About

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Saint Bernadette Catholic School, located in the Morris Cove section of New Haven, was dedicated as a school within the Archdiocese of Hartford in 1957.Under the direction of Reverend Charles L. Hewitt, Pastor of St. Bernadette Parish, school construction began in August 1956. One year later, the Most Reverend Henry O’Brien, Archbishop of Hartford, dedicated the school.

The Dominican Sisters of the Congregation of St. Catherine of Sienna of Fall River, Massachusetts initially staffed the school. The Dominican Sisters taught at the school for 31 years, until their withdrawal in 1988. This withdrawal was due to declining vocations within their order. The school is now staffed by lay teachers and administration that continue to educate the children of St. Bernadette parish in the religious morals and values of the Catholic faith.

In 1986, the Archdiocesan School Office Accreditation Committee certified the school with a five-year accreditation. This accreditation was updated in 1991 and again in 2009, with commendation. The mission of St. Bernadette Catholic School in 1957 was to provide a Catholic elementary education to the children of St. Bernadette Parish. While the school continues to serve the Parish in large part, its population has widened to include students from as far east as Guilford and as far north as Wallingford; which are both suburbs of New Haven. The doors of the school are open to children of all faiths, in order to further the Catholic mission of evangelization. Today, St. Bernadette Catholic School is a Christian community dedicated to an education based on academic excellence, technological literacy, and the principles of the Catholic faith.

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The school was originally designed to accommodate grades one through nine, and remained so until 1966. At that time, the construction of Catholic High Schools in the area accommodated grade nine students. St. Bernadette School continued to educate children in grades one through eight until 1985. In that year, St. Bernadette opened its first full day Kindergarten class. In 1992, the Pre-Kindergarten classes for three and four year old students were added to the academic program at the school. The addition of these two programs led to an increase in enrollment. For the 1997-1998 school year, classes from Pre-Kindergarten through Grade Two were one hundred percent full with waiting lists. Grades Three and Four were at ninety percent capacity.

In 1979, the Reverend John J. Georgia, co-Pastor and Priest-Director of the school, commissioned the first St. Bernadette School Board. Since its inception, the School Board has done much to improve the spiritual, academic, and financial well being of the school. The School Board is an advisory body composed of parents, past parents, parishioners, and members of the greater community. The Board works with the Priest-Director ad Principal in assessing the financial and long-term development of the school.

In the five years following, St. Bernadette Catholic School underwent major changes within its curriculum. Grades six through eight were departmentalized in order for the students to draw upon the academic strengths of individual teachers. Student preparation for the challenges of Secondary School was enhanced by this departmental approach. The results of this change are made fully evident by the acceptance rates of our students into all the private and parochial high schools in Connecticut, including Fairfield Prep, Lauralton Hall, Sacred Heart Academy, Notre Dame of West Haven, Notre Dame of Fairfield, Miss Porter’s School, Hopkins, and Choate Rosemary Hall, to name but a few. Alumni have returned to St. Bernadette School to express their gratitude for the exceptional preparation they received as elementary students. They believe that their success in both secondary and higher education is directly attributable to the strong foundation built at St. Bernadette Catholic School.

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In 1996, the school added a fifteen-station state of the art computer lab to the library. The computer lab was moved to a room dedicated to technology in 1995. Today there are multiple computers in every classroom and in the Early Education Center (formerly called the Pre-Kindergarten.) The Lab itself contains seventeen computers, with two more workstations in the library proper. All computers in the school are fully networked and the building is now wireless capable. Students have Internet access throughout the building and can access their own files securely for creation, modification, and printing from any workstation in the building. Digital cameras are available for student and teacher use. Teachers are equipped with laptop technology, digital projection equipment, and smart boards. There are now formal computer education classes for students in grades one through eight. Students and teachers make use of the computer equipment as integral parts of all parts of the curriculum. Training in the use and integration of technology is an on-going part of staff development. The Library Media Center has been central to the augmentation of traditional classroom programs at St. Bernadette Catholic School.

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The history of Saint Bernadette Catholic School is a story of challenge and growth. The faculty and administration constantly seek to improve the curriculum and program in order to provide a quality education, firmly rooted in the principles of the catholic faith. The school responded to the challenge of technology integration in the classroom and society by accepting and incorporating technology into the school program. Above all, our Catholic identity is alive and well. Students, faculty, and parents at Saint Bernadette Catholic School are a charitable and caring community. The support and concern for the greater new Haven community is a vital example of our Catholic faith in action.