June 2, 2006

Providence Cristo Rey High School
offers summer tutoring

By Mary Ann Wyand

Providence Cristo Rey High School in Indianapolis will offer a three-week, full-day summer program for sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students in July, then officially open for classes during the 2007-08 school year instead of this fall as announced last September.

Providence Sister Jeanne Hagelskamp, president of the new Catholic secondary school, said students will work to find creative solutions to a real-life problem facing Indianapolis and also will have an opportunity to become acquainted with the business world during the summer program.

“In the process,” Sister Jeanne said, “they will develop critical thinking, math and language arts skills.”

Providence Cristo Rey High School is sponsored by the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods and operated by a board of directors.

On May 21, Sister Jeanne said the board, in discussions with officers of the Cristo Rey Network, felt that slowing down the process would allow the school to open next year in a stronger position that will benefit the students.

She said the new private college preparatory school—located at the former All Saints School at 75 N. Belleview Place on the near-west side—will open in 2007 with at least 100 students in the freshman and sophomore classes.

Sister Jeanne said the national Cristo Rey model incorporates a work-study curriculum so students can gain valuable job experiences and earn almost 75 percent of the cost of their tuition.

She said income eligibility guidelines for admission are $24,450 for a family of two, $30,710 for a family of three, $37,000 for a family of four, $43,290 for a family of five and $49,580 for a family of six.

“Most Cristo Rey schools take two years to start up,” she said. “In Indianapolis, we put ourselves on an aggressive schedule [to open the school sooner] primarily because the business community that bought into the work component had done so early on in the feasibility study.”

Sister Jeanne said partnerships with area businesses and corporations will enable students of all faiths, who otherwise could not afford a Catholic education, to attend the Cristo Rey school.

It is modeled on Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Chicago, which was started by the Society of Jesus about 10 years ago, and is part of a network of 11 other Cristo Rey schools throughout the U.S.

“The congregation [of the Sisters of Providence] is very supportive of the Cristo Rey school,” Sister Jeanne said, “and sees it as an opportunity to extend our mission of breaking boundaries and creating hope for the students here in Indianapolis.

“One very positive way that the congregation is supporting our mission this summer is that two Providence Volunteers in Ministry and a sister will be helping us with the summer program and with recruitment,” she said. “In the fall, we have a couple of sisters who are interested in volunteering their time to do tutoring and other jobs that might be needed.”

(For more information about Providence Cristo Rey High School, the school’s summer program or ways to volunteer there during the summer or fall, call Providence Sister Jeanne Hagelskamp at 317-592-4068.) †


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