Holy Cross High School (Connecticut)

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Holy Cross High School
"Our Only Hope"
587 Oronoke Road
Waterbury, Connecticut, (New Haven County), 06708
United States
Coordinates 41°31′52″N 73°3′54″W / 41.53111°N 73.06500°W / 41.53111; -73.06500Coordinates: 41°31′52″N 73°3′54″W / 41.53111°N 73.06500°W / 41.53111; -73.06500
Type Private, Coeducational
Religious affiliation(s) Roman Catholic
Established 1968
Founder Basil Moreau
Status Active
President Timothy McDonald
Principal Margaret Leger
Chief custodian John Augelli
Grades 912
Enrollment 710 (2011)
Average class size 21
Campus Suburban
Campus size 37 acres (including playing fields and XC course)
Color(s) Green and Gold         
Slogan "Educating Hearts and Minds since 1968"
Athletics conference Naugatuck Valley League
Team name Crusaders
Rival Sacred Heart High School
Accreditation New England Association of Schools and Colleges[1]
Publication CrossWords
Communities served Waterbury, Watertown, Wolcott, Naugatuck, Prospect, Woodbury, Middlebury, Oxford, Beacon Falls, Cheshire, Southington, Southbury, Torrington, Windsor, Litchfield, Roxbury

Holy Cross High School is a Catholic secondary school founded in Waterbury, Connecticut in 1968 by the Congregation of Holy Cross. Presently, Holy Cross is the largest Catholic secondary school in Connecticut, situated on thirty seven acres in the West End of Waterbury, Connecticut, accessible via Route 8 and I-84. It is not part of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford.

Holy Cross has a total enrollment of just over 700 students and an average class size of 170 students.[2] Originally an all-boys institution, it became co-educational in 1975 when it merged with the Waterbury Catholic High School, an all-girls school. The Holy Cross High School campus maintains a campus eclipsing Wi-Fi signal, a computer-equipped, Internet-connected library, a large instrumental and choral music room with adjacent practice rooms, science labs, a multimillion dollar state-of-the-art foreign language lab, a guidance complex, a 750-seat tiered auditorium, a full-service cafeteria, a gymnasium, the Stephen J. Ross Fitness Center, and state-of-the-art digital classrooms and art studios in the recently constructed two million dollar Alex Family Gallery Art and Technology Center.


Admission to the school is competitive, requiring a 3.5 hour placement test, a transcript from applicant's grammar school (including a letter of recommendation), and an essay. Depending on how high you place, applicants may be eligible for merit scholarships if they score in the top 10%. Usually the scholarship is renewable so recipients won't have to apply for it every year. Additionally, once admitted, students have the opportunity to take proficiency tests in mathematics and/or foreign language to advance their freshman year placing. Tuition is as follows:

Class of 2014 $10,450.00* (*excludes a $300.00 graduation fee) Class of 2015 $10,600.00 Class of 2016 $10,750.00 Class of 2017 $11,650.00

Holy Cross awards several scholarships each year. These include two full scholarships and three partials. Financial Aid is also given to those in need in the form of grants. Holy Cross also has an installment program so that parents can pay tuition in increments over the academic year.


Faculty and accreditation[edit]

The Brothers of Holy Cross, Eastern Province, continue Basil Moreau's vision through sponsorship and staffing of the school, in association with the Sisters of the Congregation of Notre Dame and many dedicated lay men and women. The administration and faculty comprise one Brother, two Sisters, and lay men and women, most of whom hold advanced degrees and/or certificates of advanced study.

Holy Cross High School is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, and meets Connecticut certification standards. The school belongs to the National Catholic Education Association and the Connecticut Association of Schools.

Block scheduling[edit]

To allow classes to delve more deeply into subject matter and increase activity-based and group-oriented learning, the school began block scheduling in 1997, increasing classroom periods to 80 minutes. The schedule is on an A, B, A, B scheduling.

Core program[edit]

The curriculum evolves to remain current with trends and educational standards. Core academic classes include English, social studies, mathematics, science, foreign languages and theology. Enrichment courses and specialized programs include:

  1. Advanced Placement - courses in English, mathematics, foreign languages, social studies, art, and science.
  2. Honors Program - provides qualified students with extended requirements.
  3. Elective Courses - offered in creative writing, journalism, concert band, choir, computer programming, technology, fine arts, art and film, neuroscience, and many others.
  4. First Year Program - helps freshmen focus on study skills, daily planning, time management, self-esteem, peer pressure and relationships, tes- taking strategies and early career planning.


