Educational Institutions

Blessed Stephen Bellesini O S A Academy Inc

  • Lawrence, MA
  • www.bellesiniacademy.org

Mission Statement

Bellesini Academy is a private middle school dedicated to providing quality scholarship education to boys and girls from limited financial means living in Lawrence. The mission of the school is to provide an academically challenging and highly structured environment that develops the potential for each student to succeed in competitive secondary schools and colleges. Primary goals are to:Identify and admit low-income students of all faiths who demonstrate academic promise;Provide inner-city students with the advantages enjoyed by suburban students including: challenging curriculum taught in small classes by highly qualified teachers,meaningful after-school activities that keep students safe and off the streets, supervised evening study sessions, and an "11th month" of summer study that helps maintain academic gains in a camp-like environment;Place all graduates in private college preparatory high schools on scholarship; andSupport alumni throughout high school and college in order to ensure long term success.

Main Programs

  1. Academic Classes
  2. After-School & Evening Study Programs
  3. Summer Program
  4. Alumni Support Program
Service Areas

Self-reported

Massachusetts

All students must reside in Lawrence, MA.

ruling year

2002

Principal Officer since 2001

Self-reported

Ms Julie DiFilippo

Keywords

Self-reported

education, Catholic, tuition-free

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2015, 2014 and 2014.
Register now

EIN

04-3585445

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Primary/Elementary Schools (B24)

Scholarships, Student Financial Aid, Awards (B82)

Roman Catholic (X22)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

The Academy has developed a reputation for providing excellent preparatory education that prepares students for success in private high schools. The Academy's ultimate measure of success is the number of Bellesini graduates who go on to college preparatory high school and eventually graduate from a four year college. For nine years in a row, every Bellesini graduate has earned acceptance to at least one competitive private high school. While just 6% of low income students attend private high schools, 94% of Bellesini alumni currently attend, or have graduated from a private preparatory high school. In addition, Bellesini students have been offered more than $14 million in high school scholarship money, making it possible for them to attend private school without financially burdening their families. Not one Bellesini alumnus has dropped out of high school, and 100% have gone on to graduate. 87% of alumni have gone on to attend college, with another 5% enrolling in trade or technical schools and 5% entering military service.Standardized test scores demonstrate that Bellesini Academy is making great strides in preparing students for private high school. The class of 2015 earned test scores that average above grade level in all subjects, and gained an average of 9 grade levels in Reading, Writing, and Mathematics during their four years at Bellesini. On a national level, Bellesini students rank in the 80th percentiles: Math 99%, Reading 87%, Language 96%.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Academic Classes

Students attend 6 50-minute academic classes, including Reading, Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, from 8am to 3pm each day. Rigorous academic curriculum is taught in classes limited to 15 students by highly qualified professional faculty, with a special emphasis on literacy and writing.

Category

Education, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Hispanics

Budget

$650,000.00

Program 2

After-School & Evening Study Programs

At Bellesini, when academic classes end at 3pm the school day is only half over. The afternoon and evening hours are part of a 12-hour extended school day in which students' horizons are broadened, their characters built, and confidence boosted.From 3-5pm each day, students participate in a mandatory after-school program that includes clubs, team athletics, recreational activities, and enrichment programs help students develop their non-academic talents and interests. After a short break for dinner with their families, students return to school at 6:30pm for a 2 hour evening study session. Evening Study provides a quiet and structured environment in which students are offered one-on-one tutoring while they complete an average of two hours of nightly homework. Evening study is one of the reasons students who attend Bellesini are able to make such academic strides, and it also allows them to learn and practice good study habits that will help them throughout their academic careers.

Category

Education, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Hispanics

Budget

$150,000.00

Program 3

Summer Program

The Bellesini Academy Summer Program offers a safe and fun four-week summer camp experience that continues building academic skills while introducing students to new recreational pursuits in a college preparatory campus setting.

Category

Education, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Hispanics

Budget

$80,000.00

Program 4

Alumni Support Program

The Bellesini Academy Alumni Support Program invites 125 alumni to return to Bellesini for tutoring during the afternoons as well as scheduled evening study sessions, while a graduate support coordinator monitors their progress through high school and college.

Category

Education, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)

College Aged (18-26 years)

