My name is Dan Storz, and I’m the Principal at Mission Dolores Academy, an independent Catholic K-8 school in San Francisco’s Mission District.
Our school’s history dates back to 1852, making us the oldest private school in San Francisco. The Academy’s mission is to provide an affordable, world-class primary education to underserved youth from throughout the Bay Area. 85% of our students receive some form of financial aid, 60% qualify for federal free/reduced lunch, and over half will be the first in their family to graduate from college. We are the only private school in San Francisco with a large African-American student population (29%).
Mission Dolores Academy’s enrollment has increased from 215 to almost 260 the past five years. We could not have supported that growth without the help of the BASIC Fund. Over 40% of our students are currently receiving aid from The BASIC Fund. The BASIC Fund allows me to say to my families, “I’m not going to let you leave here just because of financial difficulties. If this is the place you decided is best for your child we will work it out.”
At Mission Dolores Academy, we are recognized both nationally and internationally for our pioneering, technology-rich curriculum that integrates online learning with teacher-led, small group instruction to deliver truly personalized instruction. Year after year, Mission Dolores Academy students show significantly greater academic gains than students nationally based on standardized test results. Our graduates go on to many of San Francisco's most prestigious college preparatory high schools - 83% are currently attending charter or private high schools, and 100% are expected to attend college.
You can certainly look at numbers to measure success and what that looks like; however, what you can’t see in those numbers is what I see every day with our families. So many families make the effort every day, work hard work hard every day—and they’re doing it for their kids. We can see the love and care within these families. Together, Mission Dolores Academy and The BASIC Fund help provide the educational experience and stability they want and deserve. It’s wonderful for families to have that stability of being a part of the same educational community year after year throughout the education of all of their children.
The Bay Area contains the highest concentration of college graduates in the world. As a community, we recognize the importance of investing in our children to create a better future, a better community, a better country for all of us. Because of the critical support our families receive from the BASIC Fund, we are able to lay the foundation that allows our students to realize their potential and impact lives for generations. Thank you for supporting the BASIC Fund.
Principal, Mission Dolores Academy
P.S. If you’d like to learn more about Mission Dolores Academy, please visit our website at mdasf.org or call us at (415) 638-6212 to schedule a tour.