Santa Maria Del Fiat School has over 1,200 students from pre-kindergarten through high school.

Santa Maria del Fiat is a semi-private preschool through secondary school that has been providing high quality education to children of the surrounding area for 27 years. It is one of the best schools in Santa Elena province, with over 1,200 students. Some children travel 90 minutes one-way by bus to attend this school. 

Mission Santa Maria has been a longtime parter of Santa Maria Del Fiat, providing scholarships for children that cannot afford the $25/month tuition. Mission Santa Maria’s scholarship program allows children from the poorest communities a chance to attend school.

In addition to the scholarship program, Mission Santa Maria provides general funding support to Santa Maria Del Fiat to ensure continued operation. Santa Maria Del Fiat is a semi-private school, whereby the government pays most of the teachers’ salaries, but also mandates the cost of tuition, total staff requirements, minimum salary for all staff, and administrative requirements. This creates a structural deficit whereby the mission school cannot generate enough income to cover the operational expenses. Mission Santa Maria provides funding support for this structural deficit to ensure that the school remains open and can continue to educate children. 

Finally, Mission Santa Maria is invested in maintaining the high-quality education provided at Santa Maria Del Fiat, as well as supporting improvements. Mission Santa Maria runs several projects to enhance the education at the school.

2022 Updates and Accomplishments

In 2022, 230 students received full scholarships through Mission Santa Maria. This number includes the children living at Esperanza Home for Children as well as children from resource limited families who cannot afford the $25 per month tuition. Mission Santa Maria provided 183 students with their uniforms, books, and school supplies. Many of these children would simply not attend school if it were not for our scholarship program.

In 2022, Mission Santa Maria piloted a ‘Scholarship Plus Program’ to better meet the comprehensive needs of students. The program employed a social worker to complete a needs assessment of each family in the scholarship program. Based on the assessment, the ‘Scholarship Plus Program’ now provides additional scholarships for bus fare and food to students experiencing extreme food insecurity. Thirty students currently benefit from the food distribution portion of this program. 

After returning to in-person learning post pandemic, Santa Maria Del Fiat did not have enough classroom space to accommodate all of their students. The school converted their library and video-lab into classrooms as a temporary solution. In 2022, Mission Santa Maria was able to build two new classrooms for the high-school, providing students with the necessary classroom space, and allowing communal resources to return to their intended purpose. In addition to classroom infrastructure, Mission Santa Maria had 300 new desks built, and provided 23 new projectors, to ensure adequate learning environment for students.

In 2022, Mission Santa Maria continued to build on the English language program at Santa Maria Del Fiat to increase the quality of English language education at the school. The program continues to allow the English teachers to receive continuing professional training, help with lesson plan development, and teaching observation and feedback from an international English teacher trainer. In 2022, Mission Santa Maria hired an additional English teacher to decrease class size in the high school.

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