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New NYSED learning credential emphasizes independent living skills
The New York State Board of Regents has announced the addition of the Skills and Achievement Commencement Credential recognizing the work readiness of seniors as they near their high school graduations.
In addition to the NYSED announcement of this new certification, Camela Stinke, Ph.D and Richard Medved, Ed.D - both on staff at LaSalle - answered questions about how the credential is being implemented at LaSalle and what it will mean to graduating seniors in 2014, and beyond.
In this Q&A, Steinke and Medved agreed the credential would open doors not previously thought possible for more and more students.
Click here to read the full Q&A with Drs. Steinke and Medved >>
Click here to read the NYSED press release announcing the new credential >>
See something, say something: Anti-bullying initiative takes root at LaSalle
Students have determined to take on an anti-bullying campaign during this school year. At special student assemblies held in LaSalle's Hanner Chapel during the first week of school, youth and staff watched a film detailing the dangers of bullying in and out of the classroom. Afterwards students were asked to consider signing a pledge to not bully others and help to prevent this behavior in themselves. Students taking the pledge - nearly 80 percent to date - walked out the door wearing wristbands bearing LaSalle's anti-bullying slogan "See Something, Say Something." During this past week, students created, designed, displayed, and voted on the anti-bullying poster that best exemplified this student initiatiave. This layering of activities is intended as a build up to the National Unity Day - October 9th - when 'everyone can link together - in schools, communities and online - and send one large, ORANGE message of support to students who have experienced bullying.'
Click here to read more about National Unity Day 2013 >>
Adventure based training added to new hire orientation program
Adventure-based training has been added to the orientation process for new hires at LaSalle School. In September, a group of 15 to 20 staff came together to take the six-hour training. Dom Cataldo, LaSalle's adventure-based training coordinator has found that staff make connections with each other more easily and in ways that wouldn't be possible without the advantage of such an exercise.
Click here to read the full story >>
More available at LaSalle to ready Albany County youth for the first day of school
Access to community resources, school supplies put youth and families on firm footing as the school year begins
On August 28th, 128 moms, dads, brothers, and sisters from 25 Albany families came to LaSalle for the Fourth Annual Back-to-School Night walking away with backpacks full of school supplies, and skills and information essential to preparing for a nutritious, successful school day.
The majority of students served participate in the Albany County Juvenile Reporting and Family Center. JRFC is an expansion of the popular Evening Reporting Center begun in 2006. This event was a first for youth and families being served by LaSalle's JRFC partners: St. Anne Institute and St. Catherine's Center for Children.
Patrica Aikens, director of Albany County Probation, said "It was an evening of families spending positive time together preparing for the new school y ear." Of the recent program expansion, she said "The relationships among family members have improved greatly, our youth are maturing, and changing how they are conducting themselves, which improves our community as a whole."
Click here to read the complete press release about LaSalle's 2013 Back-to-School Night >>
Advanced Certificate Training Available at LaSalle in October
As our awareness of sexually abusive youth grows, it is imperative that practitioners provide effective evaluations, assessment and interventions consistent with rapidly emerging research. For the second consecutive year, LaSalle will host skilled, nationally renowned trainer, Joann Schladale, M.S., L.M.F.T. to teach practical skills including the facilitation of comprehensive evaluations, development of safety plans and risk management approaches, development of clearly defined treatment processes for youth and family, modification of assessment and treatment approaches to the intellectual capacity of each client, and more.
For further information about this staff development opportunity, please click here or copy the following link into your web browser: http://nearipress.org/certificate-program >>
From Albany to Jamaica, West Indies: Lasallians are all over the world
Long-time LaSalle Campus Minister Richard Ward left LaSalle in July to join two Christian Brothers in leading a college preparatory school in the Mandeville Diocese of Jamaica, West Indies. Ward will serve St. Vincent Strambi School as a teacher, campus minister, and moderator of extracurricular programs. A long time Lasallian, Ward also served as campus minister at LaSalle Academy in New York City before his seven-year Albany assignment.
To read more about the ceremony commissioning Ward to his overseas assignment, click here >>
Giving youth and staff a drum roll on and off the field
LaSalle's recreation program provides framework for cheerful behavior and activity
During the summer months, LaSalle's recreation program is exceptionally busy. By developing organized, creative, fun, and challenging activities, the recreation program is able to offer the opportunity for enjoyment as well as personal growth and achievement. Every facet emphasizes participation and reinforces positive behavior.
