Fr. Anthony P. Sauer, S.J., Academy
On October 8, 2016, St. Ignatius College Preparatory President Edward Reese, S.J. announced the creation of the Fr. Anthony P. Sauer, S.J. Academy, a full scholarship junior high school program which began in August 2017 with its first class of 6th graders.
Named after St. Ignatius president Anthony P. Sauer, S.J. who served between 1979 and 2006, the academy will offer 6th, 7th and 8th grade boys and girls from economically disadvantaged backgrounds a Catholic, Jesuit education with the expectation that these Academy Scholars will matriculate directly into SI as high school students.
Fr. Sauer Academy Scholars are accepted based on their academic ability, elementary school recommendations and demonstrated financial need and take part in an extended school day and an 11-month school year.
The Academy is housed on SI’s main campus and will begin with 25 to 30 sixth graders, with the addition of one new grade over each of the next two years.
At SI we prepare leaders to respond courageously to the challenges of our time, and these leaders come from varied backgrounds and families. Our goal is to find boys and girls with innate ability but who lack the educational background needed to thrive at a college preparatory high school. We want to identify and attract these scholars at an earlier age so that they are better able to succeed at SI and at the university of their choice.
Often, students we admit into SI from underserved communities are not academically ready to take full advantage of what we have to offer and are not fully acclimated to the rigors of an academic program until their junior year. The purpose of the Academy is to ensure that these scholars are at or above grade level as they enter SI.
Further, the Academy helps to address the injustice of the educational divide. While not a cure-all, education is the best means for addressing disparities in wealth, preparing students for academic success and giving them opportunities for growth. It is incumbent upon all Jesuit schools to provide programs to meet the challenges of the most disadvantaged among us.
The goal of the program is to attract highly motivated students who might qualify for the USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). We expect that Fr. Sauer Academy scholars will have at least one adult who is committed to their education, who will be part of their application process, and who will be with them as they go through school.
While applications from students of all faith backgrounds and denominations will be accepted, the best applicants will be industrious 5th grade Catholic boys and girls who live in San Francisco with demonstrated financial need attending public school.
Because the Fr. Sauer Academy is as much a part of SI as our Campus Ministry program or Athletic department, it is located on SI’s campus in the classrooms and recreational area of the school’s Choral Wing, thus giving the Academy its own space.
The Fr. Sauer Academy is committed to assisting scholars with safe transportation to and from school each day. We provide vans to transport scholars, we use the school bus service, and we provide a Clipper Card for streetcars and buses. These are all options at the disposal of our scholars.
Frequently Asked Questions
No. There will be a funding firewall between the Sauer Academy and SI. High school tuition will not pay for the Sauer Academy. Similarly, any excess revenue for the Academy will go into building its endowment.
How does this affect the Compass Campaign goal of raising $50 million for the Scholarship Endowment Fund?
The $50 million goal will still be for SI students, not Academy scholars. We will separately fund middle school and high school students, thus freeing up more funds for middle class families to access SI.
SI currently accepts 25 to 30 students who need full support and who are often behind their peers academically in a college prep environment. Our goal is to take those boys and girls sooner to prepare them before they begin their freshman year at SI.
The expectation is that they will; however, if a Sauer Academy scholar clearly demonstrates the lack of motivation or aptitude, then we will work to get that student appropriate placement for high school.
Will this affect our traditional Catholic feeder schools, especially in the east side of San Francisco?
No. We are not trying to take kids away from other Catholic grammar schools. Our goal is to attract low-income kids from neighborhoods where Catholic schools have closed. Ideally, these children will be Catholic, but they don’t have to be. The following Catholic grammar schools have closed in recent years:
- St. Paul the Shipwreck: Hunter’s Point
- Sacred Heart: Fillmore
- St. Michael
- St. Emydius
- St. Elizabeth: Portola
- Corpus Christi
We have proof of concept with Loyola Academy at Brophy College Preparatory in Phoenix, AZ.
Because of economies of scale, it makes sense to host the Father Sauer Academy at SI. We don’t need to build a new facility; we have all that we need at SI. It’s just a matter of scheduling. Also, by attending school on SI’s campus, Sauer Academy scholars will feel at home when they begin high school.
The school will run 11 months of the year, 5 days a week, 8 hours a day. Scholars will wear uniforms. The curriculum will be based on what SI needs for a scholar to be successful in a college preparatory environment. These scholars will be pushed to excel in the classroom.