Two Catholic Elementary Schools Will Merge in Kingston

The archdiocese’s superintendent of schools announced Feb. 20 that St. Joseph’s School in Kingston will merge with another nearby elementary school, Kingston Catholic, in September.

The merger, Dr. Timothy McNiff explained, is the result of extensive discussions with the ad hoc Reconfiguration Committee in Ulster County, local pastors, principals, administrators and elected officials, in consultation with the archdiocese.

The merger will create one new regional pre-kindergarten through eighth grade school with two campuses. Kingston Catholic will become an Early Learning Center, offering newly expanded Pre-K3 and Pre-K4 programs and kindergarten.

St. Joseph’s School, which was initially slated to close in June, will house the elementary school for first- through eighth-graders at the uptown campus on Wall Street. Additionally, the merger will allow for expanded family, music, arts and sports programs for all students.

“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,” Dr. McNiff said.

“With this new merger recommendation, our students in Kingston and Ulster County will have a cohesive, united school community while enjoying academically rich programs rooted in the Catholic faith,” he added.

Dr. McNiff thanked the reconfiguration committee “for its dedication and commitment to meeting the needs of its students and taking the time necessary to find the best solution for all families at these three schools.”

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

School families are invited to attend informational meetings with Dr. McNiff Tuesday, Feb. 26 at 6 p.m. at St. Joseph’s School or at 7:30 p.m. at Kingston Catholic.

The meetings will provide parents the opportunity to ask questions and receive updates about how the merger process will unfold and what new opportunities will be possible as a result of the consolidation.

“I am confident that these school communities will unite to build a strong and sustainable future built on our Catholic values for future generations of our children here in Ulster County,” Dr. McNiff said.

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