July 9, 2018 • VOL. 56, NO. 13 • Oakland, CA
By Michele Jurich
Cristo Rey De La Salle East Bay High School opens its St. Elizabeth Campus doors July 9 to its founding class, offering what President Mike Anderer calls a “transformative education experience to students from low-earning families who wouldn’t have access to Catholic high school.”
In beginning an educational program where the students will be asked to “imagine and envision themselves in college,” as Anderer said, the first day will offer them a taste of that future.
Anderer and the founding team of teachers and administrators will welcome the students to the refreshed campus of the former St. Elizabeth High School.
Then they’ll board a bus bound for Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, where they will spend the first days of their Alpha Summer Institute on retreat.
Two years ago, Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, announced his intention to open a Cristo Rey high school in the Diocese of Oakland. Eligible students come from families whose income falls below 75 percent of the median income for the area. In the East Bay, the maximum qualifying income is about $73,000 for a family of four.
Students participate in a corporate work study program, providing $9,000 toward the $18,000 tuition. The family’s annual financial contribution is between $500 and $2,500. The remainder will be contributed by the school’s partners.
Seventy students are registered for the founding Class of 2022. About 80 percent of the students live in Oakland, Anderer said. Some students live in San Leandro and Hayward, and a few live in West Contra Costa County and Concord.
Graduates of Catholic elementary schools, including St. Elizabeth Elementary School, which is across the street, and St. Anthony School, which is less than 2 miles away, are among the incoming students. They are joined by students from public and charter schools.
The high school will continue to accept applications through July 27. Those students who are accepted will attend a one-week orientation. Apply at https://cristoreydelasalle.org/admissions/apply-now/.
Since the closing of St. Elizabeth High School at the end of the 2016-17 school year, the founding administration, including Anderer and Principal Ana Hernández, has gathered a faculty and support staff to meet the needs of the students and their families.
The most recent addition is Greg Young as director of mission advancement. Young has more than 20 years of experience in corporate/community relations, fundraising and diversity and inclusion. He joins Cristo Rey De La Salle from Bank of America, where he most recently served as vice president, consumer lending officer.
The founding class members and their families were welcomed to a get-together June 16 to see the campus. The building, at 1530 34th Ave., in Oakland’s Fruitvale district, has a new roof; high-efficiency LED lighting inside and out; renovated students bathrooms; new flooring; and 170 new windows, Anderer said.
“Every wall, inside and out, has been painted,” he said.
There’s new furniture in the classrooms the students will be using.
Soon, a new sign will grace the front entrance.
Among the events on the summer calendar will be the school’s first Draft Day. Modeled after a professional sports draft, it will match the students with the employers.
The first full day of school of school will be Aug. 15. It’s also the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Bishop Barber will celebrate Mass at 10 a.m. in St. Elizabeth Church. Bishop Emeritus John S. Cummins is also expected to join the students for their first Mass. A ceremonial ribbon-cutting will follow at the school.
On Aug. 16, the school will host a community block party to invite neighbors and local community partners to explore the campus.
On Aug. 17, a reception for St. Elizabeth High School alumni and friends will take place on campus. Tickets for the event will be available at https://cristoreydelasalle.org.
Cristo Rey De La Salle
East Bay High School
St. Elizabeth Campus
These organizations committed to be founding partners of Cristo Rey De La Salle High School:
Alameda County District Attorney
Allen, Glaessner, Hazelwood & Werth, LLC
B|ehmke Reporting and Video Services
Bishop O’Dowd High School
Blue Shield of California
Catholic Charities of the East Bay
Catholic Management Services
Diocese of Oakland
Filice Insurance Agency
Heffernan Insurance Brokers
McGuire & Hester
Nautilus Data Technologies
One Toyota of Oakland
Rogers Family Foundation
Saint Mary’s College
Sensiba San Filippo
Toyota of San Francisco