Strategic Plan

Strategic Plan


The purpose of Nativity Prep is to break the cycle of generational poverty by developing our students’ ability to live a life of choice and opportunity. Our students will be productive, faith-filled, and fulfilled members of society who understand the importance of giving back.


The mission of Nativity Prep is to provide a uniquely effective, integrated program of academic preparation, graduate support, and mutual long-term commitment that achieves nationally recognized excellence in terms of college graduation rates for our students.

We Are Leading and Learning

Nativity Prep’s goal for the next three years is focused and ambitious: to establish our community as a national leader in the effort to break the cycle of generational poverty. We are uniquely positioned to identify and act on the critical factors that result in first-generation, low-income college students graduating at the same rates as all other college students. The unique aspect of Nativity Prep that makes this possible is the enduring commitment we make to students and their families, and the commitment they, in turn, make to the community. 

Our intention, as an organization, is to develop relationships that provide support to students and families and offer a rich and rigorous environment for students to learn and study. This combination of active and loving relationships with an emphasis on reflective academic and personal inquiry is essential to our growth and sustainability. Our growth and sustainability will ensure that the college graduation rates of our students continues to improve and exceed the national average. Through this noteworthy achievement, Nativity Prep will continue to serve our purpose of breaking the cycle of generational poverty.

Nativity Prep serves students and their families from sixth grade through college graduation and beyond. Our sixth through eighth grade middle school is a WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges) accredited, tuition-free, Catholic private school meeting the needs of up to 72 students annually who are income eligible. To be eligible on the basis of income, families must come from low-income households. These students also represent the first generation in their families to graduate from college. Our Graduate Support Program assists our eighth graders in finding the best high school “fit” and prepares our graduates for high school as well as the college admission and selection process. In addition, the Graduate Support Program helps graduates successfully transition to college and continues to support them through college graduation and beyond.

From our first graduating class of eighth graders in 2005 through the present, our students have continued their path to college graduation at many distinguished high schools throughout San Diego. These schools are partners in our mission. Each of our partner high schools is generous in providing financial aid and scholarships to sustain our students’ enrollment until they matriculate from high school to college. Our partner schools include Catholic schools such as Cathedral Catholic, The Academy of Our Lady of Peace, Mater Dei Catholic High School, Saint Augustine High School, as well as The Bishop’s School, Francis Parker School, The Pruess School at UCSD, and charter high schools such as High Tech High and E3. Nativity Prep also extends more than $200,000 of direct high school tuition assistance annually to students. Parents also pay a portion of tuition within their means. This mutual commitment of our partner high schools, Nativity Prep, and our families is what makes this organization so unique in accelerating student learning. 

The Goal Is College Graduation

Through our unique Graduate Support Program, we remain fully committed to the work of educating, developing, and supporting our students from middle school through college. We subsidize high school tuition costs and other fees for our graduates, and we advocate and offer enhanced academic and guidance counseling on behalf of our students. We assist our graduates in high school with academic tutoring, SAT/ACT preparation, course selection, and navigating college admissions and financial aid. We offer the support and resources necessary for our students to identify the college opportunities that result in the most productive path for their futures. Our graduates have attended a variety of colleges including Yale University, Notre Dame, University of Southern California, UCLA, San Diego State University, University of San Diego and many more as first-generation college students. 

About This Plan

At Nativity Prep we distinguish between our purpose- why we exist- and our mission- what we are trying to accomplish. The purpose of Nativity Prep is to break the cycle of generational poverty by developing our students’ ability to live a life of choice and opportunity and be productive, faith-filled and fulfilled members of society who understand the importance of giving back. Our overall mission, however, is focused. Our mission is ensure our students achieve nationally recognized excellence in terms of college graduation rates. This Strategic Plan is designed to clarify and solidify the way we accomplish our mission and serve our purpose. This plan provides a road map over the next three years to position Nativity Prep for continued and potentially exponential growth. As a result of this three year plan, we intend to ensure that the growth we experience is well-thought out, effective and sustainable for years to come.

