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FROM THE PRINCIPAL Dear friends, Children that love to come to school, teachers and staff that are tireless in all they do, and families always ready to deepen our partnership. In my second year as principal, I am astonished by our St. Brigid School community. This is an exciting time to be a part of our community. Many challenges face Catholic education, but we are prepared to do so. St. Brigid School has a history of resiliency in the face of great challenges. In a time when Catholic immigrants were not welcome we opened. After the Great Depression and World War II caused our school to close we re-opened. Our church closed but we continued. In recent years, many Catholic schools closed but we prosper. The school year 2014-2015 is our second year within the Catholic School Region of Manhattan. The Regional model brings our school governance and finances under the leadership of the Region’s Board of Directors. Regionalization is a part of the Archdiocesan strategic plan Pathways to Excellence to improve Catholic education throughout the Archdiocese of New York. The Region will help bring stability and strength to St. Brigid School. Over the past year and a half, we have welcomed the Inner-City Scholarship Fund’s Champions Program Advisory Board program. The Advisory Board members have helped us craft a vision for the future of St. Brigid School, and help us begin to act on achieving that vision. Our 60th year on 7th Street is an exciting milestone for our school, and we were fortunate to complete a renovation of 80% of our building this summer and fall. The much needed improvements prepare our school for the next 60 years of students. We have welcomed the largest group of Pre-K children in St. Brigid School’s history this year. Much of this growth is due to our Universal Pre-Kindergarten contract with the NYC Department of Education to provide a free, full day education for all our 4 year olds. NYC’s contract is a clear indication of their respect for our high-quality Pre-Kindergarten program. All of these changes are balanced by our continuities. We are still a school of the neighborhood with 85% of our families living within our zip code. We are still providing a Catholic education amidst these turbulent times in New York City’s Catholic schools. We are still providing a excellent academic environment for all. Great people make great schools, and all of you, our stakeholders, are a part of that. Peace,


FROM THE FAMILY ASSOCIATION WE ARE the St. Brigid Family Association The mission of the SBFA is to positively impact the lives of the St. Brigid students and families by open communication amongst parents, teachers and administration by hosting events and supporting activities that further create and unite our school community through goodwill, cooperation and spiritual community. WE SERVE all Families. New this year is the formation of the St Brigid School Family Association. The reason we are now a Family Association and not a parent Association is that we realize children are being raised by single parents, blended families, traditional families, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and/or guardians. All participation is welcomed! WE ARE all Co-Presidents. We look for opportunities to be a positive force in every project and build a lifetime relationship with families. We are accountable and communicate often via ZippSlip, Emails, Newsletters, Text and phone calls whatever form best suits the family. We fill the holes to the best of our ability when roles are missing or lacking. We act in the best interest of the school and the families. We seek help when needed and jump in when needed by others. We are confident in our strengths yet aware of our weaknesses. As Co-Presidents we strive for progress and hold ourselves to a very high standard we are humble in success and

WE ARE CO-CREATERS of the St. Brigid Athletics Department. With the leadership of Coach Danny Ramirez we have actively recruited families in order to meet our Athletic goals. We have designed Athletic programs that enable students to find a different environment to build friendships through sportsmanship and build school spirit. WE Fulfill our commitments & goals. We have increased the number of family functions in the school by 70%. Goals for 2014-2015 This year our goals were different then past years because instead of enhance the school aesthetics our primary focus is to build school community. As of today we have accomplished all of our goals.

failures and accountable for our mistakes and confident in our corrections, we grow together. We are as Co-Presidents responsible for maintaining the hardworking, collegiate, energetic, passionate culture and legacy of which we are sooo proud of. iii 2




VISION STATEMENT St. Brigid School will continue to be a cornerstone of the East Village community dedicated to educating students from Pre-Kindergarten-8th grade. St. Brigid School will be guided by Catholic values, a rigorous and traditionally rooted, arts-infused curricula with a personalized approach to teaching that provides students with a foundation of skills and knowledge for a college career and life in the 21st century. Through the implementation of efficient and effective strategies, St. Brigid School will become a financially self-sustaining institution. VISION TRAJECTORIES 1. Educational Pre-eminence 2. Socially Just, 21st Century Citizens 3. Robust Enrollment 4. Financial Effectiveness 5. Culture of Success



St. Brigid School’s new logo with the school’s values.









