From its origins, the Lasallian school has been a school centered on the pupil, providing a “human and Christian education” to all. Our founder, John Baptist de La Salle, went to great lengths in his early writings and practices to ensure that students received a holistic education, forming them academically, physically, and most importantly, spiritually. Today, contemporary Lasallian schools adhere to the same philosophy—a school centered on the student whose foundation is the relationship between teacher and student, fostered by a mutual respect between the two. According to Bro. Leon Lauraire, FSC, “It is an attitude based on a Christian anthropology which underpins the Lasallian educational mission statement as a whole. In this way, the educational relationship becomes the moving force behind centering the school on the pupil.” At Christian Brothers School, this holistic approach to Catholic education embodies all that we are and do.
In 1960, the Christian Brothers received a call from the Archbishop of New Orleans, Archbishop Rummel, to open a middle school for all boys in the Catholic tradition. This specific origin of our mission—an all boys, Catholic, middle school—remains an important part of the City Park campus environment to this day. When the school first opened, the faculty consisted entirely of Christian Brothers. As the Brothers aged and younger Brothers were not available to replace retiring Brothers, the Brothers hired lay men to work with them. This unintended tradition of an all-male faculty has become a successful feature to the program. The male teachers represent various vocations, ages, hobbies and personalities. Consequently, every student is able to identify with a least one member of the faculty such that the rapport between teacher and student is the hallmark of the school’s reputation. In fact, this rapport between the teachers and students outside of the classroom most influences the learning which takes place inside of the classroom. Because of these relationships, the faculty readily identifies students having difficulties and is thus able to help students succeed academically. This hallmark of Lasallian education—the relationship between teacher and student—is the primary reason for the excellent education that CBS provides. Since 1960, the Brothers and their lay partners have continued the call of Archbishop Rummel and St. La Salle in the education of the young men of the New Orleans Area.
In 2014, CBS continued to respond to the needs of the Archdiocese by embarking on a new adventure—the opening of the Canal Street campus. This new campus expands our program to include a PK4 – 4th co-ed and a 5th – 7th grade girls middle school. In this way, CBS is able to offer a comprehensive elementary and middle school program geared toward the academically accelerated student and rooted in the Catholic tradition.
In response to a call from the Archdiocese of New Orleans, Christian Brothers School is excited to provide the children of this city a comprehensive accelerated educational program, serving boys and girls in Pre-Kindergarten through 7th grade. However, it took many months of dialogue between Christian Brothers School and the Archdiocese of New Orleans to get to that point. Much time was spent conducting research on the Archdiocesan Strategic Plan and the impact of the grade level configuration mandate upon Christian Brothers School in City Park.
Additionally, since CBS operates with oversight (on some level) from four different entities – the Brothers of the Christian Schools, the Christian Brothers School Board of Trustees, the City Park Board, and the Office of Catholic Schools, management of the interests of each was challenging, especially when those interests were competing. Furthermore, CBS and the Brothers have always been focused upon the design of a plan which was about more than simple compliance. Faced with the charge of expanding our program to include grades PK-7, CBS leaders have always believed it important to both preserve the excellence of the existing middle school for boys in City Park and to create a quality academic program to best meet the needs of the young people of the greater New Orleans area and, to the extent possible, the needs of the city itself. With joy and confidence, we are happy to report that objective has been attained.
St. Anthony of Padua Catholic School continued its rich 100-year history of academic excellence rooted in the Dominican tradition, servicing Pre-K2 through seventh grade through the 2015-16 school year with Sr. Ruth Angelette, O.P. serving as principal. The rich heritage of this excellent Catholic elementary school has enhanced the promise for the young boys and girls who will be educated on the Canal Street campus.
Since 2013, Joey Scaffidi, Sister Ruth and a leadership team have been planning for the next generation of excellence in Catholic education.