Rigorous College Prep Academics

Message from the Principal

It’s a new day at Cristo Rey!

Holy Family Cristo Rey Catholic High School is one of the premier Catholic high schools in Birmingham, Alabama. Our school is a part of the rich history of Birmingham with alumni in prominent careers in our city and various cities across the country.

Holy Family Cristo Rey integrates a rigorous Catholic college preparatory curriculum with a Corporate Work Study Program to empower and prepare our scholars to persist in college and flourish in life. Our Corporate Work Study Program provides our scholars with the unique opportunity to experience the corporate workplace firsthand.  As a result our scholars acquire essential professional skills needed to be successful and to flourish in life. Additionally, our scholars’ experience directly impacts the trajectory of their long-term career choices.
Holy Family Cristo Rey Catholic High School is part of the Cristo Rey Network (CRN) which is comprised of 37 schools across 24 states. The CRN mission is translated in each school by the integration of college preparatory education combined with a unique corporate work study experience.

I am honored to serve as Principal and look forward to seeing you at Holy Family Cristo Rey Catholic High School.

Mrs. Bethany Knighten, M.Ed
​Principal, Holy Family Cristo Rey Catholic High School


Academic Administration

Mrs. Bethany Knighten


Mr. Yihsrael Vélez Alicea

Assistant Principal

Mr. Donnell Robinson

Director of Student Relations & Assistant Athletic Director

Mrs. Ania Hardison

College Counselor

Mrs. Chrysanthea Thomas

Social Worker

Mr. Franklin Ball


Ms. Emily LaRussa

Alumni Advisor & Mission Advancement Associate

Mrs. Cheryl Matthews

Office Manager

Academics Overview

Regular Day



Locker Time
7:50 AM - 8:00 AM
8:00 AM - 8:10 AM
Period 1
8:10 AM - 9:00 AM
Period 2
9:03AM - 9:53 AM
Period 3
9:56 AM - 10:46 AM
Period 4
10:49 AM - 11:39 AM
Period 5/Lunch
11:42 AM - 1:05 PM
Period 6
1:08 PM - 1:58 PM
Period 7
2:01 PM - 2:51 PM
Period 8
2:53 PM - 3:45 PM

At Holy Family Cristo Rey, the school day begins at 7:50 AM with Locker Time, so students can put away their belongings and prepare for the day. Homeroom begins promptly at 8:00 AM; scholars arriving after 8:00 AM must report to the front office to receive a tardy pass.

There are eight class periods in the day, each averaging about 49 minutes in length. Period 5 (Period 6 on Afternoon Assembly Days) is a split class/lunch period; freshmen and sophomores will eat lunch during the first 30 minutes of the period, and juniors and seniors will eat lunch during the last 30 minutes of the period. The school day ends at 3:30 PM.

In the PowerSchool Parent and Student portals, each scholar's class schedule for the week, broken down according to bell schedule, is available on the "My Schedule" page. Click here to access the PowerSchool Portal.

Looking for the Academic Calendar?
Click Here

Mass/Morning Assembly Day



Locker Time
7:50 AM - 8:00 AM
8:00 AM - 8:05 AM
8:08 AM - 9:12 AM
Period 1
9:15 AM - 9:57 AM
Period 2
10:00 AM - 10:42 AM
Period 3
10:45 AM - 11:27 AM
Period 4/Lunch
11:30 AM - 12:45 PM
Period 5
12:48 PM - 1:30 PM
Period 6
1:33 PM - 2:15 PM
Period 7
2:18 PM - 3:00 PM
Period 8
3:03 PM - 3:45 PM

Afternoon Assembly Day



Locker Time
7:50 AM - 8:00 AM
8:00 AM - 8:08 AM
Period 1
8:08 AM - 8:50 AM
Period 2
8:53 AM - 9:35 AM
Period 3
9:38 AM - 10:20 AM
Period 4
10:23 AM - 11:05 AM
Period 5/Lunch
11:08 AM - 12:23 PM
Period 6
12:26 PM - 1:08 PM
Period 7
1:11 PM - 1:53 PM
Period 8
1:56 PM - 2:38 PM
2:45 PM - 3:45 PM