State Victory 2006
State Victory 2011

Holy Cross is a member of the Naugatuck Valley League (NVL) and the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Council (CIAC). The Holy Cross athletic program is respected statewide for its competitiveness and the positive attitudes and good sportsmanship of its players and coaches. The Crusaders have a history of success as evidenced by the many awards, acknowledgments, and trophies displayed throughout the building. The Crusaders compete in twenty-two varsity sports for boys and girls. In 2011, the Crusaders began its lacrosse program at the JV level.


Holy Cross High School is well known in Connecticut for its football program. In 2006, the team won the first football state championship in the school's history, the Class SS State Championship, defeating Stratford 40-0. They were ranked third among all teams in the state, following Greenwich and Ansonia. In 2011 the Crusaders earned their second state championship with a 34-27 win over Cromwell in the Class S State Championship. The 12-2 Crusaders suffered only two defeats that season, both to Ansonia, the Class M State Champion. They finished ranked eighth in the state. {{{2}}}

Boys basketball[edit]

Holy Cross High School has a rich tradition in basketball. Since beginning varsity play in 1970-71, the Crusaders have captured fourteen NVL titles, made nine state final appearances and won three state championships (1987-88 Class LL, 1994-95 Class LL and 1999-2000 Class L). There is a strong rivalry against Sacred Heart High School, its inter-city rival located a few miles away. Chants such as "We Got Houses" are often heard at Holy Cross and Sacred Heart games.

Girls basketball[edit]

Lady Crusaders Before a Win

The girls have a strong tradition of their own. They have captured fifteen NVL championships, made four state final appearances, and have one state title to their name (2006-07 Class M).

"Crusader Crew"[edit]

Starting in 2010, the state-wide recognized "Crusader Crazies" changed their title to the Crusader Crew. The loyal fans of Holy Cross' basketball and football programs travel around the state to turn any game into a 'home' atmosphere for the teams.[3] The Crusader Crew is also infamous in the state for The Pit [1], which is the name given to the Holy Cross High School basketball court by reporters around the state. The Pit is routinely ranked among the loudest and most intimidating venues in the state to play in. Modeled on the nearby Southington High School Knight Krew [2], the two fan bases remain close ties as the two schools play in different leagues and classes. They have been known to combine themselves for games (including post-season) to fill their respective gyms and out-cheer any opposing crowd.

Student activities[edit]

Holy Cross student activities are open to all students. Student activities offer the opportunity to explore lessons presented in class, learn new skills and develop leadership ability. More than thirty co-curricular organizations exist in conjunction with a well-respected student government. The student government at Holy Cross includes an Executive Board made of four elected class officers from each class, a liaison from the Presidents' Council, a liaison from the Athletic Council, and seven members of the Senior Life Board appointed by the institution's administration. The Student Government also consists of the Presidents' Council, which is made up of the president from every club at Holy Cross and the Athletic Council, which contains various members of the school's many athletic teams. This large student government is headed by one Student Government President who is elected at the end of his or her junior year by that year's Executive Board to preside over the following year.

Community service is a major component of every club and committee’s activities. Some projects are school-wide while others are particular to the organization. Holy Cross has a history of strong student leadership and community service as evidenced by their recognition as a State of Connecticut Gold Council of Excellence recipient and as a National Gold Council of Excellence designee.

Clubs and organizations[edit]

  • Art Club
  • Athletic Council
  • Bocci Club
  • Bowling
  • Chess Club
  • Crosstones
  • Freshmen Committee
  • Girls Choir
  • Guitar Ensemble
  • Holy Cross T.V.
  • Jazz Band
  • Junior Committee
  • Mock Trial Team
  • National Honor Society
  • Photography Club
  • Presidents' Council
  • S.A.D.D.
  • S.A.F.E.
  • Spanish Club
  • Senior Committee
  • Senior Life Board
  • Sophomore Committee
  • Student Ambassadors
  • Student Council
  • Student Theater
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Visions
  • Yearbook
  • Yoga Club[4]

Extracurricular activities[edit]

Along with activities such as preparing Christmas gifts for senior citizens, sponsoring safe trick-or-treating for local children, or even getting a pep rally started, the students maintain positive attitudes throughout any activity they come to.

Notable alumni[edit]

Notes and references[edit]