Scarsdale's Our Lady of Fatima school is one of 26 elementary schools that the Archdiocese of New York is considering closing.
This week, the archdiocese's Reconfiguration Committees released preliminary evaluations, which include possible school closures.
The Archdiocese said in a statement that 26 out of 159 elementary schools are at-risk of being shut down in June 2013.
Locally, the at-risk schools in Westchester are: Our Lady of Fatima in Scarsdale, Holy Name of Jesus in Valhalla, St. Casimir in Yonkers, Our Lady of the Assumption in Peekskill and St. Theresa in Briarcliff Manor.
According to the archdiocese, the closures would be a part of the 2010 strategic Pathways to Excellence plan for the Catholic schools, which would regionalize some of the Catholic schools in New York.
“This regionalization initiative reflects the great progress we have made in the multi-year implementation of Pathways to Excellence, and aims to both stabilize and grow the number of Catholic schools across the Archdiocese of New York, with the ultimate goal of eliminating the need for future school closures," Dr. Timothy J. McNiff, Superintendent of Schools, said.
McNiff said the school closures and regionalization process "builds on the actions taken two years ago to improve the fiscal health of the Archdiocese of New York and will help ensure that all our schools will remain financially stable and, more importantly, open to all students.”
Local boards and Reconfiguration Committees started evaluating and analyzing the schools this fall.
According to a statement, the archdiocese's "long-term goal of regionalization is to maintain sustainable, excellent local school options for families wishing a Catholic education."
As of October 1, the total number of students at these 26 at-risk schools is 5,053. There are currently 50,045 students enrolled in Catholic elementary schools in Manhattan, the Bronx, Staten Island and Westchester, Rockland, Putnam, Sullivan, Orange, Dutchess and Ulster counties, according to the Archdiocese of New York.
The archdiocese's next step is meeting with pastors and principals of the 26 at-risk schools. A final decision will be made in January 2013.
“I want to express my deep appreciation to the laity and clergy serving on the local Regional Boards and ad hoc Reconfiguration Committees,” McNiff said. “These are difficult, but necessary, decisions and working together, we will ensure that our Catholic elementary schools are stronger than ever.”