November 16, New York, NY- The Boards of the new pilot regions for schools of the Archdiocese of New York, located in Rockland, Staten Island and the Northwest and South Bronx, are now fully operational. These Boards were created as part of the multi-year regionalization process which will align most parish elementary schools into geographic regions. As one of their most important tasks, the pilot Boards, composed of both clergy and laity, have begun their comprehensive review of the current status and long term viability of the schools in their respective regions.

This review will include all relevant data, including enrollment, financial, academic and local demographics, allowing the Boards to make fully informed and necessary decisions that will result in financially healthy schools. The Boards will also consider the best allocation of resources, with the goal of maintaining sustainable, local school options for every family who wishes a Catholic education.

In the non-pilot regions of the archdiocese, ad hoc “Reconfiguration Committees,” composed of local clergy and members of the laity, have been appointed to mirror the evaluation process being done by the pilot Boards.

“We are grateful for the dedicated service of pilot region boards and the Chairmen and members of the Reconfiguration Committees in the non-piloted school regions,” says Dr. Timothy J. McNiff, Superintendent of Schools for the Archdiocese of New York. “Throughout the coming weeks and months, we will work to ensure that a Catholic education, based in the teachings of our faith and characterized by academic excellence, will available to all families who desire it, both now and in the future.”

The pastors serving as Chairman of the non-pilot Reconfiguration Committees are:

  • Orange/Ulster/Sullivan – Rev. Thomas Byrnes, Sacred Heart in Monroe
  • Northern Westchester/Putnam – Rev. Msgr. George Thompson, Saint Patrick in Bedford
  • Central Westchester – Rev. Msgr. Dennis Keane, Annunciation in Crestwood
  • Northeast/East Bronx – Rev. Stephen Norton, Saint Benedict
  • Manhattan – Rev. Msgr. Lawrence Connaughton, Saint  John the Martyr, Saint John Nepomucene
  • Dutchess – Rev. Msgr. Francis Bellew, Saint Mary in Wappingers Falls

Their work on a Reconfiguration Committee is separate and distinct from application and approval for the non-pilot region Boards of Trustees.  Candidates for all non-pilot Boards of Trustees will be vetted and approved in a separate process during the winter and spring of 2013.
Pilot region Boards and Reconfiguration Committees have respectively begun to analyze each school region and will continue their review through mid-November. Following the timeline of the previous reconfiguration process for the schools of the archdiocese, any school identified as “at-risk” for possible closure, after careful review by respective pilot region Boards or Reconfiguration Committees, will be informed of their status in late November. 
In addition, given the catastrophic effects of Hurricane Sandy on Staten Island, the Board of Trustees and the Office of the Superintendent of Schools for the Archdiocese of New York are engaging local pastors, principals, administrators and elected officials in continuing, in-depth discussions regarding how to best serve the needs of Catholic school families and students on Staten Island as we evaluate the original late November timeline for “at-risk” notification. The results of these ongoing local discussions will be announced shortly.

For frequent updates on regionalization, please visit the Superintendent of Schools’ website,