FARMINGTON — Leanne Condon, assistant superintendent/director of curriculum for Regional School Unit 9, will head overseas to China in November for curriculum purposes as part of the district’s International Student program.

The purpose of the district’s program is to bring in revenue to re-establish the elementary world language program and create a stronger world language program overall, program coordinator and high school world language teacher Lisa Dalrymple previously said.

World language classes at the elementary level and the district’s Chinese studies were cut in 2010 because of budget constraints.

Condon told the school board Tuesday she will be in China from Nov. 9 to 18 to participate in the Chinese Bridge Delegation program. The trip will cost $900, and Hanban North America Education Inc. is paying 90 percent, Superintendent Tom Ward said.

Hanban pays for round-trip airfare to Beijing and travel costs, including hotel accommodations, group meals and tour guides.

The program aims to help educators start or strengthen their school’s Chinese programs and partnerships. Condon will have an opportunity to visit Chinese schools, meet with Chinese educators, observe classes, interact with students, establish meaningful partnerships with Chinese education institutions and network with U.S. colleges, according to the program description on the College Board website.


Condon will also have the opportunity to attend presentations on best practices and to gather resources to build and support Chinese language and culture programs and experience China firsthand.

RSU 9’s international program is ahead of the three-year plan Dalrymple introduced to the school board in March 2014. The plan went into effect at the start of the 2014-15 school year.

The district has the approval to accept students with F-1 visas, meaning they would pay tuition, room and board. Those students will be allowed to attend school for one year in the district. The district can also accept students with J-1 visas, meaning students are here for cultural experiences but don’t pay tuition or room and board.

The high school has four students under the F-1 visa program, one each from Italy and Spain and two from China, according to high school Principal Bruce Mochamer. Two more students from China will participate in the second semester.

There are also three students with J-1 visas from Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan and Czechoslovakia.

Dalrymple’s plan was to have three tuition-paying students in the district during the third year to bring in revenue. It is expected that at least 10 students will participate in the program next year, Ward said.

Dalrymple is currently recruiting in Japan, he said.

Dalrymple traveled to China last year to learn about the education system. She has marketed the program, developed partnerships and was working on developing dual diplomas in March.

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