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Christopher Columbus High School (Miami, Florida): Wikis


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Christopher Columbus High School
3000 SW 87th Avenue
Miami, Florida, (Dade County), 33165-3293
School type Private
Established 1958
President Br. Kevin Handibode
Grades 9-12
Gender All Boys
Enrollment 1,400
Campus size 24-acre (97,000 m2)
Campus Urban
Color(s) Royal Blue and White         
Mascot Explorer
Rival Belen Jesuit Preparatory School
Accreditation(s) Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
Affiliation Roman Catholic
Alias C.C.H.S.
School Hours 8:00 AM to 2:10 PM
Sister School Our Lady of Lourdes Academy

Christopher Columbus High School is a Catholic, college preparatory, all-male high school set on a 24-acre (97,000 m2) campus in Miami, Florida. It was established in 1958 by the Marist Brothers who also form part of school administration and faculty.[1] With just over 100 teachers and 1,400 students, the student teacher ratio is 14:1. Offering the full range of academics, sports and clubs, it was recently selected, for the fourth time in a row, as one of the "Top 50 Catholic High Schools" in the United States by the Catholic High School Honor Roll of 2008. The school is one of only two private schools in Florida that compete in sports at the 6A level; it has won five state championships in various sports and one all-sport title for boys' sports in its classification. It is located in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Miami, and is funded through tuition. Financial aid is available to those who qualify. Columbus' sister school is Our Lady of Lourdes Academy.



Christopher Columbus High School broke ground in 1958 under the administration of Archbishop Coleman Carroll. It was initially a continuation of the secondary education program at nearby St. Theresa School.

The school opened with an enrollment of under 200 students and came under the administration of the Marist Brothers at the request of the Archdiocese in 1959. The school has expanded over the years to its present enrollment of approximately 1400 students. This expansion occurred over the years on the 19 acre campus to presently include four academic buildings, a science building, media center, music and athletic center, a technology complex, athletic fields including a baseball complex, football field, basketball courts, tennis courts, a gymnasium, track, and weight room. The school boasts over 10,000 alumni, many of whom are renowned in their particular professions throughout the world. The school offers the full range of academics, sports and clubs and was selected in 2008, for the fourth time in a row, as one of the "Top 50 Catholic High Schools" in the United States by the Catholic High School Honor Roll of 2008.[2]

Admission and academics

As a Catholic institution, the school does not discriminate on the basis of race or religion in its admissions process. The school is funded by tuition with significant discounts offered for 2nd and 3rd children enrolled in the school. Financial aid is available for those who qualify.

In order to graduate, students require twenty-four credits and a grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.0. They must also complete seventy-five hours of community service by the end of their senior year. The academics at Columbus are based on a phasing system: Phase 2 classes are for the academically challenged who require more time to absorb a given subject, Phase 3 classes are for average students, Phase 4 refers to honors classes for the academically gifted, and Phase 5 refers to Advanced Placement (AP) classes, which have a college-level format and where academically-motivated students have the opportunity to gain college credit should they earn the proper score on the AP exam. Depending on a given phase of a class, a student will earn a certain amount of points, which are then weighted and averaged to generate a student's GPA, the average GPA being a 3.2.

Outside of Columbus HS cafeteria.
Columbus Academic Phasing
  • Mas Family Scholars Program (PHASE 5) = Designed for gifted, highly motivated students.
  • Honors Program (PHASE 4) = Structured to academically advanced students with high grade point averages.
  • College Preparatory (PHASE 3) = Excellent high school curriculum for average students.

Dual-enrollment classes are offered through St Thomas University, Barry University and Florida International University . These classes enable the student to earn both high school and college credit for the course.

Mas Family Scholars Program

Begun in the 2005-2006 school year, the Mas Family Scholars Program is an accelerated program at Christopher Columbus High School. The program was started to provide select Columbus students with a challenging curriculum. In addition to having an advanced curriculum, the students in the program participate in extracurricular activities. Mas Scholars are encouraged to participate in sports and to encompass the ideal of the student athlete. Mas Scholars [3]


Christopher Columbus faculty consists of over 140 teachers, many of whom have taught at or been affiliated with this institution for many years. The student teacher ratio is 14:1. A vast technology system connects all the classrooms and provides teachers with the latest software and online grading system. Parent, student and teacher communication is facilitated by these online technologies.

Social life and clubs

Although the school is an all male institution, the social formation of the students includes girls from neighboring co-ed St. Brendan's High School in after-school clubs. Our Lady of Lourdes Academy, the Catholic all-girls sister school to Columbus handles the cheerleading for CCHS sports teams. Columbus High School also plays host to both Homecoming and Prom events each year for their students and their dates.

A wide variety of clubs are available for students. These include: Adelante (Yearbook), Chess Club, Close Up, Dominoes Club, Democratic Student Alliance, Drama Club, Fairchild Tropical Challenge, Film Club, French Club, French Honor Society, Future Business Leaders of America, Intramural Athletics, Key Club, Math Honor Society - Mu Alpha Theta, National Honor Society, Robotics Club, Salsa Club, Science Honors Society, Scuba Dive Club, Squires, Rho Kappa and History Club, Spanish Club, Spanish Honor Society, Speech and Debate, Squires Club, Student Activities Committee - S.A.C, Surf and Skate Club, The Log, Video Game Club, Retro Gamers Club, Weight Lifting, World Languages Club.