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Budget

$125,000.00

Charting Impact

Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    Bellesini Academy seeks to break the cycle of poverty through education. Exclusively serving low-income students living in the city of Lawrence, Bellesini strives to prepare all students for admission to private preparatory high schools on scholarship, with the hope that all students will eventually earn a college degree. 100% of students go on to private high schools, and 87% go on to college, while another 10% enter trade programs or the military.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    The Bellesini Academy philosophy is simple: education is the key to escaping poverty. We are committed to ensuring that every Bellesini graduate attend a college preparatory high school and eventually earn a four year college degree. Our programs are designed to prepare students for success in private college preparatory high schools. In order to provide students with the extra support they require to achieve their potential, the Academy is in session eleven months a year, offering more than 2000 hours of programming annually. Beyond its academic program, the school offers afternoon enrichment and recreational activities, supervised evening study, and a four week summer program in order to foster the personal and intellectual development of its students. Each school day includes nearly twelve hours of instruction, recreation, and academic support: 7:30-7:50 Breakfast 7:50-8:20 Homeroom & Morning Assembly 8:20-3:00 Academic Classes 3:00-5:00 After-School Activities, Sports and Clubs 5:00-6:30 Students Go Home for Dinner 6:30-8:30 Students Return for Supervised Evening Study This extended school day, which operates eleven months a year, brings the advantages enjoyed by suburban students to at-risk youth in the City of Lawrence. These include: * Rigorous academic curriculum taught in classes limited to 15 students, taught by highly qualified professional faculty, with a special emphasis on literacy and writing; * After-school activities such as clubs, team athletics, recreational activities, and enrichment programs help students develop their non-academic talents and interests; * Evening study sessions provide a quiet and structured environment in which students are offered one-on-one tutoring while they complete an average of two hours of nightly homework; * Summer program offers a safe and fun four-week summer camp experience that continues building academic skills while introducing students to new recreational pursuits in a college preparatory campus setting; and * Good nutrition is provided at breakfast and lunch each day throughout the school year. In addition, a High School Placement Program guides students through SSAT/HSPT preparation, admissions applications, admissions interviews, and financial aid applications. An Alumni Support Program helps graduates transition from Bellesini to high school and provides support services throughout high school and college, including: * Educating families about preparatory school expectations and systems, and providing advocacy and translation services for non-English speaking parents; * Assisting students with course selection and tracking their academic progress; * Connecting students to academic resources as well as extracurricular opportunities on their respective campuses; * Coordinating logistics such as transportation to/from schools, access to books, supplies, and lunch cards; * Developing individual strategies for academic success, including a four-year plan that puts them on-track for college; * Providing tutoring and other academic support for alumni; * Preparing students and their families for the college application process, including providing access to college admissions test preparation, organizing college visits, and completing applications and financial aid forms.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    The Academy's long term relationship with its students and their families is one of the most important reasons why Bellesini students achieve success. Beginning when students arrive as fifth graders and continuing on through eighth grade, high school, and college, Bellesini staff and faculty work closely with students and parents in order to ensure that each student will reach his full potential and stay on track to attend a private preparatory high school and eventually earn a four-year college degree. And while Bellesini is a tuition-free school, all parents are required to invest in their child's education by volunteering through the Academy's parent partnership program. Parents contribute a total of more than 2000 volunteer hours to the school annually.Our dedicated faculty and staff includes veteran teachers who are highly skilled and passionate about helping our students reach their full potential. Attracting and maintaining high quality faculty and staff is among our most important priorities. The Academy partners with more than 30 local organizations in order to provide quality programs to our students in a cost effective manner:* St. John's Preparatory School in Danvers partners with Bellesini to maintain a scholarship fund for Bellesini graduates that provides for tuition, books, supplies, and transportation to about 30 Bellesini alumni. St. John's also hosts Bellesini's summer program, providing facilities & meals at no cost to the Academy. * Merrimack College, Groton, and Brooks School provide volunteer tutors for the supervised study program. * Bellesini's after-school athletics and enrichment programs benefit from collaborations with many local organizations including the Lawrence YMCA, the Youth and Music Initiative, the MSPCA, the North Shore Independent Schools Athletic League, and the Merrimack Valley Catholic Basketball League. Students also participate in the Greater Lawrence Educational Collaborative Academic Bowl, as well as the Geography Bowl hosted by the Lawrence Public Library. Our students volunteer to serve dinner to the residents of Mary Immaculate Nursing Home and at Cor Unum Meal Center. Merrimack College hosts a Science Enrichment program at the Academy one afternoon a week. * Lawrence Public Schools provides breakfast & lunch through the USDA Free & Reduced Lunch program each day. * Bellesini utilizes Common Sense Media's free Digital Literacy and Citizenship Curriculum, which empowers students to think critically and make informed choices about how they create, communicate, and treat others in the digital world. * Bellesini partners with Families First to present four parenting workshops to Bellesini parents each year that teach them how to take control of their parenting using proven discipline and communication strategies. * Additional summer experiences beyond the Academy's 4-week summer program are made possible by the Merrimack Valley YMCA's Camp Otter & Camp Lawrence, the MSPCA Nevins Farm, Brooks School, and Groundwork Lawrence's Urban Adventurers summer program. * The Bellesini Alumni Support Program collaborates with local agencies to provide college bound opportunities to alumni. Bellesini enrolls our alumni in Let's Get Ready, a national program that provides SAT preparation, college visits, and guidance for college selection, applications, financial aid and scholarships to our alumni. Bellesini also works with uAspire, a non-profit organization that provides free financial aid advice, education, and advocacy to help students overcome the financial barriers to achieving their dreams of a college degree. Brooks School, Central Catholic High School, and St. John's Prep all provide SAT prep courses free of charge. The Academy is a sponsor organization for the Stephen Phillips Memorial Scholarship Fund, which offers college scholarships to students with financial need.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    Bellesini measures the success of our programs in several ways:1. Standardized test scores, including MAP testing and the ITBS, are used to measure the progress of our students academically. On average, Bellesini students gain approximately 9 grade levels in math, reading, and writing over their four years at Bellesini.2. Private high school placement and scholarship: 100% of our alumni go on to private preparatory high schools on scholarship.3. High school graduation: 100% of Bellesini alumni have gone on to graduate from high school--not one alum has dropped out of school. 4. College placement: 87% of alumni have gone on to attend college, with another 10% in trade programs or the military.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    * The Academy has long considered how we could broaden our impact on the Lawrence community. Specifically, our leadership focused on the need for more educational opportunities for the 2,500 middle school girls living in Lawrence. Bellesini will be admitting girls in the fall of 2015, beginning with one class of 18 girls and growing to serve 60 girls in grades 5 through 8 by the 2018-19 school year. Understanding that the needs of girls and boys are unique, classes will remain single gender, utilizing a ""co-institutional"" rather than coeducational model. Although there will be additional expense in educating more students, the net effect of expanding from 60 students to 120 students will drive down the per pupil cost from $12,000 to about $10,000, as many efficiencies are gained. * Obtaining accreditation is critical to the mission effectiveness of the school. The accreditation process will involve conducting a self-study of our school that will be evaluated by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). We look forward to this as an opportunity to identify areas in which we can improve our programs. * Providing an increasing level of technology education to our students will be a focus for the Academy in the coming years. With many high schools transitioning away from print textbooks to iPads and online textbooks, it is critical that we incorporate additional technology experiences into our curriculum. This will require additional investments in computers, tablets, and other devices, as well as professional development on technology integration for our faculty. * The Academy has identified a need to further educate students about nutrition, health, and physical fitness. A Healthy Living Program is being instituted that will span all four grades in the after-school program. * The Alumni Support Program is continuing to expand to meet an ever growing number of alumni. One of the most important challenges we face is helping alumni find ways to make college affordable (and avoid incurring a burdensome amount of debt) as the cost of college tuition continues to increase. * A continual challenge that the Academy faces is raising the funds required to operate a tuition-free private school. Bellesini is currently working on increasing its individual donor base, improving our corporate giving program, and growing our student sponsorship and "Adopt an Alumnus" programs. The Academy is also focusing on public relations, board development, and long rang strategic planning in order to secure the school's financial future.
Service Areas

