Location: Washington, D.C.
Administration, Faculty & Staff: 12
San Miguel School Washington DC is one of four Miguel-model schools providing an excellent, independent, tuition-free Catholic middle school education as part of the District of Eastern North America (DENA). Education amidst COVID-19 has been a unique experience for all, but our San Miguel School is pivoting to adapt to the challenges of the global pandemic while not losing sight of our mission–to provide life-changing opportunities to academically underserved and economically disadvantaged Latino boys in the District of Columbia.
Everyone at our school is deeply committed to fulfilling its mission. In Washington DC, Latino boys are a population at great risk of academic failure, having one of the lowest high school graduation rates in the city. However, we have seen amazing success through our San Miguel model. One hundred percent of our students continue their studies at college-preparatory high schools, graduate, and a great majority go on to college.
We have had to take great care of those we serve during these uncertain times. The impact of the pandemic on our San Miguel community has been significant, as Latinos have been disproportionately affected. Many of our families are reporting job losses, reduced hours of work, anxiety, and stress–and twenty percent report having had at least one family member contract the coronavirus. While family involvement has always been a part of our model, dealing with COVID-19 has left some of our parents feeling overwhelmed as they now try to support their sons’ online learning. Similarly, students miss the structure of a daily schedule and social interaction with their peers and teachers.
Knowing these facts, we are more determined than ever to help our students and their families succeed. We know that our young “Miguel men” can break the statistical norms and achieve impressive results. Even with the challenges, they have confronted this past year, the San Miguel Class of 2020 graduates are on their way to some of the best high schools in the DC-metro area. Alumni of San Miguel also continue to achieve success. Twenty-five of our alumni graduated this year from high school, and two-thirds will be attending college in the fall.
On August 31st, we reopened our school with a blended program of in-school instruction and virtual learning. We recognize that for the program to work we must have strict safety protocols in place, adequate technological support, and resources to support families needing assistance. Our plan to reopen was driven by what we know is best for our students— face-to-face instruction supported by teachers who are committed to making sure their students excel academically. Our goal is to maintain the best possible program for our students in a safe environment.
Each of our San Miguel students shares a willingness to learn, integrity, curiosity, resilience, and grit. We know these characteristics will serve them well as they confront and grow through the challenges of the year ahead. Our entire San Miguel administration, teachers, and staff will continue working tirelessly to help them do just that.