A Day

Every Tuesday

Synchronous: 10th & 11th
Asynchronous: 9th
CWSP: 12th

B Day

Every Wednesday

Synchronous: 9th & 12th
Asynchronous: 10th
CWSP: 11th

C Day

Every Thursday

Synchronous: 9th & 12th
Asynchronous: 11th
CWSP: 10th

D Day

Every Friday

Synchronous: 10th & 11th
Asynchronous: 12th
CWSP: 9th

Mondays rotate through A, B, C, and D days. See the academic calendar page for more information.

Graduation Requirements



Social Studies
Religious Education
Foreign Language
Physical Education
Christian Service Program
SAT Prep
College Counseling
Fine Arts
40 Credits

Grading Scale

Letter Grade


GPA Points (Standard)
GPA Points (Honors/AP)

Students who fail a class or classes during the school year must make arrangements to earn the necessary credits through Summer School. Students must be on grade level to remain enrolled at HFCR. Therefore, any student who fails 3 or more classes will not be invited to return to HFCR. Seniors who fail any course(s)required to fulfill graduation requirements will not be permitted to participate in Commencement Exercises and will not receive a diploma until the failed course(s) is completed successfully.

English Courses

  • English 9
  • English 9 Honors
  • English 10
  • English 10 Honors
  • English 11
  • AP English 11
  • English 12
  • AP English 12

Mathematics Courses

  • Algebra I
  • Honors Algebra I
  • Geometry
  • Honors Geometry
  • Algebra II
  • Honors Algebra II
  • Algebra III
  • Precalculus
  • Calculus

Social Studies Courses

  • World History
  • Honors World History
  • US History I
  • Honors US History I
  • US History II
  • Honors US History II
  • Government/Economics
  • AP Government/Honors Economics

Science Courses

  • Physics First
  • Biology
  • Honors Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Honors Chemistry
  • STEM & Scientific Research
  • Anatomy & Physiology
  • Environmental Science

Religion Courses

  • Religion 9
  • Religion 10
  • Religion 11
  • Religion 12

Foreign Language Courses

  • Spanish I
  • Spanish II
  • Spanish III
  • Spanish for Heritage Speakers

Physical Education Courses

  • Health
  • Physical Education

College Readiness Courses

  • Tools for Success (9th & 10th grade)
  • SAT Prep (11th grade)
  • College Counseling (12th grade)

Elective Courses

  • Visual Arts
  • Introduction to Music
  • Band
  • Sociology
  • Criminology
  • Psychology
  • Creative Writing
  • Yearbook
  • Genetics

Dress Code Policy

The intent of the HFCRCHS Dress Code is to ensure that every student will dress in a professional, modest, conservative, and safe manner. HFCHS must present a consistent professional image to the public, and the school uniform standardizes the image conveyed by all HFCRCHS students. When our students attend classes or go to work, they enter professional environments. Their dress should reflect our high standard of professionalism.

Students are expected to be in full uniform at all times while on school grounds, at work, to and from work, at special events and field trips unless otherwise specified by the school. Students need to be mindful that technical compliance with the dress code while maintaining a sloppy appearance is not keeping with the expectation of professionalism at HFCRCHS.

When questions arise, School Administration will have sole discretion in determining the appropriateness of dress code policies and that discretion extends to matters of dress and appearance that are not explicitly stated in the Parent/Student Handbook. In all cases, the School Administration has the final say concerning dress and appearance.

