On October 21, FPD signed a sister school agreement with the Guangzhou Xiehe School in Guangzhou, China. The agreement officially opened the doorway for the exchange of ideas and information between the two schools. The goals of a sister school agreement are to promote international and cultural understanding, develop collaborative learning experiences, and provide opportunities for contact and interaction between the school communities.

Technology at both schools will allow students to exchange ideas, convey information, and, as a result, gain a stronger appreciation for different cultures and communities. For more immersive learning opportunities, First Presbyterian Day School and the Xiehe School will introduce international student and faculty exchange trips to the respective countries for up to ten students and six teachers from each school annually. The trips will include ten days of visits to the classrooms, interaction with students and faculty, visits to cultural sites and events, and community service.

IMG_4346_small“This sister school agreement is another way FPD is preparing our students to change the world for God’s glory,” said Dr. Barry Shealy, FPD Assistant Headmaster. “The perspectives and understanding they can gain through international experience prepares them to be global citizens, stewards, and influencers. We look forward to the many opportunities for our students and faculty through this sister school agreement with the Xiehe School.”

The Xiehe School is a top tier public school in China, established over 100 years ago by Presbyterian Missionaries.  The Xiehe School already has connections with the Macon community as eight current students at Wesleyan College are graduates of their program. Dr. Shealy first visited the Xiehe School with representatives from Wesleyan College who introduced FPD to the school in 2013. Delegates of the Xiehe School made a visit to FPD in March 2015.

The sister school agreement corresponds with FPD’s growing international student program that now hosts 13 students from China and Vietnam on FPD’s campus. Both the sister school agreement and international student program are part of the many ways FPD is preparing students to understand and impact the world.