Teach Me: A Texas School Draws More Latino Students in order to Survive
Ten days after Donald Trump took the Oval Office, it's not all bad news for immigrants in this country.
In Port Arthur, a small city 90 miles east of Houston, Texas, that once was a thriving city thanks to the local oil refinery, a Catholic school is making efforts to survive and draw more Latino students, reports Catholic Philly.
With unemployment growing and economic opportunities disappearing, many families have left the town, forcing many schools to close. There used to be 13 Catholic schools in the area, and now there is only one remaining: St. Catherine of Siena.
Six years ago, the school was struggling to survive. It's future changed when it enrolled in the Latino Enrollment Initiative, an extension of the Catholic Schools Sustainability Initiative. The initiative offers consulting service to schools around the country and helps them increase the number of Latino students. Now, 64 percent of St.Catherine's students are Latino.
The school “began to reach out by word-of-mouth, family and friends, phone calls, advertisements in Spanish newspapers and radio, and leaders of the community speaking at local Spanish Masses,” HaideeTodora, principal of the school, said.
She explained that the school translated its documents and registration information into Spanish, handed out Spanish cards explaining the importance of Catholic education and published Spanish church bulletin inserts about events at the school.
The school also hired an English as a Second Language aide to help students who struggle with English in the classroom, and a bilingual assistant to answer phone calls and interpret for Spanish-speaking families.
As reported in Catholic Philly.