Parents vow fundraisers to try to save Scarsdale Catholic school
Parents of children at Our Lady of Fatima in Scarsdale vowed Thursday night to save their school after receiving word this week that it's on the Catholic archdiocese's short list for closure.
The Rev. Hugh McManus, an administrator at the school, said the Archdiocese of New York won't make a final decision until late January. McManus told News12 he plans to help parents of children at the school prepare a proposal to submit to the archdiocese.
In the meantime, the school community will plan fundraisers.
Parents band together to fight Our Lady of Fatima closure
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"We have a voice in this," McManus told News12. "We can survive. It's going to involve heroic measures, but we can do it."
Our Lady of Fatima, which serves children in kindergarten through eighth grade, is one of a dozen Catholic schools in the Hudson Valley at risk of closing in 2013, the archdiocese announced Monday.
If the school is chosen in January, it officially would close at the end of the school year in June.
Gwen Cruz of Yonkers, whose 8-year-old daughter attends the school, pushed back tears as she discussed the possibility that Our Lady of Fatima could close.
"I'm very upset," Cruz told News12. "We're close here, close-knit, good morals, good education."
The decision to close Catholic schools isn't an easy one, McManus said.
"The archdiocese is losing money," he said. "It's not a case of heartless bureaucrats coldly closing schools. They feel terrible about it."
Several parents said the combination of academic and religious studies gives their children a foundation not available at a public school. Others, who attended Catholic schools as children, said they want their own kids to have the same experience.
"Bottom line is, we remain hopeful," said Joseph Costa of Yonkers, who has two children at the school. "We're praying and hoping the archdiocese realizes this is an impeccable program, not just the program but the people who make the program."