New York Archdiocese to Close 27 Schools

By Alice McQuillan
|  Wednesday, Jan 12, 2011  |  Updated 1:38 PM EDT
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New York Archdiocese to Close 27 Schools

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Next year, students from two East Hartford Catholic schools will be sharing classrooms.

The Archdiocese of New York announced Tuesday that it is closing 27 Catholic  schools to save $10 million.

These schools -- in Manhattan, the Bronx, Staten Island, Westchester County and upstate New York -- had been on a list of 32 schools that Catholic leaders deemed "at risk" last November.

Church leaders decided to spare four from that original hit list, saying these had created "viable long-term plans so they no longer require archdiocesan subsidies." 

These four who will remain open are:  Good Shepherd in Manhattan, Holy Name of Jesus in Valhalla, Saint Joseph in Kingston and Saint Peter's in Poughkeepsie.

The fate of a fifth school -- Sacred Heart of Jesus in Manhattan -- is still under review, church officials said.

Archbishop Timothy Dolan had announced a sweeping strategic plan for the Archdiocese's educational system, saying tough fiscal times meant the church had to marshal its resources to support schools with healthy enrollments and close the others.

Among the goals was to shutter Catholic schools with an eye to transfering students to more robust ones nearby and ask individuals and parishes to contribute more to those deemed healthy. The Archdiocese said it will still set aside a $13 million subsidy to support the schools that have survived these cuts.

These closings affect seven percent -- 3,652 -- of elementary school students -- and 110 high school students out of the 26,501 currently enrolled, according to the Archdiocese. The grammar schools to be closed had a 71 percent dropoff in enrollment over the past five years, said church officials.

"Thanks to the parishes that now, painfully, must close their schools, for their understanding and commitment to Catholic education," Archbishop Dolan said in a statement.

The Catholic schools in New York City to be shuttered by June include Saint Joseph of the Holy Family, All Saints, and Our Lady of Sorrows in Manhattan and six in the Bronx:  Saint Augustine, Saint John Vianney, Saint Martin of Tours, Saint Dominic, Saint Anthony-Saint Frances and Saint Pius V Girls High School. Staten Island will lose four: Saint Margaret Mary, Saint Sylvester, Saint Roch and Saint Mary.

From Weschester and Putnam counties nine schools will close: Saint Ann in Ossining; Saint Anthony of Padua in West Harrison; Christ the King, Saint Bartholomew, and Saint Mary in Yonkers; Saint Joseph in Croton Falls, Saint John the Evangelist, in Mahopac; and Sacred Heart School for the Arts and Saints Peter and Paul in Mount Vernon.

From futher upstate, five schools are being shuttered: Sacred Heart in Highland Falls, Saint Thomas of Canterbury in Cornwall-on-Hudson, Saint Joseph in New Windsor, Saint Augustine in Highland and Saint Joseph in  Middletown.

"These difficult decisions will ensure the sustainability of our Catholic schools for future generations and provide us with opportunities that will ultimately increase the number of students who can benefit from a faith-based, quality education," said Dr. Timonth McNiff, superintendent of schools for the Archdiocese.
 

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