The tennis courts are adjacent to the gymnasium building, at left.
The football field is surrounded by the track and stadium seating.

Columbus and its sister school, Our Lady of Lourdes Academy, are the only private schools in Florida that compete at a 6A level.

Varsity level sports offered are: baseball, basketball, football, volleyball, hockey, soccer, bowling, cross country, golf, lacrosse, swimming, diving, tennis, track and field, water polo and wrestling.

Junior varsity level sports include: baseball, basketball, football, volleyball, hockey, soccer, and lacrosse.

Freshman level sports offered are: baseball, basketball, football and volleyball.

In 2009, Christopher Columbus High School won the Dodge Sunshine Cup All-Sports Award for boys' athletics programs in Class 6A.[4] Columbus has produced five state champion and six runner-up teams:

Sport Champion Runner-Up
Baseball 2003[5] 1973,[5] 2009[6]
Cross country 1997, 2008,[7] 2009[8] 1962, 1995, 2005[7]
Tennis 1987[9]
Track and field 2009[10]

Additionally, Columbus won the Miami Herald's All-Dade Boys' Major Sports Award in 2008[11] and 2009.[12]

Head football coach Chris Merritt was part of Team USA's coaching staff for the inaugural International Federation of American Football Junior World Championship in 2009.[13] One player from Columbus competed on the team,[14] which won the tournament.[15]

In 2009-2010 school year, Columbus defeated it's long time rival Belen in varsity football, junior varsity basketball, varsity basketball, junior varsity lacrosse, varsity lacrosse, junior varsity baseball, varsity baseball and roller hockey.

Christopher Columbus' baseball program was ranked the number one baseball team in America during the 2009-2010 year.


The campus is set over 30 acres (120,000 m2)[1] and includes several facilities for student and faculty use. There are four main academic buildings that are supplemented with a media center that contains a technical resource center, an auditorium, a TV news studio, a chemistry laboratory, a concession stand, and several offices. The science building contains a physics and chemistry lab. The school also has several computer labs, gymnasium, a tennis complex, a baseball complex, a weight room, football field,and a concrete track which is used as a parking lot. In 2006, Christopher Columbus High School began construction on the three-story "Mas Technology Complex", which contains administrative offices, computer labs, a large library, and a school store. The project is expected to be completed, in time to celebrate the school's 50th anniversary in Spring of 2008.[16]

Columbus High School construction of Mas Technology Complex

Catholic Identity

The school chapel

As a Catholic institution, students are offered the opportunity to go to confession and attend Mass and various Catholic retreats. Catholic religious education is part of everyday curriculum yet students are also exposed to the various world religions in their regular history classes. St. Brendan's Catholic Church adjoins the school campus and is available for those students who need to spend some time with God either in private prayer or daily Mass as desired.

Notable alumni





  1. ^ a b "History of Christopher Columbus High School". Christopher Columbus High School. Retrieved 2009-08-07. 
  2. ^ "2008 Catholic High School Honor Roll". Action Institute. Retrieved 2009-08-07. 
  3. ^ "Christopher Columbus High School Mas Family Scholars Program" (PDF). Adelante: The Christopher Columbus Alumni Newsletter. Spring 2005. Retrieved 2007-04-09. 
  4. ^ FHSAA (June 24, 2009). "St. Thomas Aquinas, Bolles sweep Dodge Sunshine Cup all-sports awards". Press release. Retrieved March 5, 2010. 
  5. ^ a b Baseball 2008–09 Championship Records. FHSAA. 2009. p. 32. 
  6. ^ "2009 FHSAA Class 6A Baseball Championship". FHSAA. Retrieved March 5, 2010. 
  7. ^ a b Boys Cross Country 2009–10 Championship Records. FHSAA. 2009. pp. 11–15. 
  8. ^ "FHSAA Florida Finals XC Championships - 11/21/2009". FHSAA. November 21, 2009. Retrieved March 5, 2010. 
  9. ^ Boys Tennis 2007–08 Championship Records. FHSAA. 2008. p. 3. 
  10. ^ "FHSAA Class 4A, Florida Finals - 5/9/2009". FHSAA. May 9, 2009. Retrieved March 5, 2010. 
  11. ^ "Miami Herald Honors Br. Kevin". Family Newsletter (Christopher Columbus High School): p. 3. June 2008. Retrieved March 5, 2010. 
  12. ^ Fernandez, Andre C. (May 29, 2009). "2008-09 All-Dade Awards winners list". Miami Herald. Retrieved March 5, 2010. 
  13. ^ "United States: Coaches". Jr. World Championship of American Football. USA Football. Retrieved March 5, 2010. 
  14. ^ "United States: Roster". Jr. World Championship of American Football. USA Football. Retrieved March 5, 2010. 
  15. ^ Beaven, Michael (July 14, 2009). "Team USA Crowned Inaugural IFAF Junior World Champion". Jr. World Championship of American Football. USA Football. Retrieved March 5, 2010. 
  16. ^ "Mas Technology Complex" (PDF). Adelante: The Christopher Columbus Alumni Newsletter. Fall 2006. Retrieved 2007-04-09. 
  17. ^ "Mike Whittington Past Stats, Statistics, History, and Awards". Retrieved 2010-03-11. 


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