BRIARCLIFF MANOR, N.Y. – St. Theresa School in Briarcliff Manor has welcomed thousands of children through its doors for the past 47 years, but the school could be one of several in New York to close its doors at the end of the school year.
The Archdiocese of New York released a list Monday of 26 out of 159 regionalized, parish and archdiocesan elementary schools that are “at risk of closure in June 2013” following a review of the long-term viability of the schools, according to a press release. Several schools in Westchester were among the list of at-risk schools, including Briarcliff Manor’s St. Theresa School, Holy Name of Jesus School in Valhalla, Our Lady of Fatima School in Scarsdale, St. Casimir School in Yonkers and Our Lady of the Assumption School in Peekskill.
Representatives with St. Theresa School said they wished to make “no comment” Tuesday afternoon. St. Theresa was founded in 1965 and is the parochial elementary school of St. Theresa Parish, according to the school’s website. The Catholic school teaches students from pre-kindergarten through eighth grade who reside in Briarcliff Manor and surrounding school districts, according to the website.
Parent Regina Torricella said Tuesday she was informed of the potential closure through the Archdiocese of New York.
“We’re just very saddened and we’re going to try and rally everyone to come up with a plan,” Torricella said. “We don’t know what this means yet because the school is not closing but it is at risk. What we need to do is come up with a plan and present it to the Archdiocese and hopefully we’ll be accepted.”
Local regional boards and reconfiguration committees in every county in the archdiocese reviewed each school region in the fall with a long-term goal of regionalization “to maintain sustainable, excellent local school options for families wishing a Catholic education,” according to a press release. The next step of the process includes pastors and principals of the at-risk elementary schools being invited to meet with members of the local board or reconfiguration committee to review further steps.
“These pastors and principals will be given the opportunity to share insights that may be relevant in the review process,” according to a representative in the press release. The boards and reconiguration Committees will make the final decisions in consultation with the Archdiocese of New York in January, according to the release.
“I want to express my deep appreciation to the laity and clergy serving on the local regional boards and ad hoc reconfiguration committees,” said Dr. Timothy J. McNiff, Superintendent of Schools, in the release. “These are difficult, but necessary, decisions and, working together, we will ensure that our Catholic elementary schools are stronger than ever.”