Each week, LaSalle's residential student go on regularly scheduled field trips to the Great Escape and take in baseball games played by the Tri-City Valley Cats, and are involved in adventure trips such as rock climbing, camping and fishing with recreation staff. In addition, there is plenty happening on campus that is cause for a pat on the back and encouragement.
To read the full story, click here >>
Yet another audience learns about LaSalle School
Wolff talks to Jack Keenan for WMHT's RISE radio program
In last month's LaSalle eNewsletter, we reported that LaSalle School Executive Director Bill Wolff taped a radio interview for Albany Broadcasting's 'News, Views, and Interviews' in June. LaSalle's program and history were discussed over the airwaves again in July but directed to a different type of audience.
On July 22nd, Wolff met with Jack Keenan in WMHT's Troy, NY studios to be interviewed for the RISE radio program. RISE is WMHT's radio information service for the blind and print disable din New York's Capital Region and the Hudson Valley. Affiliated with the Rotary Club of Albany, Keegan heard Wolff give a detailed presentation about LaSalle's service to youth and families at an April meeting of the popular Albany speaker's bureau. Afterward, Keenan invited the LaSalle administrator to share the agency's story of success with his listeners.
Known as 'Mister Old Time Radio,' Keenan has, for the past 30 years, produced and hosted weekly installments of WMHT's RISE. The program is heard on specially tuned receivers by thousands of individuals unable to utilize traditional printed materials. LaSalle was very pleased to have this opportunity to reach RISE's audience.
Click here to read more about WMHT's RISE radio talk show >>
LaSalle graduates 13 at June commencement exercises
The Troy Record newspapers cover ceremony
On June 27th, LaSalle graduated its entire senior class (13 students) with 11 youth earning Regents diplomas. All graduates have plans to attend community and bachelor's degree college programs, pursue vocational training or enter the workforce.
LaSalle's commencement exercises were featured in the next morning's edition of The Troy Record (6/22/13). Students interviewed for the story were excited about their graduation. One said "I'll be the first in my whole family to graduate from high school. I have 11 brothers and three sisters." Another commented "I'm finishing up with high school and getting on with the rest of my life."
To read the full Troy Record story, click here. It has been reprinted with permission from the newspaper >>
Annual LaSalle Field Day has PBIS theme
The theme of this year's Annual Field Day was PBIS. The Positive Behavioral Intervention Supports program is having a great impact at LaSalle. Activities were designed to further impress on the LaSalle community that agood behavior should happen out of the classroom as well and will carry over to the summer months.
A PBIS committee of 22 staff and students planned for weeks for the June 20th event. They reviewed the expectation posters distributed throughout the campus weekly and chose 10 to focus on. They designed approximately seven field games and several other challenge activities attaching on expectation to each one. To succeed and receive a ticket redeemable for a low-cost prize, participatns had to meet the standards set for each expectation.
Click here to read the full story >>
Changing trajectories, bending the curve
Wolff talks to Aaron Mair for Albany Broadcasting radio program
On June 29th, LaSalle Executive Director Bill Wolff was interviewed by Aaron Mair for 'News, Views, and Interviews,' a 25-minute, early mroning (6:00 a.m.) radio talk show airing Sundays on B95.5, FLY92, and 590AM.
The two covered a lot of ground for listeners recalling how LaSalle got its start in 1854 by the French De La Salle Christian Brothers with tuition intended to start two schools - one (CBA Albany) that coule thrive on tuition and the other (LaSalle School) that could use those funds to launch a program for orphaned youth and families stricken by a cholera epidemic and unable to care for or afford the cost of an education for their children. Talk turned quickly, however, to the social trends, economic status, history, and demands on places like LaSalle today to address and meet the demands of a changing population.
Click here to read the full story >>
Decker emerged from shyness to help others, now recognized for leadership
In the midst of LaSalle's Annual Founder's Week celebration (May 13-17), Melissa Hale-Spencer from The Altamont Enterprise conducted a telephone interview with LaSalle's 2013 Rotary Youth Award Winner - Kenny Decker.
It just so happened that a meditation written by LaSalle's founder, St. John Baptist de LaSalle, had already been selected as the motto for the week long celebration. What Decker had to say is a reflection of what St. LaSalle wrote and taught hundreds of years ago and proof that he is having a strong impact on the successful young man Kenny is becoming and what all the boys are learning - 'the love of what is right is easily communicated.'
