St. Bernard’s offers able young boys of diverse backgrounds an exceptionally thorough, rigorous, and enjoyable introduction to learning and community life. We wish to inspire boys to value hard work and fair play, to develop confidence, consideration for others, and a sense of citizenship, and to have fun while doing these things.
A good heart is as valuable as a well-stocked, well-trained head.
The Old Boys Dinner has been held every year since 1916. The pandemic kept Old Boys from gathering in the school gyms this year, but a virtual Old Boys Dinner proved to be a fine bridge to keep the tradition going through these unusual times.
Mid-December, Middle School and Upper School students attended sessions with educators from the Museum of the City of New York to discuss civic engagement and the Civil Rights Movement in New York City. The boys learned about local activism and student-led actions to desegregate NYC schools, in addition to the city’s role as a major center for organizing across the nation that brought activists like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to New York. While we continue to learn about the history of racism in the U.S., we should also appreciate the history of anti-racism in our country too, especially in our very own city.
During the usual fall semester, St. Bernard’s plays host to class reunions and the Junior Old Boys Lunch. We often travel to other cities for receptions which keep Old Boys outside of New York City engaged with what is happening on East 98th Street. While our in-person Old Boys events are paused, one silver lining of connecting virtually is the ability to invite Old Boys back to Friday assembly as guest speakers. Four Old Boys across different professions showcased their skills to St. Bernard’s boys, participating from their homes here in the tri-state area, and as far away as California and France.
St. Bernard’s offers a fully remote option for families whose sons cannot come back to school for various reasons. Approximately 8% of our students are participating remotely and the faculty is working hard to translate the St. B’s experience to an online setting. The majority of the remote boys are in grades I-IV and a few weeks into school, it was decided that those grades needed their own “remote pods” with a dedicated teacher.
The annual St. Bernard’s Carols, where the entire school community gathers in the Church of Heavenly Rest to sing in celebration of the holiday season, cannot be held this year for obvious reasons. But never fear, the Music Department has come up with a fabulous idea to continue this treasured tradition in a safe way.
Chess has always been very popular at St. Bernard’s. In a typical year, over half of the kindergarten boys play in an after-school program, and many continue playing competitively in tournaments and clubs. To keep the chess enthusiasm alive this fall, the Parents Association organized the first ever virtual family chess tournament.