If you read any of the reviews or talk to any parents at the school, chances are that they'll say the #1 thing they love about Corpus Christi is the sense of community. At the heart of this are basically two things: (1) the relatively small size of the school, and (2) strong leadership and vision of our principal, Katie Murphy. With only ~30 kids per class in K-8, that boils down to about 130 families. This means that within the first year, you know every kid in your child's class. They count on parents to volunteer for field trips, helping out with the Walk-a-Thon, or with cooking projects, and these types of events give you a chance to meet other parents. Then you meet the siblings of your kid's classmates, and before long, you feel like you know half the school. The principal, Katie Murphy, really sets the example by constantly communicating with parents via email, weekly newsletters, and ensuring that parents always know what's happening at the school in her mission of "building community."
The academic education is very good, certainly on par or better than public school but probably not as high caliber over-the-top academics that you might get at higher-priced private schools. What I find more relevant for my kids is Corpus's strategy of educating the "whole child" - spiritually, academically and socially. Corpus kids learn how to empathize with others and recognize different viewpoints, they practice public speaking starting in Kindergarten, they study art history in every grade, and they do service projects throughout their time at Corpus Christi.
I can say it's a great school for working parents. The volunteer opportunities are numerous, and we have had no trouble finding times that work for us to volunteer, despite our demanding careers. We love the Extended Care program, which is offered from dismissal to 6pm. And because of the great community, we've met many families where we can help each other out with carpooling, etc.
Overall, it's a great well-rounded school.
Our daughter is currently in first grade at Corpus, and we've been incredibly happy with the school. The teachers are warm and loving and our daughter has thrived under their care. Although there is only one class per grade, the teachers do a great job of dividing up the classes into smaller groups so they can teach subjects like reading and math at different levels to match individual kids' abilities. There are also a fair amount of enrichment programs given the small size of the school (both within the school day and after school), including Spanish, music, computers, cooking, PE, capon, Sarah Science, chess, and Lego engineering.
We had a great public option in our neighborhood, but we chose Corpus because not only is it strong academically, but there is a real focus on whole child development, which you don't find in the same way at a public school. Because the school is relatively small (about 275 kids total), there is also a strong sense of community. We came from a preschool that was incredibly close-knit - we do a lot of social events together outside of the school - and we wanted an experience like that for our entire family at the elementary school level. We've not been disappointed - families are very close at Corpus and spend a lot of time together outside of school (and there are a lot of social events designed to foster this sense of community as well!).
In terms of how "religious" the school is, while there is definitely a focus on religious education during class (and this is also where the whole child education comes into play, as there is a focus on treating others kindly and being inclusive), it seems like a large portion of families we have met have one spouse that's religious while the other isn't. The school and parish are very inclusive and progressive - all are welcome (and the school student body reflects that diversity, with kids of all ethnicities, religious backgrounds, and same-sex parent families).
I would strongly recommend Corpus to any families considering private options (plus, because it's parochial, you get the benefits of a private school at a fraction of the cost of other private schools). There is an information session the first weekend of November and open houses the morning of the first Tuesday of every month, so please come see how great our school is for yourself!
GOOD ALL-AROUND SCHOOL. As we post this, our son has completed kindergarten and is headed to 1st grade at CC. It's a very good all-around school with a community of families who love to get involved. It's friendly and open-minded (same-sex families and non-Catholics are welcome, for example) but also structured, with kids wearing uniforms at scheduled events. The religious component might be described as "gently Catholic." We like how adults are addressed as Mr., Mrs., or Ms. rather than first names. Our few quibbles include (1) the yard is small, (2) we could do without the cooking component, (3) we thought the kids could use more science and more history, and (4) basic Spanish exposure is good, but real Spanish instruction might be better. You may also need to supplement your child's art or music, but the programs at the school are fine. From a student's perspective, perhaps CC's greatest strength is the interaction between grades, with the youngest grades regularly participating in activities mentored by upper classes. This benefits the older kids as much as the younger kids, helping them understand what it means to teach as well as to learn.
An amazing community with dedicated educators and staff. We have been blessed to have two daughters go through Corpus Christi, and they have enjoyed the academic rigor and familial quality of the school - my oldest refers to her experience even in college. The principal Katie is an angel and leader - no better in the educational world - reaching beyond school bounds as a consistent pillar of strength and inspiration. We are a better family and better individuals because of Corpus Christi
This is a great gem in Oakland, and a great value private school. The principal has been leading for over 23 years and has a great record of supporting and retaining staff. The teachers are very effective, each class has a teacher's aid, so students can get the attention they need. The citizenship and spiritual leadership is a big part. Older grades are really involved in helping younger grades. The facilities are dated, and some extra curricular activities are lacking (no art), but what they have has been a great fit for my son
Great School, Great Community - After a year in public school, we started looking for a school that promoted the same core basic values that we really wanted our child to learn - like respect, and social responsibility. These values and more are a part of the culture at Corpus Christi. The academics standards are high and while the class size seem large, there are so many teaching resources that when core subjects are taught, the class sizes are quite small. I especially like the personal attention that our principal gives to me and my child. She is always willing to listen and create academic plans when appropriate. I also appreciate the focus on technology. Besides all of this, the Extended Care is affordable and fun - my child never wants to be picked up. They focus on doing homework, then fun with Lego, sports, and even Stop Motion movie projects, and Improv. The parent community is involved and fun. They support one another in so many ways. I am extremely glad we found Corpus Christi !
Corpus Christi has been a great school for my two children. We have enjoyed the welcoming community and their desire to make the school a better place. Parent participation in all aspects of the school are second to none. My children enjoy coming to school every day and continue to grow and learn. The teachers challenge my children to grow in many ways from fostering their ability to speak in public to encouraging their academic abilities. My children have participated in the excellent sports program, from volleyball to basketball and cross country. Participating in these programs has fostered a sense of teamwork inside and outside the classroom. Overall we have enjoyed our experience and are glad we made the Corpus Christi choice.
My wife and I were faced with the problem many parents have in Oakland: Finding a good school. The Oakland school district wasn't able to accommodate our requests via lottery, and our local school wasn't up to our standards. We looked at all options, and after touring many schools we fell in love with Corpus Christi. We're an agnostic family but were still welcomed with open arms. Never have we felt out of place for not being part of the congregation. The cost is reasonable, the parent involvement in fantastic, the teachers are first-rate, and the administration is not only skilled but loved dearly by everyone. It's a wonderful school and would recommend it to all prospective parents: Believers and non-believers alike.
Corpus is a great nurturing school that helps your little ones grown body, mind and spirit. It take a very holistic approach to learning. Not just academics. Although, their academics are very strong as well. I would recommend this school to anyone who wants to give their kids to a great Catholic based education
We stumbled onto Corpus Christi School by accident 10 years ago and have not have one single regret! Our children, ages 10 and 12, have blossomed at Corpus Christi. The staff is caring, thoughtful and concerned about each child. The principal is FABULOUS, I still don't know how she manages to learn every child's' name before the end of the first month of school? The community of parents are friendly and welcoming and work very hard to keep the tuition low by volunteering at fundraising events. Corpus Christi is truly a wonderful place and we are sad that our time at the school is coming to an end.