Building a strong foundation
St. Bernard’s emphasizes in-depth teaching in the basic areas of reading, writing, math, science, social studies and religion.
Small classes allow a great deal of individual attention for students at all ability levels.
Writing is a part of every subject, not just English language arts. From first grade on, students are taught the writing process: planning, drafting, editing, revising and publishing. They do assigned and free writing in reports, journals and poems. By third grade they are learning the craft of persuasive writing, and by fifth grade their essays are smooth and disciplined.
Reading is considered precious and fun at St. Bernard’s, with most students starting chapter books in first grade. But it is also taught methodically, with multiple student assessments.
Reading aloud, to students and more importantly by students, is not directly part of the curriculum, but it is something St. Bernard’s has long emphasized. At monthly school Masses and weekly prayer services, children at all grade levels learn to read fearlessly to large audiences, an invaluable skill for later in life.
Science learning is hands-on and experimental, with help from updated science kits. Students’ science reports are interdisciplinary, involving research, library skills and writing. Science fair projects are done with class themes so each child’s work complements that of classmates.
Math: National Common Core standards were adopted this school year.
Beyond the basics: Specialists expand students’ horizons
“I make sure to make it a well rounded music curriculum, and (we also do) sacred music, something you can’t really do at public schools. … We have such a rich tradition of music in the church, and I’m able to connect the kids with that as well as things like musical theater and opera.” — George Cordes, music teacher
“Although it’s called art class, I really feel it’s a creativity class, and my aim is to inspire a child’s natural creativity". — Donna Foley, art teacher
Physical education teacher Deborah Neill and Mr. Dora team up to give students plenty of exercise. In January 2012, St. Bernard’s fitness program was honored with a first-place award in the Empire BlueCross Get Active Get Fit School Challenge.
Technology teacher Sandy Fiorile helps kids learn computer skills and typing. A SMART Board in almost every classroom integrates modern technology into daily learning.
Languages: French, Spanish and Italian are available after school from veteran teacher Odette Costa.
Library: This past fall, St. Bernard’s students cut a ribbon for the George Carley Memorial Library, renamed for a great friend and benefactor of the school. The library is being upgraded, partly thanks to Mr. Carley, and library classes have been enhanced to focus more on research skills.