La Salle High School wants its students to gain more than academic knowledge
According to Jake Pucci, director of admissions and enrollment management at La Salle High School, the school aims to do more than simply teach required classes.
“We’re really trying to educate our young men to reach their full potential in mind, body and spirit. It’s more than just the mind and academics,” he says.
La Salle High School is an all-male, ninth-through-12th grade Catholic school that is grounded in the Lasallian tradition, which means the school approaches education in a holistic and student-centered way.
“We’re for somebody who wants to excel,” says Pucci. “Beyond the classroom we provide a unique Christian brotherhood that fosters personal discovery through really intentional and service-based learning. Our whole goal is to develop authentic men.”
The school of approximately 620 students does this with the help of programs that take students within and outside the school.
One such program is the Lasallian Scholars Institute. The Institute has two programs—the original Institute that was formed eight years ago and the new Envision, which is starting this fall. Both are four-year programs built to challenge high-performing students.
“Our Lasallian Scholars Institute is our top academic program here at La Salle and then there’s kind of a Tier 2 of that program called Envision,” says Pucci. Both programs feature experiential learning opportunities with area businesses. “Students will get some exposure to different industries that are available down the road and they focus primarily in the freshmen years in the areas of health care, engineering, global business and informational technology,” says Pucci.
To be considered for the program, students should say that they’re interested in the programs when they apply to the school. The school will then narrow the group down and offer interviews to those they think will be a good fit for the program.
Another way La Salle looks to create well-rounded students is with its focus on service. Senior year, students are required to work with a nonprofit agency, school or church.
“They will physically go out and assist those and serve at those agencies wherever they need help, whether it’s clerical stuff or they need tutoring young students or doing landscape—really just any need that this agency has these guys are going to go out and volunteer as part of the religion curriculum,” says Pucci.
The school requires 60 service hours for graduation, but the average La Salle student leaves with 180 hours under their belt.
In addition to volunteering senior year, students can do so throughout their four years at local nonprofits. Students have helped out at Matthew 25: Ministries and held canned food drives.
Students can also go on service immersion trips. Students have gone to New Orleans to help build houses, to Nicaragua to build water pipes for local villages and to Florida to work with terminally ill children.
“We really try to use service as a gateway to learning about faith and doing not because we should do it but just because it’s the right thing to do,” says Pucci.