Herald Schools

De La Salle Catholic School gears up for new year


Freeport is the home of The De La Salle Catholic School, a middle school, on Pine Street and has been for the last 16 years. The school, though small with fewer than 80 students and all boys, prides itself as an institution committed to providing students with the foundation to reach academic excellence. The new school year welcomed students from fifth through eighth grade on Aug. 27 and its largest class to date of 71 students.

The private school offers at-risk Latino and African American boys an education that touches on academics, arts, and culture intertwined with the Catholic faith, prayer and gospel values while providing services for families and communities in need. A large number of the students commute to Freeport from neighboring communities like Uniondale and Hempstead. According to the principal, Jeanmarie Becker, parents go above and beyond to ensure their sons and families are involved in the school in every way possible.

“Parents, teachers and community are working together,” Becker said. “And to have that partnership with them is ultimate in the success to our students’ academics.”

Though a private school and costs approximately $800 a school year, executive director of De La Salle, William Gault, said no student is turned away for lack of finances. Due to the support of local donors and alumni, the school is able to provide financial aid to students in need.

“Hope —we provide these students with the help they’re not finding in other places,” Gault said.

In the wake of the new school year, plans for workshops and events are already well underway. This year the eighth and fifth graders are spending a week at Farms for City Kids Project in Vermont, as well as heading to the Fire Island Light House, Hofstra Museum and the Old Westbury Gardens. On Tuesdays, students will have an opportunity to attend study hall for tutoring or extra help on assignments. Once a month the school will also host a career day in an effort to introduce the students to new careers.