“How did a small day care center transform into the largest Catholic elementary school in the diocese of Worcester? A dedicated community with a common vision can make great things happen!” - Grassroots
At a time when a new Catholic school was an unheard of venture, discussion occurred in St. Bernadette Parish about undertaking just such a project. Many families of the parish were interested in establishing an elementary school. After these discussions of 1994 and 1995, and with the enthusiastic support of the pastor, Father Chester J. Devlin the first phase of this initiative took place: a preschool and day care opened in the fall of 1996 with an enrollment of twenty-five students.
After consultation with members of the diocesan family, (the Bishop and the Superintendent of Schools) and also among various boards of the parish, (Pastoral Council, Finance Committee, Religious Education), a formal meeting about expansion was held in the spring of 1997. As a result, grades kindergarten through grade three opened in the fall of that year in the Pastoral Center bringing the total enrollment to 106 students.
During the 1997-1998 school years, a separate school building was designed and built to house the preschool through grade six. Miraculously, the school opened with 225 students and two classes of kindergarten and first and second grades in the fall of 1998. By 1999 the student body of 300 with the added seventh grade was too large for the building. Grades six and seven had to be housed in the Pastoral Center where the school had begun in 1996.
Because of the continued interest in the school a new academic wing and Activity Center were constructed the next year. In October of 2001, another building was added to accommodate the pre-school. Despite some downturn in the economy, enthusiasm for Catholic education in general and Saint Bernadette School in particular, has fostered continuing increase in enrollment in the intervening years.
Our present pre-kindergarten through grade 8 enrollment stands in excess of 400 students. We realize and are grateful for the keen sense of awareness and appreciation of our school among our parents, grandparents, parishioners, and friends. Saint Bernadette School prides itself on a traditionally structured environment. We are proud to offer a challenging math curriculum, a g1obal social studies program, an expressive music and art program, a comprehensive Spanish curriculum, an introductory Latin program as well as competitive, co-educational sports. Our academic programs incorporate technology in the classroom setting. We offer a morning pre-kindergarten program, a full day kindergarten program, and continue to provide after-school, enrichment and extended day programs. Moreover, our curriculum has been continuously upgraded to keep pace with the demands of a competitive educational market.
St. Bernadette School community draws on the faith, hopes, strengths and collaborative efforts of clergy, religious and laity, administrators, teachers, staff members and students, parents, volunteers, parishioners and others. This collaborative effort creates and provides for a strong Catholic education for young people. Members of the parent body join together to support the school through The Parent Guild. With a board of officers, term limited, and collaborating with the Principal, they strive to enhance the life of the school community through voluntary efforts, which enable the school to fulfill its spiritual, educational and fiduciary mandates.
We share the belief that St. Bernadette School will best fulfill its mission when the concerns of all its constituents are heard and addressed in a manner that reflects the dignity of each person associated with our school and in the light of the Gospel. St. Bernadette School is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)
SBS Shield Symbolism
In our daily lives we encounter many symbols that are almost immediately associated with people, places, and consumer goods. In an effort to create a recognizable logo for St. Bernadette School, eighth grade students were invited to submit designs for a school crest. After reviewing many designs submitted by a group of highly motivated students, the new St. Bernadette School logo was chosen.
Designed by Brennan Elliot, an SBS 2006 graduate, the logo includes graphics that depict important symbols associated with our patroness St. Bernadette and our school mission. The crest is divided into four sections with symbols of Mary, Our Lady of Lourdes, a globe to represent both the universality of our Church and our community, a book to symbolize both the academic program and the Bible, and the cross, a reminder of Jesus who is at the center of our lives as students, teachers, administrators, parents and friends. The shield was updated in 2014 in order to add a second ribbon recognizing St. Bernadette School as a 2014 National Blue Ribbon recipient.
The school logo is included on school letterhead, clothing and in countless other materials and has, indeed, become recognized as a symbol of St. Bernadette School throughout the Diocese of Worcester and the Metrowest area.