During Falcon Time, La Salle Prep students can escape by putting on virtual reality glasses with the help of learning specialist Tiffany Arnold. (Courtesy La Salle Prep)
During Falcon Time, La Salle Prep students can escape by putting on virtual reality glasses with the help of learning specialist Tiffany Arnold. (Courtesy La Salle Prep)

MILWAUKIE — For 30 minutes on a recent Wednesday morning, learning looked a little different at La Salle Prep.

In the math wing, a few boys stood in front of a whiteboard debating how to solve a math problem.

In a carpeted meeting room, health teacher Caitlin Hudson guided students through yoga poses.

Down the hall, science teacher Eric Roth lobbed a hacky sack toward a circle of feet. And in the chapel, a few heads bowed in prayer.

During this weekly 30-minute period ­— dubbed “Falcon Time” in honor of the school’s falcon mascot — students immerse themselves in a range of educational, entertaining and inspiring activities.

The options vary from week to week, but the choices often include creating art, exploring La Salle’s virtual reality, praying in the chapel, meeting with teachers, playing cards, walking around the track, holding club meetings, and tinkering in the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust Innovation and Design Center.

Deciding what to do during Falcon Time is a lesson in itself, said Brian Devine, La Salle’s vice principal of student life. Students, he said, are challenged to choose their activity based on what they need, whether it’s to get help from a teacher, check in with a counselor or unwind with a card game.

“We understand independent time management is a vital life skill that needs to be practiced often before heading off to college,” he said. “Opportunities such as Falcon Time help La Salle prepare our students to care for their well-being and make thoughtful and meaningful decisions about their time.”

Students say they appreciate the freedom of Falcon Time. They also like the break from routine.

“It’s good to have breathing time,” said sophomore Madisen Oey, who often walks the track during Falcon Time. “It’s a healthy break.”