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NY Archdiocese Changes Closure Decision for St. Joseph's

Joel Kramer

The New York Archdiocese last month announced it would close 24 Catholic schools in a cost-saving move. Ten of these schools are in the Hudson Valley, and now, the Superintendent of Schools for the Archdiocese says one of the schools on the final closure list will not close.

Superintendent of Schools for the Archdiocese of New York Dr. Timothy McNiff has announced that St. Joseph School in uptown Kingston will remain open, but will merge with Kingston Catholic School, in downtown Kingston. In a statement, McNiff says, quote, “It became evident after ongoing conversations with the leadership within the Catholic school community in Kingston that our initial recommendation of closing one of the two schools was not the optimal long-term solution for maintaining a strong and vibrant Catholic school presence in the Kingston community.”  He says the decision came after discussions with the ad hoc Reconfiguration Committee in Ulster County, local pastors, principals, administrators, and elected officials. One of those elected officials who has been involved in the talks is Kingston Mayor Shayne Gallo.

Chairman of the Finance Committee at St. Joseph Paul DeLisio, previously spoke to the school’s strong financial condition.

Both schools currently house up to eighth grade. The merger, effective September of this year, says Dr. McNiff, will create one new regional pre-kindergarten through 8th grade school with two campuses. Kingston Catholic will become an Early Learning Center with two pre-K programs and kindergarten; while St. Joseph’s, will house the elementary school for first through eighth graders. Mayor Gallo, himself an alumnus of St. Joseph’s, says there are enrollment needs to consider, and he’s already hearing from parents.

The Archdiocese says the newly merged school will accommodate all 202 students from St. Joseph and 343 students from Kingston Catholic, as well as the 89 students affected by the upcoming closure of St. Mary’s of the Snow, in Saugerties.

Archdiocese Superintendent McNiff will hold two meetings on the merger. One is Tuesday, February 26, at 6:00 p.m. at St. Joseph School; the other, at 7:30 p.m. at Kingston Catholic. As for the other Catholic schools on the final list of closures, a spokeswoman for the Archdiocese said there were no other changes under consideration.

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