St. Bernard’s Catholic School was opened on September 17, 1958, with grades one, two and three. The south side of the school was left undivided and served as a Parish Hall until 1960 when work was started on the gymnasium.
The faculty consisted of four Daughters of the Cross. The congregation, whose Mother House is in Liege, Belgium, still serves the school, parish and diocese. The superiors had signed a contract to send out one sister a year until the school was complete, and by 1963 all eight grades were in existence. The school operated in this way until June 1966. At that point lay teachers began to join the faculty. Now it is staffed almost entirely by lay teachers. The school currently serves approximately 300 children, the majority of whom are from the parish.
In 1964, the school playground was enlarged. In 1968, an extension was built onto the hall and included locker rooms and showers, a coach’s room and offices for C.C.D. In 1975, a separate C.C.D. building was erected to provide more office and meeting space. The original rooms off the hall are now used for storage.
In 1981, the front room of the convent was converted into a classroom for kindergarten. Because of the size of the room it was decided to have split sessions. The children used the sisters’ back yard for their play area and playground equipment was installed.
In 1984, the staff room was enlarged and the convent garage was extended and converted into a computer lab. It also contained a large screen TV and a VCR. That room has now become the present site of the kindergarten classes and the front room of the convent is now a chapel; the computer lab has been moved to a room which housed the former library; the library has moved to a room which was used for art.
In 1999, the Parent Teacher Club purchased and installed air conditioning throughout the school. In 2001, the faculty room was extended south to provide a larger meeting room for the staff.
In December 2008 the kindergarten classroom underwent extensive renovation. The room was expanded by converting storage space located on the west side into a new second room. The original room for kindergarten also received new tile flooring, cubbies, upper cabinets, and paint. A new heating/air conditioning system was installed in the room and additional desks were brought in. This allowed enough space for the kindergarten students to extend their day by combining the morning and afternoon kindergarten sessions into one class. Library, computer lab, music and physical education classes were added to the kindergarten curriculum and the school day was extended from 3 hours to 5.5 hours.
St. Bernard’s has a strong tradition of providing quality Catholic Education. This fact was born out in 2003-04 when the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) conducted an evaluation for accreditation for St. Bernard’s and awarded it the maximum 6-year accreditation.
St. Bernard’s motto is “Learning with God’s Guidance” a statement that has reflected the attitude of staff and students who have attended St. Bernard’s the past 46 years; and it is a statement which will continue to influence the learning atmosphere at this institution dedicated to educating the whole child: soul, mind, and body.