Collaborating closely with each other and with our schools, the national office staff creates and delivers programming that protects the integrity of the Cristo Rey movement and advances school excellence and innovation. Putting Education to Work is designing and delivering the following programs from 2019-2023.
Our Leading and Learning Team will deepen and scale a series of interrelated Initiatives to dramatically increase student achievement.
Classroom Learning: We are leading the ongoing refinement of our proprietary, standards-based, college preparatory curriculum aligned with college and career readiness to ensure appropriate rigor and alignment with our common assessments. To strengthen effective implementation of the curriculum, we are advancing principals’ instructional support to teachers through targeted initiatives that maximize the way in which our educators collaborate with and learn from one another.
Putting MATH Education to Work: In partnership with the Silicon Valley Math Initiative, Putting MATH Education to Work aims to increase math achievement for all students by improving teacher practice, promoting high levels of student engagement in mathematical thinking, and providing schools with high quality resources that positively impact classroom instruction.
Executive Functioning Skills Integration: In partnership with Georgia Bozeday, Ed.D., Director of Educational Services at Rush NeuroBehavioral Center (RNBC), we are establishing a model to synchronize learning from classroom and workplace settings through the implementation of RNBC-designed and research-validated Executive Functions curriculum.
Test Preparation: Coupled with our focus on challenging classroom learning, we launched a network-wide test preparation program, affording our students the same types of test preparation skills for high-stakes college entrance tests that high income students can access. We are responding to the need to better prepare our students with test taking strategies and skills to earn SAT scores that reflect their true potential and open the doors to college access.
Academic Human Capital: To ensure a ready pipeline of well-prepared principals, the Cristo Rey Network is leveraging the extraordinary talent and mission commitment in our schools through high quality professional development programming to inspire and cultivate future academic leaders for our schools. Furthermore, our emerging Principals participate in The Mary Ann Remick Leadership Program at the University of Notre Dame over the course of three summers and two academic years to develop their capacity to be transformational leaders.
Student Retention: Armed with a better understanding of why students leave our schools prematurely, and with evolving interventions successfully stemming attrition in some schools, we are making substantial progress on four-year retention. We are matching strong academic emphasis and support from the national office staff with grants to individual schools to fuel retention interventions strategically tailored to the local school culture and need. We seek to meet our 2020 goal of 70% four-year student retention, with our schools’ intention to continue to raise that bar to 90%, the rate currently attained by our highest performing schools.
CORPORATE WORK STUDY PROGRAM
Our National Office Corporate Work Study Team standardizes and scales effective practices to support the range of operations critical to the program.
National Business Development: As one of the leading users of Salesforce in the K-12 space, Cristo Rey recently created a custom application called Corporate Work Studyforce to provide schools with a centralized system for sales tracking, account management, and student information, and performance management. We will continue to develop this platform, as well as increase our internal capacity to expand our focus to scaling jobs through robust board development, generating more National Corporate Partnerships, and securing accounts in new markets.
CWSP Curriculum: Our Corporate Work Study Program Team designed and is now implementing a four-year workplace training curriculum that is modeled after and creates synergies with our schools’ academic curriculum. Using data from workplace supervisor performance evaluations and third-party input, curriculum benchmarks and assessments standardize and elevate the quality of workplace-training throughout a student’s career at Cristo Rey. We will advance the delivery of the curriculum by working closely with workplace supervisors and supporting schools' deployment of Applied Educational Systems. As the curriculum is implemented, refined, and expanded, students will be better equipped to perform 21st century jobs utilizing technology, project management, and critical thinking skills. We will increase Corporate Partner retention as we simultaneously expand our partnerships.
Microsoft Suite Certification Program: In these unusual times due to COVID-19, many Cristo Rey students will not be working onsite at Corporate Partners in the immediate future. To elevate our student workers’ tangible skills when they return to the workplace, the national office is reimbursing schools’ MS Excel Certification expenses for student workers achieving Microsoft Excel Associate Level (“MS Excel”) certification through Certiport.
CWSP Human Capital: The Cristo Rey Network will strengthen the capacity of CWSP leaders through expanded professional development support and by building a leadership pipeline.
