Jefferson Joint School District 251 is expanding its cultural exchange program.
Currently, language immersion programs are offered at the elementary level. School administrators had always planned to expand language immersion to include some form of cultural exchange program at the middle school and high school levels, but they were not planning to have it happen so quickly.
Vice Principal at Rigby Middle School, David Meyer said the enthusiasm from the Chinese helped launch the early start to the program.
A delegation from China arrived at Rigby Middle School Monday to tour the school and share ideas on setting up a cultural exchange program.
"The delegates who visited our kids today brought letters from their students so their students are certainly anxious and eager to meet our kids," said Meyer.
Meyer showed the delegation around the school and many differences stood out.
"Homeroom, so he or she decorate the homeroom and the classroom," said Mr. Lee, a delegate member and a university professor in China.
Simple decorations, casual relationships students have with teachers, and the engaging American classroom are all things the Chinese delegation plans to share with teachers back home
Students at Rigby Middle School said they are excited to start new friendships with Chinese students.
"I think it's amazing I can learn their language and they can learn mine," said eight-grader Jacob Komoe.
"You would see something like this in Los Angeles or New York, not necessarily in Rigby, Idaho, so it's a wonderful opportunity for our students," said Meyer.
"I never thought I'd get this kind of opportunity cause of where I live. I've lived in lots of different places that are a lot bigger than Rigby and I've never had an opportunity like this," said eighth-grader Halie Jensen.
Jefferson School District is also looking at opportunities to send teachers from Rigby to Beijing to have a similar visit at middle schools in China.