The St. Joseph’s school community is reacting to the Archdiocese’s latest announcement to keep the school open and merge it with Kingston Catholic. While many say they’re glad the school won’t be closed after all, there are some concerns with the new plan. The Archdiocese, however, is standing by its proposal. Alexandra Weishaupt has more.
ULSTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- “Suddenly Kingston Catholic, who was not at risk, would be uprooted and moved to St. Joe’s, who was the school to be closed,” said Finance Committee President Paul DeLisio. “This is no victory.”
DeLisio is one of many within the St. Joseph's school community who is stunned by Archdiocese Superintendent Timothy McNiff’s latest decision to combine the two Catholic schools in Kingston come September.
“We really want to remain St. Joe’s School and Kingston Catholic wants to remain Kingston Catholic and there’s no reason why that can’t happen,” said parent Maryanne Moughan.
Under the proposed arrangement, the Kingston Catholic building downtown will house prekindergarten and kindergarten and students grades one through eight will study at the St. Joseph’s buildings in uptown. It's a decision many are calling disruptive and poorly planned.
DeLisio said, “There hasn’t been five minutes of planning. We don’t think things like this should be done at a moment’s notice. When it's over whether it fails or not, he's gone, he goes off someplace else and we're left here to pick up the pieces and the pieces we're trying to pick up are right now.”
DeLisio adds the community is now calling on Dr. McNiff to hold off on the merger for a year. They say let both schools operate with no expense to the archdiocese and within that time work out the appropriate solutions
In light of the plan's initial criticism, Dr. McNiff released a statement to YNN saying, "Mr. Paul DeLisio does not represent St. Joseph School and we find it disappointing that his comments do not reflect the best interests of the school community or the current situation at St. Joseph or Kingston Catholic.”
Dr. McNiff will be holding information sessions at each school. Those within the St. Joe’s community say they’re looking forward to the discussion.