BRIARCLIFF MANOR, N.Y. – A Briarcliff Manor group is pleading its case to save St. Theresa Catholic School from closing at the end of the year, but it could be another month before the community finds out if the school will be saved.
The Archdiocese of New York announced in November that the Catholic elementary school is one of about 120 in the Archdiocese that are “at-risk” of closing. St. Theresa School teaches roughly 150 pre-kindergarten through eighth-grade students from Briarcliff Manor and surrounding communities and employs more than 20 teachers and staff, school officials said.
Michael Molinelli, a Briarcliff Manor parent and member of the community group, said he believes there is a strong case for St. Theresa.
“Last week we submitted our plan and we’re confident overall that it’s a good plan and once they take a look at it there will be many reasons to keep St. Theresa’s open,” Molinelli said Monday, adding that he expects to hear back about the presentation at the end of January. “We’re in the process of rebuilding and I think once they see that, they’ll be very pleased and want to keep us open.”
The group’s presentation will address four key issues the Archdiocese asked to hear (demographics, enrollment, funds and viability). Molinelli said it was key that the community prove that enrollment can increase to 200 or the community will have to raise roughly $1.5 million to make the school viable for the future.
“We haven’t come up with that full amount yet but I think what we’ve done is we’ve shown that the amount we’ve raised is sufficient to keep us open at least another three years,” Molinelli said. “I think that’s more important for us to prove that we can keep this going. We have a lot more work ahead of us but we feel good with where we are now.”
Nicole Hallinan, a St. Theresa parent and head of the Home School Association, said previously that it would be “devastating” to the community to lose the school.
“We were shocked, we really were,” she said in December. “The people this is going to affect the most are the parents and the kids who go to the school, and it’s going to be very difficult if it closes.”