Our Model

OUR MODEL header image


Sacred Heart Nativity Schools believes that the Nativity model is the most effective model in educating, building healthy self-esteem of, and empowering, students.

jesuitsSHNS also believes that educating youth within the Jesuit framework of Ignatian Spirituality allows students to recognize their own gifts and talents and use them in service of others.

nmcThe Nativity model is established by the NativityMiguel Coalition. SHNS is characterized by the following elements from the Nativity Model:

Extended School Day

Each 10-hour school day begins with breakfast at 7:30 AM. There are seven class periods, each 50 minutes in length, punctuated by morning snack and a lunch period. Academic instruction ends at 3 PM, followed by a 60-minute Activity Period and a 60-minute Homework Club four days per week. In Activity Period, SHNS offers students seasonal team sports (softball, soccer, basketball, and track) and clubs and activities that prepare them for co-curricular programs offered in high school.

Pre-College Prep Curriculum

Through an academically challenging and highly structured environment, SHNS helps students become bilingual, bi-literate, and computer literate as they engage in a pre-college prep academic program. SHNS anticipates that most graduates will be accepted into private or public college-prep high schools.

Admissions and Financial Accessibility

SHNS admits students from a range of academic ability levels. A majority of students come from the Sacred Heart Church community and surrounding Washington/Gardener neighborhood. Families are asked to pay $45 per month in tuition, so SHNS is largely tuition-free. No student will be denied admission because of inability to pay.


SHNS is a Catholic school, and religious instruction—as outlined by the Diocese of San José Department of Education and within the Jesuit tradition —is offered. The school day begins and ends with prayer, and students attend regularly scheduled Masses.

Parental/Caregiver Involvement

Critical to student success, SHNS offers parent education classes that deconstruct the American educational system, outlines how they can best support students at home, clarifies what to expect in college prep high school programs, and identifies ways for parents to get involved with their child’s education.

Saturday School

Once per month, SHNS students attend Saturday School, which offers off-campus trips to universities, student leadership conferences, and aquariums, and provides additional academic instruction on campus or opportunities for community service, a hallmark of Jesuit education.

Summer Camp and Summer School

To help prevent academic regression and to show that learning continues after the school year ends, students attend a six week summer school at Bellarmine College Preparatory in San José. Students take one English Language Arts class and one Mathematics class.  SHNS also offers summer camp, which provides outdoor education with community building.

Graduate Support Program

Consistent with the Nativity model, SHNS’s relationship with students continues after 8th grade graduation. In this, the SHNS model is unique. Once admitted to high school, SHNS provides students with tutoring, peer support, and academic guidance – greatly increasing chances for high school success and college admission, while identifying and resolving problems that could cause a student to drop out of high school.