Inspired by St. John Baptist de La Salle, La Salle Catholic College Preparatory develops students of faith, service, and scholarship by providing a transformative education allowing students to realize their maximum potential and use their gifts to serve Christ and humankind.
La Salle optimizes financial and academic accessibility for students, especially the underserved, who desire a rigorous and relevant education preparing them for college and life.
The La Salle Prep community inspires students to find their voice as global citizens, to put their faith into action, and to lead exceptional lives of integrity, honoring the God-given dignity of all.
“To Foster Faith-Filled Creative and Critical Thinking.”
Our Core Values
- Faith in the Presence of God.
- Value the individual.
- Push your limits.
- Accept everyone; Respect all persons.
- Respond to the poor and overcome injustice.
- Prepare for life.
St. John Baptist de La Salle was an innovator in 17th-century France. He challenged the status quo by teaching students in their native language instead of Latin, the norm at the time. His schools were among the first to use simultaneous instruction, where one teacher taught a group of students instead of one-on-one tutoring. His teachers kept notes about their students, their progress, and their behavior to pass along to the next teacher. His schools taught manners and decorum to make sure students acted appropriately.
These are only a few examples of the innovation that started this movement of Lasallian schools nearly 350 years ago. Today more and more researchers "discover" that smaller, more diverse schools benefit students, and that a healthy relationship between the student and the teacher is the key to student success.
Since 1966, La Salle has been providing a quality, Catholic, college-preparatory education to students of the Portland/Vancouver metropolitan area. La Salle serves a socio-economically diverse student population; about 19% of this population is minority and more than 60% are Catholic. Our student body is drawn from as far north as Ridgefield, WA and as far south as Salem, OR. Sixteen percent of our students live in the state of Washington.
La Salle is sponsored by the Brothers of the Christian Schools and is one of 1,600 Lasallian educational institutions located in over 80 countries worldwide. The Christian Brothers were founded in 1682 by St. John Baptist de La Salle, an aristocrat in Rheims, France. De La Salle was also a Roman Catholic priest and canon lawyer, who used the whole of his inheritance to further the education of poor children, the children of 17th century France's artisan class. Named Patron Saint of Teachers by the Catholic Church in 1953, many characteristics of modern education that we take for granted, such as lessons in common (instruction previously had occurred one-on-one, with tutors), a fixed class schedule, fixed arrival and departure times, education in the vernacular (it had previously occurred only in Latin), first appeared in De La Salle's schools.
However, what made De La Salle the pioneer and the educational innovator that he was, was his tenet that teaching is rooted in an authentic love of students and that a truly effective teacher-student relationship must be based on practical affection and mutual respect. This core philosophy remains the foundation of De La Salle's many contributions to education and is a unifying characteristic of Lasallian schools worldwide.
A Family of Faith
As a Lasallian Catholic school, La Salle is sponsored by the De La Salle Christian Brothers District of San Francisco New Orleans, which is the westernmost province of the Lasallian mission in the United States. The district sponsors schools and other learning communities in the west that combine tradition with current capabilities to meet needs with innovative curricula and pedagogies.
The District of San Francisco New Orleans includes 134 De La Salle Brothers, more than 1,300 Lasallian Partners, and more than 12,000 students in 20 ministries Arizona, California, Colorado, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, and Washington, and in Tijuana, Mexico.
Unlike a diocesan school, as a religious order-sponsored school, La Salle is governed by our local Board of Trustees. While both diocesan and order schools are fully Catholic, as a school sponsored by the Brothers, La Salle advances our mission and receives directives from the Lasallian District of San Francisco New Orleans, whereas diocesan schools advance their mission and receive directives from an individual diocese and bishop. All Catholic high schools serve at the invitation of the Archbishop, but for our school, oversight is provided by our Board of Trustees, who govern on behalf of the Brothers.
Click here for more about the district and other district schools.
Partners in Education
La Salle Prep supports area Catholic elementary schools in their efforts to improve academic achievement, strengthen Catholic identity, build community, improve financial independence and sustainability, and share best practices in instruction.
La Salle also provides current data on Catholic elementary school graduates to their respective elementary administrators to help those schools make data-driven decisions. La Salle Prep also serves local Catholic elementary schools by:
- Identifying partnerships that could contribute to the sustainability of Catholic education
- Fostering academic excellence for all students
- Sharing best practices for sustainable governance, finance and advancement programs
- Engaging in faith formation and values-transmission rooted in the Catholic tradition