Although Mother Seton Academy is in the Archdiocese of Baltimore, it is an independent, NativityMiguel School, rather than an Archdiocesan school. The NativityMiguel model was created in 1971 with the establishment of a small school in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. The school fulfilled the needs of a poor neighborhood by providing quality, tuition-free education to low-income children that had the discipline and desire to learn in a challenging academic environment. The school was rigorously structured to prepare its graduates for admittance to private and Catholic high schools in the area. Ultimately, it became the inspiration for other educators seeking to provide outstanding education to inner-city students. Today there are more than 64 schools based on the NativityMiguel model, serving over 4,300 low-income students in 27 states.
The model is characterized by:
- small classes
- rigorous academics
- an extended school day and year
- a support system that continues through high school
The academic demands and high standards for moral values cultivate discipline, motivation, and compassion toward others. In addition to succeeding academically, NativityMiguel school students become leaders within their communities.
NativityMiguel Model schools have a proven record of success:
- Ninety-two percent of alumni graduate from high school; 74% of those alums enroll in private or independent high schools, compared to a national average of 6% for minorities.
- Almost 80% of alumni graduate from high school in four years, whereas the national average for comparable students is 55%.
- Sixty-one percent of network alumni enroll in colleges and universities, which is 30% higher than the national average for low-income students.
- Fifty-six percent of the alumni are graduates of colleges or trade institutions, versus a 21% national average for similar students.