  • Shirts: The uniform shirt is a white, light blue, or light-gray Oxford cloth button down collared shirt that bears the HFCR logo in short or long sleeves.  Short sleeved white, light blue, or light gray polo shirts bearing the HFCR logo may also be worn.  All shirts must be tucked in at all times. Plain white t-shirts may be worn under the uniform shirt.
  • Slacks: The uniform slacks are navy twill pants and must be worn with a belt.  Work pants, cargo pants, capri pants, and jeans and jean-style pants are not allowed. No tight pants or stretchy/spandex pants are allowed.
  • Skirts: Girls are no longer required to have a uniform skirt.  However, if a girl already has one, she is welcome to wear it.
  • Sweaters: Scholars are permitted to wear a navy or gold V-neck cardigan with the HFCR emblem, a navy V-neck pullover with the HFCR emblem, or a navy V-neck sweater vest with the HFCR emblem. No other sweaters are permitted.
  • Outerwear: Navy blue jackets, hoodies, and sweatshirts with a school logo or school pride design may be worn on non-CWSP days.  Solid navy jackets/hoodies/sweatshirts (with no brand or other logos) may also be worn.  All non-uniform outerwear must be removed upon entering the building and placed in the locker for the entire school day. No blankets. No scarves.
  • Belt: A solid brown or black belt with a small, plain buckle must be worn at all times.
  • Socks: Solid black, navy, tan, brown, or white socks must be worn at all times. No other colors and no designs may be on socks.
  • Shoes: Shoes must be solid black, brown, or navy blue, and may either be leather/leather-like or casual (e.g., Vans, Keds, Chuck Taylors, etc.). No boots, sandals, high heels, platform shoes, or open-toe shoes are allowed.
  • Glasses: Sunglasses may not be worn inside the building or at the work site. Only prescription glasses may be worn.
  • Hats: Hats may not be worn inside the building or at the work site.
  • Jewelry: Girls are permitted to have one small earring in each ear. Boys may not wear earrings. No other piercings. Necklaces must not be visible outside of clothing. No visible tattoos.
  • Makeup: Girls are permitted to wear conservative makeup; less is better. Boys are not permitted to wear makeup. Fingernails must be of moderate length. Girls may wear conservative nail polish; no black nail polish or extreme treatments. Nail polish is not permitted for boys.
  • Hair: Hair is to be neat, clean, of modest and professional style, and a natural color. Conservative hairstyles and a neat appearance are expected. No unnatural hair colors. No designs in hair. No hair jewelry. Girls may wear thin navy blue, brown, gray, or black headbands.
  • Hygiene: Scholars are expected to maintain a neat, clean, and professional appearance. This includes clean nails, teeth, hair, and body. Attention should be paid to showering, shaving, using deodorant, brushing teeth, combing hair, ironing clothes, etc.
Mass Day Attire

When school-wide prayer service/Mass or another special occasion is held, scholars must dress in the Mass Day attire outlined below:

  • Long-sleeved or short-sleeved white, light blue, or light gray oxford cloth shirt, with sleeves rolled down and buttoned; shirt must be tucked in
  • Uniform slacks with belt; optional uniform skirt is permitted for girls
  • School sweater (optional). No outerwear that is not solid navy blue
  • No sports team jackets, sweatshirts, or school athletic attire (except on game days)

Cell Phone & Smart Device Policy

  • Students may only use cell phones and ear buds/headphones during lunch-study. Cell phones and other devices must not be used during class, class changes, or CWSP unless permission is explicitly given.
  • Cell phones must be placed on silent and stored inside student bags or lockers at the beginning of the day (8:00 AM), and may be retrieved after school is dismissed (3:30 PM). Phone may also be retrieved during lunch-study, but should be promptly returned before afternoon classes begin.
  • Cell phones should not be visible at any point during class, class change, or CWSP unless permission is explicitly given.
  • Students who violate cell phone policies will have their cell phones confiscated for the day and returned after school is dismissed.
  • Smart watches and other smart devices are not permitted on campus.
Consequences for Cell Phone Policy Violation
  • First Offense: Cell phone or device will be taken up and returned at the end of the day.
  • Second Offense: Cell phone or device will be stored with a school administrator during school hours for two consecutive school days. The cell phone or device will be returned at the conclusion of each school day.
  • Third Offense: Cell phone or device will be stored with a school administrator for three consecutive school days. The cell phone or device will only be returned when a parent or guardian can come to retrieve the phone at the end of the third day. The school will NOT be held responsible for any lost, stolen, or damaged cell phones or prohibited smart devices.

