BY JAIME DEJESUS AND MEAGHAN MCGOLDRICK
Move over, boys.
After years of speculation, Xaverian High School of Bay Ridge, an all-boy Catholic school since it opened in 1957, will become a co-educational school for high school students starting with the Class of 2020 in September, 2016.
The decision was announced on Thursday, March 5 when the Board of Trustees voted unanimously to expand co-education from Xaverian’s middle school Genesis program, a 6-8 school that has been co-ed for two decades, to high school.
Xaverian President Robert Alesi addressed the planned change in a press release, calling the change “part of the next phase” of the school’s evolution, and noting, “In addition, as part of our strategic plan, we are moving ahead with major capital initiatives that will continue to improve our facilities and allow us to better prepare students for the future.
“We wish to provide young women, including our own middle school students, the same opportunities for a Xaverian High School education that our boys have,” Alesi added. “By extending co-education from the middle school to the high school, Xaverian will continue to attract the highest achieving students, both boys and girls, who can succeed in our demanding programs.”
“Xaverian has a nearly 60-year history of producing talented alumni who are leaders in their communities and who contribute to the world in so many ways,” said Brother Lawrence Harvey, CFX, chairperson of the Board of Trustees. “The expansion of Xaverian’s grades nine to 12 to include both male and female students, as well as the continued enhancements to the school’s facilities and programs, will allow us to influence for the better an even greater number of young lives, as well as to create a larger community of faith, strengthening the mission of the school.”
According to its plans, Xaverian will offer athletic programs, such as soccer, volleyball, basketball cross country, tennis and cheer-leading for young women in time for the 2016-17 seasons. Existing boys’ sports programs will continue.
Xaverian says that enrollment won’t significantly increase. “It should be expected that there will be an increasingly competitive selection process for the incoming freshmen classes,” according to Xaverian’s official site.
Xaverian’s multi-phased renovation and expansion initiatives will enable the school to prepare for the educational shift. Additional upcoming phases of the strategic plan include the construction of a new middle school wing, a new visual arts wing, a new music rehearsal space and the creation of two new STEM labs.
It will also include the renovation of all restrooms, as well as the conversion of certain existing men’s rooms to ladies’ rooms. “Additionally, the plan calls for the creation of two separate locker room facilities to accommodate the female and male athletic teams,” according to the Xaverian site.
Local alumni were quick to applaud their alma mater for taking the next step.
“This is huge news for the future of Catholic education in Brooklyn and beyond,” said Justin Brannan, Class of 1996. “Some of my fondest memories are of my days at 7100 Shore Road. This is a bold, smart move and I’m excited for what this means for the next generation.”
Michael Williams, Class of 2007, agreed.
“It’s refreshing to see the school changing with the times,” he said. “Xaverian provided me with a top-notch musical education, as well as the opportunities to travel to Belgium and Japan. There’s no reason girls shouldn’t be allowed in on the fun.”