Strategic Areas of Focus

All stakeholders in and affiliated with Nativity Prep collaborated to develop and provide feedback and affirmations to support this Strategic Plan and its mission and goals. As we approach our 20th Anniversary, this Strategic Plan will be the foundation for our next phase of growth. This Strategic Plan is divided into four sections or “pillars of focus,” each area with its specific goals. Administration and staff are developing action plans to achieve these goals, as well as scheduling bi-annual monitoring dates to publicize the progress of this plan over the next three years. The four pillars of focus are Sustainability, Marketing and Communications, Middle School Program, and the Graduate Support Program. In these four areas, distinct needs are described; however, as this Strategic Plan will demonstrate, there is also an overlapping of these four areas that formulate a comprehensive Nativity Prep program. In order to deliver on the enduring promise we make to each student and their family, integration of the four pillars is critical to fulfill our overarching mission.

Provide the time, talent, and treasure necessary to accomplish the mission of Nativity Prep.

Strategic Priority: Pursue long-term financial sustainability to ensure the 11-year mutual commitment is appropriately supported.

Time, Talent and Treasure

Sustainability has three parts. First, we must ensure we have exceptional volunteers, mentors, and tutors to support our program. Second, we must recruit and retain the teachers and staff, students, and families who will bring our mission to life. Finally, we must build the financial resources necessary to support our program, innovate when needed, and navigate economically challenging times.

Long-term Funding Remains Essential to the Mission

As an all-scholarship school funded solely through the generosity of individuals, supporters, and organizations, an important goal in this Strategic Plan is to continue to build long-term financial security for our mission. Our previous strategic plan resulted in improved financial health for Nativity Prep, but the challenge remains to fully embrace and execute the development programs to provide the resources for Nativity Prep to be able to grow and serve more students and families.

Growing Our Mission

Our intention will be to continue to establish Nativity Prep as an influential national voice in the effort to enhance social mobility and graduate increasing numbers of income-eligible, first-generation students from college. We expect to grow. This strategic plan will provide an opportunity to clarify the aspects of the Nativity Prep program most essential to accomplishing the mission. This foundational understanding will guide our future growth.

Strategic Objectives and Key Results

In Funding Our Annual Budget

  • Increase the funds raised each year to $2.2 Million for the school year 2021-2022.
  • Retain 80% or more of current major donors (annually).
  • Expand the number of major donors and set specific goals for the next three years.

In Building Long-term Sustainability

  • Raise an additional $6 Million by June 30, 2022 for campaign, endowment, quasi-endowment, and cash reserves.
    • Build Nativity Prep endowment, quasi-endowment, and reserve funds to $2 Million by June 30, 2022.
    • Explore $4 Million capital campaign for new campus. 

In Attaining Operational Excellence in Philanthropy

  • Expand the number of mentors, tutors, other volunteers, and donors in the Nativity Prep community with specific goals set for each of the next three years.
  • Update, execute, and adopt an annual calendar for philanthropy beginning in school year 2019-2020. 
  • Create an engagement experience that connects each donor to our mission by December 15, 2019.
  • Work with Graduate Support Team, AMIGOS Program Director, and Principal to increase the number of mentors and tutors and identify engagement opportunities for additional volunteers by March 30, 2021.

Establish Nativity Prep as a leading educator and developer of income eligible, first-generation college graduates and expand the Nativity Prep community to include additional donors, volunteers, prospective families and students. 

Strategic Priority: Increase awareness about Nativity Prep’s unique mission and program and expand participation among potential students, families, volunteers, and donors in the Southern California area and beyond. 

Our Unique Mission

Since our founding in 2001, we have earned a reputation for transforming the lives of the students we serve. Now in our 18th year, Nativity Prep remains the only all-scholarship private school in San Diego County and continues to serve close to 300 students from middle school through high school and college. Because our program and the mutual 11-year commitment between the community and the students and families is so unique, telling our story requires excellence in terms of marketing and communications.

