Friday, April 22, 2016

Earth Day 2016

The Arc of Delaware County, the Catskill Forest Association, and students from Delaware Academy joined together to celebrate Earth Day today.  They planted apple trees around the Delaware Academy school garden located near Smith Pond.
Jim Waters, Catskill Forest Association Director plants the first tree.

Standing 2nd from left is Michael Cipperly, instructor at Delaware Academy and to his right are Mark German and Robert Dircks.
Smiling at a job well done is Jamie Menhinick with Robert Dircks providing a drink of water for the newly planted tree.

Monday, April 18, 2016

The Entire Staff Community Living Skills- Walton Recieves Blesher Award

On February 16th, the frigid temperatures wreaked havoc with The Arc of Delaware County’s Community Living Skills facility located in Walton, NY when water pipes froze and broke causing extensive water damage to the building. However the professionalism and dedication of the staff shined during this moment of adversity as they worked together to provide the high level of program services to people they support , maintaining their focus on quality, safety and helping program participants overcome any concerns. The ingenuity and teamwork of staff was recognized on April 13th when Blesher Lil’ Heart, The Arc of Delaware County’s mascot, visited the staff and presented them all with a Blesher award.

Congratulations to everyone at Community Living Skills-Walton!
Catherine Tweedie, Director of Community Relations introduces Blesher to Staff

Staff listens as their accomplishments are praised in the Blesher Award nomination

The employees of Community Living Skills- Walton surround Blesher for group photo.

Monday, April 11, 2016


When NYS Education Department (NYSED) regulations were updated last July they placed more emphasis on requiring schools to move away from aversive behavior interventions often utilized for people with disabilities, towards implementing positive behavior interventions and supports.  Being positive and proactive has been the philosophy and approach of The Arc of Delaware County’s programs and services for over 40 years, and staff and leadership at The Arc are pleased to hear that NYSED is offering schools the necessary tools and support to move in this direction. 
Since the beginning of the school year, The Arc’s Carousel Children’s Services program, serving children ages 3-5 in an integrated preschool setting, has been fine tuning its positive, proactive practices by implementing a new system made available to all preschool and public school systems through NYSED, known as Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS).  Through PBIS, Carousel Children’s Services staff is creating a positive school climate where students are learning at unprecedented rates, mastering social and emotional outcomes, and fostering positive relationships. 
What attracted Carousel Children’s Services to PBIS is that it offers a formalized systematic approach to implementing a positive behavior approach in a school setting, is easy to follow, and free.  PBIS provides evidence-based practices and a clearly defined data informed decision making process for improving behavior outcomes for all students, regardless of ability level.   Beverly Tuthill, Carousel Children’s Services Director shares “The beauty of the program is with the coaching and support of a PBIS Behavior Specialist from BOCES, the Carousel team was able to decide the best way to implement PBIS; it isn’t a cookie cutter program.  What works best for one school might not necessarily work for another.  We’ve found it is very adaptable to our unique structure and needs.”
The Carousel team is making great strides having just begun the process in September.  They have regular implementation meetings with the PBIS Behavior Specialist to talk about progress and discuss goals and objectives.  One area of current focus is on teaching positive behaviors in the classroom, with the support of various teaching tools provided by PBIS.   They expect to kick off the new school year in September with the full PBIS system in place.
Parents, parent groups, teachers, school administrators, and boards who would like to see Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports in action locally can contact Beverly Tuthill, Carousel Children’s Services Director, at (607)746-4240 to schedule a visit to the Carousel Program.  You may also contact Stacey Smith, PBIS Behavior Specialist at the State Education Department’s Regional Special Education Technical Assistance Support Center, at (607)766-3777 to learn more about PBIS, or visit

PBIS Specialist Stacey Smith guides the Carousel Children’s Services team and leadership of Delhi Campus Child Care Center through each step of the PBIS process.  Pictured left to right: Lisa Nunley, Sibel Finn, and Beverly Tuthill of all CCS, PBIS Specialist Stacey Smith of BOCES, Kristina Anderson of CCS, and Karen Wallace, Director of the Delhi Campus Child Care Center.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The Arc of Delaware County Recieves Grant for Electronic Records System

As New York State continues to transition to Medicaid Managed Care, additional documentation and reporting requirements will require more capacity in IT systems of disability service providers.  The Arc of Delaware County was recently awarded a New York State grant in the amount of $50,000 to upgrade their Health/Service Electronic records system.
Being one of four local service providers receiving grants Teresa Skinner, CFO from The Arc of Delaware County was pleased to share, “This Health Information Technology Investment Program grant will provide new servers and switches which will allow us to add a medication module and increase the speed and response of all our health/services electronic records.” Other local agencies receiving grant funds included Springbrook, Catholic Charities of Chenango County and Pathfinder Village.

According to Kerry Delaney, Acting Commissioner of Office of People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) “The Health Information Technology funds provide much needed assistance for the awarded providers as they prepare to deliver person-centered services in a specialized managed care system.”  A full listing of grant recipients can be seen: