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International Students Boost Rivermont Collegiate Enrollment

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Thanks in part to its international students, Rivermont Collegiate continues to grow. The independent college preparatory school in Bettendorf now has graduating classes of 25 to 30 each year, compared to just five or six up to ten years ago.

Headmaster Max Roach says current students come from Morocco, France, Jamaica, and China, among others.

"Kids from Afghanistan studying world history really bring a lot to a classroom discussion. Kids from Vietnam talking about the Vietnam War, which by the way they call the American War, bring a lot to that classroom discussion."

And that helps attract students from the Quad Cities, and elsewhere in the US.

He's proud that Rivermont students have been in class every day during the pandemic, with precautions, but the school was still open every day. And that's because it's independent.

"And although I'm not a huge fan of masks, we required masks all year long last year. With mandates and legislation being unproven and untested in court, I felt the best move was to just tell my community I expect you to wear a mask and they did."

Students are taking their final exams this week, with graduation set for next week. The commencement speaker will be Augustana College President Steve Bahls, whose daughter attended Rivermont, and graduated in 2009.