Click here to read the full story reprinted with permission from The Altamont Enterprise and The Albany County Post >>
STP semi-annual multi-family group retreat held at Camp scully
On May 23rd, twelve youth and families participating in LaSalle's Residential Specialized Treatment Program came together for the agency's semi-annual multi-family grup retreat at Camp Scully located in East Greenbush, NY. Specifically for youth and parents/caregivers who have engaged in harmful sexual behavior, the day-long retreat occurs twice a year to celebrate the hard work participants have done throughout the year and to build on that work off campus in an inviting setting.
LaSalle STP therapists, residential social workers, and community connections workers help the group utilize the onsite ropes course along with low element activities that promote safety, communication, and positive relationships in a strengths-based positive environment. At the end of the day, a barbecue, prepared by LaSalle's Martha Mryglod, and some down time allow families to play together with staff to improve those relationships as well.
You can find more information about LaSalle's Specialized Treatment Program on this web site - www.lasalle-school.org
2013 LaSalle Founder's Week: A very busy five days at LaSalle
This year, Founder's Week commemorating St. John Baptist de LaSalle was held during the week of May 13-17. The beginning of the week saw staff and students putting some elbow grease into cleaning and planting gardens for the summer. One afternoon was devoted to honoring 27 staff for their service of 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, and 40+ years of service. This included awarding the Lasallian Educator of the Year to Mr. Thomas Deguire. A school supervisor with over 25 years of dedicated service to LaSalle, Deguire accepted the award from Brother Richard Leo McAlice, Director of Spirituality.
On Thursday, May 16th, fifty LaSalle youth held a charity walk/run. Their enthusiasm for 'Run a Mile in Their Shoes' caught the attention of several donors who sponsored the boys with donations of over $2,500 to benefit LaSalle's Twinning Program school in Marsabit, Kenya. Led by Campus Minister Richard Ward, students encouraged each other to get involved to help the kids in Kenya.
"One of our kids from Central America actually went door to door to each of our residential divisions motivating other kids to participate telling them how education in his country isn't guaranteed, and that they should support our Kenyan school," said Ward. "And it worked! Even if some of our kids didn't like to exercise, they were out there anyway doing a mile because thestudents in Kenya could use their support." That evening, 30 LaSalle staff and friends ran and walked in the 2013 Workforce Challenge at the Empire State Plaza returning to LaSalle's Brothers Community House for a cookout after the event.
The week concluded with the families of at least 26 LaSalle youth visiting the agency for a day-long Open House. They were greeted by staff, enjoyed lunch with their sons, had family photos taken, toured classrooms, attended the Spring musical concert and listened to poetry readings before the day ended.
It was a very busy week at LaSalle!
My role in transforming LaSalle youth
LaSalle School provides youth with a Lasallian education in the spirit of the founder of The Brothers of the Christian Schools - Saint John Baptist de La Salle. Each year, college age students enrolled in a program called Lasallian Volunteers are assigned to various Lasallian operated schools and facilities around the world to become involved in their activities and learn more about the mission of Saint LaSalle to serve the underprivileged. A few months ago, Patrick Blythe, a 2012 graduate of Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania and currently serving his first year as a Lasallian Volunteer at LaSalle School wrote about his experiences working with the youth at LaSalle.
Click here to read one Lasallian Volunteer’s perspective on his work at LaSalle School >>
SOAR wins UAlbany President's Award for Exemplary Community Service
On May 8th, staff and trustees from LaSalle School, St. Anne Institute, and the University at Albany's Schools of Social Welfare and Criminal Justice gathered with UAlbany President Robert J. Jones to accept a President's Award for Exemplary Community Engagement from UAlbany for the SOAR project (Service Oriented Action Research). The award recognized SOAR as making a significant contribution to societal needs and enhancing public well-being through community-engaged research, creative activity, teaching, academic and public service.
Click here to read the UAlbany President's Letter to the Community announcing the 2013 award recipients >>
JRFC participates in Global Youth Service Day
To mark Earth Day, LaSalle students joined JRFC partners - St. Anne Institute and St. Catherine's Child and Family Center on April 27th to spruce up the Community Gardens at Livingston Avenue and Lincoln Park.
Click here to visit www.gysd.org for more information about the 2013 Global Youth Service Day >>
Siena students ready LaSalle grounds for summer
In another Earth Day activity, students from Siena College came to LaSalle to prepare the all-purpose recreation field for summer activities at LaSalle. This effort was part of Siena's 2013 Community Service Day.
