International students provide culture exposure to DVSS students
“They sure provide a great deal of richness to our school in terms of ethnic backgrounds, languages, and add to our school culture,” says principal Curtis LaPierre. “Because of these students, we’re able to keep and sometimes add staff compared to losing programs for local kids, as well.”
LaPierre believes there is more work to be done within the school to educate students and the community of the benefits of having international students. DVSS is six years into this program.
“It’s part of school life, there’s nothing unusual now – it’s part of our school culture.”
The African population is higher than it’s ever been, and LaPierre says academically the students are serious.
“They’re hard working and focused, and that bleeds out into the school. It reestablishes the tone of the school,” he says.
Local students attending the school are being exposed to cultures and diversity which would otherwise only be found at city schools. Prior to the program, Drumheller had very little exposure to different cultures, which has been good for the valley, LaPierre says.