FARMINGTON — Regional School Unit 9 has received word that the Chinese government has approved a partnership to offer a dual diploma program to students attending Beijing No. 2 Middle School in China.

RSU 9 expects to receive at least $60,000 in the first year and $120,000 in the second year. The figures do not factor in the third year of the contract with the Beijing school, which serves grades 10 through 12.

It is one of three schools that serves 15,000 students. If the dual diploma program goes smoothly, the district could potentially work with the other two schools. 

The RSU 9 board of directors approved a three-year contract with the Beijing No. 2  Middle School on June 27. The district has been waiting to see if the Chinese government would approve it. 

Superintendent Tom Ward said Thursday that the district received word of the Chinese government’s preliminary approval from the American Youth Camp’s Global Education Group in Waterville, with which the district is working. 

Lisa Dalrymple, founder and director of the district’s International Student Program and world language teacher at Mt. Blue, and Mt. Blue High School Principal Monique Poulin will go to China in late October, early November to finalize the three-year agreement, Ward said. 


The Beijing No. 2 Middle School is one of the best schools in China, Ward previously noted. 

Dalrymple has worked since 2014 to make partnerships with schools in China and other countries. Former RSU 9 Director of Curriculum Leanne Condon, who is also former assistant superintendent, assisted with the program and the contract. 

The district put a total of $60,000 into the program over three years but the school board declined to fund it in the 2017-18 budget. The program brought in nearly $100,000 in tuition since then. The majority of it was reinvested into the program, used for developing partnerships, marketing, legal services and traveling to foreign countries.

The Beijing school had a previous partnership with a Christian school in California but wanted to work with a public school, Ward said in June.

The Chinese students involved in the dual diploma program will be taught courses in Chinese by a Chinese teacher and in English by a teacher from outside China. The Chinese students will study in China the first two years, with 15 coming over each summer for a two-week program. Fifteen Chinese students will spend their senior year at Mt. Blue Campus, which houses the high school and Foster Career and Technical Education Center.

The 15 students studying at Mt. Blue their senior year will each pay $18,300 in tuition, plus $1,000 for insurance and $6,500 for home stays in the Farmington area. 


The majority of the revenue the district anticipates to receive will be used to re-establish the district’s world language program at the elementary grade level, which was eliminated during past budget constraints. 

The two partnering schools will jointly operate the college preparatory co-educational program, offering both a Chinese high school diploma at the Beijing No. 2 school and a U.S. diploma at Mt. Blue High School, according to information provided to RSU 9 directors in June.

Under the contract, the Beijing school will pay $1,000 to RSU 9 for each student. There will be 60 students the first year, and an estimated 120 students the second year.

The Beijing school will also pay $500 for each student to the American Youth Camp’s Global Education Group. The agency will handle all money transactions and will pay the expense of RSU 9 sending the curriculum and staff to China, including travel, lodging and meals. 

RSU 9 will send a staff member or two, twice a year, to train the teachers from outside of China on the Mt. Blue curriculum.

Condon, who had planned to go to China to do the training, previously estimated it would take her seven to eight days a year, including travel time.

[email protected]

Lisa Dalrymple is director of the Regional School Unit 9 International Student Program at Mt. Blue Campus in Farmington. 

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