Mission-Focused Communications

The meaning provided to each member of our community by being part of the Nativity Prep community is something people seek. Many people have achieved success in their lives in certain areas, and yet they thirst for an opportunity to be involved in a community such as Nativity Prep where true love for others is the energy that transforms lives. Many people have faith but have not found an opportunity to act on that faith in a meaningful way of service. We will provide this opportunity to as many people as possible. With the advance of technology, the opportunity exists to share our story in an effective and cost-efficient manner, resulting in a greater number of people benefiting by experiencing a tangible increase in meaning in their lives through service.

Strategic Objectives and Key Results

In Expanding our Community

  • Develop a donor and prospective donor communication automation roadmap by August 1, 2019.
  • Develop a new, clear, and compelling brand for Nativity Prep by September 30, 2019.
  • Execute the donor and prospective donor communication automation process to support growth in the number of student applicants, families, volunteers, and donors by June 30, 2020.
  • Establish Annual Marketing and Communications Calendar for 2019-20 school year and execute on that plan going forward.
  • Generate a higher quality and greater quantity of potential leads for potential students, families, volunteers, and donors by June 30, 2020.

Partner with Impact

  • Build an effective network of writers, influencers, and other media supporters to increase the awareness and profile of Nativity Prep in the local community and beyond.
  • Develop a clear publication strategy and establish annual goals for number of publications for each school year beginning with 2019-2020 school year.
  • Determine a clear communications strategy for 2-3 special events per school year beginning with the 2020-2021 school year.
  • Continue to develop productive relationships with the local community foundation partners in our network.
  • Develop a concrete and effective partnership plan by December 2021 to identify and more proactively leverage the potential synergy between Nativity Prep and other organizations.

Continue to develop the educational philosophy, curriculum framework, and meaningful metrics necessary to firmly establish the excellence of the Nativity Prep Academy Program.

Strategic Priority: Deepen and quantify the Cura Personalis of Nativity Prep Academy, namely, the academic and spiritual development of our students, and continual learning for our families and faculty.

Educational Philosophy

Our school is highly influenced by the educational philosophy of St. Ignatius and the Jesuits. Although we are independent, the principles of the Ignatian tradition that influence our work the most are instilling academic excellence, developing the whole person, and forming students to be “persons for others.” In and out of the classroom, our commitment to care for our students is the hallmark of our program. This is accomplished in daily interactions with students in the classroom, through community service and spiritual formation, and through athletics.

Responsibility to Our Students and Families

Within this rigorous, practical, and highly effective approach to education, however, we also know that best practices in teaching, learning, and assessment are in a relatively constant state of change. Over the next three years, competency-based assessment and defined achievement or academic benchmarks will allow for more effective understanding of the impact of our curriculum, instructional approaches, and the progress of our students. At this time, using a competency-based approach, we believe, will best prepare our students to excel academically with the requisite critical-thinking, social, relational, and technology skills needed in the world today.

A True Learning Community

We made a conscious decision in developing this strategic plan and it was to focus on the development of professional growth in all our members. At Nativity Prep, with the high standards and expectations our students are expected to meet, excellence in teaching is critical to the success of the
mission. In addition, we recognize the importance of all community members committing to a path of lifelong inquiry and learning. Our students will be better prepared for the future and more adept at overcoming challenges as the entire community accepts the challenge of being part of a true learning community.

Strategic Objectives and Key Results

In Academic Development of Our Students

  • Multiple criteria will be used to monitor and assess the academic and social-emotional achievement growth of our students including criterion-referenced, project based, rubrics, and also traditional grading measures.
  • 75% of Nativity Prep Academy students annually enroll in Algebra I or higher classes in 9th grade beginning in school year 2019-2020.
  • 80% of Nativity Prep Academy graduates perform at a B level or better in their A-G courses of study in 9th grade beginning in school year 2019-2020.
  • Teachers will be introduced to and trained in Standard Referenced Grading, and will implement by school year 2020-2021.
  • 75% of the students will achieve a proficiency level of 3 or higher on a 4-point scale on all adopted standards by May 31, 2021.

