The Hester campus represents the struggle for equity in education for low-income, first-generation college-bound students in San Jose.
DCP students and families struggled for years to secure a campus where they could pursue their college aspirations. Today, DCP is one of the highest performing high schools in San Jose Unified School District.
DCP approved as first charter high school in Silicon Valley with the mission to prepare first-generation students for college success.
DCP’s first “Summerbridge” is held at San Jose State University with founding class of 9th grade students. Father Mateo Sheedy presides over Opening Day festivities at Plaza de Cesar Chavez.
DCP opens at St. Paul’s Church and the YWCA in downtown San Jose. The two campuses are 8 blocks apart. Classes are held in the “Fireside Room” at St. Paul’s while partitions separate the classrooms at the YWCA. DCP forms partnerships with downtown cultural institutions including the Tech Museum, Museum of Art, MACLA, and Children’s Discovery Museum.
DCP expands to serve grades 9-11 and adds Grace Baptist Church to St. Paul’s and the YWCA to accommodate the need for additional classrooms. Passing periods between classes are 20 minutes allowing students and staff adequate time to walk between the three DCP locations. The entire student body comes together once weekly at St. Paul’s Church for “Assembly”.
With the help of then Mayor Ron Gonzales and Councilmember Cindy Chavez, DCP invests $1M to renovate the former Fitness 101 on West San Fernando Street. The entire school is brought together under one roof. The school’s band, “Numeracy Project”, performs “Sweet Home San Fernando” as a tribute to the significant milestone.
DCP graduates its first class!
San Jose Unified School District closes Hester Elementary School and invests $4M in Measure F bond proceeds to renovate the Hester campus for DCP. The entire building is remodeled to meet the needs of DCP’s college-prep academic program.
DCP students walk from downtown San Jose to their new home at the former Hester Elementary campus. DCP thrives at the campus, resulting in a 96% college matriculation rate among DCP’s mostly low-income first-generation college-bound students. The “Numeracy Project” writes new lyrics and launches “Sweet Home Alameda”, a homage to DCP students and families who fought to secure a long-term home for the school.
DCP serves siblings and cousins of students who were part of founding DCP. The Hester campus is recognized statewide as a model partnership between DCP and SJUSD and serves as a symbol of triumph over struggle for DCP’s low-income Latino immigrant population.
SJUSD informs DCP that the district will be moving the school to a significantly lesser facility across from San Jose High School with no discussion or engagement with DCP’s community. DCP students and families organize to have their voices heard and to be part of decisions impacting DCP. SJUSD Board of Education delays moving DCP by one year.