For six years, the Latino Enrollment Institute (LEI) has helped Catholic schools nationwide attract and better serve Latino families. Through the program’s history, the vast majority of these schools have been at the elementary level, but in recent years, we have seen an uptick in demand from Catholic high schools. This has been a welcome sight as we know that the great work being done by our elementary schools cannot stop at eighth grade.
While high schools undoubtedly face a different reality than most Catholic grade schools do when it comes to day-to-day operations, recruitment activities, and advancement practices, much of what the LEI offers is universally applicable. At the same time, we sought to address some of the unique needs that Catholic high schools have, and we began by placing the high school principals in a small cohort together. This cohort of school leaders has been working with an LEI Coach and high school principal throughout the year to help institute changes to spur enrollment growth and better serve the Latino families in their communities.
Today, we highlight one of those schools who has shown remarkable growth in just a short time – Bishop Machebeuf High School in Denver, Colorado. The principal, Deacon Marc Nestorick, and his staff have worked hard to implement LEI strategies and reach out to the Latino community both inside their school and in the wider community.
After attending the LEI last summer, Bishop Machebeuf High School increased Latino enrollment from 86 to 128 students, nearly a 50-percent increase in just a few short months. Following is a reflection from Deacon Marc about his experience in the LEI and how it has helped shape much of what Bishop Machebeuf does today.