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International Academy delayed to fall 2011

September 01, 2010 - The Oxford International Residency Academy will have to wait until the fall of 2011 to open its doors.

Superintendent Dr. William Skilling announced at the last Board of Education meeting that due to a late start in the recruiting process, the Academy will be pushed back by a year.

"We didn't have enough time," Skilling said. "We were too late in terms of our marketing."

Foreign students who choose to attend the International Academy, which will be located on the grounds of Crossroads for Youth, will be paying a tuition of $26,000.

Of that, $11,500 would go to the district to cover expenses such as textbooks and supplies, activity fees, an academy administer who will serve as the Chinese student's legal guardian, transportation to and from school and breakfast and lunch at the school.

Crossroads for Youth will receive $14,500 for room and board, transportation other than to and from school, medical, dental and vision coverage and supervision of the students during non-school hours.

The district is expecting to have a net gain of over $200,000 for every 20 students.

Skilling added the district knew the timing could have been a problem, so they were recruiting and advertising for both this year and next year at the same time.

He compared the problem to a college trying to recruit a high school senior after they graduated.

"We all know that seniors have already done their applications a year prior and have been accepted into schools and have usually made commitments and deposits...so a lot of the students that we talked with were in that situation," Skilling explained.

He also said that Oakland Schools ran into the same problem the district did in trying to recruit students.

"You really have to be out in the fall marketing your boarding school because students will make their decision between January and March," he said.

Even though the district couldn't open the academy this year, a lot of interest was shown by students about coming to the academy next year.

"We have quite a few people that are interested in coming next fall," Skilling said. "We had a few that were considering coming this year, but it was too soon for them to make a decision and they have already made commitments."

In addition to the Chinese students that will come to Oxford for the academy, the district is opening it up to all international students.

Andrew Moser is a staff writer for the Oxford Leader.
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