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  • in reply to: sample letters to parents/agents/students/hosts #1851

    Sample Letter from SD61 –
    Dear Partner in Education;
    We sincerely appreciate your support during this difficult time.
    As you know, currently, there is a great deal of complexity around travel to certain parts of the world and anxiety from students, homestay families, and natural parents. We recognize that it may not be possible for some students to return home at this time.
    However, it would be prudent for natural parents to look at students returning home, where possible, as we do not expect school sites to reopen soon. We do expect online learning options to become available, but cannot provide a specific date around availability of online programming. I will update you as soon as possible.
    Once again, here are a few key points from Education Minister Fleming for your reference which you can pass along to students and families. This will hopefully provide comfort around their current educational program and completion of the current grade level.
    “Every student will receive a final mark, and all students on track to move to the next grade will do so in the fall. For grades 10 and 11 students, graduation assessments will be postponed.”
    “Every student eligible to graduate from Grade 12 this year will graduate. The only graduation assessment required for current Grade 12 students is the Grade 10 numeracy assessment. The Ministry of Education will ensure Grade 12 students who have not yet completed this assessment and who are otherwise on track to graduate are able to meet this graduation requirement.”
    “The Ministry will also work with the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training with Post- Secondary institutions on admissions and smooth transition of graduating students in this extra-ordinary year.”
    All students are required to follow the principles of social distancing provided by the BC provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. Students have all been emailed regarding this as well. Please contact me at or call 250-592-6871 or 778-676-3781 if you need additional support.
    Jeff Davis, PhD
    International Education
    Greater Victoria School District No. 61

    in reply to: Salary and Compensation Package for HS Manager #1755

    Hi Holly,

    Members can view job descriptions and salary outlines from the file labeled “job description samples” in the Knowledge Base of the members only area of the website.

    in reply to: Host families and home insurance #1430

    From: Sally Stacey
    Subject: RE: SD#48 (Sea to Sky) requesting IPSEA member comments regarding Host families Home Insurance and denied coverage because of international student
    Date: 2 March, 2016 7:03:12 PM PST

    From our homestay provider:

    The challenge with insurance for host families is that homestay students are not tenants and not family members or guests so they do fall into a grey area that is not covered by some insurance companies. That is why we let our hosts know in our guidelines that they must have insurance coverage for liability issues in the home. Upon inquiring with their providers, hosts who discover that they are not covered do have to change to other providers or assume the risk of no coverage so that is why they are cautioned to check with their providers. If not, consequences can be serious! We do not try to keep lists of or provide hosts with the names of insurance companies that do cover homestay situations as we do not want to be seen to endorse any particular company. Since insurance companies also do not cover the student’s belongings should something happen in the home, that is why we let the students know that they are responsible for purchasing their own coverage. FYI, many years back our Homestay Coordinators’ Association did try to work with an insurance provider who was willing to provide insurance coverage for students but it was extremely complicated and would have been expensive and onerous for homestay companies to administer (we would have to provide student names, homestay move-in and move-out dates, and collect money from students and make payments to the company), so agreed that it was not a practical solution.

    in reply to: Host families and home insurance #1429

    Hi Amy,

    In Kelowna, most of the insurance companies charge 30% on average when you have international students. I know that they have to specify if they have one or more students living at home.

    I have the experience of one of my host families which had two students in their home. They went some days away fro Xmas time and had a flood. When they returned some of the belongings of the students were damaged. The insurance co. did not cover those, arguing that they did not informed them that there had more than one student in their home.

    Hope it helps,


    Sent from my iPhone

    in reply to: Host families and home insurance #1428

    Hi Kathren,

    I have spent some time inquiring about home/ rental insurance regarding home stay families and hosting international students that may be helpful to the community.

    We had three break and enters in 2015 where home stay families items were stolen along with the students items.
    At first I thought the all the host families items and students items would be covered under the host families home or renters insurance.
    However after speaking to approximately six different insurance companies in the North Shore I found out that :

    Some home or renters insurances are void when hosting a international student, some companies require the home owner or tenant to add the student to the insurance and some do not (only one of our host families formally adds the student to the home insurance) and their are dozens of different insurance provides with different rules
    I was told all home or renters insurance products are “void” if the host family is hosting more then two students (which I do advise our host families to look into before accepting a third student, along with provinical guidelines, bi-law etc)
    Student items will never be covered under hosts home or renters insurance because they are not considered a family member but “boarders” there are no home or renters insurance products that cover students items stolen from the home stay. The student should have belongings insurance from the home country
    Our home stay agreement states “Host Families must carry full personal liability insurance of not less than 2 million dollars” (from Harris and Co). My understand this liability insurance is through either home or renters insurance and pertains to personal injury of someone on the home stay property and has nothing to do with anyones actual belongings. My understanding is that Guard Me also has third party liability coverage (if the student accidentally hurts someone within the home stay) I.e dropping a item by accident that injures a family member.

    I hope this helps to clarify.