3% 4% 81%

7% 4%

Personnel Educational Resources Utilities Facilities & Maintenance Support Services

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33% New York State Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK) Catholic School Region of Manhattan Scholarships Tuition & Fees 0%


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In the school year 2014-2015, St. Brigid School maintained a stable K-8 enrollment while we welcomed the largest PreK program in our history.

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Enrollment Trends Over the Past Ten School Years 350 PreK For All

Nursery & PreK

K to 8

315 280 245 210 175 140 105




70 08-09



35 11-12


0 13-14

14-15 15-16 (Projected)

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Panoramic view of the whole school stored during the construction. Grades 3-8 were relocated to St. Emeric’s School for 6 weeks to complete renovations. Two of three floors at St. Brigid School were closed during the same period.

Boys' Restroom “Gutted”

Former Main Office

3rd & 4th Grade Classroom wall partially removed.


Former main hallway and classroom to be renovated as a new Main Office with nurse’s office & adult bathroom.

Two photos of the cafeteria being transformed into the new Student Commons.


A safer, welcoming Main Office.


Today's schools are designed for yesterday's world. The vast majority of existing school buildings in our country, and especially New York City, reflect 19th Century educational designs. Those outdated designs often discourage individualization, compromise school safety, and prohibit collaboration. The changes we made to our spaces in the summer of 2014 were designed with the 21st Century in mind. Our world today, and the world our students will live their adult lives in, is a world of creativity, collaboration and critical thinking. The changes we made to the school benefit all of our students. These changes truly moved our school in a direction that other schools are not moving. Other schools are drilling whole

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21ST CENTURY FACILITIES classes of students for "one-sizefits-all" high-stakes Common Core State Exams, while we will be providing each student with individual support. Other schools are "cutting back" on the arts, while we will be providing students with enhanced art and music programs through better facilities. Most other private schools do not accommodate students with special needs, while we will be providing our students with special needs the support and resources they need to succeed.


Included below are some of the descriptions and motivations for our particular renovations below. You will see, we did not simply look to put aesthetic changes into the building. Aesthetics are important, but not more important than what our students need to improve.

New Office/ Reception Area    One of the more difficult features of our existing building was the layout of the entrance and first floor. The school was designed in another time, with different concerns. All visitors to the school entered into a stairwell and the Main Office was in the middle of the hallway. We decided to invest a good portion of our renovation budget into improving the safety of the students


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Students & adults collaborate in our bubbles.

by reconfiguring the layout of the first floor. Since visitors must enter into a stairwell, we have made the best of it by ensuring that the first encounter that visitors have is with the main office. We have also moved the entrance door on East 7th to the right-most door (not the left-most). Now when visitors are buzzed in, the door opens directly in front of the "up" staircase.

Student Commons for Music, Art, & SETSS    We changed our "cafeteria" to be more of a Student Commons. This may be semantics to some, but it isn't to us. This new facility is available to students for regular instructional hours, during recess (indoor and outdoor), and during the After School Program. One of our other top priorities was to support and enhance our student services for Music, Art, and SETSS. The arts are essential. We have many talented students in both music and fine arts. We provided our students with the opportunity to be creative in spaces that we dedi-

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21ST CENTURY FACILITIES cate to that creation. SETSS (Special Education Teacher Support Service) at St. Brigid has never had a sufficient home. We are happy to say that we provided a small-group instructional space for our special education teachers to work with our students. All of these facilities significantly improve our recess and after school activities.

Thinking Inside The Bubble

“The world our students will live their adult lives in, is a world of creativity, collaboration and critical thinking.”

