On Thursday, November 1, the third grade traveled downtown to New York City’s Tenement Museum. We arrived a little early, but the weather was glorious: blue skies and a temperature of around 60 degrees, so it was fine for us to line up and wait outside.
Many St. Bernard’s students have welcomed the routine of meditation into their school days. Teachers throughout the school are giving their students tools to check in with themselves and create a meditative practice that works.
Kindergarten students visited the Museum of Modern Art for their first field trip of the year. They were lucky to arrive at the museum before it opened and enjoyed a private tour of some highlights in the permanent collection.
The community service club wrote letters of appreciation to local veterans receiving medical care at the James J. Peters Veterans Affairs Medical Center. They plan to deliver these letters in person on Tuesday, November 6, and spend time with the local veterans.
St. Bernard’s students, faculty, and staff rave about the delicious, healthy dishes that are offered to them for lunch each day. Chef Wells and her team arrive at 6:30 a.m. each day, and within a few short hours, serve hot and cold dishes to almost 500 hungry St. B’s boys, teachers, and staff.
On Thursday, September 27, the entire fourth grade took a break from city life and ventured into the woods upstate. They traveled to the Taconic Outdoor Education Center in Fahnestock Memorial State Park, also known as the “The Four Season Park,” for a day of games, problem solving, and team-building exercises.
St. Bernard’s Junior School is full of learning, growing, and fun, but don’t take our word for it. This week we spoke with some third graders to learn the inside perspective, and fun was a word that every boy used when describing third grade.
On June 7, 2018, the St. Bernard’s community gathered to bid farewell to Jean Leness and Hector Muñoz. With over eighty years of teaching and coaching at St. B’s between them, it is hard to imagine the school without them.
A Middle School rite of passage is Mr. Demeny’s downtown trip. St. Bernard’s fifth graders were excited to experience this for themselves on May 30, 2018. Mr. Demeny introduced the downtown trip to the boys with a quote from Heraclitus, “The only thing that is constant is change.”
An oversized jar filled with gummy bears appeared in the lobby last week. This mysterious jar was placed there by the newly founded Animal Protection Club and was an important part of their first fundraiser.
St. B’s kindergarten boys took a trip back in time on their recent visits to The Met Cloisters. After learning about knights and medieval times the boys were eager to explore the four cloisters, chapels, halls, and gardens.
Sixth grade boys have spent the school year studying American history. Their curriculum in the classroom has been complemented with field trips exploring Revolutionary War battlefields in Brooklyn, Alexander Hamilton’s grave in Trinity Church Cemetery, Federal Hall, and historical sites in Philadelphia and Gettysburg.
On Friday, May 11, 2018 the seventh graders went out on the town for lunch. The grade went to three different restaurants: some to Benoit on 55th Street with Madame Boyer-Robert, Mr. Bowcock, and Madame de Haugoubart; some to La Nacional on 14th Street with Messrs. Rodiño, Barrientos, and Kitson; and others to Katz’s Deli on the Lower East Side with Mr. Merrill.
Stuart Johnson, Dean Kripalani, Kate Fiscus, and Megan Reitzas traveled to California to visit the St. B’s west coast family. On April 30, twenty-five Old Boys, past parents, grandparents, and friends gathered in Los Angeles to hear news of the school and share fond memories. This reception was generously hosted by Sara and Mario Rodriguez.
St. Bernard’s is fortunate to be located within walking distance of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Over the years teachers have taken advantage of this rich resource and exposed their students to historical objects, artwork, and special exhibitions that are related to their curriculum. This year is no different. In recent weeks, kindergarten boys and seventh grade boys visited the Met and explored specific wings of the museum.
Angela Duckworth, the author of Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance and founder of Character Lab, visited St. Bernard’s on May 3, 2018. Current parent, Samantha B., led a discussion with Ms. Duckworth focused on the concepts of grit, practice, and character.
St. Bernard’s sixth grade class traveled to Philadelphia and Gettysburg from Tuesday, April 24, to Thursday, April 26. The boys learned about the important documents and events that shaped the country in which they live.
