A Brief History of De La Salle High School

1936 Permission is granted to the Provincial, Brother Arsenius, FSC, to organize a fund drive to construct a new school in New Orleans.

1949 De La Salle High School, which began with a freshman class of 74 boys, continues an educational dream of the Christian Brothers which began in Louisiana over a century before. (The Brothers of the Christian Schools had arrived in Louisiana in 1817 and had taught in New Orleans; Baton Rouge; Galveston, Texas; and Pass Christian, Mississippi. The Brothers withdrew in 1900; however, they returned to the Archdiocese of New Orleans in 1918 at St. Paul’s School in Covington.) Gilbert Academy is acquired. Since the Academy building is not suitable, it is demolished to begin construction of a modern plant facing St. Charles Avenue. In the interim, the old Peck mansion on Pitt Street serves as a Brothers’ residence and a school. In September, Brothers Ernest Cocagne, August Faure, John Devine, and Francis Vesel open the doors of De La Salle Catholic Boy’s High School. Brother Ernest serves as first Principal.

1950 De La Salle High School expands to include St. Joseph’s Hall on Valmont Street. The school cafeteria is built at the same time.

1951 De La Salle moves to the present building on St. Charles Avenue erected by the Youth Progress Program of the Archdiocese of New Orleans.

1952 On March 2, the school is officially dedicated by his Excellency, Archbishop Joseph Francis Rummel of New Orleans.

1953 The school receives approval from the State Board of Education and graduates its first senior class.

1957 A freshman wing of eight classrooms on Leontine Street is added. The school also receives approval from the Southern Association of Secondary Schools.

1961 The gymnasium is constructed on the site of the demolished St. Joseph’s Hall. A student chapel is also built behind the school’s main lobby.

1976 A General Preparatory Program is begun, enriching curricular offerings.

1980 The General Preparatory Program is expanded with the introduction of the Special Education Program. The three-story Brother Arsenius Center is completed and occupied. This new addition to the campus houses the cafeteria, library, the Phil Harris/Alice Faye Theater of the Arts, and additional classrooms.

1984 De La Salle establishes a Gifted Program allowing for more scholastic diversity and independent work.

1989 The offices of President and Curriculum Coordinator are added to the administrative organization of the school. Brother Paul Walsh, FSC, is named first President of De La Salle.

1992 De La Salle welcomes girls into the student body and a uniform dress code is adopted for students.

1995 De La Salle adopts a college model for scheduling the academic program.

1996 De La Salle earns national recognition as a Blue Ribbon School for Excellence in education.

1998 De La Salle becomes first school in New Orleans to initiate a drug-screening program for all students.

1999 De La Salle celebrates its 50th Anniversary.

2001 The Brothers of the Christian Schools celebrate the 350th Anniversary of the birth of Saint John Baptiste de La Salle, the Founder of the Christian Schools and the Patron Saint of all teachers.

2002 De La Salle breaks ground on the largest Capital Improvement Campaign in the history of the school….De La Salle Lead On!

2005 De La Salle is the first high school to reopen in Orleans Parish after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.


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De La Salle High School operates under a non-discriminatory policy which admits students of any race to all rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at this school, and further meaning, specifically but not exclusively, a policy of making no discrimination on the basis of race in administration of education policies, application for admission, or scholarship and loan program and athletic and extracurricular programs.