Beginning in September 2021, La Salle Institute will expand its mission and become a coeducational school, joining the nearly two-thirds of Lasallian Catholic middle and secondary schools across the country who are coeducational. Take a look at our new TV spot!

Questions and Answers

List of 11 frequently asked questions.

  • Q. Why are you doing this at this time?

    After 170 years of La Salle’s presence in Troy, the time has come to open our doors to girls and young women and provide them the same opportunity and exceptional educational experience that we have been providing boys and young men for so many years. The prospect of accepting female students was already part of a larger strategic exploration. In other words, this possibility had been one of a number of possible future development plans that has been discussed over many years as we continually seek to enhance and improve LSI. 

    And now, as we consider the strength and longevity of the La Salle Institute educational heritage, the compassionate competence of our faculty and staff, and the financial realities of private education, the time has now come.

    Nearly two-thirds of Lasallian Catholic middle and secondary schools across the country offer a coeducational experience; our intent is to be proactively forward-thinking in assuring a strong future for our school and strengthen and expand the legacy of La Salle Institute. 

    To provide background, this past January the Board established a Task Force to develop a strategy and plan for the school with the ultimate goal of significantly strengthening the financial position of La Salle Institute to ensure its ability to successfully fulfill its mission well into the future. The Task Force conducted a thorough study and considered a number of potential growth opportunities, considering that LSI has an extraordinary history and has produced very successful alumni who have had profound impact on our world.

    The Board deliberated on the findings of this Task Force and reached the conclusion that, as Bishop Edward Scharfenberger said to us, LSI is “one of the revered Catholic institutions in the Albany Diocese that seeks to reimagine the way to provide the Mission of Catholic education.” As he offered his blessing on our Mission Expansion, he expressed his sincere belief that the Church and our society need graduates such as those from LSI. 
  • Q. Are you doing this because you are financially in trouble and you are trying to save the school? What if this doesn't work, will La Salle close?

    Any excellent academic institution such as La Salle constantly evaluates how well they are serving their community.  Over 170 years, La Salle Institute has educated thousands of young men to become leaders locally and around the world.  We pride ourselves in the curricula and atmosphere where we teach our students to be successful - in every way and wherever life leads them.  But we have left out a group that is so important in today's society.  We now embrace the chance to invite girls and young women to have this La Salle Institute experience and support them as they become leaders in industry, government, military and any vocation they choose. 

    La Salle Institute remains one of the only Catholic high schools in the Albany diocese that has experienced year-over-year enrollment growth over the past several years. Our decision to expand our Lasallian mission to a coeducational model is not about surviving––it is about thriving. In his enthusiastic support of this decision, Bishop Scharfenberger stressed the importance of women as leaders and the necessity of a quality education and experience, such as the one La Salle has provided for 170 years, as preparation for those roles.  Until this time, there has been no Lasallian option for young women of the Capital Region; we are so proud to be the school to finally provide this life-changing opportunity.
  • Q. Were current families asked their opinion about such a major change in their sons’ education?

    Yes. Some parents of current students as well as parents of past students and also LSI alumni were involved in the work of the Task Force that the Board established to develop a strategy and plan for the future of the school. The work of the Task Force was then reviewed and discussed by the entire Board of Trustees, which includes additional parents of current students, parents of past students and other alumni, and some Brothers.  Since the announcement and completion of our initial survey, we have added more parents of current and future students to our committees, as well as some current students, additional alumni, faculty and staff, and they are helping to develop a comprehensive plan of implementation.  We will conduct more surveys and hold virtual meetings in the coming weeks.  As always, our present students remain our first priority.
  • Q. My son is at La Salle because it is a single-gender school. Why should we keep him here now?

