International students stuck overseas due to the pandemic are now able to return to in-person school at the Upper Grand District School Board.
The move comes after the board completed an attestation form per federal and provincial requirements and was notified on Tuesday that the board has ministry approval to provide instruction for international students part of the International Student Program for the current school year.
“This notification allows the board to proceed in alerting our agents that we can accept students for the second semester beginning in February,” said Heather Loney, communications officer at the UGDSB.
“As well, staff will be contacting those students who had planned to attend our classes in February and notify them that we are able to welcome these students.”
Loney said the board has not determined how many international students will arrive in the UGDSB at this time and are currently in the process of contacting them to inform them that they are welcome to return.
The board has 24 ISP students participating remotely from their home countries, 109 returning ISP students currently in UGDSB schools and 12 new ISP this school year.
Loney said the board is also recruiting new ISP students.
“Families will then need to make the decision to send their child or not,” said Loney.
Once ISP students arrive in Canada to attend UGDSB schools, they have to undergo a federally implemented quarantine period, communicate with local health authorities and also complete anti-racism stigma training.
Doug Morrell, superintendent of education had stated in last month’s board meeting that most ISP students will be required to quarantine in their home country and all students undergo a quarantine period once they arrive to Canada to ensure they are safe to return to schools for in-person or remote-learning.
UGDSB ISP students will be quarantining at The Canadian Homestay Network to complete their safe arrival protocol.
The UGDSB has been keen on its ISP program because of the number of students it support, the diversity of students it brings to the schools and the teacher staffing it assists within schools.