    Amanda Burkholder
    Homestay Manager
    International Programs
    T 604 981 1159 C 604 341 0515

    in reply to: BOLO: Ruiqi Liu #1364

    He already applied to Surrey via agent JJL. Likely will try elsewhere. I spoke to Liz Gamble.

    Angela Olson
    Manager, International Education
    Surrey Schools

    Sent from my iPhone

    in reply to: Impact of adopting later government exams #1206

    I am not sure my response to Lori’s posting got out, but our first semester students will be going home as scheduled. I always prepare their final reports and certificates of enrolment anyway so that is not an issue. The teachers have the option of providing semester end assessments, but should that not happen, we will do our own, probably something akin to a written reflective exercise. As you all know, we have considerable latitude when evaluating students who are not in the Grad Program. Our second semester students will arrive as scheduled and maybe even enjoy the orientation and recreational activities that are offered to them during the first week of February. The second semester tend to miss out on this kind of thing. I won’t be available for a conference call, which is why I am responding by email. By the way, we only have one student in the Grad Program who will be ending his studies in February. Apparently he won’t be going home right away so there aren’t any transportation issues and we will cover the cost of an extra week of homestay. I hope this helps in some small way.


    in reply to: Impact of adopting later government exams #1205

    Hello from Kamloops,

    These are good questions that Lori is asking and ones that I have also been challenged with. Our District’s dates have been adjusted. Although I have not had an official word regarding what I think will work for us, I am thinking about the following: Pls.see below…


    • who are other districts that are also doing this? Kamloops Thompson ~ SD73

    • what will they do in terms of financial loss? i.e.
    -keep semester one students for an additional two weeks with NO extra
    home stay charge Our 1st semester students only will not stay longer; the full year
    students will fit into the new schedule
    -insist that all semester two students delay their airline arrival by two weeks (we have to
    as we do not have enough home stay families) thus having our agencies pick up the tab
    for the cost of airline changes? Our second semester students will arrive on schedule.

    I am thinking that we will have a longer orientation with some activities for our incoming students until exams are over and second semester is in gear.

    -Give semester two students a discount (rebate?) as they will have two
    fewer weeks at school? We do not anticipate any refund.

    in reply to: Impact of adopting later government exams #1204

    Hi everyone,

    We are doing our own assessments, although the teachers have the choice of doing theirs, for our first semester students who are all from Europe or Latin America. They will be leaving as scheduled with program issued final reports and certificates of enrolment.

    Our new second semester students will arrive as scheduled and we will spend the first week of February doing orientation activities, including programming, along with a few team building recreational activities.

    Actually it will be a pleasant change having some time with the second semester students before they start. The agents were certainly happy with these plans.

    I hope this helps.


    Dr. Scott Bergstrome
    Gulf Islands International Program
    School District 64 (Gulf Islands)
    112 Rainbow Road,
    Salt Spring Island, B.C.
    Canada V8K 2K3 or

    in reply to: ZHANG, Haobo (Harvey) #1160

    *This message was taken from the list serve and posted into the Forum for future reference*

    Good afternoon.

    If the above named student (ZHANG, HAOBO (Harvey) attempts to register with you then you may wish to contact Spencer Gray or me.



    Bob Lee

    District Principal
    Saanich International Student Program

    in reply to: Bill C-35 #1073

    Thanks … I had seen that info, but my question is still not answsered.  As I mentioned in my original post, the course does not qualify an agent as an authorized representative for CIC.  See the excerpt from the CMEC site below.

    What recognition do agents receive upon passing the Canada Course examination?

    “Educational agencies with staff who have passed the Canada Course examination will have their names posted on the ICEF website identifying that they have successfully passed the course examination. This does not mean they have authorization, endorsement, or accreditation by the Canadian government …”

    This does not solve the problem for our agents who charge a fee for service.  Any comments?

    in reply to: Bill C-35 #1058

    Please see below:

    (Recently posted by CAPS-I)


    We are pleased to let you know that the Canada Course for Education Agents was launched October 27th, 2012 at a reception held at the  Embassy of Canada in Berlin. This free, online course was developed by Edu-Canada with participation from the CCIEM and ICEF, and also input from across the education sector.

    Please find details online at

    The course is aimed to equip education agents with comprehensive knowledge about:

    The benefits of study and research in Canada

    Canada’s history, regions, climate, and people

    Canada’s education systems, study options, and web resources for agents and students

    Costs and scholarships

    How to professionally promote Canada (including the latest information on Bill C-35)

    Living in Canada (including pre-departure tips)

    A french version of the course will soon follow.  The overall objective in making this course available is to ensure that education agents have access to current, comprehensive and accurate information about education in Canada.  Those agents who choose to write an exam and successfully pass, will be identified on a website so families and institutions can determine who has an existing knowledge about the education systems in Canada through this course. This is one more tool that will establish a professional foundation for providing the best level of service to an international student.


    Languages Canada, on behalf of the CCIEM, is licensed to deliver the Canada Course and may be contacted at regarding any questions.

    The Edu-Canada Team



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