About Us

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging

Equity and Inclusion Statement

St. Bernard’s School lives its mission to instill a good heart; this mission requires a diverse community that fosters openness to all identities, cultures, and perspectives.  The school should be a supportive place for a boy to develop his identity and learn from others.  Our motto, Perge Sed Caute, encourages us as individuals, and as an institution, to proceed with an awareness and willingness to stand up for what is right when confronted with prejudice and bias.  St. Bernard’s acknowledges that systemic racism and inequity pose fundamental threats to individual and collective progress in our community and in an increasingly complex world.  We believe that equity and inclusion must be foundations for a St. Bernard’s education in order for the boys to be able to cultivate fairness, responsibility, and justice.  We endeavor to be a diverse community of students, parents, faculty and staff, where every individual is equally valued and has a sense of belonging.

List of 7 items.

  • Good Heart Program

    Kindness, honesty, consideration for others, and responsibility to one’s community have been pillars of St. Bernard’s since its founding in 1904.  To formalize the teaching of these qualities the school has created a comprehensive program of character development.  Designed with the help of teachers, parents, psychologists, and administrators, the Good Heart program aims for each student from Kindergarten through Grade IX to become more aware of his identity, wants and needs, strengths and vulnerabilities, and to appreciate these things in other people.  Good Heart lessons take place every Thursday morning in the Junior and Middle schools, and they are integrated into weekly Upper School advisory meetings.
  • 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, assisted by the Board's Diversity Committee, supports and periodically assesses all aspects of equity and inclusion – mission statement; admissions, hiring, and retention practices; financial aid; curriculum; and community life – in order to promote St. Bernard’s equity and inclusion values.

    The committee encourages communication and collaboration with various stakeholders, including the Faculty & Staff Diversity Committee, the Old Boys Diversity Council, and the Parents Association Community Gathering Committee, regarding strategic goals and objectives which promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.  The committee is comprised of trustees, the Head of School, and the president of the Parents Association.
  • 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 Committee

    The St. Bernard’s Community Gathering Committee (CGC), under the support of the Parents Association, was founded in 2012  The committee seeks to foster a deeper understanding and appreciation of the diverse backgrounds and cultures within the St. Bernard’s community.  CGC 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.  In hosting these events, the committee hopes to bring greater education and awareness around issues related to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging within our community.
  • 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.  Next year's fair will be focused on Argentina.
  • 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 to individuals of any race, religion, ethnicity, socio-economic status, sex, and gender identity.  The council believes diversity is at the heart of our shared experiences as alumni and makes 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.

    Wearing the school blazer is a point of pride for every St. Bernard’s boy and 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.

DEIB Online Resources

Faculty, staff, Old Boys, and parents compiled a collection of online material for the adults in our community to learn about a variety of topics related to anti-racism, diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.

SCHOOL LIFE & PROGRAM

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.  This year the Upper School has introduced a Social Justice prize for a piece of writing concerned with questions of equity, opportunity, and fairness.  This year’s topic was, “What a fair society means to me.”

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.  There are also affinity groups for the faculty and staff.

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.

COMMUNITY EVENTS

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  • Discussions on Civic Engagement with the MCNY and a MLK Assembly

    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.
    Read More >

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  • CGC Jewish Museum Tours

    The Community Gathering Committee is pleased to report the Jewish Museum visits were a success.  Located just down the street from St Bernard’s School, the Jewish Museum sits at the intersection of art and Jewish culture by educating through themes that are relevant to the shared human experience.  
    Four tours allowed over fifty members of the St. Bernard's community to visit the Jewish Museum, many for the first time.  By focusing on age-appropriate approaches, the talented educators expertly engaged those in attendance through private guided tours.
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  • Justin Brown ’96 Returns to St. Bernard’s

    Old Boy Justin Brown ‘96 visited St. Bernard’s last week.  Justin is a co-founder of MASS Design Group, a non-profit architecture firm with an inspiring mission, to promote social justice and human dignity through the built environment.  Justin gave a presentation of his work to the Upper School boys and then visited a fifth grade social justice class.
    Read More >

SPECIAL EVENTS & TRIPS

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.  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.

The Parents Association Community Gathering Committee meets to discuss relevant topics, to invite speakers, and to plan workshops and activities.  The school also organizes lectures and other events for the students throughout the year.  Most recently, groups have visited the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Apollo Theater, the Jewish Museum, and the Museum of the City of New York. 

COMMUNITY BOOKS

Each summer, boys in grades V-IX and the faculty are asked to read a the same book and return to school in September ready to discuss the book as a community.  The Community Book inspires rich conversations about different cultures and perspectives.

DIVERSITY PARTNERS

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.  We are honored to collaborate with and attend events put on by the following organizations.

Equity & Inclusion Faculty Team

List of 5 members.

  • Nadine Thomas 

    Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging
  • Yolanda Dublin 

    Director of Human Resources
  • Zachary Kahn 

    Psychologist
  • Ramon Rodriguez 

    Head of Psychological Services, Guidance Counselor, Art
  • Alexandra Shalvoy 

    Co-Director of the Good Heart Program, Crafts

COMMITMENT

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.