In 1996, the Chicago Province of the Society of Jesus opened a high school on the south side of Chicago exclusively serving poor students living in the impoverished Pilsen neighborhood. An innovative work-study component was incorporated within the school’s curriculum providing the means for the students to earn wages to pay for a good portion of their tuition. Little did the Jesuits know Cristo Rey Jesuit High School would be replicated throughout the United States over the next decade and provide an impressive solution for educating our nation’s most at-risk teenagers.
Eight years later in 2004, the California Province of Jesuits sponsored a feasibility study in Sacramento with representatives of the region’s business, civic and non-profit communities, joined and supported by Diocesan, parish and neighborhood leaders. The results of the study concluded that this region was indeed in need of an affordable alternative and supportive of a Cristo Rey school, with a proven record in being able to deliver a quality college preparatory curriculum and innovative work-study experience.
The study was completed and submitted to the Cristo Rey Network® in July of 2005 and approval was given in September 2005 to open Cristo Rey High School Sacramento expressly to serve low income families in the urban and rural communities of Sacramento.
Upon completion of the feasibility study, three religious congregations agreed to collaborate in the operation of a Cristo Rey school in Sacramento to be located on the campus of the former St. Peter’s Parish School. CRHSS is co-sponsored by: The Sisters of Mercy West Midwest Community; The California Province of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur; and the California Province of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). CRHSS also enjoys endorsement from the Diocese of Sacramento and the Cristo Rey Network.
The Cristo Rey Network approved the opening of the school in August 2006 with its first freshman class and 25 of Sacramento’s finest corporate sponsors. CRHSS is the only school of its kind in Sacramento exclusively for students below the poverty line. Cristo Rey is a wonderful complement to the outstanding schools in this area.
In March of 2010, CRHSS went through a rigorous accreditation process with the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and the Western Catholic Educational Association (WCEA). We were pleased to receive a 6 year accreditation award in June 2010.
In August 2014, due to the merger of five units of the Sisters of Notre Dame and with their Leadership residing in the Eastern U.S., it was no longer practical for the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur to continue their sponsorship of Cristo Rey High School Sacramento. However, Cristo Rey will continue to include the charism of 'GOODNESS' in our daily work.