Click here to visit www.siena.edu for more information about Siena College >>
2013 Lasallian Dinner honors Daughters of Sarah Senior Community and Massry REsidence Dining Services Director
LaSalle School, on May 2 welcomed 215 guests gathered to honor the Daughters of Sarah Senior Community and head of their Massry Residence’s dining services, Keith Smith, with Lasallian Service Awards at theschool’s 31st annual dinner.
Click here to read the full press release >>
New OMH license paves way for outpatient clinic and integrated treatment
At their March meeting, the Mental Health Services Council of the NYS Office of Mental Health
reviewed and approved LaSalle’s application for an OMH license to operate an outpatient mental clinic for adolescents. “This [license] opens up new funding streams, new impacts and services in the
community and an integrated behavioral health delivery system key to the Affordable Care Act,” said Katharine Briar-Lawson, LaSalle trustee and dean of UAlbany’s School of Social Welfare. Fellow LaSalle Trustee Robert McMahon agreed saying “as the system transitions to medicaid managed care, LaSalle is
better positioned with Health Homes and Managed Care companies with their mental health, preventive,
residential, OASAS, and now mental health clinics to be a major provider.” McMahon is retired executive director from SCO Family of Services. LaSalle expects that it will take several months for this new clinic to become operational.
For further information about LaSalle’s new OMH licensure, you can email email@example.com.
Ulster Family Court Judge Anthony McGinty asks LaSalle staff:
'How can I facilitate a successful outcome from the bench?'
On March 21st, Ulster County Family Court Anthony McGinty came to LaSalle School for a scheduled visit, and stayed three hours touring campus, meeting with staff, and talking with Ulster County kids he helped to place at LaSalle. “It was clear he was seeking to open a dialogue about improving how we all work with youth and families within the existing system,” said Dave Wallace, director of LaSalle’s clinical services. “ I was impressed. He was insightful, astute, and had a broad knowledge of what role he could play to improve a youth and family’s engagement in the court and placement process. It was a real cooperative and collaborative experience for us.” Click here to read the full story >>
LaSalle School is NYNP's April 'Agency of the Month'
With recently expanded distribution into the Capital Region, the New York Nonprofit Press is distributed monthly to more than 30,000 readers in non-profit human services agencies as well as decision makers at state and local levels of New York government. NYNP is also distributed through 360 public libraries and local universities with programs in social work, public policy and nonprofit management. LaSalle School is the first Capital District nonprofit to be featured as an NYNP Agency of the Month since this January 2013 expansion. Click here to read the full article >>
LaSalle hosts first Juvenile Reporting and Family Center Parent Night for Albany County youth and families
The new Juvenile Reporting and Family Center, funded by ACDCYF effective March 1, 2013, held their first joint monthly Parent Night in the LaSalle School gymnasium on the evening of March 20, 2013. The JRFC is an expansion of the highly regarded Evening Reporting Center operated by LaSalle for the past seven years. In collaboration with St. Anne Institute and St. Catherine’s Center for Youth and Families, the alternative to detention program expansion offers referred families the opportunity to enroll other children in the household to be involved in safe, structured and supervised enrichment activities during high risk after school hours. Click here to read the full article >>
'Chicks That Knit' make donation to LaSalle
Two members of ‘Chicks That Knit’ came to LaSalle to deliver a donation of dozens of hand knit scarfs, mittens, baby afghans and blankets, vests, hats, and slippers. These colorful goods will be a beautiful and welcome addition to LaSalle’s 2013 CWSL Annual Christmas Boutique for youth. Pictured from left to right, are LaSalle’s Ed
McNamara, assistant director for program services, Beth Mashmann, Jody-Sallise Mason, and Bill Wolff, LaSalle’s executive director. Click here to learn more about ‘Chicks That Knit' >>
Ramping up for LaSalle's participation in the 2013 National Annual History Day Competition regionals
The process to get ready for the regionals of the 2013 National History Day competition began at LaSalle in September, and has run the gamut from research and creative design to presentation skill exercises to technical ability.
A public speaking exercise pitted four teams of 10th-grade global studies students against one another to discuss how militarism, alilances, imperialism, and nationalism caused World War I, the importance of each cause and the degree to which it contributed to the conflict. In addition to learning the causes of the war, LaSalle History Teacher Jerald Hensler explained that the activity was designed to give the students experience and confidence in presenting their findings to their peers and others much like the National History Day competition but on a smaller scale. "I think the kids got a good understanding of the content because they were able to take ownership of it themselves, with guidance," said Ashlyn Slater, a LaSalle student history teacher currently majoring in Social Studies and Adolescent Education at The College of Saint Rose.