   Our new collaboration centers are a true innovation, and I expect other schools will follow our example. What we have done is rather simple, we are building what the business world would call a "Conference Room" that conjoins two different classrooms. The room is glass, which means that students can be monitored from both outside and within. Some of the uses include: small group work with teachers, cross-grade small group work, individual tutoring, one-on-one counseling, group


New spaces for Special Educational Services, Art, & Music.

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Classrooms transformed for St. Brigid School’s 3rd Century of students.

BEFORE & AFTER “We are providing each student with individualized support.”

counseling, and special education support (such as speech therapy or SETSS).    What this space does is provide a space for collaboration, targeted individual support, and cross-grade collaboration. We installed three of these rooms in this renovation: between Grades 1 & 2, Grades 3 & 4, and Grades 7 & 8.

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HIGHLIGHTS 8th Graders build human cablestayed bridges in their “Tensile & Compressive Forces Lab”.


“From our littlest students who learn empathy, understanding, and the importance of love for everyone... to our older students who participate in projects to help the lives of those most in need.”

As our Pope Francis said, “A little bit of mercy makes the world less cold, and more just.” At St. Brigid School, we challenge students to fulfill the Pope’s statement through a curriculum laced with justice and service projects. From our littlest students who learn empathy, understanding, and the importance of love for everyone... to our older students who participate in projects to help the lives of those most in need we are helping families raise our children to be service-orientated people. The photos included are from our Fall and Winter Food Drive. The Middle School students delivered the food directly to the local soup kitchen, and then helped inventory and stock the shelves with St. Brigid School’s donated food.

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Helping children discover and strengthen their Faith is as central as algebra and the alphabet. The photos on this page demonstrate the multitude of ways that Faith is a part of our school community. St. Brigid students actively participate in school masses, Catholic Schools’ Week, and New York Catholic Youth Day. Faith brings greatness. The school, families, and students are bound for greatness because we are developing the whole child: spiritually, intellectually, physically, emotionally, creatively, and socially. Faith is the backbone of St. Brigid School’s values, and the engine for the journey to our goals. “Faith is the backbone of St. Brigid School’s values, and the engine for the journey to our goals.”

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St. Brigid School is an experience. This year, we significantly accelerated our enrichment both during and after school. The photos on this page show our Motivational Media Assembly, Learning to Look demonstration of famous artworks, Chess Club, and Clay World sculpting. “We are... We are going to continue to enhance our providing enrichment to a great ensure that we place to are educating the whole child, grow-up!� supporting our core curriculum, engaging students in their interests, and providing a great place to grow-up!

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The only thing better than a St. Brigid School education - is a FREE St. Brigid School education, and that’s what we provided to our families of 4 year olds this school year. In the 2013-2014 school year, St. Brigid School underwent a rigorous evaluation of our Early Childhood Program by the NYC Department of Education. The result of this evaluation was the awarding of 40 seats of free PreK at St. Brigid School. Our award is a recognition of the value and excellence of our program. For school year 2015-2016, the NYS Department of Education has awarded us an additional 90 seats of PreK. We are happy to provide the best education for our neighborhood’s 4 year olds. Our program’s excellence has received the attention our MyFox5 news.

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HIGH SCHOOL ACCEPTANCES To best prepare our graduates for the high school search process, we begin with family information meetings during 5th Grade. We work to help each family understand that there is power in the knowledge of the process and that there is not one “right” school for each child, but that there are many “right” schools for each child. Our goal is to help each student find one of those right schools for their high school years. Blair Academy, New Jersey Cardinal Hayes High School, Bronx Cathedral High School, Manhattan Christo Rey High School, Brooklyn Christo Rey High School, Manhattan East Side Community School, Manhattan Fordham Preparatory School, Bronx Fork Union Military Academy, Virginia High School for Arts, Imagination, and Inquiry, Manhattan High School for Environmental Studies, Manhattan High School of Economics and Finance, Manhattan High School of Fashion Industries, Manhattan LaSalle Academy, Manhattan Lower Manhattan Arts Academy, Manhattan Manhattan Business Academy, Manhattan Manhattan Early College School for Advertising, Manhattan Richard R. Green High School of Teaching, Manhattan Saint Agnes High School, Queens Saint George Academy, Manhattan Saint Jean Baptiste High School, Manhattan Saint John's Preparatory, Queens Saint Peter's Boys High School, Staten Island Saint Peter's Preparatory, Jersey City Saint Vincent Ferrer, Manhattan Vanguard High School, Manhattan Xavier High School, Manhattan