Honor Code

Holy Family Cristo Rey Catholic High School believes that a constructive Christian community cannot function without honor and trust. The Honor Code is an expression of this belief and seeks to instill and remind each member of the Holy Family community of the principles of decency and self-discipline. These, along with honesty, integrity, and respect, are the Gospel values that should permeate the entire learning process in accordance with the ideals shown to us by Christ.

“On my honor, as a Holy Family Cristo Rey Catholic High School Student, I pledge that this work assessment/ assignment /project/quiz is solely my own.”

Any and all reports of the Honor Code violations are strictly confidential. All parties involved will be summoned discreetly and/or questioned privately by the Principal, Dean of Students, and/or Counselor.  Violators of the Honor Code, as determined by the Principal, are subject to the disciplinary actions outlined in the handbook.

Maintaining the Honor Code

All students enrolled at Holy Family Cristo Rey Catholic High School are automatically subject to the Honor Code. It will be the responsibility of each student to:

  • Uphold the honor and integrity of the student body of Holy Family Cristo Rey Catholic High School.
  • Promote a Christian atmosphere where fellow students can develop character, scholarship, citizenship, and an understanding of the value of hard work.
  • Report any violations of the Honor Code to any faculty member and/or the Principal.
  • Write and sign the Honor Code pledge statement for any assignment, project, quiz, etc., as required by their instructors.
Breaking the Honor Code

It is understood that the students and faculty have a Christian moral obligation to themselves and to the members of the Holy Family Cristo Rey Catholic High School community to report any violations of the Honor Code of which they are aware. The following are examples of Honor Code violations:

  • Leaving books or notebooks open during a test
  • Writing answers on desktops, hands, legs, arms, or any part of the body
  • Copying another student's homework, or giving one's homework to another student for the purpose of copying
  • Looking at another student's test or quiz
  • Copying answers from another student when tests are being handed in
  • Giving and/or receiving answers during examinations, tests, or quizzes using unauthorized technology, include cell phones and programmable calculators
  • Turning in a paper/project that has been composed or created by another student
  • Submitting a paper or assignment in class that has been translated by another person or any electronic device (internet websites, pocket translators, etc.)

Taking a copy of a quiz, test, or exam without the teacher's knowledge or express permission is a serious offense. It will automatically be considered a more serious infraction.

Individualized Instruction

​At Holy Family Cristo Rey Catholic High School, our goal is for every student who walks through our doors to not only earn a high school diploma, but beat the odds and graduate from college. Our scholars come to us facing innumerable challenges. We employ cost-effective teaching strategies—quality feedback to learners, meta-cognitive strategies, peer tutoring, collaborative group learning—which allow our scholars to make the developmental leaps necessary to graduate high school prepared to persist in college. Our efforts work: since the school’s founding, 100% of our graduates have been accepted to college.

Holy Family Cristo Rey scholars are met where they are, and given the boost up to get to where they want to be. All incoming freshmen and transfer students begin receiving academic enrichment before their first year ever begins during our two-week Summer Bridge Program. Our curriculum is rigorous, with several honors and Advanced Placement courses available. We offer courses that engage our students with content relevant to their lives, like African American History and Spanish for Heritage Speakers. Every student receives college counseling beginning in ninth grade, and ACT test preparation is available to all students. The academic support we provide has effects that last beyond high school graduation: Cristo Rey students are two times more likely to complete a bachelor's degree by age 24, compared to the total U.S. low-income population.