As I work from my office in a practically empty school building, it sometimes feels like it did during summer vacation. Then I remember that classes are in session!

Linkages in cyberspace unite Cardinals with each other and with their teachers across the five boroughs and into New Jersey and Westchester County. Our amazing teachers have honed their craft to accommodate the new modality. Students attired in their uniform shirts and using their school-issued tablets are growing in responsibility and knowledge. While the feel of community is not as strong as it would be in person, the reality of working together is very much in evidence.

We welcomed students back to school September 8-11 for in-person orientation in grade level clusters and staggered groupings. Students and faculty were screened upon arrival and spent the day wearing masks and social distancing in small cohorts. The young men met with their teachers and collected their tablets and textbooks that they will use for our time of virtual education during the first quarter. Three weeks of classes have occurred and a rhythm is established which will continue until at least early November. A Task Force is reviewing options available to us that will concurrently minimize risk and ensure that a rigorous college preparatory education is provided.

Four younger brothers have joined their older siblings at La Salle this year! Our roster now includes Gregory Cleland ’21 and Zachary Cleland ’24, Ralphie Fajardo ’22 and Xavier Fajardo ’24, Nayden Villorente ’21 and Neo Villorente ’24, and Jack Walsh ’22 and Reeve Walsh ’24. In addition, we are happy to have Landon Cauchi ’24 (pictured with me at right), son of alumnus Saviour Cauchi ’88, enrolled at his father’s alma mater.

May all our students, teachers, administrators and staff members enjoy a blessed 2020-2021 school year!

We have one new teacher on our staff this year, Mr. Cristian Perez. He is familiar with our mission and knows our building because he is an alumnus from the Class of 2016! Our students will benefit from his skills as a Spanish teacher and his familiarity with their experience.

If you know of a young man in 7th or 8th grade thinking ahead to high school, or even a current 9th grader seeking a different option for this year, please encourage them to consider La Salle! They can visit our website, and we are offering private tours, by appointment only, through the month of October. Contact Mr. Anthony Chin at 212-475-8940 ext. 240 or [email protected] for more details.

Last Thursday, we held our first Virtual Back to School Night. This evening is typically held in September at the school, but this year, we adapted to a virtual event. Parents “attended” class with their sons as teachers gave brief presentations on their expectations and the content of the course. Pictured above is Ms. O’Mara with some family groupings who visited her Introduction to Art class.

Our Lasallian Patrons campaign is underway! Hear from alumnus and Board Trustee, Antwan Allen ’97, explain why he chose to give back by clicking here. You can also read this testimonial from benefactor Joyce Toy. We are grateful to these two individuals – and all of our other Lasallian Patrons – for paving the way for our students. Text LSAPATRON to 41444 or click here to learn more about how you can participate in this very beneficial program that transforms lives.

If you make a gift to La Salle Academy in memory of a classmate or loved one, we will now note those tributes in a Book of Remembrance located in The Frank & Imelda Moeslein Chapel at our school. Individuals whose names are written in the book will be remembered in our prayers. To make a contribution to La Salle Academy in memory of someone who has died, please click here and type the person’s name in the “Notes” section.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions still in place here in New York City, we have decided to cancel our 29th Annual Gala this year. We plan to hold the event in Spring 2021, when we will honor alumni Michael Ambrosino ’62 and Stephon Barnes ’97, along with former faculty member, Stephen Kerrigan! Stay tuned for more information and contact Ms. Ismini Scouras at 212-475-8940 ext. 204 or [email protected] with any questions.

A Virtual 5K Run/Walk comes to La Salle next month! Click here to register as a participant or to sign on as a sponsor of the event. You can complete the 5K by running or walking any time between Tuesday, November 3rd and Wednesday, November 11th. Post your times online through the link provided at registration to see where you rank and receive a La Salle Academy gaiter in the mail after the race. ALL are invited to participate in this event, no matter your age or geographic location!

The first month of this unique school year was a busy time and more good activity is on the horizon. There are challenges, and one that surfaced this week is the court-imposed restriction on the amount of federal CARES Act funding that will make its way through the State of New York to us. Our intent was to use some of our share of this money to buy cleaning supplies and personal protective equipment. Now we must seek funding elsewhere. If you are able to assist with a donation, you will help us meet a real and immediate need. Please either click here to contribute via credit card, text LASALLE to 41444, or mail a check made out to La Salle Academy to my attention at 215 E 6th Street, New York, NY 10003.
Thanks, and may God grant you good health and many other blessings.

Brother Thomas P. Casey, FSC