Student Support

At St. Bernard’s, we strive to make each student feel that they are a valued member of our community.   Being successful academically is only a small part of this process.  The Student Support Services Department, which is composed of the Learning and Psychological Support teams, works collaboratively to ensure that each St. Bernard’s student receives the learning and emotional support they need.  As part of supporting each individual student, the group works closely with parents, teachers, and administrators to facilitate a learning and social-emotional environment that will bring out the best in each child and in the community as a whole.


Through the Learning Support Department the school provides individualized remediation (and accommodations), and supplies group and individual special instruction at school.  It also arranges for evaluations, tutoring, or additional services when needed.  Members of the department work closely with teachers, parents, and outside specialists to ensure that each boy receives appropriate support that will help him to thrive in the classroom.

In kindergarten, a speech and language consultant tests every boy in the fall term, and the reading specialist, who is the head of special learning, checks a boy’s progress in phonemic awareness and word recognition in the winter.  Reading support continues throughout the Junior, Middle, and Upper schools.

An Upper School teacher teaches Windward writing skills and executive functioning classes to seventh grade boys with language exemption.  Additionally, a math specialist works with small groups of boys in third and fourth grades who have math weaknesses.

If referral outside the school seems helpful, parents, teachers, division heads, and the head of school may meet to discuss further steps.  It is important that parents and the school work together and keep each other informed of developments.


The Psychological Services Department wears a variety of hats within the St. Bernard’s School Community.   The team consists of a full-time Guidance Counselor and a full-time Clinical Psychologist.  Their principal role is to provide psychological support to all students, which is done in collaboration with families, teachers, and administrators.  These services include: short-term therapy; parent consultations; coordination of additional mental health services; collaboration with faculty and administrators; and parent discussion groups.  Dr. Kahn and Mr. Rodriguez also oversee the Good Heart program, the advisory program, the Grade V Social Justice class, and the Grade IV Good Guy Class.

Student Support Services Department

List of 6 members.

  • Amy Cestra 

    Junior School Learning Specialist
  • Eric Hill 

    Physical Education, Learning Support
  • Zachary Kahn 

  • Isabel Meltzer 

    Middle School Learning Specialist
  • Ramon Rodríguez 

    Head of Psychological Services, Guidance Counselor
  • Elliott Smith 

    Head of Middle and Upper School Learning Support