DeLaSalle High School
is a Catholic secondary school
located for its entire 108-year history on Nicollet Island
, adjacent to downtown Minneapolis. The school was founded to provide a Catholic school option to the poor and immigrant families of Minneapolis. The school continues to provide over $1.2 million of financial assistance to assist 53 percent of its students with reduced tuition. In addition to socio-economic diversity, with 39% people of color, 35% from single-parent households, and 30% from faiths other than Catholic, it is the most diverse Catholic School
in the state of Minnesota as measured by almost all demographic areas. The current student body of 665 is drawn from over 100 parochial and public grade schools. Over 50 students were born in other countries, some drawn to DeLaSalle because of its proximity to the University of Minnesota. The school also participates in the University of Minnesota
's College in the Schools program.
DeLaSalle is now one of two Catholic high schools within the city limits, with the opening of Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in 2007-08. DeLaSalle and Christo Rey Jesuit are two of 12 Catholic high schools within the Twin Cities area.
It was founded in 1900, and has been administered by the Christian Brothers
throughout its history. The school's current president is Br. Michael Collins, F.S.C., DeLaSalle Class of 1955. Enrollment peaked at 1654 boys in 1964, dropped to the range of 400-500 by the early 1970s despite the 1971-72 advent of co-education, and continued to decline to a 70-year low of 306 in 1991. In each of the 17 years since, enrollment has climbed.
Sports and activities
DeLaSalle has been an academic and athletic powerhouse for generations. Over 90 percent of its graduates matriculate to college each year, currently studying in over 30 states. DeLaSalle has also amassed more than 50 state titles in athletics and fine arts programs. Since 2000, the school has participated in the MSHSL
's championship tournaments in speech, one-act play, boys' and girls' basketball, football, track-and-field, wrestling, and cross country.
Over 85 percent of the student body participates in at least one of 38 activities, and over 65 percent participate in at least two. Of note, nearly 45 percent of the students are in a music program, one of three bands, two choirs or orchestra. Mark Capecchi, director of music at DeLaSalle since 1985 has overseen the development of the music program into one of the premiere programs in the state. DeLaSalle is a member of the Tri-Metro Conference, a mix of private and public high schools throughout the Twin Cities that sponsors competitions, leadership programs, and other collaborative activities.
DeLaSalle can attribute a lot of their recent success to the coaching of Dave Thorson. He has led the Boys
basketball team to 3 state Championship victories since 1998. Two titles were from the class 2A, and one from 3A in 2006, which was Led by the "Four Horseman" the most notable player on this team, Cameron Rundles, Jamar Diggs, Joe Scott, and Teddy Archer. The "Four Horseman" all went on to play college basketball.
For several years, the school has sought to build a 750-seat football field and track on adjacent city-owned parkland, and in March 2006, permission was granted by the city council. Work on the stadium is nearing completion, despite objections from the Friends of the Mississippi River, which sought to preserve the 140-year old street that was destroyed to build the stadium. This group is headed by Phyllis Kahn. In 2004, Kahn was charged with theft for removal of Republican campaign literature from doorsteps of several houses. She pled guilty and paid a $200 fine. September 2008 Kahn was forcibly removed by University of Minnesota Police from a residence hall for improper campaigning. Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board Attorney Brian Rice (DeLaSalle Class of 1975) is currently negotiating with the Metropolitan Council
to absolve DeLaSalle from its contractual obligation to reimburse the city $2,000,000 for the land.
Photos of the property