North Cambridge Catholic High School
North Cambridge Catholic High School is a co-educational school, offering students of multicultural backgrounds and limited economic means a rigorous college preparatory program in a safe, nurturing environment.
Through a comprehensive curriculum, the Corporate Work Study Program, and a close partnership with families, North Cambridge Catholic prepares its graduates to become exceptional business and community leaders.
The school embraces the cultural, ethnic and religious diversity of the student body, enabling each student to develop a unique sense of personal responsibility, global awareness, and spiritual growth.
Past, Present and Future
North Cambridge Catholic High School began as a parish secondary school in 1921, serving the sons and daughters of Irish, Italian, and French Canadian immigrants. Eighty-four years later it continues a tradition of offering a challenging college preparatory education to young people of limited economic means in a safe, nurturing environment.
A lot has changed since the Dominican sisters taught the late U.S. House Speaker Thomas P. "Tip" O'Neill, Jr. at what was then known as St. John's High School. More lay teachers than nuns stand at the front of classrooms, more Haitian than Irish faces look back from the neat rows of student desks, but the commitment to providing educational opportunity to those most in need remains very much the same.
Every weekday morning, a multicultural parade passes through the front doors of the red brick schoolhouse tucked among multi-family homes on a quiet residential street. The 265 students enrolled at North Cambridge Catholic represent the changing face of Greater Boston at the start of a new millennium. They are Hispanic, African-American, Haitian, Caucasian, and Multi-racial. They are recent immigrants and long time residents. They live close enough to walk to school and far enough away to require a bus and subway ride at sunrise. They are Catholic and non-Catholic alike.
The young men and women in crisp shirts and navy cardigan sweaters make the long daily trek from Dorchester and Chelsea, from Roxbury and East Boston for the chance to tackle a rigorous curriculum with a caring faculty committed to their academic success and invested in their moral and spiritual development.
At a time when financial strain is forcing many Catholic schools in inner cities to close their doors, North Cambridge Catholic is being re-energized by an infusion of fresh capital and creative ideas that will ensure its long-term existence. An Archdiocesan Central High School since 1957, North Cambridge Catholic in 2004 became financially independent by launching an innovative work study program that has lowered dropout rates and boosted employment opportunities and college admissions for students in urban communities across the country.
With grants from the Cassin Educational Initiative Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, among others, North Cambridge Catholic became a Cristo Rey Network school in September 2004, providing students with a proven mix of traditional classes and work experience. Every student works five days a month at an entry-level, clerical job provided by local businesses. The $20,000 cost to each employer for a Corporate Work Study Team of four students is paid to the school to offset tuition expenses.
The Cristo Rey model, begun in 1994 in Chicago, has been replicated with great success in Los Angeles, California; Portland, Oregon; Austin, Texas; Cleveland, Ohio; Lawrence, Massachusetts; New York City, New York; Tucson, Arizona; Waukegan, Illinois and Denver, Colorado. Its implementation at North Cambridge Catholic High School has extended to the sons and daughters of Greater Boston's newest immigrants the helping hand first offered by this school to the children of Irish, Italian, and French Canadian laborers almost a century ago.
The Significance of Catholic Education
Forty-two Catholic high schools have closed in the Archdiocese of Boston since 1970. Most of these schools were in inner city neighborhoods. According to the National Catholic Education Association, the Boston Archdiocese is not alone with this experience.
The number of urban Catholic high schools has decreased from a high of more than 4,000 schools nationwide in 1970 to less than 600 today. These generally small schools, which provided students with significant personal attention from administrators and teachers, educated some of the nation's most prominent leaders and eased the burden on public schools. Moreover, private schools, particularly those that serve economically disadvantaged students, save taxpayers billions of dollars each year. By adding the work study program at North Cambridge Catholic High School, we take significant steps to reverse the trend of school closings and are able to bring the gift of Catholic education to hundreds of high school aged young people.
The positive impact of Catholic secondary education on urban young people is significant. According to the Boston Office of Catholic Schools, 90% of Catholic high school graduates in the Archdiocese will attend college. The National Catholic Education Association (NCEA) reports that 83% of Catholic high school graduates nationwide go to college, and that minority students who graduate from Catholic high schools are three times more likely to earn a college degree (25% to 8.5%) than African-American and Hispanic-American graduates of public high schools.
Furthermore, the NCEA reports that Catholic high school students are less likely to drop out of school than their public school counterparts and perform better in government-sponsored tests. Catholic high school students score 3.6% higher in math, 7.9% higher in reading proficiency, and 3.76% higher in science than do their public school peers.
The positive impact of Catholic high schools on minority and low-income students is one of the Church's greatest contributions to modern urban America. A charitable investment in North Cambridge Catholic High School serving urban young people, therefore, is an investment in a high quality education that has a long track record of success with at-risk young people.
Student Population (2005-2006): 265
African American: 23%
More than 40% of students speak English as their second language
Median Family Income:
Percentage of Students Receiving Financial Aid:
Average Tuition Subsidy Per Student:
North Cambridge Catholic High School does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or ethnic origin in its student admission process, faculty and staff hiring practices, educational policies, scholarships, athletics or other school administered programs.
Communities where students live:
The information on this page is archived content from the original website. North Cambridge Catholic High School is presently closed.