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Valhalla's CHAMPS Program Gets New Workspace

John Salatte
John Salatte Photo Credit: Valhalla Union Free School District

VALHALLA, N.Y. -- Valhalla's CHAMPS program is moving to a new location.

The Community Home Academic Modeling of Personal Success (CHAMPS) program will have a new home in the high school when school begins next month.

The new workspace will have  bathroom, kitchenette, work table, futon and monitor with scree and students will be able to put their practices into real-life actualization, according to the district.

“This space will function to truly help them get the experiences and readiness for their futures,” said John Salatte, Director of Special Education. “The kids are extremely excited. Having this space to learn is the greatest realization of my career. It’s excellent for our students.”

Salatte worked with special education teachers Catherine Redmond and Christine Horton, Facilities Director Peter Kelly and Business Official Christina Howe to create the space.

The program was implemented last September for high school students pursuing a certificate of Career Development and Occupational Studies. It gives them formal instruction/training in vocational preparation and independent living, the district said.

It was created following the community’s desire to have more programs in Valhalla so students did not have to leave the district.

In preparation for the new room, the Special Education PTA gave them a Target gift card last spring. The students researched online what they would need for the new space and their prices. They traveled to Target to select and pay for the items.

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