On April 11, the St. Bernard’s community came together for a screening of the new documentary, The Workers Cup, which was produced by St. B’s parent, Dennis P. The film premiered on opening night of the Sundance film festival, and will have its theatrical premiere on Friday, June 8, in New York City at the Museum of the Moving Image and in Los Angeles at the Laemmle Theater.
Second graders took a walk to the Museum of the City of New York this week and were transported back in time. Through careful observation of artifacts, including a three dimensional map of the tip of Manhattan (created in 1660), the boys learned about the early history of New York City.
In celebration of Earth Day, St. Bernard’s School joined other independent schools for a “Student Rally for the Earth” on Sunday, April 22. They gathered to celebrate the Earth, to educate others, and to inspire New Yorkers to care for the Earth.
On Tuesday, April 17, we welcomed back to the school parents and Old Boys from the class of 2009. Former faculty members, including Ms. Kronengold, Mrs. FitzGerald, Ms. Walton, and Mr. Neff returned to St. Bernard’s to catch up with their former students.
Michael O’Hanlon, senior fellow in foreign policy at the Brookings Institution, visited St. Bernard’s on April 11, 2018. He spoke with Upper School boys about his areas of expertise, including United States defense strategy, the use of military force, and American national security policy.
On Friday, April 6, St. B’s boys celebrated Japan with the annual multicultural fair. Boys received their customized multicultural fair passports and took a trip to Japan, embracing this year’s themes of matsuri (festival) and old meets new Japan.
Towards the end of the winter term, the ninth grade — accompanied by Madame de Haugoubart and Mr. Bowcock — set off on a busy trip to Spain and southern France. Half of the class is studying French and the other half Spanish, so this trip gave them an opportunity to practice their languages and to see some superb cultural sights.
On March 14, 2018, the small gym was fully transformed into annual science fair. Boys in grades IV through VIII presented their scientific research to fellow students, family members, teachers, and friends.
St. B’s boys have many chances to perform and become confident public speakers. Opportunities for public speaking begin in kindergarten, when boys step onto stage to recite poetry for their classmates and parents at a Junior School morning assembly.
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.
St. Bernard’s counseling department has launched a new program this year for parents called Coffee and Conversation. This series was established to encourage more direct communication between parents and guidance counselors. Ramon Rodriguez and Zachary Kahn have selected developmental, age-specific topics to present to small groups of parents in morning sessions, followed by a discussion.
Ninth graders enjoyed a special field trip on Tuesday, February 13. St. B’s father, Jason H., arranged a private tour of the current exhibition, Birds of a Feather: Joseph Cornell's Homage to Juan Gris, at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Middle School boys were treated to a visit from author Steve Sheinkin on February 14, 2018. This lecture was made possible by the Kronengold Authors Fund, which was established in 2016 by sixteen Old Boys who wanted to honor their former second-grade teacher, Ms. Kronengold, who taught them how to write and inspired a lifelong passion for reading.
On Saturday, February 3, St. Bernard’s math team competed in the annual MATHCounts Manhattan competition at Baruch College. The nine members of the team qualified by earning the highest scores on a preliminary exam that was given to all St. B’s students in Grades VI - VIII last fall.
Recently some signs have appeared in St. B’s hallways announcing the online publication of the Middle School newspaper, the 98th Street Post. We chatted with Maximilien P., the editor in chief, in an exclusive interview.
On Thursday, January 18, 2018, the Old Boys gathered for the 102nd Old Boys Dinner. Over two hundred Old Boys returned to St. Bernard’s to walk through the hallways, reminisce, and see the friendly faces of their childhood friends and former teachers.
Theater has been highly valued at St. Bernard’s since the school was founded in 1904. In addition to the annual Shakespeare play, which is performed by Grade VIII, each class in Grades I through VII performs a class play in an all-school assembly each school year.
Last Friday St. Bernard’s came together as a community to celebrate and honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in an all-school assembly. It was the perfect way to set the mood leading into the holiday weekend.
Over the holidays second graders delivered some special hand-made gifts to their loved ones. The boys had been working on these projects in their craft class in the weeks leading up to the winter holiday.