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Jun 16, 3:38 PM EDT

Connecticut magnet school strikes agreement with China

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) -- An arts-focused magnet school in New Haven has struck an agreement for an exchange program described as the first formal partnership between an American public school and Chinese education officials.

The agreement will bring top arts students from China to the Educational Center for the Arts and give the school's students opportunities to connect with a range of schools in China, according to the school's director, Jason Hiruo.

"For the enrollment at ECA, based on this partnership, the level of students in arts that would be coming to us from China would be the best of the best," Hiruo said.

The school, which offers intensive arts instruction to students from 27 nearby Connecticut school districts, is expecting about five students from China in the first class to enroll for up to a full academic year. They will pay around $40,000 in tuition.

The agreement was signed Wednesday by officials from the Area Cooperative Educational Services agency, which operates the school in New Haven, and representatives from Chivast Education International, which is affiliated with the Chinese Service Center for Scholarly Exchange. The CSCSE is part of China's Education Ministry.

Liu Xuguang, director of the department of program development with Chivast, said the school in New Haven is appealing for the opportunities it offers for students to express themselves creatively, according to the New Haven Register. Chivast officials could not be reached for comment by The Associated Press.

One appealing factor for the Chinese delegation was the school's ties to Yale University, ACES officials said. The school is located alongside the Yale campus and many of the magnet school's faculty members also teach at Yale, Hiruo said.

Under the partnership, the school is also working with the Chinese officials to develop an international student art institute, beginning the summer of 2018.

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