We have established a network-wide systematic, results-based approach to College Initiatives that includes robust match, access, and support services to ensure students complete a postsecondary degree.
College Counseling: The College Initiatives Team will expand its capacity to support our college counselors as they help students and their families understand and navigate the post-secondary world to identify the best-fit institutions for students’ achievements and ambitions. The team will also strategically expand University Partnerships with schools that value recruiting, supporting, and graduating low-income and first-generation students and provide a platform for collaboration.
Alumni Advising: Committed to every student’s success to and through college, Cristo Rey schools employ an Alumni Advisor that offers targeted interventions, advocacy, and connectivity to our graduates as they navigate this unchartered territory. In addition to ensuring the success of this role in the education landscape, the team supports philanthropists in awarding tuition gap scholarships for qualifying graduates.
GradForce Implementation: Our newly designed alumni tracking platform, GradForce, will significantly increase the capacity of our alumni advisors to communicate with and track the progress and achievement of alumni in college. After five schools completed the beta testing in summer 2020, we are scaling the implementation of GradForce across all Cristo Rey schools with alumni.
Alumni Emergency Support: Due to COVID-19, we launched an Alumni Emergency Assistance Fund for college enrollees experiencing financial hardship and directed support to help graduating seniors cover college enrollment and housing deposits.
College Success Fund: To better equip Cristo Rey schools with the resources necessary to increase students' college completion, the College Success Fund awards schools grants to immediately build personnel and program capacity that will be sustained locally long term.
National Alumni Association: The movement's first National Alumni Association was launched in 2019 to connect, engage, and mobilize over 20,000 alumni nationwide. Our online portal allows Cristo Rey graduates to access career development and job placement opportunities at Corporate Partners, build community through regional events, and engage in peer-to-peer mentorship opportunities.
Our growth plan reflects a dual focus of opening new high schools while increasing student enrollment within established Cristo Rey schools.
New School Growth: The Cristo Rey movement reflects proven school growth and our Replication Process ensures consistent efforts that drive long term academic and operational success. The School Growth Team is working with schools in development and target communities to open more Cristo Rey schools through comprehensive Feasibility Studies. This assessment examines demographic data; educational opportunities; religious, philanthropic and business community support; and other relevant market information to determine whether a Cristo Rey school could succeed in that city.
Full Enrollment: A Cristo Rey school’s enrollment capacity is often restricted to the facility. Many schools opened in closed elementary school buildings that require significant renovation, expansion, and modernization to support enrollment goals and ensure safe and effective learning environments. To meet these needs, Cristo Rey schools are undertaking multi-million capital projects. While they have successfully raised funds towards that purpose and actively continue their fundraising efforts, additional funding is necessary. To increase enrollment capacity at existing Cristo Rey schools, the Cristo Rey Network has deployed a Capital Project Fund that will award grants to schools for their respective capital construction needs.
New Seats: To help schools achieve target full enrollment goals not restricted to the facility, we are providing expanded student recruitment and admissions support and awarding grants for school-specific projects designed to address admissions or Corporate Work Study Program limitations.
We ensure fidelity and performance against each Mission Effectiveness Standard through leadership development and support initiatives.
Executive Leadership Development Program: Designed and delivered by the University of Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business, Stayer Center for Executive Education, in collaboration with the Cristo Rey Network, the Cristo Rey Network Executive Leadership Development Program is developing the capacity of school leadership teams to perform at the highest levels in order to achieve our shared mission.
Board Development: As we continue to grow the number of high quality seats accessible to more students, with a dual focus on quality and sustainability, our team is providing support to ensure strong, effective governing boards at every school. Effective boards are particularly critical for our unique educational model.
School Stability Fund: In response to COVID-19, the Cristo Rey Network will infuse crucial financial resources directly into our schools that need immediate support resulting from decreased CWSP job revenue and fundraising to ensure our students continue to thrive.
JOHN P. FOLEY, SJ LEGACY FUND
We launched and are expanding a traditional endowment that will sustain the long-term quality and vitality of the Cristo Rey Network national office to ensure the future of the transformative mission.
Annual income earned from the John P. Foley, SJ Legacy Fund will fuel the needs of each focus area: Academic Excellence, Corporate Work Study Program, College Initiatives, and Growth.