2013-09-25 / Front Page

Brunswick schools to recruit in China

Will spend $5,000 to send official to Shanghai
By JT LEONARD, Times Record Staff


Greg Bartlett is going to Shanghai.

During a special meeting Wednesday, Brunswick School Board members approved a proposal to send the assistant superintendent on a goodwill and recruiting trip to China’s Zheijang province Nov. 1-9.

The trip will cost about $5,000 — $3,500 for the eight-day itinerary and $1,500 for the travel arrangements — but could result in more than a sixfold return if just one exchange student agrees to spend a year at Brunswick High School, school officials said.

In addition to recruiting likely tuition exchange students, Bartlett’s trip is a reciprocal gesture to the Chinese school district that sent 18 of its students to Brunswick in July as part of a sister-school agreement.

Each student who comes to Brunswick would pay about $30,000 in base tuition.

Suzanne Fox, the Portland consultant who is helping Brunswick cultivate the sister-school program, would receive “a small percentage” of the tuition paid by each Chinese student.

Bartlett will be traveling with “eight to 10” representatives from other New England schools, some of them private institutions in affluent communities.

“But we can compete,” he said, referring to the number of advanced placement courses, extracurricular activities and athletics offered by the other schools. “We’re right there with them in extracurricular athletics and academics.”

In addition, Bartlett will be taking armloads of “Brunswick swag,” as well as a student- and staff-produced brochure to market the district’s assets.

The measure passed 7-2, with Brenda Clough and Janet Connors opposed.

Connors said she supported the exchange, but preferred to wait a year until a new principal had been hired and could be dispatched to do the recruiting, and also to give the district time to prepare “financially and programmatically” for the trip.

Money to pay for the trip will come from the special projects account, as well as from the professional development account in the superintendent’s budget.

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