For the first time in more than a decade, foreign exchange students will be allowed in all Keller district high schools next year.This year, only Fossil Ridge High School has foreign exchange students. District officials have had a long-standing regulation that campuses closed to transfers could not accept foreign exchange students.A more flexible transfer policy for in-district students also has led to more openings for foreign exchange students. Schools considered “at capacity,” or closed in the old terminology, can have two foreign exchange students each. A below capacity campus can have five. A maximum of 11 exchange students—five at Fossil Ridge and two each at Central, Keller and Timber Creek—will be accepted for the 2013-14 school year.For many years, families in the Keller High feeder pattern who wanted to host foreign exchange students had to be willing to drive them to another school, said Jennifer Latu, coordinator of academic and career counseling. Officials decided to provide a few openings on every campus to accommodate parents and spread the benefits of the program around the district, Latu said.Pamela O’Neill, regional manager for the Center for Cultural Interchange and a Keller resident, said it had been more than 15 years since Keller High has been able to take any foreign exchange students.The Center for Cultural Interchange has placed three students at Fossil Ridge this year and has been active in the Keller district for 25 years.Keller students and the community benefit from foreign students by learning about the differences and similarities between cultures and nations. “The main benefit is our kids learn to be thankful for the choices we do have in this country that some students from elsewhere don’t have,” O’Neill said.The application period for foreign exchange students runs from March 25 through April 5. If there are more applicants than openings, district officials will have a lottery to determine who receives the slots.O’Neill said that she would prefer a first-come, first-served system over a lottery because families and foreign students must wait “in limbo” until the lottery is completed.For more information on the application process, contact Latu at email@example.com or 817-744-1121, or go online to kellerisd.net.For families who are interested in the possibility of hosting a foreign exchange student in the future, email O’Neill at firstname.lastname@example.org.