In early January, St. Bernard School Headmaster Don Macrino and the administration became concerned by the reports of a virus impacting Wuhan, China and the closure of schools there. Watching the situation carefully, faculty and administration created a contingency plan that would enable St. Bernard students to seamlessly continue their studies through remote learning if needed.
To prepare for virtual instruction, Technology Coordinator and computer science teacher Ann Marie Jakubielski added workshops and increased the school’s technology resource library support for teachers. She continues to update our resources and provide additional training.
As a school moving toward one-to-one computing, many of our students already had a Chromebook. However, those students who were without their own computer were given a Chromebook to use for their studies. This enabled all St. Bernard students to continue following the curriculum at home.
Using a variety of programs and platforms, students have been able to keep up with their studies and even go on “field trips” and participate in several educational activities. In addition to instructing the students, teachers and staff reach out with encouraging messages, personal tutoring sessions, and prayers letting students and families know that we are all in this together.
‘Scholarship, Spirit and Community’ are hallmarks of a Saint Bernard Education. As a Catholic school, it is important to not only engage students academically but also spiritually. Campus Minister Suzanne Haulotte and theology teachers Jim Leone, Johanna Reilly and Paul Servideo post daily prayers for the students. Parents are invited to pray the rosary each Friday with Mrs. Haulotte.
We are not only a community of learners, we are a family with traditions. Unfortunately, we cannot gather at this time to share our spring traditions. Events that St. Bernard students look forward to each spring such as Spirit Week, Grandparents Mass & Luncheon, and Sibling Spotlight have become virtual events. New memories are also being made with the SBS Chalk Challenge, Senior Spotlight, Share Your Hobby and the Saints Strong Stay-Fit-Stay Healthy-Stay Safe program. SBS teachers got into the spirit by lip-synching the Beach Boys song, “Be True to Your School.”
“I applaud our teachers, students and parents for the wonderful job they have done under such difficult circumstances,” Headmaster Macrino said. “We are all praying for a return to some sense of normalcy and look forward to the time when we can all gather together in person once again.”
By Kim Hodge