    Since your son is a present student, you know how he has benefited from the distinct attributes of a La Salle Institute education. The loving, caring and supportive environment so integral to fulfilling the charism of La Salle Institute will continue, and even be renewed, throughout the year ahead through the energy, enthusiasm and commitment of so many in our La Salle family.  The atmosphere and attributes of each school community are distinct; being a single-gender institution is just one of those attributes. If any student or family believes that La Salle is not the right fit for them – either now or next year – we welcome the opportunity to meet with them one-on-one and hear their thoughts and concerns so that we can chart a path forward for their student. This transition has occurred successfully – for both students and the school – at many other Lasallian institutions.  We know it can work well here too, with everyone’s commitment and collaboration.
  • Q. What efforts did you take to ensure that this move will be successful? Did you conduct a survey, or did you inquire to see if the majority of parents and alumni would support this initiative?

    The Board of Trustees, which includes parents of current students, parents of past students, alumni, and Brothers, carefully reviewed the work of the Task Force that had considered a number of future options for LSI. The Board was unanimous in its support of the Mission Expansion Initiative as well as in recognizing that in order for the initiative to be successful,  the involvement of more parents of current students, more parents of former students, and more alumni, together with the teachers and administrators, was necessary.  So, we have formed a series of committees that touch on all aspects of students’ experience at LSI, and we have now added more faculty and parent constituents to our committees to work with us as we build our new future together.  We’re very much looking forward to input from all of our parents as we continue using periodic surveys that will be sent by email.
  • Q. What will a co-educational La Salle Institute look like, 2 separate schools or completely integrated?

    We are planning a fully integrated co-educational academic institution, and will operate as one school community.  The establishment of new activities, such as sports for girls and young women, will be instituted over time and as quickly as possible.
  • Q. What grade levels will be allowed to attend? Will juniors or seniors be allowed to transfer the first year?

    Beginning the Fall of 2021, La Salle Institute will enroll girls and young women in every grade with the exception of seniors.  That is a continuation of the policy that was established many years ago regarding registration of seniors.
  • Q. What will happen with the prestigious JROTC Leadership program now that you are allowing girls to come to La Salle? What if girls don’t want to participate, will it still be mandatory?

    The JROTC program at La Salle is currently part of the comprehensive educational program for the high school aged students (grades 9-12).  It has two main components, one being the required leadership and citizenship classroom courses and the other being a number of co-curricular voluntary activities such as the Honor Guard, Drill Team, and Rifle Club.  This program has a long tradition at La Salle and has been a significant part of our overall school culture - and there are a number of similar programs across the country that include both young women and young men. That being said, we understand and appreciate that there are some aspects of how the program currently functions with young men that will require some time to discern how to implement in a coeducational setting. Fortunately, the Mission Expansion Committee has considerable time to do so with input from our parents and in consultation with some other Lasallian schools that are coeducational and also have JROTC programs.  
  • Q. Will there be modifications to the school uniform, will uniform rules change, and what will the girl’s uniform look like?

    The school uniform is a very important part of our discipline, tradition and image.  Uniforms will indeed continue to be part of the La Salle experience, and we will be working with our community, especially parents and students, to create a process to explore specific options.
  • Q. Is La Salle prepared to tailor their lessons, school culture etc. to both genders? What steps will be taken to ensure that this transition will happen smoothly in order to allow female students to be properly accepted, welcomed and feel comfortable?

    We understand and appreciate that these are very complex issues that will require time to discern and subsequently to implement. That is why we are taking nearly 12 months to put this in place. The Mission Expansion Committee members are going to learn from many sources, in particular but not limited to other Lasallian institutions who became coeducational, about the topics and areas that were addressed in their expansion plans.  These will include curriculum, programs, faculty training, student support, facilities and extracurricular activities. This Mission Expansion Committee will also remain in place past September 2021 to continue to evaluate and adjust the various aspects of our expansion.
  • Q. What sports will be offered for female students?

    There will indeed be sports teams for La Salle’s female students. Title IX will be adhered to and girls and young women attending La Salle will benefit from the athletic tradition and offerings that LSI students have enjoyed for so long.

    Please see our Athletics Page Update for more information