Some ideas for what principals can do:
- Dedicate time at staff meetings regularly for teachers to share what they are learning about working with Latino students and families.
- Encourage teachers to attend workshops and seminars that deal with culturally responsive teaching or teaching students whose primary language at home is not English
- Reinforce the importance of Catholic education to the future of the Church in the United States. Download (Catholic School Advantage Fact Sheet)
- Make sure that the religious iconography in the school will be attractive and welcoming to Latino families.
- Meet with your Pastor regularly to work on plans and strategies to recruit Latino children and families.
- Meet regularly with Development or Recruiting person/staff to come up with plan for recruiting Latino students.
- Be creative when offering financial aid. You don’t have to have outside aid to cover every dollar of aid that you are offering. Find out how many children you have to have in a room to meet the expenses. Usually it’s about 18-20. Then take children after that at different tuition prices.
- Help your families to see the critical role that Catholic education can play in helping Latinos move out of poverty. Latino/a students that attend Catholic schools are 42% more likely to graduate from High School and two-and-a-half times more likely to graduate from college.
- Attend the Spanish Masses periodically at your parish.
- Learn to say a few words in Spanish.
- When you meet with a Latino family, make sure that there are enough chairs in the office so that everyone can have a seat.
- Establish a madrina program. Existing school moms assist new moms as they enroll in our schools. For example, Violeta has had children in your school for two years. She knows the system now. When Inocencia comes to enroll her children in the school, Violeta is assigned to be the madrina or sponsor of Inocencia. After two years or so, Inocencia takes on that role for a new family.
- Any family that comes to the office for information should be followed up with. This means that an existing school mom looks after the possible new family. She calls her and assists her with filling out the forms, applying for financial aid, and so on.
Look for a few Latino parents that can serve on the Parish Council or School Advisory Board.
Help the school to function as a community center in the evenings. Offer ENL classes, citizenship classes, basic keyboarding in Spanish. This will draw people into the school who have never been in the school. It is a great way of advertising the school.
- Hire a recruiting and development person who will raise money for the school and help attract new families to the school.
- Accept the Mexican food that the families will offer to you.