On March 18th, National History Day competitors will present their projects to a group of 'mock' judges especially invited by LaSalle to campus to help the youth prepare for the rigors of the formal competition later in that month. The mock judges attending LaSalle's mock judging exercise will include officials from OCFS and SED as well as family court judges and social service staff from Albany, Dutchess, Orange, Rensselaer, and various other NYS countiels. Watch for details int he march eNews.
Click here to read more about the National History Day competition. >>
Click here to read about last year's LaSalle History Day competition mock judging exercise. >>
LaSalle board member and nursing administrator honored
Joan Healey, a member of LaSalle School’s Board of Trustees since 2001, and a former LaSalle employee, was recently named 2013 Administrator of the Year by the New York Chapter American College of Health Care Administrators (ACHCA). Healey is currently the chief operating officer and administrator for the Daughters of Sarah Senior Community in Albany, New York.
Click here to read the full press release. >>
Twinning: Supporting Lasallian missions around the world
On February 14th, LaSalle School held its annual bake sale fundraiser to benefit St. Paul’s Secondary School in Marsabit, Kenya. LaSalle has participated in this Lasallian Twinning program for several years and it brings out the best in staff and students who volunteer their time and talents to come up with recipes for sweets and baked goods as well as sell the goods all to help out this African School. Pictured are students in a St. Paul’s classroom in 2012.
Click here to read more about the Lasallian Twinning program. >>
LaSalle to celebrate Ruth Pelham and the 'power of we' in March
Ruth Pelham, a nationally known performer, songwriter, educator, advocate, and activist will be honored with LaSalle’s Eighth Annual Mary G. Breslin Volunteer Service Award on Tuesday, March 12th at 8:00 a.m. breakfast ceremony held at the Hanner Chapel Cultural Center on the school’s campus. Pelham is creator of Music Mobile, a souce of creative in-school and after-school programming. For further details, please contact LaSalle School’s Office of
Communications and Development - 518-242-4731 x271; firstname.lastname@example.org
Click here to read more about Ruth and her Music Mobile. >>
Click here for more background on the Breslin Volunteer Service Award. >>
From the blackboard to practice to presentation
LaSalle culinary program featured in The Evangelist
The Evangelist, the official publication of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, visited LaSalle School in January to observe andn write about LaSalle School's innovative culinary skills program stemming from a partnership with the Massry Residence at the Daughters of Sarah Senior Community.
Click here to see the full story (www.evangelist.org).
Staff share knowledge and expertise with peer professionals
Increasingly, LaSalle clinical staff are invited to present on innovative, best practice treatemtn techniques and strategies with professionals from other child caring agencies across New York State. On January 15th, LaSalle staff presented on the use of Adventure Based Programming appleid to juvenile mental health treatment at the first Albany Regional Professional Development Networking Breakfast sponsored by COFCCA's Center for Excellence. The Networking Breakfast, developed by representatiaves from COFCCA, LaSalle, and St. Anne Institute, held its premiere event at Parson's Family and Child Care Center in Albany, NY. More 2013 evetns are being planned.
LaSalle participates in 7th Capital District Region Future City Competition
On Saturday, January 26th, LaSalle youth transported their 3-D future city model to Hudson Valley Community Colelge as one of 20 middle-school teams entered in the 2013 Capital District Region Future City Competition. At the the end of the day-long display and judging, LaSalle's 'Hillside City' was impressively voted by their peer competitors as the best city to live in and chosen the future city with the best public transportation system. Asked by a judge why the citizens of tomorrow would want to live in Hillside City, one LaSalle competitor answered quickly saying the city was safe, had good police and fire departments, and also had great sports teams. The judges loved that answer! For more information, about this national educational competition, click here (www.futurecity.org).
LaSalle offers diverse alternative to detention program activities
In January 2012, Evening Reporting Center's monthly parent night program focused on the power of conversation. The talk was given by Troy Kennedy, LaSalle training and development professional. Kennedy's presentation focused on strategies parents can use to communicate inp ositive and constructive ways with their children and families.
Youth in LaSalle's Evening Reporting Center (black shirts) faced LaSalle's residential student basketball team in an end-of-year match-up. The first time for this activity, it was fun for the kids and a demonstration of LaSalle's efforts to provide healthy, structured, and supervised pro-social after school activities to youth. LaSalle's residential team won the game by six points.