Elementary Schools Information Guide
High schools make room for
transfers from St. Elizabeth
Administrators at Catholic high schools throughout the diocese have committed to helping the students who will be displaced when Oakland's St. Elizabeth High School closes in its current form at the end of the school year. In 2018, the campus will reopen as a Cristo Rey high school, with a freshman class only.
The current students — 46 freshmen, 19 sophomores and 42 juniors — and their families are meeting with representatives of the high schools to learn more about their options. They have until Nov. 15 to name first- and second-choice schools.
The application system will be streamlined; there will be no application fees or testing required. In announcing the transition last month, Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, said that families would pay the same tuition they pay at St. Elizabeth, with an allowance for annual increases, at their new schools.
St. Elizabeth High School is under new leadership for this transition year. The school will be led by Chellsea Rivera, assistant principal, and JoEllen Baker, vice president of advancement. Martin Procaccio resigned as president and principal on Sept. 20.
All students can be accommodated at a Catholic high school, the diocese has said, but there is no guarantee of the student getting that first or second choice. Not every school will be able to accommodate students at each grade level.
Although six schools identified as "receiving schools," the remaining two, although a greater distance from Oakland, have also expressed their interest in being part of the solution.
Although De La Salle High School operates under an enrollment limit of 1,050, set by the city of Concord, President Mark De Marco said the all-boys school will consider transfer applications.
"We're an option," he said.
Kevin Cushing, principal of all-girls Carondelet High School said "we want to reach out in any way we can."
He said the school of 800 students offers a "familial feeling" and "safety net" for girls, while sharing classes with across-the-street De La Salle High School.
Cushing said he is looking into providing shuttle service between the school and BART.
Lisa Tortorich, principal of Moreau Catholic High School in Hayward, said she was looking forward to meeting the students and families at St. Elizabeth, then inviting them to visit for a day at the Hayward school.
"It's equally important for them to see our families," Tortorich said.
"Moreau Catholic is a family, too, it might not be just down the street," she said, noting that many speakers in the audience at a Sept. 7 meeting that discussed the plan for transitioning from St. Elizabeth remarked on its family atmosphere.
She noted, too, that Moreau Catholic has a group of former St. Elizabeth students and teachers on campus to welcome students.
"We're rethinking our allocation of resources," said Steve Phelps, president of Bishop O'Dowd High School in Oakland, one of the closest to the St. Elizabeth campus. O'Dowd is fully enrolled, he said. "There's very little room."
He does anticipate being able to welcome some of the St. Elizabeth students to campus next fall.
Saint Mary's College High School in Berkeley operates under an enrollment cap established by the city of Albany, in whose city limits the school is located. "Our enrollment is controlled by the city of Albany," Brother Edmond Larouche, FSC, said. The limit is 630 students.
"We'll give it our best shot," in welcoming some of the St. Elizabeth transfer students to the campus, which is within walking distance of a BART station.
"We want to do whatever we can in working with students," the school president said. "I want the best thing to happen for those kids."
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