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placeholder September 18, 2017   •   VOL. 55, NO. 16   •   Oakland, CA
Catholic High School Information Guide

The founding team of Cristo Rey De La Salle East Bay High School: Ana Hernández, principal; John Coughlan, director of corporate work study program; Brother Richard Orona, FSC, Lasallian animator; Mike Anderer, president; JoEllen Baker, director of mission advancement; Julio Orozco, office and campus environment; and Damien Lamar McDuffie, director of admissions and community engagement.
COURTESY PHOTO

Diocese's newest high school
seeking its founding class

Cristo Rey De La Salle East Bay High School is looking forward to welcoming its first students — the Class of 2022 — to its St. Elizabeth campus in fall 2018. The admission director's goal is to create a class of 130 students "that reflects the diversity of Oakland, rich in culture and all that it has to offer."

The first high school to open in the Diocese of Oakland in a half-century will offer personalized education, a corporate work study program and low tuition to students from families of limited economic means.

 
Cristo Rey De La Salle East Bay High School

St. Elizabeth Campus
1530 34th Ave., Oakland

Information open house:
Oct. 1, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Additional dates:
Nov. 8, Dec. 5

Website:www.cristoreydelasalle.org

Text the admissions director:
646-519-0362
 
"We're open to all public school and Catholic school students whose family income falls below 75 percent of the median income for the area," said Mike Anderer, school president.

In the East Bay, the maximum qualifying income is about $73,000 for a family of four. The majority of students will have a family income of less than $53,000 for a family of four. Because of the income requirement, Anderer said he estimated more of the students would be coming from public or charter schools.

"We exist to take away the economic barriers to school," said Damien Lamar McDuffie, director of admissions and community engagement for the school, which is part of the national Cristo Rey network of secondary schools.

It's a school for students and families, McDuffie said, "who believe that Catholic school isn't available or affordable to them."

Principal Ana Hernández is responsible for developing the school's personalized learning model. "Our goal is to provide our students with the opportunity to learn at their own pace, create their own learning path, with people who care for their needs, at a place that provides them with different learning modalities," Hernández said.

"The idea is the teachers will have the opportunity to leverage the technology to support individual students' learning needs," she said.

Students will also have access to technology at home. "We'll create an environment where they'll be no barrier to having a device," Anderer said, adding that help will be available for families to gain access to low-cost Wi-Fi service.

Hernández will work closely with John Coughlan, who is charged with directing the corporate learning program. "From day one, Ana and I are going to work together to coordinate the work study piece and the academic piece," Coughlan said. "We definitely believe the two go hand in hand."

The corporate work study program is the defining element of a Cristo Rey education. Anderer explained how it will work at the Oakland school.

"A corporation or office or a nonprofit would pay Cristo Rey De La Salle $36,000 for a full-time, five-day- a-week position for 10 months out of the year, for the school year," Anderer said. "Four students would share that job. Each student would come one day a week. On the fifth day, the students would rotate, so one week a month, a student would go two days."

The annual tuition at Cristo Rey De La Salle is $18,000 per student. By participating in the work program, the student contributes half of the cost of education.

The family's contribution will be on a sliding scale, based on income, between $500 and $2,500 a year. "We anticipate the average will be about $1,000," Anderer said.

"The remaining $8,000 we commit — and this is part of our model — to raise $8,000 per student," Anderer said.

"It's not a question of if," he said. "It's just what we're going to do."

The school will have on staff Christian Brother Richard Orona as the Lasallian animator. "The Lasallian animator is the person in the building who helps animate the Lasallian charism" Anderer said. The core values of faith, service, community, inclusion and social justice will be lived out daily.

For McDuffie as admissions director, this year is an opportunity to create a class of students "who live up those ideals."

"I'm looking forward to creating students who can work well, in the classroom, and in the world and make an impact," he said.

Because it's a new school, Cristo Rey De La Salle will get a head-start on the admissions process, offering its first open house on the St. Elizabeth campus from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 1. Other open houses are scheduled for Nov. 8 and Dec. 5. The application for admission will be available Sept. 29.

The school is also offering an early decision. "We'll respond to students and families, 'You have a place, contingent on taking the HSPT in January, successfully completing the eighth grade, and successfully completing the family income verification,' in December," Anderer said.

High schools in the diocese typically announce admission decisions in March.

Cristo Rey De La Salle applicants will take the high school admission test at the St. Elizabeth campus. The test will be used as assessment.

The Class of 2022 will report to campus next summer for a 3½-week orientation session to begin to build the community, and develop the skills needed for the personalized learning as well as an introduction to the working world.

They'll enter a 100-year-old building that is receiving some cosmetic attention, Baker, the mission advancement director, said. "A generous donor is handling our deferred maintenance," she said. Learning spaces will be configured to accommodate the students' needs.

In addition to serving the students, it is hoped the campus will become a community hub for their families and neighbors.

"We want to honor that history," Anderer said. "We hope in the renovations the St. Elizabeth High School alumni will see that we are simply the next turn of the evolutionary wheel. We see ourselves as continuation of that legacy."

 
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