PROSPECT HEIGHTS — Students at 12 Catholic schools in Manhattan and the Bronx will have to find a new place to learn starting in the next academic school year after the Archdiocese of New York announced they will close on Feb 15.
Additionally, four schools in the Bronx will be merged to form two schools.
The closures come as schools have been rocked by a shift in demographics and declining enrollments made worse by the pandemic, according to a press release issued by the Office of the Superintendent of Schools in the Archdiocese.
“It is never a good day when we announce closures to any of our beloved schools, but the goal is always to strengthen the remaining institutions and preserve Catholic education in New York for decades to come,” Cardinal Timothy Dolan said in the release.
“We are doing everything we can to minimize the impact this will have on families and will provide both educational guidance and pastoral support to all those affected to ensure all children will be warmly welcomed into a nearby Catholic school. We are all in this together, and with hard work and God’s blessings, we will come out on the other side,” the Cardinal said.
Parents who will be searching for a new school for their children to attend in September can turn to the Office of the Superintendent of Schools. The archdiocese has promised to work closely with families affected by the shutdowns to help them find a neighboring Catholic school by the fall.
Directors of enrollment will provide each family with information and answer any questions that they may have, whether they are about enrollment, transportation, or tuition.
“We understand these are challenging times for many families, and this is indeed a sad day for everyone in our Catholic schools’ community,” said Michael Deegan, superintendent of schools for the Archdiocese of New York. “I personally mourn the loss of every one of our great schools.”
But, Deegan said he doesn’t view the school closings as a setback, and intends to find new schools for the students affected.
“As we process this news, we must resolve that the great tradition of Catholic education in New York will continue, and we will assist all students who are seeking to carry on their Catholic education to find a seat at another excellent school in the Archdiocese,” he said.
Echoing Deegan’s sentiment, Cardinal Dolan told The Good News Room that while the announcement of the closures “goes against every ounce of energy and hope that we’ve got,” he still believes in the value of the Catholic school system product.
“We’re never ever going to give up,” he vowed. “We have one of the best products, certainly in education and, I would maintain, in American culture. The Catholic schools in the United States are the envy of the educational world.”
The following Catholic schools will not reopen:
- Academy of St. Paul & St. Ann, Manhattan
- Ascension School, Manhattan
- Guardian Angel School, Manhattan
- Holy Family School, Bronx
- Immaculate Conception School, Manhattan
- Immaculate Conception School, 760 E Gun Hill Rd, Bronx*
- Our Lady Queen of Martyrs, Manhattan
- Santa Maria School, Bronx
- St. Angela Merici School, Bronx
- St. Brendan School, Bronx
- St. Christopher School, Staten Island
- St. Margaret Mary School, Bronx
*There are two Immaculate Conception Schools in the Bronx — one is located at 151st Street and operated by Partnership Schools. That school is not affected by the announcement and will not close.
The following schools will merge:
- St. Francis Xavier, Bronx, with St. Clare of Assisi.
- St. Gabriel School, Bronx, with St. Margaret of Cortona.