In Spiritual Development of Our Students

  • Clarify and provide behavioral expectations to further integrate the Nativity Prep values into the lives of the community by May 2020.
  • Revise the purpose and develop an action plan for all student support programs by May 2021.
  • Begin implementation of a revised Spiritual Development plan by May 31, 2021.

In Professional and Personal Development of Faculty

  • Implement Integrated English Language Development beginning in school year 2019-2020.
  • Create structures to allow for choice in professional learning in the 2019-2020 school year aligned with the school’s mission and vision for student development.
  • Introduce, train for, and implement Standard Reference Grading by end of 2021-2022 school year.

In Support of our Families as Fellow Learners

  • Attain and maintain 50% family attendance at all school events throughout the 2019-2020 school year.
  • Hold and publish calendar for 5 family workshops annually and evaluate workshop effectiveness in 2019-2020.
  • Expand family workshop offerings to 7 for school year 2020-2021.
  • Provide personal development classes (e.g., English, GED, computers, crafts, etc.) for families in school year 2021-2022.

All Nativity Prep Academy graduates will excel in and graduate from college.

Strategic Priority: Ensure Nativity Prep Academy students graduate college at the same or better rate as the overall college bound population.

A Strategic Shift

Our Graduate Support Program provides the personal care and support our students and families need on the path to college graduation. Starting in 2009, we made a change to the Graduate Support Program. Instead of beginning graduate support once a student graduated eighth grade, we established graduate support as a formal class for middle school students. This decision allowed us to create deeper sustainable relationships throughout the Nativity Prep community to inspire and support students when they entered as well as when they exited Nativity on their path to high school and college.

High Expectations

Through our Graduate Support Program, we remain committed to the work of educating our students from middle school through college graduation and beyond. Our high school scholarship program is founded on high  expectations,and every student must increase their GPA each year in order to maintain their scholarship. The commitment made to students and their families is meaningful and enduring, and the commitment expected from the students and families is equally significant.

The Family as a System

Nationally, only 15% of students from low-income situations who attend college actually graduate. Thanks to the innovative steps taken by Nativity Prep such as longer school days and longer school year, increased teacher planning and preparation time, and the strategic shift instituted by the Graduate Support Program, Nativity Prep Academy graduates are graduating at a rate that far exceeds this rate. As we embark on Strategic Objectives this strategic plan, we realize that our goal in the Graduate Support Program must be two-fold. First, we must continue to prepare our students to excel in and graduate from high school and college; and second, to also prepare our families to support a successful high school and college student. In the coming years, additional resources will be provided to ensure both the family and students are prepared when the student enters college.

Strategic Objectives and Key Results

Middle School Curriculum

  • 60% or more of High School Placement Test scores at grade level by June 30, 2022.
  • At least 60% or more of 8th graders are eligible for high school scholarships by June 30, 2021.
  • Maintain 100% Attendance at one-on-one meetings annually.

High School Curriculum

  • Engage and involve high school students in order to have them participate in the program as evidenced by 70% or more in attendance at weekly college preparation meetings.
  • 75% of Nativity Prep Academy graduates maintain a GPA of 3.0 or better in high school.
  • 75% students academically eligible for CAL Grant A.
  • 100% matriculation to universities or community college.
  • 100% of students complete at least two college scholarship applications.

College Curriculum

  • Communicate over the telephone, e-mail, letter, or in person with every Nativity Prep graduate in college every other month.
  • 60% or more participation in parent meetings annually.
  • Visit every Nativity Prep graduate during their first year in college.
  • Partner with the Philanthropy department to explore the creation of an alumni event to be held prior to the end of the 2020-21 school year.

Parent Support and Resources

  • Parent participation in summer and school year programs, to include college visits, exceeds 75% or more families participating beginning in school year 2019-2020.
  • Increase attendance to 140 people in 2020, 170 people in 2021 and 200 people in 2022 for Community Success Day.
  • Explore the creation of a Parent Alumni event to be held prior to the end of the 2020-2021 school year.