About Us


St. Bernard’s is dedicated to the pursuit of academic excellence, and we welcome all who share in this passion.  The school seeks and enrolls students from all backgrounds who are bright, curious, and enthusiastic about learning.  We believe that a varied community makes our experiences with one another richer, therefore we strive to reflect the cultural diversity of New York City in our student body and faculty.  Boys reside in 51 different zip codes throughout the city and beyond.  Our families reflect many different structures and represent a large number of cultural, religious, and ethnic backgrounds.  Parents of St. Bernard’s boys, for instance, were raised in 52 countries and speak 24 languages.
Our Junior School boys learn to appreciate the diversity among themselves.  Using the books they read and guided discussions with their teachers, they learn to appreciate varied cultures and perspectives.  In the Middle School boys focus first on defining their own identities and then on becoming better, more active citizens of the world.  A social justice class in Grade V gives boys the chance to explore complicated issues, such as the Civil Rights movement, that affect them in particular and society in general.  In the Upper School boys are part of small advisory groups that meet weekly with a faculty advisor to discuss current topics.  

Middle and Upper School boys of color are invited to join an affinity group that meets regularly throughout the year.  It serves as a safe space for them to discuss issues related to their identity and their experiences in and out of school.

A parents’ roundtable meets to discuss relevant topics, to invite speakers, and to plan workshops and activities.  St. Bernard’s cultivates a community which shows respect for others and an eagerness to embrace diversity and mutual understanding in its students, families, teachers, administration, and staff.


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  • The Diversity Statement

    St. Bernard’s is dedicated to the pursuit of academic excellence and we welcome all who share in this passion.  The school seeks students who are bright, curious, and enthusiastic about learning.  We welcome and seek a diverse student body, faculty, and parent community.  We also believe that true diversity reflects and values the identity, beliefs, backgrounds, knowledge, and ideas of everyone in the school.  St. Bernard’s cultivates a community that shows respect for others and an eagerness to embrace diversity and mutual understanding in its students, families, teachers, administration, and staff.  We see the cultural diversity of New York City as an asset and strive to learn from different perspectives.  A varied community makes our experiences with one another richer and helps prepare the boys for a future of such diversity in later education and the world beyond.
  • The Admissions Office

    St. Bernards admissions officers work with many organizations to help to enrich our student body.  Some of the organizations which are instrumental in placing students and educating parents about independent schools that St. Bernards depends on include Early Steps, Prep for Prep,  A Better Chance, and Jack and Jill.

    St. Bernard’s does not discriminate against applicants on the basis of race, religion, color, national, or ethnic origin.  A financial aid program provides assistance for qualified families from many different backgrounds and circumstances.
  • Board of Trustees Diversity Committee

    The Board of Trustees Diversity Committee is responsible for assessing current and future diversity programs and initiatives at St. Bernard’s School.  The committee is comprised of trustees, the president of the Parents Association, and the headmaster.
  • Faculty and Staff Diversity Committee

    The administrators, teachers, coaches, and staff members who serve on this committee are dedicated to identifying, implementing, and supporting diversity related initiatives at the school.  They collaborate to recognize challenges, set goals, implement objectives, and create opportunities as well as form sub-groups that focus on particular topics.  Its members organize and support affinity and interest groups.
  • Parents Association’s Community Gathering

    The Parents Association's Community Gathering Committee seeks to foster a deeper understanding and appreciation of the diverse backgrounds and cultures within the St. Bernard’s community.  The committee plans and hosts several events for parents throughout the school year featuring a range of relevant topics and group discussions relating to the boys’ and families experiences.  This committee coordinates with other independent schools and external groups focused on current issues surrounding diversity and inclusion.
  • Parents Association’s Multicultural Fair Committee

    This groups mission is to increase the awareness of the various cultures within the school community by organizing the Multicultural Fair, an annual school event when the entire student body and faculty come together to learn and celebrate different cultures of the world.  Last year the fair focused on Australia.
  • Old Boys Diversity Council

    The council’s mission is to encourage and participate in diversity and inclusivity within the extended St. Bernard’s family.  The Old Boys Diversity Council is inclusive among all racial, religious, ethnic, and socio-economic groups.  The council believes diversity is at the heart of our shared experiences as alumni and make our shared experiences richer, and St. Bernard’s a fuller space.  The OBDC will support St. Bernard’s via outreach programs, mentorship efforts, and professional networking events.  The council looks forward to developing sustainable best practices for advancing equity work and inclusion in our school.
  • Giving Opportunity: Blazers for Boys

    Wearing the school blazer is a point of pride for every St. Bernard’s boy.  An effort spearheaded by the Old Boys Diversity Council hopes to provide all of our boys with this opportunity.  With help from members of our community, St. Bernard’s will purchase new blazers from Lands’ End for families who may need assistance. Please click here to learn more.

