Cristo Rey Fort Worth High School (CRFW) is a private college preparatory, independently-governed high school that prepares young women and men of limited economic means to succeed in college and life as people of faith, purpose and service.
CRFW is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization governed by a board of directors and led by a president who reports to the board. Operating funds come from three sources: 1) revenue earned by students in the innovative Corporate Work Study Program, 2) family-paid tuition, and 3) community philanthropic support. The school is Catholic in mission and supported by the Bishop of the Diocese of Fort Worth but not governed by the Diocese.
CRFW serves students whose families are of limited economic means regardless of their faith tradition. The values-based curriculum includes theology. Students attend weekly mass, but there is no requirement that students be Catholic to attend CRFW.
CRFW, currently in its first academic year, welcomed 75 founding freshmen in July of 2018. The school will continue to add a grade level until the school has all four high school grade levels (freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors). The school’s goal for total enrollment is 450 students. The first class of students will graduate in 2022.
CRFW was conceived in 2015 with the vision to increase access to affordable quality college preparatory education for Tarrant County families by serving over 450 students in a central location. The Diocese of Fort Worth donated the campus of the former Our Mother of Mercy School in the Terrell Heights Historic District to kickstart the CRFW project. The school invested $650,000 in renovations of the Our Mother of Mercy building and purchase of adjacent property on which the school could grow. The plan called for the school to expand over 10 years through a multi-phased, $20 million+ capital campaign.
Challenges associated with new construction in the historic district caused delays in expanding at the school’s current campus. Despite these hurdles, a new opportunity became available that would provide a larger campus more quickly for about a quarter of the cost of the original plan. CRFW is contracted to purchase of 4.47 acres of land at 2633 Alta Mesa Boulevard in southwest Fort Worth previously owned by a Christian church. On site are academic buildings, a gymnasium, a 600+person auditorium, and administrative offices that benefit the students’ academic and life experiences. CRFW is moving quickly to renovate the property to meet the demands of the school’s rigorous college preparatory curriculum and provide the student-based programming families are looking for.
CRFW is continuing classes at Our Mother of Mercy through the remainder of this school term and will officially open at the new site in July for the 2019-2020 school year.
The Our Mother of Mercy property will revert back to the Diocese of Fort Worth for use by the Our Mother of Mercy Catholic Church parish.
The decision to move CRFW was made by school leadership under direction of the Board of Directors to enable CRFW to continue its mission of providing students with an extraordinary college preparatory education and a unique four-year, integrated corporate work student experience. Both of these experiences contribute immensely to the students’ future successes.\
A new $5.5 million capital campaign began silently in January 2019 to make the $2.7 million purchase and the needed $2.8 million in capital improvements. Generous leaders in the greater Fort Worth community have already committed over $2.6 million, enabling the purchase of the new campus. CRFW will continue to rely on philanthropy for over $2 million every year in ongoing operational support.
CRFW serves students from across Tarrant County. Cristo Rey’s new location will improve the life of the school and increase how families may participate in its life-changing mission.
CRFW leverages the support of the Catholic Charities transportation services. On the school’s growth path, CRFW is developing a more comprehensive transportation system that will allow families to deliver and pick up their students at regional locations. The school envisions multiple pickup/drop off locations.
The Corporate Work Study Program helps make CRFW affordable to its families. Students spend four days a week in the classroom and one day a week working in entry-level corporate jobs, earning money that pays for more than half the cost of their education. The school partners with businesses and organizations which will pay $32,800 for a full-time equivalent (FTE) position that is shared by four students in the 2019-2020 school year.
An open house is being planned on March 29 for students and their families. More dates will be provided in the near future for additional opportunities to visit the new home of Cristo Rey Fort Worth High School.
Families interested in applying to attend CRFW may contact Mary Perez-Shannon, Director of Admissions at email@example.com.
Organizations and Companies interested in the Corporate Work Study Program may contact Dani Ray Barton, Director of CWSP at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cristo Rey Fort Worth Catholic High School, Inc. is a tax-exempt public charity under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Contributions to it in excess of the value of goods or services are tax deductible within the limits of the law.