YONKERS, N.Y. – As the end of 2012 nears, The Yonkers Daily Voice is taking a look back at some of the year's biggest stories.
Parents at Yonkers’ St. Casimir were “shocked” to learn their school was named to a list of schools at risk of closing earlier this year.
The 109-year-old school on Nepperhan Avenue was designated as “at risk” of closing in late November by the Archdiocese of New York, making it one of 26 parochial schools in the area targeted as part of a consolidation effort.
Four other schools in Westchester were named, Holy Name of Jesus School in Valhalla, Our Lady of Fatima School in Scarsdale, St. Theresa School in Briarcliff Manor and Our Lady of the Assumption School in Peekskill.
The selections of schools considered “at-risk” was made after an evaluation process involving school boards and a reconfiguration committee, the archdiocese said at the time.
St. Casimir administrators have since learned the school will, among other things, have to come up with a plan to raise an additional $140,000 each year for the next three years if it is to stay open. School leaders and parents have pitched a number of ideas to raise that money, including fundraisers and tuition increases ranging from $50 to $100 per month.
Parents, alumni and community members have also taken to the web, showing their support with a “Save St. Casimir School” Facebook page.
“As a fellow alumni, I speak on behalf of all us in shock today to see our school be put on the list of "At-Risk" schools,” Michael Ulanski wrote when the announcement was made.
Parent Cindy Pramann also created a petition on Change.org, asking Superintendent of Schools Timothy McNiff to “keep St. Casimir School open.” So far, the petition has gained more than 830 signatures.
In addition, the Yonkers City Council also pledged its support for the school, passing a resolution that urged the archdiocese not to close St. Casimir.
The council “stands united in support of St. Casimir School, its students, teachers and parishioners, and calls upon the Archdiocese of New York to withdraw its intention to close this historic local school that would seriously impact the education and religious role this important institution holds in the city,” the resolution read.
A final decision on whether St. Casimir will survive is expected in January.