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.
COVID-19 has changed many of the rituals of a traditional Halloween. Trick-or-treating, gathering with friends - these all need to be modified in 2020. But the simple joys of the holiday are very much alive and well in the halls of St. B’s this week, providing a welcome reprieve from the world around us.
Over spring break, many in our community were thinking of the hospital workers who were sacrificing so much to fight this pandemic on the front lines. We were also concerned about our neighborhood restaurants that lost the majority of their business seemingly overnight. The Neighbors Assistance Fund was created in late March to help.
Over the last few weeks, the Parents Association organized a very special video for the St. Bernard’s faculty and staff. It is a heartwarming tribute that is indicative of the close-knit St. B’s community. We are all in this new adventure together and supporting one another through the challenges of being apart.
It is hard to put into words what has happened over the last several weeks in New York City and around the world. The new coronavirus, COVID-19, has wreaked such havoc on our lives, and we seem to be at the tip of the iceberg. At times like these, it seems wise to focus on things we can control. And although we are physically apart, the St. Bernard’s community has pulled together in amazing ways over the last several weeks to support our boys.
This year marks the tenth consecutive year St. Bernard’s has worked with the American Ballet Theatre, the world-renowned dance company. ABT held several workshops with the third grade which introduced the boys to the wonders of ballet.
by Grace B. and Jenn G., co-chairs of the Community Gathering Committee
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.
On this blustery winter morning, the students of St. Bernard’s were only thinking about one thing: the Raffle. For the month of February, boys have been buying raffle tickets for themselves, their family, and their teachers in the hopes to win one of over two hundred prizes. The culmination was a rousing ticket drawing in Friday Assembly.
At the end of the basketball season, the varsity teams take on their toughest (or at least oldest) opponent: the faculty. The seats in the seventh floor gym were filled to capacity as the rest of the school cheered on both sides. Eighth grader Fitz S. gives us a summary of the nail-biting game.
Roughly one-third of St. Bernard’s boys play a musical instrument outside of school, and during the winter term, several recitals are held to showcase their talent. This morning the Upper School musicians performed in front of the entire school assembly.
In 2016, a group of Old Boys established the Kronengold Fund in honor of their second grade teacher Susan Kronengold. The Fund brings an author to the school each year to speak to the boys. This year the Middle School had the pleasure of spending an hour with author Jack Gantos.
Third grade St. Bernard’s boys spend their winter term studying ancient Egypt. On February 10, the three Grade III classes took a walk down Fifth Avenue to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to take in its impressive collection of Egyptian art, artifacts, mummies, and of course the Temple of Dendur.
The first St. Bernard’s fencing class was in 1924. The 1925 budget describes fencing as an “exceptional demonstration of a sport which is pre-eminently delightful in its dignity, its history, and its picturesqueness.”
The St. Bernard’s community was fortunate to hear from William Stixrud, Ph.D., and Ned Johnson, authors of The Self-Driven Child: The Science and Sense of Giving Your Kids More Control Over Their Lives. The authors met with the faculty in the afternoon and in the evening, spoke to over one hundred parents in the small gym.
In December, family members of one of our school’s great masters, Donald Phelan, visited St. Bernard’s to reminisce about what the school meant to their father and grandfather, and also what he meant to St. Bernard’s.
On the 9th of January, the St. Bernard’s Speakers Bureau presented “A Conversation on Impeachment” with St. B’s parent Philip Bobbitt and Old Boy Benno Schmidt ’55. Over one hundred people filled the small gym to hear these two constitutional law experts discuss a topic that is on everyone’s minds.
St. Bernard’s has almost 5,000 Old Boys who have each followed their own unique path after their days on 98thStreet. John Rubinstein, a loyal Old Boy from the class of 1960, is an accomplished actor, composer, director, and teacher. As he fondly describes in this charming letter, John’s career in theater began at St. B’s.