Berkeley County School District to discuss possibly halting its foreign exchange program this fall

Berkeley County News

BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – The Berkeley County School District is considering changes to their foreign student exchange program as the country continues to rebound from the coronavirus pandemic.

“We have one from Spain right now; he’s been a great person, a great kid, changed our whole life and how we look at things,” said Kyle Stevens who is hosting an exchange student.

Stevens’ family is hosting Nacho Gagorris from Spain.

“I’ve been a foreign exchange student for eight months here,” he said.

16-year-old Nacho has been a Berkeley Stag for those past eight months.

“It’s been pretty fun,” he said. “I’ve learned a lot of things in school and everything. My friends are pretty nice, I have a lot of friends.”

The school district has a policy that says they must approve foreign exchange programs three months before school starts; however, due to COVID-19, the administration is asking the board to deny foreign exchange students for the next school year.

District officials say they plan to revisit the program before school begins, but with the policy in place, the board needs to act now.

Charleston and Dorchester counties say they are still studying the issue.

Kyle and Nacho say they believe the district should approve an exchange program in the fall, even if it might mean the students should quarantine before attending school.

“The kids got to see a different culture. I was in the Navy before, so I got a chance to see Spain and travel and the kids don’t get to travel as much; the foreign-exchange student loves it here. he’s argued with his parents because he wants to stay for another year.”

Board members will discuss the issue during executive session at 5:30 p.m., the public portion of the meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m.

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