Due to a strict foreign exchange student policy, one couple had to personally appeal to the Board of Education to clear the way for a student.
The Board of Education waived the strict guidelines for Lance and Melissa Koster, who can now host a foreign exchange student.
â€œItâ€™s just that the Kosters did not have children enrolled in this system,â€ said Superintendent Jim Watson. â€œThat was probably too restricted.
The strict policy was created one year ago.
â€œThere had been issues surrounding foreign exchange students in many ways,â€ said Superintendent Jim Watson.
The policy was a reaction to people profiting off foreign exchange students and students coming into the school system who had already graduated in their countries.
â€œThese things were occurring,â€ said Superintendent Jim Watson. â€œWe even had situations in this county.â€
Throughout the state some foreign exchange student hosts would bring in as many students as possible, receiving a stipend for each one.
The Kosters assured the policy committee that their desire to host a foreign exchange student was not to make a profit.
â€œIt does not provide for us monetarily,â€ said Lance Koster. â€œIt just provides an experience for the student, and an experience for ourselves.â€
The student that the Kosterâ€™s will host has not yet graduated from high school.
Prior to putting the current policy in place, some students as old as 19 could come to Lincoln County high schools.
These students did not need credits to go towards graduation. Instead, they came for a purely cultural experience.
The current policy allows only those in need of high school credit to attend Lincoln County high schools.
â€œOur viewpoint on this is that it should be a total education experience,â€ said Elaine Jenkins, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction.
Hosts of foreign exchange students are expected to be involved with the studentâ€™s life.
The student should be involved in clubs, car washes and other social activities.
â€œThatâ€™s part of the high school experience, and the family needs to commit to this,â€ said Jenkins.
After learning about the Kosterâ€™s specific situation, the policy committee unanimously waived the policy.
The motion was later approved at Juneâ€™s Board of Education meeting.The policy, however, still remains in place. The Board of Education has the right to waive it on a case by case situationby Sarah Grano