6 Catholic schools in NYC, Sullivan County closing

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Monday, February 6, 2017

NEW YORK (WABC) -- The Archdiocese of New York announced Monday the closing of six Catholic schools located in the Bronx, Manhattan, and Sullivan County.

Here's a list of the schools closing:

1. Saint Gregory the Great

138 West 90th Street, NY, NY

2. Saints Peter and Paul

838 Brook Avenue, Bronx, NY

3. Saint Ann

3511 Bainbridge Avenue, Bronx, NY

4. Visitation

171 W. 239 Street, Bronx, NY

5. Saint Mary

3956 Carpenter Avenue, Bronx, NY

6. Saint Peter's Regional

121 Lincoln Place, Liberty, NY

The Archdiocese provided more details about the closings and the overall plan:

* St. Ann School, Visitation School, and St. Mary School in the Bronx, and St. Gregory the Great School in Manhattan - whose parishes merged with neighboring parishes as part of the 2013 Making All Things New archdiocesan-wide planning initiative - will cease operations at the end of the current academic year.

Despite the Archdiocese's best efforts to maintain the operational and financial viability of these schools in light of the closure of their co-located parish, continuing to educate students in a school where a significant portion of the facility is not utilized has proven infeasible. St. Ann School, Visitation School, and St. Mary School students will have the opportunity to continue their Catholic education at St. Brendan School, St. John's School in Kingsbridge, and Our Lady of Grace, respectively, or at other neighborhood Catholic schools. Students from St. Gregory the Great School will have the opportunity to continue their education at nearby Ascension School, or other local Catholic schools. All students will be guaranteed a seat at a Catholic school within the Archdiocese of New York.

* Sts. Peter and Paul School in the Bronx will transition, beginning in September 2017, from a kindergarten through 8th grade school to a universal pre-k (UPK) school to meet the increasing demands in the community for additional early childhood and universal pre-k services. Current Sts. Peter and Paul School students will be offered seats at neighboring Catholic schools.

* St. Peter's Regional School in Sullivan County will also cease operations at the end of the current school year. The school had seen a decline in enrollment in recent years and consequently transitioned from a full-service elementary school to a pre-k to 4th grade school. The Archdiocese will provide families with support to transition students to Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Middletown, or other local schools.

"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 Dr. Timothy McNiff said in a news release. "These are difficult but necessary decisions, and working together we will ensure our Catholic schools are stronger than ever."

The Federation of Catholic Teachers said the Archdiocese has not lived up to its word.

"Despite its promises that ample warning would be given before additional school closings were planned, today the Archdiocese of New York contacted the Federation of Catholic Teachers to inform us that six schools are slated to close at the end of the 2016-2017 school year," the federation said in a news release. "This is in addition to the 55 schools that it has closed since 2011."