Great things are happening at the Hennigan under the leadership of Maria Cordon. The school has adapted a whole school approach, which means support services are provided to students for their emotional, academic, and social needs.
The Hennigan responds to the cultural needs of its Somalian students, who make up 200 of the 600 students at the school. In order to meet their cultural needs, the school teams up with ACEDONE ( African Community Economic Development of New England), an organization that provides extra services and programs to families. "Parents are responding very well to this partnership," says Ms. Cordon.
A grant from Target, which has been in place for two years, allows the school to host a monthly food bank. Parents can receive up to thirty-five pounds of food. Over 200 parents utilize this service, which is coordinated by Janet Iraola, The Family Outreach Coordinator. "The School's pantry has been a tremendous resource for our families at the Hennigan. With the cost of food rising everyday the food pantry makes healthy food available to our families on a monthly basis," says Ms. Iraola.
The school is always looking for ways to work more closely with families and the community. For example, Monthly Family Fridays invites families to come to the school and have coffee with the principal and discuss the expectations for the school and the principal addresses any concerns and questions parents may have. Parents also visit classrooms and learn teaching strategies to use with their child at home. Ms. Iraola says,"The focus of Family Fridays is to build relationships between home and school."
These small steps taken by the Hennigan earns them the title “ A Unity School.”