As the founder of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, Saint John Baptist de La Salle believed that the primary aim of the school was the salvation of souls. Each and every event, activity, class, and policy is devised with this goal in mind—to ensure that the students entrusted to our care may fully participate in the eternal salvation that Jesus Christ provides for us. Thus, CBS offers a well-developed spiritual program rooted in the Lasallian Catholic tradition of Jesus Christ and our Founder, Saint John Baptist de La Salle. The students pray before each class, sing at chapel once a week, attend monthly Mass, attend a retreat day once a year, and participate in a service learning day—all aimed at bringing them closer in their relationship with Jesus and encouraging the development of their faith life and moral aptitude. For St. La Salle the relationship between teacher and student was one of great importance, for through this relationship, both teacher and student reached their full potential as children of God, earning eternal salvation—the primary goal of the Christian school. CBS works hard to fulfill the mottos:"Education in the presence of God, God's children in search of Truth" on the St. Anthony campus, and “Your sons into young men, young men into Christian gentlemen” on the City Park campus.
Although CBS understands that each child is unique and while that uniqueness is celebrated, the following are expectations for all students:
- a caring and loving person who attempts to help others wherever possible
- a person whose schoolwork is priority
- someone who strives to be the best he/she can be and is prepared to meet the rigors and challenges of high-school and life
- a person who holds his/her moral and ethical convictions in the highest regard
- someone who embraces his/her faith and uniqueness as a child of God while respecting the faiths and differences of others
- someone who understands the difference between right and wrong and acts on that understanding
- someone who does the simple things—listens to others, shares his/her lunch, carries a friend’s bag, brings home a classmate’s
books, apologizes for a mistake or a misunderstanding, says thank you to everyone
- a person who takes himself/herself seriously
- a person who doesn’t take himself/herself too seriously
- a person who is well-mannered, poised, and respectful in all situations, particularly those of adversity
- someone who understands his/her responsibility to improve the world around him/her through civic-mindedness and the
promotion of social justice
Since its inception, the school has been dedicated to providing the highest quality academic program possible. Each subject is at least one grade level advanced. Teachers challenge students with thought-provoking material and rigorous assignments in an attempt to help children reach their full potential as academic learners. CBS strives to stay abreast of the latest educational technology and curricular advances while also staying true to the traditional, time-tested methods the Brothers introduced over fifty years ago. CBS understands that somewhere in between yesterday and tomorrow lies today—an environment where students can be challenged to learn in new ways and with new materials while also acknowledging the foundation that our previous educators have laid for us.
Thus, the curriculum is grade-level accelerated in that students are appropriately challenged to master concepts which are more difficult than those typically encountered by students of similar ages. Many Christian Brothers graduates inform us that their first year of high school honors courses are, for the most part, a review of material which they covered while in middle school at Christian Brothers. Furthermore, instructional methodologies are best suited for the learning styles of the students. Students actively engage in learning, and their daily schedules allow for the physical release of energy throughout the day (including an organized intramural league during recess and daily physical education class).
Educational fads come and go. Accordingly, many opinions exist regarding homework. CBS believes that homework is meant to supplement the classroom experience and enhance learning. Homework should never be given out as busy work. If done thoroughly and correctly, homework will help emphasize important concepts taught in class by reinforcing positive habits, similar to the way that practicing a sport or other activity helps improve skill in that area. It is important to note that homework done incorrectly or sloppily is not helpful to a student’s academic progress. CBS understands the needs of young people and recognizes that they need a well-rounded approach which considers their mental, physical, and spiritual health, particularly as it relates to the assignment of homework.
CBS feels that the next step in education is to incorporate technology in the classroom using the iPad. With proper preparation, training, guidance, rules, and a spirit of cooperation and progress toward the goal of educating children, CBS uses technology to engage 21st century children in a way that has never happened before. This is both exciting and daunting! While the iPad is awesome, it is just one more tool in the student’s educational toolbox that should be used to foster a love of learning. Students learn how to use that tool responsibly and to appreciate the impact the iPad has on learning.
When the school first opened in 1960, 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 on the City Park campus 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. Given the co-educational student body of the St. Anthony campus, educators on that campus will be male and female teachers who give the same priority to the relationship they share with their students Accordingly, that rapport will be the hallmark of the reputation of that campus as well.
Christian Brothers School is so much more than just academics. In addition to a solid academic foundation, CBS believes that co-curricular and extra-curricular experiences are vital to the overall development of a young boy. CBS provides students with many opportunities to participate in activities outside the school day such as athletics, academic games, the arts, spiritual formation, and leadership training—all which engage students with one another and some physical, mental, or spiritual learning. As with all CBS experiences, co-curricular and extra-curricular activities are meant to broaden a student’s view of the world and develop relational skills that help him grow into a civic-minded, engaged leader in his community while sharing the vision of Christ.
Lastly, CBS understands that parents are the primary educators of young people. CBS is honored and privileged that the parents of our students have chosen us to help them along the way. The relationship between parents and educators is as important as any in providing the best education possible to young people entrusted to our care.