Background of SACSO

      SACSO was founded in 2011 to address the unique needs of Somali families in Owatonna. As an immigrant who struggled through the process of adapting and assimilating himself into a new country, a new language, and a new way of life in general, Mr. Hussein, Founder and Director of SACSO, understands the needs of newly arrived Somali families. Many Somali immigrants come from a war-torn homeland knowing very little or no English, which can have a profound impact on K-12 performance, dropout rates, and scores on state mandated tests and federal accountability measures among Somali children. It can also have an adverse impact on parental involvement in and communication with children’s schools, which is widely known to be significant factor in school success. Lack of English proficiency also inhibits the ability of Somali parents to contribute to educational policy at the district level. In fact, the lack of English proficiency has been identified as the main reason Somali adults are not represented within the Owatonna school district.