Freda Dawson, principal at Malcolm X, agreed that the family structure within the school is paramount.
At Malcolm X
, students call the teachers "Mama," meaning mother in kiswahili, or "Baba" meaning father.
Parents sign a covenant, promising to do three hours of service a month for the school or in the school; if they fail, the staff can ask their child to leave the school.
"The combined efforts of parents, community and staff is definitely a plus for making our kids successful," Dawson
said, adding that most parents abide by the covenant.