Why St. Bernard’s?

By the time your son graduates he will...

memorize and recite over twenty poems, present a report about his favorite book and current event at least three times, and participate in a dozen debates.  He will play soccer, baseball, basketball, lacrosse, and run with an Olympic athlete in Central Park.  He will build an exploding volcano, a bridge that is tested for strength by weight, and a roller coaster.  He will perform in a Shakespeare play in front of an audience of hundreds.  He will stomp through the fields of Gettysburg and recite The New Colossus while gazing at the Statue of Liberty.  He will design an enclosure for a raw egg to prevent it from cracking after dropping it from the fifth floor.  He will conjugate verbs in Latin as he studies the language for three years.  He will design a Calavera in honor of an ancestor and participate in an art showHe will learn the choreography of a famous ballet and dance at the American Ballet Theatre Workshop studios.  He will step into an Egyptian temple at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, explore the Museum of Modern Art and the Natural History Museum, and hike through the Cloud Forest in Ecuador.  He will write a book of poetry and illustrate it.  He will read aloud to boys in kindergarten and first grade.  He will eat Jamaican patties, Chinese dumplings, Cajun jambalaya, and English Shepherd’s pie.  He will learn at least fifteen famous stories from Greek Mythology.  He will construct the scene of a Civil War battle.  He will have the opportunity to make sandwiches for those in need at least fourteen times.  He will deliver four memorized speeches to an audience of 100.  He will create an original short film or build a computer from scratch.  He will draw a to-scale map of Europe, the Middle East, and Northern Africa from memory.  He will practice the skill of a good handshake several hundred times.  He will make life-long friends


List of 5 items.

  • Why an all-boys school?

    After over one hundred years working with boys, we like to think we know them pretty well.  We know how boys learn and in which environments they learn best.  We know how to engage them and how to sustain their attention.  We know when to challenge and when to nurture.  We feed off their energy and enthusiasm and create lessons and classes that allow boys to be themselves, confidently take risks, eagerly explore new subjects, and connect deeply with their classmates and teachers.  We appreciate each boy for his unique contribution to the community, and seek to build his confidence and pride in his individuality.  Boys at St. Bernard’s feel comfortable, appreciated, and happy.

    St. Bernard's is a founding member of the International Boys School Coalition (IBSC).  In their words, “In engaging and supportive single-sex environments, students explore their values and establish a foundation for making responsible decisions; they explore their own definitions of self, who they are, and who they want to become; they learn to forge healthy relationships; they step out of their comfort zone to explore their full potential.”

    For more information about the benefits of boys’ schools, please visit the IBSC website.

  • Why an elementary school?

    A St. Bernard’s education is tailored to the unique developmental needs, interests, and capabilities of young children.  Boys here stay young longer.  We take an interest in their love of trains and outer space; we let them drop eggs out of windows during a physics lesson; we arrange the schedule so that first graders have gym twice a day, every day.  Boys here feel appreciated, protected, and nurtured.

    At the same time, we know that small boys are capable of big things, and here they have myriad opportunities to shine and excel.  It’s not the senior headed soon to college who steals the spotlight here, but the first grader who recites his first poem on stage, the fifth grader who explodes a reproduction of Mt. Vesuvius at the science fair, and the fourth grade class representative discussing his ideas with the headmaster who gets the accolades.  St. Bernard’s boys become leaders sooner.

    By the time he enters our Upper School, a St. Bernard’s boy and his parents have a much clearer sense of his learning style, his passions, and his academic needs.  They can choose a high school based on who he is at thirteen, and not who he was at five.  He will have the strongest of academic foundations to excel in any ongoing school and he will always have a home at St. Bernard’s.
  • How diverse is the St. Bernard’s student body and faculty?

    St. Bernard’s is devoted to the pursuit of academic excellence, and we welcome all who share in this passion.  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 approximately 50 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 over 50 countries and speak over 25 languages.
  • Do boys receive homework?

    Yes.  Homework encourages responsibility, independence, and organization.  It gives a boy the opportunity to practice and develop what he has learned in class and to do creative exploring on his own.  By the time he leaves, a St. Bernard’s boy is well prepared for the rigors of high school.  He effectively organizes his belongings, plans his time, and works efficiently.  He will not have to learn good study habits as a fifteen year-old at a new school; instead he will be able to focus entirely on new classes and material.

    Although we rely on homework to build skill and support our curriculum, we are mindful that free play and extracurricular activities are vital components of young boys’ lives.  We are careful not to overwhelm boys and make sure that homework levels remain age-appropriate.  As boys enter Middle School a daily ‘prep’ period is incorporated into their schedules.  Boys may use this time to start homework, meet informally with teachers, or read quietly.  We work collaboratively on a test calendar so that many tests or projects are not assigned on the same day.  Teachers at every level think carefully about the appropriate amount of homework.  Our graduates tell us that St. Bernard’s creates a perfect balance of work and play.
  • Where do boys go to high school and college?

    St. Bernard’s has an excellent, long-standing reputation with high schools in the city and boarding schools throughout the country.  Our graduates are known for their kindness, depth of knowledge, work-ethic, enthusiasm for a wide-range of passions, and the ability to communicate confidently and with poise, among other qualities. Boys attend a wide range of boarding and day schools.  Approximately 85% of our graduates are admitted to their top preference.  Roughly one-half of the boys choose to go to boarding school and one-half attend a city school.  In the past three years boys have attended the following schools with greatest frequency (in alphabetical order):

    Boarding Schools
    Philips Andover
    Philips Exeter
    St. Andrew’s
    St. Paul’s

    Day Schools
    Bronx Science
    Brooklyn Tech.
    Friends Seminary
    Grace Church
    Horace Mann
    Packer Collegiate

    University of Chicago
    University of Pennsylvania