SARASOTA, FL – After a year-long, exhaustive process, Hershorin Schiff Community Day School – a Jewish day school that serves children of all faiths in preschool through eighth grade – has been approved for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). This approval allows the school to accept international students in grades K-8 under a special academic visa.
The program will complement Community Day’s already diverse community, with families that identify with over 40 different nationalities. Community Day’s “inclusivity in action” helps to prepare students to thrive in an increasingly interconnected global economy as well as to become empathetic and empowered leaders in combating intolerance in high school, college and beyond.
The rigorous approval process involves the submission of numerous forms, site visits from Homeland Security, sworn affidavits, and more. While Community Day School has, for many years, hosted international students under “associate enrollment” terms, it has not been able to host students from certain countries since it could not offer the educational visa required to attend school in the U.S.
SEVP certification allows institutions to issue Forms I-20, “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status,” to prospective international students after admitting them for a program of study. Prospective international students then use the Form I-20 to apply for a visa to enter the United States. SEVP certification also authorizes the institution to enroll these international students after they enter the U.S. on an academic or vocational student visa.
Community Day had to prove the following to earn approval:
• The school is already operational and has been instructing students in the courses/programs for which it is seeking approval.
• The school has the necessary facilities, adequate finances and qualified personnel required to teach and operate the program.
• The school meets all state requirements to operate as an institution of learning (or is exempt from all such state requirements).
• The school provides instruction in programs that lead to a degree or a professional, educational or vocational objective.
International students wishing to attend an SEVP-approval school must apply and be accepted to that institution, submit paperwork and pay a fee, apply for a student visa, and maintain student status at the school. Should all requirements be met, these students are also eligible to continue – with successful application/acceptance – to an SEVP-certified college or university.
“At Community Day, we are committed to admitting students from all walks of life who possess the motivation, ability and character that would enable them to succeed in our school community,” said Head of School Dan Ceaser. “For many years, our students have benefited from opportunities to learn about and share religious values and traditions from around the world; we believe there is no better way to build bridges of mutual understand and respect than to learn than to work, learn and play, side by side, with children from other places and cultures.”
For more about Community Day School, visit communityday.org.
About Hershorin Schiff Community Day School
The mission of the Hershorin Schiff Community Day School, which serves students in early childhood through eighth grade, is to impact the world by creating a community where children of all faiths demonstrate integrity, academic excellence, and a desire to improve the world. Community Day offers a rigorous, project-based academic program in a diverse and vibrant learning environment rooted in the Jewish values of honesty, integrity, mutual trust, and respect. For more information, visit communityday.org or call 941-552-2770.