Admission of International and Foreign Exchange Students

The Student Services Department shall be responsible for the enforcing the following procedures regarding the admission of International and Foreign Exchange students:

(1) International Students

  1. All international (foreign born) students must follow the Student Assignment Office process for enrollment and school assignment.

  2. To enroll an international student in the PreK-12 program, the parent/guardian shall present a valid birth certificate or other approved substitutes found in section (1003.21 F.S.), guardianship documents, academic records, completed Florida Certificate of Immunization, proof of a physical examination within the last 12 months and proof of address.

  3. The School District of Lee County does not issue I–20s.

  4. Upon enrollment, all students must be administered a Limited English Proficiency survey questionnaire to determine eligibility services. Students shall have access to all programs and services that all native-born students have available to them.

  5. All students identified whose primary language is a language other than English must be referred to the English for Speakers of Other Languages Program (ESOL) for English Language Proficiency Assessment and program placement as needed.

  6. International students and foreign exchange students, who are without educational records, shall be provisionally assigned to a grade according to chronological age. The principal shall review the initial placement. If the student needs to be placed at a different level the principal shall facilitate an appropriate placement. The highest level of grade placement for students without records or transcripts translated into an English version of Carnegie units by a National Association of Credential Evaluation Services agency shall be grade 11. The translation must list the courses taken, the grades received and the number of Carnegie units that should be awarded. Credits taken in a foreign country as determined by the official transcript will be transcribed as unweighted credits in determining the student's initial grade point average. (Click here for list of Credential Evaluators)

  7. Students who have received a high school diploma from their home country shall be directed to the local post-secondary institutions.

(2) Foreign Exchange Students

  1. All foreign exchange students must contact the Student Services Department to obtain authorization forms prior to enrollment and must follow the Student Assignment Office process for enrollment and school assignment.

  2. Agencies must arrange host family placements before students leave their home country. Exchange students must be enrolled and start attending classes no later than the first day of the first semester each year for full year placements and the first day of the second semester each year for second semester placements.

  3. Students who enroll in the Lee County Schools as foreign exchange students with the intent to obtain a Lee County Schools high school diploma must adhere to the following conditions:

    1. A student must declare in writing to the Student Services Department his/her intent to obtain a standard diploma from a Lee County high school prior to beginning the registration process for enrollment.

    2. The student must provide the Student Services Department with an English version of an official transcript, from National Association of Credential Evaluation Services agency that transcribes the foreign credits into Carnegie units, showing courses taken and grades obtained. Credits taken in a foreign country shall be used as unweighted credits in determining the student's initial grade point average (GPA). (Click here for list of Credential Evaluators)

    3. Credits taken in a foreign country, as determined by the official transcript, shall be used as unweighted credits in determining the student’s initial grade point average (GPA).

    4. Foreign exchange students who intend to receive a standard diploma are eligible for local academic awards.

  4. The representatives from approved Foreign Exchange Student Programs requesting placement of a student must secure written acceptance from the Student Services Department prior to enrollment in District schools.

  5. All Foreign Exchange Programs must be licensed with the Council on Standard for International Educational Travel before requesting placement of students in the Lee County School District.

  6. Foreign Exchange students are expected to enroll for a minimum of one semester and maximum of two semesters.

  7. A Foreign Exchange student entering a Florida school for the first time must present to the Student Assignment Office the general enrollment documents required by all students in addition to the Exchange Program and INS documents.

  8. Foreign Exchange students must have sufficient scholastic preparation to participate in the designated program, including knowledge of the English language.

  9. The home language survey is given to all students and shall include Foreign Exchange students.

  10. If a Foreign Exchange Student is enrolled in the District and does not demonstrate English proficiency by scoring 33% or higher on the Language Assessment Battery (LAB), the District will provide ESOL services to that student for the duration of the school year. However, for the next school year, the Exchange Program may not be permitted to enroll students in the District due to violation of the English proficiency requirement.

  11. No Foreign Exchange Program may have more than three students from the same country in the same school or place more than one Foreign Exchange student per host family.

  12. The Foreign Exchange Program must certify that financial resources are sufficient to cover all expenses for the student including funds to cover school lunches.