FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 26, 2012



(New York, November 26, 2012) Local Boards for the three pilot regions and ad hoc Reconfiguration Committees for the six non-pilot regions, comprised of laity and clergy in parishes across the Archdiocese of New York, have completed their preliminary evaluations of the current status and long-term viability of the regionalized elementary schools in their respective regions.

The emphasis placed on this local decision-making process was outlined in Pathways to Excellence, the strategic plan for Catholic schools published in October 2010 and developed to assure a vibrant future for Catholic education.  Under that plan, most parish elementary schools will align into geographic regions governed by Boards. 

Dr. Timothy J. McNiff, Superintendent of Schools,  said, “This regionalization initiative reflects the great progress we have made in the multi-year implementation of Pathways to Excellence,  and aims to both stabilize and grow the number of Catholic schools across the Archdiocese of New York, with the ultimate goal of eliminating the need for future school closures.”

Dr. McNiff continued, “At its inception, Pathways to Excellence raised the standards of academic excellence in all areas while also working to secure additional funding through a variety of sources to help ensure a robust future for Catholic education across the archdiocese.  Today’s regionalization process builds on the actions taken two years ago to improve the fiscal health of the Archdiocese of New York and will help ensure that all our schools will remain financially stable and, more importantly, open to all students.”

Local Regional Boards and Reconfiguration Committees in every county in the archdiocese began their careful analysis of each school region this fall.  This review includes all relevant data, including enrollment, financial, academic and local demographics, and ensures their decisions will result in financially healthy schools.  The long-term goal of regionalization is to maintain sustainable, excellent local school options for families wishing a Catholic education. 

Based on this review, the Boards and Reconfiguration Committees have determined that 26 out of 159 regionalized, parish and archdiocesan elementary schools are at-risk of closure in June 2013.  The number of students at these elementary schools is 5,053 out of  50,045 currently enrolled in Catholic elementary schools in the boroughs of Manhattan, the Bronx and Staten Island, and Westchester, Rockland, Putnam, Sullivan, Orange, Dutchess and Ulster counties. Enrollment data is as of October 1, 2012.

Holy Cross
Holy Name of Jesus
St. Gregory the Great
St. James-St. Joseph
St. Jude

Northwest and South Bronx:
Holy Spirit
Our Lady of Angels
Our Lady of Mercy
St. Jerome

East and Northeast Bronx:
Blessed Sacrament
St. Anthony
St. Mary
St. Mary Star of the Sea

Central Westchester:
Holy Name of Jesus, Valhalla
Our Lady of Fatima, Scarsdale
St. Casimir, Yonkers

Northern Westchester/Putnam:
Our Lady of the Assumption, Peekskill
St. Theresa, Briarcliff Manor

Regina Coeli, Hyde Park
St. Joseph, Millbrook

St. Augustine, New City
St. Peter, Haverstraw

Ulster, Orange, Sullivan:
Sacred Heart, Newburgh
St. Joseph, Kingston
St. Mary of the Snow, Saugerties

The catastrophic effects of Hurricane Sandy on Staten Island have led the Regional Board of Trustees and the Office of the Superintendent of Schools for the Archdiocese of New York to engage local pastors, principals, administrators and elected officials in ongoing, in-depth discussions regarding how to best serve the needs of school families on Staten Island.  These consultations are continuing as the impact of the storm on school communities is assessed, and no announcement about Catholic elementary schools on Staten Island will be made until after the New Year.

In addition to the elementary schools, the Office of the Superintendent of Schools, after consultation with school leadership, has determined that St. Agnes Boys High School in Manhattan is also "at-risk" of closure in June 2013. The number of affected secondary school students affected is 217, out of 24,830 currently enrolled across the archdiocese.

In the next step of this process, pastors and principals of the at-risk elementary schools will be invited to meet with members of the local Board or Reconfiguration Committee in their region to discuss the combination of factors that led the school to be selected and review next steps.  These pastors and principals will be given the opportunity to share insights that may be relevant in the review process. The final decisions by the local Boards and Reconfiguration Committees will be made in January 2013, in consultation with the Archdiocese of New York.

“I want to express my deep appreciation to the laity and clergy serving on the local Regional Boards and ad hoc Reconfiguration Committees,” said Dr. Timothy J. McNiff, Superintendent of Schools.  “These are difficult, but necessary, decisions and, working together, we will ensure that our Catholic elementary schools are stronger than ever.”