Mission and History
Nativity School of Worcester is an accredited, independent, Jesuit middle school that provides a quality, all-scholarship education to underserved boys of all faiths. Drawing upon four pillars - strength, scholarship, character, and service - a Nativity education inspires self-discovery, responsibility, spiritual growth, and a lifelong dedication to learning.
Nativity School of Worcester is modeled upon effective practices that provide students from low-income homes the opportunity for academic excellence. The Nativity model of education began with the creation of the Nativity Mission Center in New York City in 1971. The model consists of small class sizes, a mandatory summer program, an extended school day where students attend organized activities and an evening study, and a graduate support program. Today, there are 64 NativityMiguel Schools serving over 5,000 middle-school-aged boys and girls in 27 states.
In the late 1990s, the senior administration of the College of the Holy Cross developed the idea of establishing a Nativity School in Worcester, a city that had been wracked by a devastating graduation rate for boys from low-income homes. These senior administrators – particularly President Michael McFarland, S.J., and Charles Weiss, Ph.D. – championed the school in the Worcester community. Following a successful feasibility study in 2002, the doors of the school were opened in the fall of 2003 to fifth- and sixth-grade classes at All Saints Church. Over the course of the next two years, a seventh- and eighth-grade were added.
Now in its 12th year of operation, the school has witnessed nine successful classes of graduates matriculate in the area’s high schools: Algonquin Regional High School, Bancroft School, Burncoat High School, Cheshire Academy (NC), Claremont Academy, Cornerstone Charter Academy High School (FL), Deerfield Academy, Doherty Memorial High School, Holy Name Central Catholic Junior-Senior High School, Leicester High School, Noble & Greenough, Northfield-Mount Hermon, Saint Bernard’s High School, Saint Peter-Marian Junior-Senior High School, Saint John’s High School, South High School (Goddard Scholars Program), University Park Campus School, West Boylston High School, Worcester Academy, Worcester Technical High School, and A Better Chance (ABC) New Canaan and Masconomet Programs.
With application assistance and guidance from Nativity Worcester’s Office of Graduate Support, our graduates currently attend or have graduated from the following colleges: American University, Assumption College, Chemeketa Community College (OR), Clark University, College of the Holy Cross, Curry College, DePaul University, Diablo Valley College (CA), Emmanuel College, Franklin Pierce University, High Point University, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, Nichols College, Providence College, Southern Adventist University, St. Anselm College, Quinsigamond Community College, University of California at Berkeley, University of Hartford, University of Massachusetts – Amherst, University of Massachusetts – Lowell, Worcester State University, and Yale University.
In 2014, five members of Nativity Worcester’s first graduating class received their college diplomas from Providence College and Emmanuel College.
Nativity School of Worcester was formally accredited by New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) in the fall of 2010. In the short term, accreditation is the formal recognition that Nativity possesses a viable, guaranteed curriculum with impact on the disadvantaged students of the school. In the long term, accreditation is the critical first step in the mission to replicate this dynamic school in Worcester. Nativity’s Board of Trustees has committed to seeing the expansion of Nativity Worcester’s services.
Throughout the school’s history, Nativity Worcester has not received financial assistance for operations from the College of the Holy Cross, the Diocese of Worcester or the state and federal government. The school relies instead on the generosity of individuals, foundations and corporations.