This June, the New York Archdiocese will close two high schools and 22 out of 26 elementary schools labeled “at risk.”
Last November, the archdiocese announced that 26 of its Catholic elementary schools might close, but officials have since determined that four of the schools – that submitted proposals with viable long-term plans – will remain open.
The archdiocese is postponing decisions about two additional schools on Staten Island, so it can evaluate the impact of Hurricane Sandy on the region.
Local boards and ad hoc reconfiguration committees conducted in-depth discussions with local pastors, principals, administrators and elected officials. The groups, in consultation with archdiocesan officials, recommended the school closings.
The decision follows several months of reviewing enrollment, finances and local demographics. Throughout the review process, pastors and principals of the at-risk schools were invited to meet with members of the local board or reconfiguration committee to discuss factors that led to the decision to list a school as “at-risk” and offered an opportunity to submit an alternative proposal to remain viable.
The emphasis placed on the local decision-making process was outlined in “Pathways to Excellence,” the strategic plan for Catholic schools published in 2010 and developed to assure a vibrant future for Catholic education in the archdiocese. Under that plan, most parish elementary schools will align into geographic regions governed by boards.
Among the high schools slated to close is St. Agnes’ Boys’ H.S., Manhattan.