Milwaukee’s education landscape will welcome Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in fall 2015, according to an announcement made today by the Midwest Jesuits of the Wisconsin and Chicago-Detroit Provinces and the Cristo Rey Network.
The new school will be housed in the St. Florian’s school building, 1215 S. 45th St., and will be the 29th school in the national Cristo Rey Network – a Catholic-based grouping of schools that targets urban students of limited means with a college preparatory education.
Cristo Rey schools operate with longer schools days and longer school years and uphold the expectation that all students should attend college. Network schools also mandate each student complete a work-study program so that they are exposed to workplace demands and can explore career options early on.
Additionally, each school is supported by a Catholic religious order. In Milwaukee’s case, the Midwest Jesuits of the Wisconsin and Chicago-Detroit Provinces have stepped up in support. Along with providing funding and Jesuit personnel to the school, the Midwest Jesuits will ensure the Cristo Rey Jesuit High School maintains a Catholic identity, said Andrew Stith, who has been named president of the school.
“I am excited about the tremendous potential of this new school of the young people who will attend,” Stith said. “Our goal is to provide students from modest means with a high-quality, values-based education rooted in the Catholic Jesuit tradition of academic excellence and leadership development.”
Prior to being named president, Stith spent close to two years conducting a feasibility study that measured the need for a Cristo Rey school in Milwaukee. The study was supported by several stakeholders, including Marquette University’s College of Education, the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, St. Florian’s Parish, Jesuits and the Cristo Rey Network.
With an outpouring of positive feedback from area students, parents, community leaders and businesses, the survey led to approval of the school by the Jesuits and the Cristo Rey Network this month.
Cristo Rey Jesuit High School will open with an estimated 100 freshmen students in 2015 and plans to add a new freshman class each of the subsequent three years until it reaches its capacity of 400. Its work-study program has already secured nearly 30 industry partners in greater Milwaukee, including Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek S.C., Manpower Inc., and Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc.