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Blanchet Catholic School is a college preparatory middle and high school serving Mid Valley youth in grades 6-12.  The school was founded in 1995 to provide Catholic secondary school education in Salem, Oregon.  We are continuing a tradition of Salem Catholic secondary education provided in the past by Sacred Heart Academy (1863 to 1984) and Serra Catholic (1954 to 1969).  After a lengthy discussion and polling of the Catholic community in Salem and neighboring communities in 1994, the organizing group for the new school presented a plan to Archbishop William J. Levada, who gave permission for its development.

The school was named after Archbishop Francis Norbert Blanchet, the first Archbishop of the Oregon Territory. Blanchet is a private, independent non-profit that is operated by a board of directors.  Blanchet is fully endorsed by the Archdiocese of Portland to operate as an independent Catholic school in Oregon. The school is accredited by the Northwest Accreditation Commission, a division of AdvancED.

Students helped select the school mascot, Cavaliers, and the school colors, royal blue and silver. The school opened on September 5, 1995 with 110 students. In 1997, Blanchet was granted full accreditation by the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges. The first graduating class received their diplomas in June 1999. Today Blanchet’s enrollment has more than tripled and the school offers academic and spiritual growth opportunities to both Catholic and non-Catholic youth in grades 6-12. The school operates by permission of the Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon, but it is a private, independent non-profit.

Blanchet has established a positive reputation throughout the state for its college preparatory curriculum, excellent faculty and staff, and supportive school community. 

Blanchet owns its 22-acre campus and school facility. The school completed two capital campaigns, which resulted in a new lobby, gymnasium, a renovated arts center and a new student center.

Over 95% of all Blanchet graduates continue their education at colleges and universities throughout the country. The school has a tradition of academic excellence, and the scores of Blanchet students on standardized tests are consistently higher than local, state and national averages. Since 1998, twenty-nine students have been recognized by the prestigious National Merit Scholarship organization.While the Catholic faith is central to all aspects of the Blanchet experience, it is not a requirement that students be Catholic in order to attend our school. Students of all faiths and traditions who desire to study in a Gospel-values based environment are welcome and encouraged to apply for admission.

Archbishop Francis Norbert Blanchet

(Photo courtesy of the St. Paul Mission Historical Society.)