Our School

Exterior of the school

At St. Bernard Catholic School, we are called to celebrate and nurture the God-given talents of each student as we serve with excellence in the light of Christ. We recognize our call to love and serve from our Master teacher Jesus Christ, and we are committed to creating a Catholic learning community under the protection of Mother Mary.

The Catholic Graduate Expectations are our foundation as we strive for academic excellence and the acknowledgement of those who achieve it. We recognize God as the source of all life and actively work to focus on social issues within our local and global communities.

We celebrate the diversity within our community with a collaborative approach to learning, in cooperation with parents, the Catholic faith community, and other organizations that recognize the value of our mission. Within the context of Catholic teaching and Sacramental living, our school community strives to demonstrate respect and reverence for all life, thus nurturing a safe, Christian environment for the entire school community.

2017 - 2018 School Year Calendar

Our Board's 2017 - 2018 School Year Calendar is now available. Please subscribe to our school calendar webpage to receive the latest updates and emails on upcoming events and activities happening at school.

Patron Saint

Our patron saint is St. Bernard. He was born in 1090 in the chateau of his family in Dijon in Burgundy, France, Bernard led a carefree life until the year 1113, when he persuaded three of his brothers, one of his uncles, and 27 friends to enter the new and strict monastery of the Benedictine rule at Citeaux. So impressive was the young Bernard's commitment to the reformed monastic ideals that after two years, the Abbot of Citeaux sent him to establish a community at Clairvaux in Champagne. From Bernard's new foundation, no fewer than 68 monasteries sprang - including Fountains and Rievaulx in Britain. Bernard's pupils were as famous and important as his monastic foundations. In 1145, one of them (Eugenius III) was elected pope, and never forgot to whom he owed his deep spirituality. Bernard had the authority to decide between rival popes and persuade the wayward rulers of Europe to support his choice. He inspired countless Europeans to follow Emperor Konrad III and King Louis VII on the second crusade. Bernard is regarded as the real founder of the Cistercian Order, for he brought it out of obscurity and into the centre of Christendom. He was canonized in 1174, and in 1830 was formally declared a doctor of the Church. He is now universally called Doctor mellifluous, the Honey-Sweet Doctor. Bernard died at Clairvaux in 1153. His feast day is August 20.

School prayer

Our school prayer is 

God is a peace-filled presence in our midst;
Make us an instrument of your peace.
Grant us the grace to see Jesus in all people.
Peace comes with forgiveness;
Help us to take the first steps to forgiving.
Holy Spirit, help us to be people of love, joy and peace.
Amen.

Child Care services

We are pleased to partner with P.R.Y.D.E. Learning Centre to provide a full time child care services and before and after school care at St. Bernard Catholic School. Call our child care partner at 905-430-8598 to learn more about our services.

School hours

Our school hours are as follows:

8:30 a.m. -School begins
9:55 to 10:10 a.m. - Morning Recess
11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. - Lunch
1:40 to 1:55 p.m. - Afternoon Recess
3:00 p.m. - Dismissal

Philosophy

As Catholic educators, we live according to our Father's code and to lead our students, by example, to live the basic truths of the gospel message. This is an awesome, yet inspiring challenge which we share with the parents of our young men and women.

Children learn what they live. Each day we have the opportunity to teach our students:

  • to love by the way we love;
  • to be generous by our generosity;
  • to be passionate by our compassion; and
  • to be forgiving by the way we forgive.

However, a person cannot give what he or she does not have. Unless we are living the Gospel message, we cannot lead our students to do so.

There are many hallmarks of a Catholic educator, including:

  • Prayer - The challenges of our vocation, and indeed life in general, are great. To meet them we need to follow Christ's advice that we "ask the father in My name". Each Catholic educator has a duty to expose students to his or her particular style of prayer in order to assist students to recognize the value of prayer in daily life.
  • Eucharist - Parish, school, and staff liturgies provide opportunities to celebrate our faith. Our example can testify to the Eucharist as a joyful source of strength and community building.
  • Social Justice - This is the heart of the Christian message, that we "love one another as I have loved you". As our brother's and sister's keepers, we must be concerned about the aged, the poor, the oppressed, and any other marginalized group - both at home and abroad.

Links

Below are links to resources to help you achieve success while at St. Bernard Catholic School.

Principals

Below is a list of past and present principals at St. Bernard Catholic School:

  • John Hollowaty (1989-1995)
  • John Nichols (1995-2000)
  • Lenore Bernard (2000-2006)
  • Catherine Hermans (2006-2008)
  • Janine Bowyer (2008-2012)
  • Liam O'Brien (2012 - 2015)
  • Kathryn Hadden (2015 - present)

School history

The first Catholic school in Whitby was built in 1860 on Brock Street South at Dunlop Street. This building was sold and another school on Palace Street was constructed. Eventually, the Palace Street school became a two-family dwelling. In 1923, the property at the corner of Dundas Street West at Centre Street was purchased and a two-room school was opened. At this time it was named St. Bernard Catholic School. Two classrooms, an auditorium and an office were added in 1950.

By 1969, St. Bernard Catholic School was a junior school with classes for Kindergarten through Grade 5, and a student enrolment of 152. The school officially closed in 1975. The building was demolished in 1987 to make way for a medical centre.

The current St. Bernard Catholic School at 1000 Dryden Boulevard opened in 1989, at a temporary site at the St. John the Evangelist School Annex (now known as the Giffard Centre). The school had a staff of 23 teachers and its first principal was John Holowaty.

In September 1990, the school moved into the present facility. Bishop Clune blessed the new school at its official opening in April 1991. In the fall of 1992, even with the addition of a six-room relocatable classroom module, portables were needed. Over the intervening years, the school population peaked at over 700 students. The population has been declining over the last few years as the surrounding neighbourhoods have aged. In 2012, the population was 335.

Although principals, teachers, support staff, students and families have come and gone over the last 23 years, one thing has remained constant: the pride everyone takes in celebrating the community of St. Bernard Catholic School. In the first few years, the staff of St. Bernard worked hard to develop the community spirit of the new school. The highlight of the first years in St. Bernard's history were the school productions the staff created, such as the musical production of The Sound of Music. In the next chapter of St. Bernard's history, the highlight was the school-wide themes that enveloped every class: the Under the Sea theme, for example, had the library painted to look like an aquarium. In the next chapter of St. Bernard's history, the parent community rallied together to support Camp Oochigeas, a camp for children with cancer. Hoops for Ooch became a 10-year tradition at St. Bernard that not only raised over $60,000 for Camp Oochigeas, but also earned the Catholic School Council the Board Award of Merit for its efforts in 2006. The current chapter in St. Bernard's history is highlighted by the lively and spirited monthly Celebrates assemblies, where the arts as well as the achievements of individual students, classes or teams are celebrated. The staff have worked hard over the past few years to create an annual Parent Night in February that celebrates the work of the students and helps parents understand how the work is connected to the curriculum and current pedagogical practices.

The St. Bernard community has had much to celebrate over the past 23 years. The school has had the good fortune to have staff members who are more than willing to give of their free time to enhance the school community. And the staff commitment has been matched with a commitment from a strong group of parent volunteers who are just as committed to helping the community be the best it can be!

Contact us

We welcome your questions, comments and concerns.

Principal: Ms. K. Hadden
St. Bernard Catholic School
1000 Dryden Blvd.
Whitby, ON  L1R 2A2

Phone: (905) 668-3772
Fax: (905) 668-6466

 

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