Recent Diversity Events

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  • St. B’s Explores Chinatown

    by Belinda N., Community Gathering Committee co-chair 2018-19

    On a beautifully warm and sunny day, Saturday, April 13, approximately fifty St. Bernard’s boys, siblings, and parents traveled downtown for a historic walking tour of Chinatown, one of New York City’s oldest neighborhoods, led by the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA).
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  • Grade IX Visits Cuba

    by Mr. Bowcock, Grade IX teacher

    The ninth grade had a fascinating trip to Cuba. Our itinerary started in Havana and involved travel to the Bay of Pigs, Cienfuegos, Trinidad, and Santa Clara.  In General Knowledge and geography classes, we had already learned about the history of Cuba: its years of Spanish rule and subsequent independence, the Batista years, and Castro’s rise to power.  To ninth graders, the Cold War is a distant abstraction, but visiting Cuba gave a clear example of that era and its influence.
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  • St. Bernard’s and Chapin Host a Networking Event

    by Jonathan Perez ’96

    On the first Sunday of the year, January 6, Chapin and St. Bernard’s hosted a professional networking event at the New York Academy of Medicine.  Attendees filled the room for a panel discussion followed by one-on-one tabling with leaders in various career fields.
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  • A Refugee Talks About Her Passion to Help Others

    Year after year, the St. Bernard’s Admissions department prides itself on accepting exceptional boys from a wonderfully diverse group of families.  The current year’s crop of new families is no exception.  One of the parents in the kindergarten class, Jane G., had an extraordinary childhood, and she was delighted to tell her story to our Upper School boys.
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  • Community Gathering Committee Hosts Historic Tour of the Apollo Theater

    by Grace B., Community Gathering Committee co-chair 2018-19

    A group of 40 parents, students, and siblings, met at the Apollo on Friday, October 26, 2018, for a tour of the historic theater guided by Mr. Billy Mitchell (Mr. Apollo himself).  The group was led to front row seats in the theater, while our tour guide took to the stage to give us a colorful look back into the past when the Apollo was the heart of the Harlem Renaissance and beyond.  
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  • The Old Boys Diversity Council’s Night (Club) of Diversity and Inclusion Networking Event

    by Nadine Thomas, Diversity Coordinator

    Some of our warmest memories can be linked to the place we call home.  Home is usually a place where you have a special bond that is thought of with fondness and security and sometimes summed up as “home is where the heart is.”  Many places may make us  feel at home, like the house we grew up in, the city where we have positioned our roots, or the school that sits snugly between Madison and Fifth.
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  • A Conversation about Stereotypes and Perceptions

    by Nita V., Community Gathering Committee Co-chair 2017-18
    Last week, the Parents Association and the Community Gathering Committee hosted an evening at St. Bernard’s with a conversation focused on stereotypes and perceptions.  Panelists discussed how and why stereotypes start.  They explored whether there are any positives to having stereotypes and, most importantly, how to talk to our children about the stereotypes and perceptions others may hold. 
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  • The Multicultural Fair Celebrates Australia

    On Friday, April 5, 2019, St. B’s boys were transported to Australia for the annual Multicultural Fair.  Keeping with tradition, the day began with an all-school assembly.  Everyone sang a special song, Waltzing Matilda, and then enjoyed a Kindergarten performance of a song about the Kookaburra.  
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  • Musicians from the Dominican Republic Visit St. B’s, March 6, 2018

    Boys in kindergarten, first grade, and seventh grade enjoyed special performances from musicians visiting from the DREAM Project’s Bachata Academy in the Dominican Republic.  St. B’s Old Boy Benjamin de Menil ’88 established the tuition-free academy in 2013 in an effort to help preserve the country’s musical tradition and to teach and encourage young musicians.
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    This week St. Bernard’s has been celebrating Diwali, the festival of lights.  Diwali marks the Hindu New Year, and it is one of the most important holidays in India.  This year Diwali celebrations began on October 30 and continued through November 3.
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    Carter G. Woodson, an African American historian, felt passionate about his mission to celebrate the history and accomplishments of black people in the United States.  While working to see his dream come to fruition, Woodson set the foundation for what is now known as Black History Month or African American History Month.  It is observed annually every February.  Since the 1970s United States presidents have issued national decrees with a theme each year.  This year’s theme for African American History Month is “Hallowed Grounds: Sites of African American Memories.”
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Faculty and staff attend diversity events, workshops, and conferences for professional development.  Members annually attend the NAIS People of Color Conference and the NYSAIS Diversity Conference.  The Faculty and Staff Diversity Committee researches speakers for presentations and develops workshops that foster ongoing dialogue about diversity amongst its members.


In class, an assembly, or a special scheduled event our boys’ education is enriched by speakers and performers from a variety of cultural backgrounds.  Students in Grades VIII and IX annually attend a greatly anticipated class trip abroad to experience and learn a different part of the world.  Recent classes have gone to Cuba, Japan, Morocco, Ecuador, and India.  Students go on field trips to take advantage of the rich culture of the city and surrounding areas.  Teachers enjoy the opportunity regularly to incorporate cultural lessons and activities into school life.  In addition, our students engage in community service and public purpose projects that nurture respect and understanding of the people and communities they serve.


St. Bernard’s School adheres to a long-standing policy of admitting students of any race, color, religion, and national or ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school.  It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sexual orientation, or national or ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, employment policies, scholarship and loan programs, or athletic and other school-administered programs.