Self-reported

Massachusetts

All students must reside in Lawrence, MA.

Funding Needs

Preparing at-risk students from Lawrence for college preparatory high schools is challenging. To achieve this goal we must provide our students with an outstanding tuition-free education twelve hours a day, eleven months a year. The cost to educate a child at Bellesini Academy during the 2014-15 school year will be approximately $12,000: Academic Classes: $8,000After-School Program: $1,500Evening Study Program: $500 Summer Program: $1,000Academic Supplies & Text Books: $1,000 When considering the annual cost of educating a student in the local public school system, it becomes clear that Bellesini is operating efficiently to deliver unparalleled instruction and support to its students. Lawrence Public Schools spends $13,852 per year to educate a student seven hours a day, ten months a year. Bellesini's $12,000 per student cost includes daily academic instruction from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., after-school enrichment from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m., supervised study from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., and four weeks of instruction during the summer months. Bellesini students participate in more than 2000 hours of instruction each year—nearly double the hours of public school students.

Accreditations

photos


External Reviews

Source: greatnonprofits.org

The review section is powered by Great Nonprofits

Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

BLESSED STEPHEN BELLESINI OSA ACADEMY INC
Fiscal year: Jul 01-Jun 30
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2014 and 2014
  • Board Chair, Board Co-Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
Get all this now for free
Need the ability to download nonprofit data and more advanced search options? Consider a Premium or Pro Search subscription.

Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Blessed Stephen Bellesini O S A Academy Inc

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2014 and 2014
  • Board Chair, Board Co-Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
Need the ability to download nonprofit data and more advanced search options? Consider a Premium or Pro Search subscription.

Principal Officer

Ms Julie DiFilippo

BIO

Julie DiFilippo, Head of School, is a native of North Andover. She attended St. Mary's High School in Lawrence, graduated from Merrimack College, and earned her Masters of Education Administration at Emmanuel College. Ms. DiFilippo served as a full-time volunteer teacher for two years at Mother Caroline Academy, a Nativity model school for girls located in Dorchester, MA. She was the Assistant Director for Development at Weston Jesuit School of Theology for two years and served as the youth and confirmation director at St. Michael's Parish in North Andover for seven years. Prior to accepting the position of Executive Director in the fall of 2001, Ms. DiFilippo conducted an eight month feasibility study to explore the potential for a Nativity model school in Lawrence. She serves as a member of the Grants and Allocations Committee for the Catholic Schools Foundation, and also as a member of the Education Committee for the Board of Trustees at St. John's Preparatory School. She recently co-authored ""STEM Literacy, Civic Responsibility, and Future Vision: Examining the Effects of the Lawrence Math & Science Partnership,"" published in the book Realities, Reflections, and Refinement in K-12 Service-Learning Partnerships by Anker Publishing.

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Mr. John Schutz

Cabot Paints (Retired)

Term: Sept 2003 - June 2016

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices. Self-reported by organization


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?