Seven Catholic schools will be closing their doors, including one in the Hudson Valley, the Archdiocese of New York announced.
Citing declining enrollment, the Archdiocese announced that after 125 years, St. Mary Elementary School in Wappingers Falls was one of the institutions that will be shutting down when the academic year ends in June. Other closures were announced in Manhattan, Staten Island, the Bronx and Sullivan County.
According to officials, “despite the Archdiocese's best efforts to maintain the operational and financial viability of these schools, continuing to educate students in buildings that are underutilized and/or in need of significant improvements has proven unfeasible.”
“We understand these are challenging times for many families, and we will work with all students who are seeking to continue their Catholic education to find a seat at another excellent school in the Archdiocese,” Superintendent of Schools Timothy McNiff said in a statement.
Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of New York currently serve more than 62,000 students from Pre-K through 12th grade across 208 schools in ten counties and boroughs throughout New York.
“Catholic schools offer students the fundamentals parents care about – outstanding academics within a safe and nurturing community,” McNiff added. “Our academic success also continues to surpass both New York State and City schools, while 99 percent of our high school seniors graduate with a vast majority enrolling in post-secondary education. These are the attributes of Catholic education we strive to preserve for future generations.”
Cardinal Timothy Dolan called the decision to close the schools “painful and difficult.”
“While we sincerely regret ever having to close any schools, the goal is to strengthen the remaining institutions and preserve Catholic education in New York for years to come,” he stated. “We understand the impact this will have on families, and will provide both pastoral support and educational guidance to all those affected in order to ensure all children will be warmly welcomed into a nearby Catholic school where they will continue to learn and thrive.”
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