Merger and Expansion Years
In 1983 the Bishop of Providence announced a plan which merged La Salle Academy with St. Mary Academy of the Visitation and St. Patrick High School, two all-girls schools. Six years later, in 1989, another significant development occurred: the governance of the school was transferred from the Diocese of Providence to a newly formed, independent, non-profit corporation comprising six De La Salle Christian Brothers, which has full authority over the management and operation of the Academy.
Recent developments have included the establishment of a transition program, for students who need a closely monitored program in the development of academic success; PEGASUS 7/8 Program for gifted seventh and eighth-graders and the matching PEGASUS 9-12 Program for gifted high school students; the McLaughlin Athletic Center (2000); the Brother Michael McKenery Arts Center (2000); and the Shea Science and Student Center (2004).
In 1991 the U.S. Department of Education designated La Salle Academy as a Blue Ribbon Exemplary School.
In 1983, Bishop Louis Gelineau announced that two neighboring all-girls schools, St. Mary’s of the Visitation and St. Patrick’s High School, would be merged into La Salle Academy. For the first time in its history, beginning in the fall of 1984, La Salle Academy would be a coeducational school. La Salle’s student population quickly assimilated to the change and soon the school had its first female class president and class valedictorian. Three years later La Salle adopted the president-principal model of leadership for the school. Brother Jerome Corrigan became La Salle Academy’s first president and Brother Frederick Mueller took on the mantle of principal. The presence of young women at La Salle greatly added to its rich tradition. La Salle wouldn’t be the school it is today without the change. As Bro. Michael Mc Kenery, La Salle’s second president, stated: “I am more convinced than ever that coeducation was the right choice for La Salle at the right time.”