Windham First NH District to Gain SEVP Certificate

Windham Is First NH District to Gain SEVP Certificate
Global Leadership Summit

Windham has become the first school district in New Hampshire to receive SEVP certification and establish a Global Competency Certificate Program. An informational meeting on the Global Leadership Summit program will be held on 10/4. 


It all began earlier this year. Superintendent Richard Langlois contacted the Cambridge Institute on International Education, a leading educational consulting firm that increases international participation in American high schools who he had worked with previously in other districts to establish a global student exchange program in Windham. Founded in 2009 and with offices throughout the world, the Cambridge Institute partners with over 200 private high schools, public high schools, colleges and universities and has generated over $110 million in tuition alone for its partner schools, thereby establishing itself as a leader in developing sustainable international student programs.

In order to establish an international education program in Windham, there were a number of steps that the district needed to overcome. First, the district needed to work with the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency to become SEVP (Student and Exchange Visitor Program) certified and to issue F1 visas for international students. The certification process included a number of documents and requirements for the district to address. Earlier this month, the Windham School District received word from the United States Government that we have achieved SEVP certification, becoming the first public school district in New Hampshire to do so.

In addition, since the Cambridge Institute for International Education handles all of the logistics of the global exchange program and student placement in terms of background checks, securing host families, English language assessment and more, they also had a list of requirements for the district. The Windham School District had to host a delegation from participating international schools in order to provide them with information on the district, as well as provide a first-hand education of Windham High School. In the nature of an exchange program, the Windham School District was required to also send administrators to a partnering school for a similar experience, before establishing the exchange of students.

As such, a delegation from China visited Windham in March, 2017. They visited with Windham School District administrators, school board members, teachers and students and also spent a great deal of time in the classroom -- they even participated in a jewelry-making lesson! Next month, the Windham School District will send two administrators, WHS Principal Stephen Sierpina and Assistant Superintendent Kori Alice Becht, to China where they will spend time learning more about our first partner school and its students. Once this step is completed, Windham High School will be able to accept international student exchange students as early as January, 2018 and become the first district in New Hampshire to establish an international student exchange program. The district’s goal is to accept up to six pupils per year and will focus on incorporating international scholars into Windham High School, before sending Windham students to a partner school.

The funds generated by this international student exchange program will be used to increase global education programs in Windham Schools and to help offset their associated costs. In a 21st century world where technology makes the world more accessible as borders between continents are blurred, and classrooms become more diverse, global education and understanding of other cultures is critical.  The Windham School District recognizes its significance, which is why this collaboration with the Cambridge Institute and other programs, such as the Global Leadership Summit sponsored by EF Tours, have been established.

Windham is also the first school district in New Hampshire to establish a global competency certificate program, designed to support learners participating in an international travel experience. The Global Leadership Summit is a global movement that combines a two-day international student conference with an educational tour. Windham High School freshmen, sophomores and juniors have the opportunity to earn college credit and participate in a two-day international summit and trip to Dublin and Berlin next summer in order to help influence the role of technology on society. Participants begin their trip visiting Dublin and discover why technology giants are flocking to Dublin, while also taking time to explore Celtic life and the city’s landmarks. Students then travel to Berlin where they will spend time visiting Europe’s emerging great tech hub before participating in the leadership conference. During the two-day conference, students will hear from world-renowned keynote speakers, work with local and global experts, and collaborate with peers in small international teams. The teams will develop a technological prototype and the winning design will be displayed in the Nobel Peace Prize Museum. As a result of this experience, students will learn the design thinking process to develop their own solutions focusing on the Influence of Technology on Society and be inspired to take action back home. Space is limited and is handled on a first come, first serve basis. An information night will be held at 5pm on October 4, 2017 at Windham High School and interested students should contact the guidance department for more details. The deadline for signups is November 1.


WHS Assistant Principal Matt Malila and Director of Guidance Julie Lichtmann attend the Global Leadership Summit in Finland, July 2017.

Students from all over the world compete at the Global Leadership Summit.

china delegation
Members from the China delegation meet with Windham school representatives, March 2017.
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