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20 YEARS OF COMMITMENT CELEBRATING 20 YEARS AT ST. BRIGID CHERISHING FAMILY AT WORK AND AT HOME BY ERIC RODRIGUEZ ’15 & OSMAIRY MEDRANO ’15 Ms. Bernard loves a great movie on a Saturday night with her two teenage daughters, because she cherishes family at home A native of Trinidad and Tobago; Ms. Bernard attended university in Canada, where she studied economics and education. She came to New York City in 1990, attracted by the energy of cosmopolitan cities. Her teaching career began with the Archdiocese of New York first teaching in Harlem. Shortly thereafter, she met her husband Judd, and remained in New York. In 1994, she came to St. Brigid School. The East Village in 1994 looked very different from the neighborhood we all know and love today. In 1994, the East Village was primarily an artistic community situated in a Hispanic community surrounded by abandoned buildings. Although she always felt safe personally, the neighborhood was very artistic and socioeconomically diverse. Ms. Bernard began working at St. Brigid by teaching a combined grade 3 and 4 with 8 students. Over the years, she has taught second grades as well as math to grades sixth through eight. She has spent the bulk of her teaching years at St. Brigid in fifth grade, where she feels best suits her creative personality. Ms. Bernard is proud that there are more students per classroom with a diverse student body; many artistic programs have been added for students that represent our artistic neighborhood, and that the school has become extremely progressive over the years. She feels she has stayed here at St. Brigid because she likes the warmth of the school community, stating, “We are all like one big family.” Ms. Bernard is a proud mom of two teenage daughters, who both attended St. Brigid from pre-k to kindergarten. Her eldest, Vahni, is cur-

rently a senior at Bronx Science and has been working for the last three years researching and publishing articles on breast cancer. Vahni will attend John Hopkins University in the Fall. Maya attends the Academy of American Studies as a sophomore, and is the family fashionista. One of Ms. Bernard’s all-time passions is her devotion to conservation and taking care of our Earth. One of her biggest concerns is people’s disregard for our planet. She adores the quote from a Native American proverb, “We did not inherit the Earth, but we borrowed it from our children.” We must all remember that, and do our best to preserve the Earth. On Sunday mornings, you might be able to find Ms. Bernard enjoying good coffee in a great coffee shop in her Queens neighborhood reading the New York Times, or reading a good book, such as Donna Tartt’s novel The Goldfinch. With her two daughters, she spends her time hiking and bird watching at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, and exploring ethnic neighborhoods, sampling pizza, chicken with rice and beans, watching spy shows and independent and foreign movies, and spending long weekends upstate at her family’s country residence near Cooperstown, New York.

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Continuing Our Climb to Excellence St. Brigid School will soon be establishing a School Leadership Team & launching a strategic planning process. The Leadership Team will help provide advisory leadership for the school in all affairs. The strategic planing process will culminate in a multiyear strategic plan to begin in school year 2016-2017. The planning process will involve representatives from all stakeholder groups in a collaborative effort to revisit the school’s mission; refine the strategic vision; set goals & objectives; and develop indicators of success.

Spring 2015 Stakeholders' Report  

St. Brigid School's bi-annual stakeholders' report.

Spring 2015 Stakeholders' Report  

St. Brigid School's bi-annual stakeholders' report.