The high secondary school Francesco Ferrara is located in the very heart of the historic centre of Palermo, with 23% percentage of immigrant students.
There are 44 classes and the institution offers different specializations, including a linguistic lyceum, a technical (economic and tourist branch) and a professional institut (VET), as well as an evening school for adult education.
The massive presence of these foreign students, distributed among all the classes and different courses, constitutes a great richness and a human resource for the school. Nevertheless, it requires a strong commitment of all members of the school, so that to ensure mutual respect, tolerance, hospitality and integration at different level .Whatsmore, it also implies an empowerment of the Italian language as L2 and a multicultural approach in the didactic. For this reason, the school regularly tries to involve families, local authorities and enterprises in the educational process through the signature of formal agreements or shared work/educational activities.
Within the National Education framework, the school has adopted its self-assessment report (RAV) and the 3 year Improvement Plan 2016-2019, in which inclusion and integration are among the most important issues of the school programming. To this extent, these documents envisage the following operational steps/achievements:
– The valorization of the cultural diversity;
– The elaboration/participation to inclusion projects for foreign students and their families;
– The regular establishment of an Help-desk with the presence of cultural mediators;
– Training for teachers and school staff for inclusion paths and gender education;
– L2 Italian languages courses for foreign families at evening.
In order to enforce integration and spill over effects, the school has developed its own network with public institutions (like the Regional Department of Region Sicily concerning Family, social and labour politics/ Assessorato della famiglia delle politiche sociali e del lavoro ), local schools and onlus associations dealing social inclusion (like the voluntary association Rainbow of peoples http://www.arcobalenodipopoli.it/ , the foundation Migrantes leOnde onlus, AddioPizzo, Avis, Ail), which assist and support the targeted groups/familes/students for the follow up and sustainability of the undertaken school actions.