About New York Nativity

Nearly 40 years ago, the Jesuits began a great experiment on New York City’s Lower East Side.  The goal was simple - to break the cycle of poverty through education.

Today, that original “Nativity model” of middle school education has inspired more than 65 Nativity schools around this country and abroad.  Our mission is to educate promising children from low-income immigrant families, regardless of religious denomination, through a program of disciplined learning shaped by “cura personalis,” that is, care for each student’s unique gifts, challenges, needs and possibilities.
New York Nativity’s three schools – Brooklyn Jesuit Prep, Nativity Mission Center and Saint Ignatius School – offer an intensive program that prepares these deserving children for success in high school, college and beyond.  Nativity students not only graduate from high school and college at significantly higher rates than their peers but the rich Jesuit educational tradition of our schools prepares them to become “men and women for others” on their road to intellectual, emotional, physical and spiritual development.

At New York Nativity, we transform today’s learners into tomorrow’s leaders.
Our Model

Nativity’s program is made up of three integrated components:

Middle Schools - single-sex classes with a rigorous curriculum, extended school hours and an after-school program;
Summer Leadership Program – additional learning opportunities and recreational activities that foster character development, leadership skills and community involvement in a residential setting outside of New York City; and
Graduate Support Services – educational and financial aid through high school designed to ensure graduation, matriculation into and completion of a post secondary education.

Our Students

99% of Nativity’s students are African-American, Hispanic or Caribbean.
94% of them qualify for the Federal free or reduced lunch program.
217 students currently study at one of our three schools and another 135 in high school receive graduate support services.

Our Results

88% of our students graduate from high school vs. 51% of their peers.
93% of those graduating go on to college vs. 30% of their peers.
70% of 8th graders score at or above grade level by graduation, while only 39% meet Reading standards and 53% meet Math standards upon entry.
Students matriculate at such schools as Boston College, City University Law School, College of the Holy Cross, John Jay, Columbia Law School, Fordham and Fairfield, among others.

A recent national study has concluded:  
“Evidence that the Nativity model schools have been effective in accelerating the academic progress of urban children placed at risk is strong…findings show that students’ academic gains during their middle school years significantly and substantially exceeded those of children from similar backgrounds attending urban parochial and public schools…In small but powerful ways, Nativity schools are contributing to the narrowing of what is known as the racial achievement gap.”    

L. Mickey Fenzel, Improving Urban Middle Schools, SUNY Press, 2009