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USM alumnus talks to BDN on importance of parents in schools

Abdullahi Ahmed

A University of Southern Maine master's graduate has been featured in a Bangor Daily News article on the importance parents’ roles in building support for Portland’s high school students.

Abdullahi Ahmed, assistant principal of Deering High School who graudated with a master's in science education from USM in 2005, spoke to BDN reporter Darren Fishell on the benefits of engaging parents in school activities. Higher parent involvement can boost student performance, Fishell writes.

Ahmed’s work within the Somali immigrant community to boost parent engagement in schools is largely reflected in his 2015 dissertation at the University of Maine.

“Like many Somalis, I am concerned that the schooling experiences in my new country do not satisfy my people’s hope: to prepare their children for securing social and economic gains in order to break the cycle of poverty,” Ahmed told the BDN.

Portland schools achieved “ideal parental involvement” when school officials adopted a policy for parent engagement largely written by parents, Ahmed told Fishell, and efforts to increase parent participation continue.