Action by the Northland Pines school board last Monday ended efforts to bring up to 30 Chinese students here for the 2019-20 school year and ended the school partnership with the Wisconsin International Student Program (WISP) at the conclusion of the 2018-19 school year. The board also ended the certification under the Student Exchange and Visitor Information System (SEVIS) that is part of Homeland Security to obtain student visa's.
Presently there are five Chinese students that will end their relationship with the school district at the end of the current school year. The action by the school board means there will be no Chinese students hosted next school year.
District Administrator Scott Foster indicated other programs that Dr. Mike Richie and the district started under his tenure will remain; these include SOAR and Montessori schools. Foster also felt the district would “not shut out” all foreign students and would be open to consider foreign students sponsord by Rotary, for instance. Richie, contacted for a reaction, declined to talk on the record.
“This action does not affect our present five Chinese students and we feel it was a good experience for them and for us,” Foster said. “We adjusted their schedule for the second semester trying to get more interaction with other programs such as sports teams,” adding “I have to give credit to our teachers for their dedication to our students.”
Asked about the two acres the disrict sold for building a dormatory to house 30 students, Foster indicated there had been no discussion on this and what the future use may be. There was a buy-back provision in the sale.