with students with similar likes. A host handbook will assist in answering questions for any individual who is considering hosting.  

When is the district hoping to launch this program? 

The district  hopes to welcome i students in August 2022 so that they  are ready to start school in the 2022-23 school year. 

The next step of this process is to gauge the school community’s interest in a possible international student program and learn more about what is on their minds as they consider this possibility. To that end, the district is inviting faculty and staff, students and caregivers and community members to take part in a ThoughtExchange to provide their thoughts, questions or concerns about the program.  

Click here to access the caregiver/community member ThoughtExchange: