There are approximately 885 Somali students enrolled in Saint Paul Public Schools and this population is expected to keep growing as Somali refugees continue to be resettled in Minnesota. Somali cultural programs give Somali students the opportunity to learn about their own language and culture, as well as enhancing all students' knowledge and understanding of different cultures and ways of life.
Somali Academic Literacy and Teaching (SALT)
In 2005-06, Highwood Hills Elementary piloted Somali Academic Literacy and Teaching, an extended day learning opportunity, and will continue to offer this program two days per week in 2009-10. This program for students in grades 3-6,helps Somali speakers enhance their language proficiency in written and spoken Somali. Somali culture is embedded in the language and literacy lessons as students learn using traditional Somali proverbs, folktales, and games.
Somali Parent Advisory Committee
The Somali Parents Advisory Committee was initiated during the 2007-2008 school year. Parents of Somali students meet regularly to promote Somali involvement in schools. They also provide advice and insights to district administrators on issues affecting Somali families and students.