The Future of St. Bernard’s

Starts With You

Supporting a Future for St. Bernard’s...

...where students will learn and grow as they prepare to become servant leaders in an ever-changing world.

...where students will feel known and valued, inspired from within with a sense of self-respect, self-awareness, and self-confidence.

...where students will participate in a rich, multidimensional educational experience in a Christ-centered, student-focused, college preparatory environment.

...where, with the support of alumni and friends, all students will be able to enroll, regardless of their financial circumstances.

...where a dedicated and independent board of alumni and community leaders will partner with administrators and faculty to set the course for its future.

Our Heritage

For nearly 100 years, St. Bernard’s Central Catholic High School has provided an exceptional Catholic education in Northern Worcester County.  It has educated and prepared students for the rigors of college and to lead fulfilling and productive lives through their Catholic faith.

The school grew from being described at its opening as one that would “educate the boys and girls of the city” into one that has recently enrolled students hailing from twenty-six different cities, two states, and seven countries.

Over 12,000 students have graduated from St. Bernard’s.  These men and women became servant leaders in their chosen professions and in the Church and today, Bernardians continue to lead both locally and around the globe.

Today’s students are preparing to become servant leaders who will embrace the school’s maxim to “Love One Another.”

Our Challenge

Catholic High Schools face challenges across the country from which St. Bernard’s is not immune.  In 2008-2009, the school enrolled 434 students, but today, enrollment is down to 105. This is because local families have too often chosen alternatives, most commonly due to the cost of tuition, and while the school’s enrollment has always fluctuated, this most recent trend has caused financial losses to mount.  

As a Diocesan School, administration and finances had been centrally controlled in the Diocese of Worcester.  For the past several years, the Diocese has covered the School’s operating deficit; however, in July of 2019, the Diocese announced that the 2019-2020 academic year would be the last year it could fund such a deficit.

This scenario has played out in other communities around the country, and understanding how others have succedded will give us the opportunity to write the next chapter of this story.

Choosing Our Path

No one wants to see St. Bernard’s High School cease to exist, so a committed group of parents, alumni, and community members have been working diligently to understand the potential paths forward.

This team has worked closely with the Diocese and the local Parish to review and discuss the best organizational model for the 2020-2021 academic year, and beyond.  They have also received advice and counsel from other schools across the country which have successfully transitioned away from a centralized Diocesan model.

The most viable options considered were either to: (1) operate as a parochial school under the umbrella of St. Bernard Parish or (2) become an independent private religious high school, with local control handed over to an independent Board of Trustees.

After much thoughtful consideration and discussion, the Diocese and the transition team agreed that the most viable path forward is for St. Bernard’s to become an independent Catholic religious high school.

Our Strategic Vision

The new St. Bernard’s High School will provide a comprehensive college preparatory curriculum, including enrichment in the fine arts, theology, and community service.  The academic program will be further bolstered by extracurricular programs that will promote teamwork, leadership, social-emotional development, and physical well-being.

  1. Academic Excellence: Provide a rich, multidimensional educational experience rooted in the scholastic methods of top-tier colleges and challenge students to achieve to their fullest potential, while instilling within them a lifelong love of learning.

  2. Faculty and Staff Excellence: Attract, empower, develop, and retain dedicated professionals who are committed to self-improvement and advancing student outcomes.

  3. Operational and Financial Excellence: Ensure financial sustainability through budgetary planning and discipline, by securing financial resources, and by making strategic investments that will increase revenue and control costs.

  4. Enrollment Management & Growth: Increase enrollment by promoting St. Bernard’s to target audiences and by implementing a strategic plan for admissions and financial aid.

  5. Catholic Identity: Continue to integrate our Catholic heritage and give each student the opportunity to grow spiritually.

  6. Facilities: Maintain and improve the School, Activity Center, and Bernardian Bowl so they model the appearance of a well-maintained private school campus.

Your Help

Your investment is critical to realizing this vision for St. Bernard’s future. 

Your support will continue the tradition of St. Bernard’s and ensure that it continues to be a strong, local option for students in Northern Worcester County and beyond.

  1. STB Principal’s Fund: Gifts to the Principal’s Fund will provide unrestricted support to the School, helping the board and the school’s leadership to implement its visionary strategic plan.

  2. STB Scholarship Fund: Gifts to the Scholarship Fund will provide direct student support and be awarded as need- and merit-based scholarships to incoming and continuing students, ensuring that all students will be able to attend St. Bernard’s regardless of their financial circumstances.

  3. STB Faculty Fund: Gifts to the Faculty Fund will provide direct support to members of the faculty, ensuring that the school can attract and retain educators who are committed to improving themselves and enhancing student outcomes.

  4. STB Athletics & Extracurricular Fund: Gifts to the STB Athletics & Extracurricular Fund will support athletic and extracurricular programs, ensuring that the school can attract and retain coaches to teach student athletes how to be leaders and advisors who will set students on their path to success in college and beyond.