Filled with gratitude at St. Bernard’s

To the editor:

A new school year is always an exciting and busy time, and this year it was clearly more than ever. In addition to the typical back-to-school preparations of books, supplies and procedures, we added the safety and health measures that go along with schooling during a pandemic. St. Bernard’s School was able to open this fall thanks to the help of many in our community.

The Adirondack Foundation’s SUN Fund helped fund training for a new curriculum that is more flexible and better suited to remote learners. Thank you to the Adirondack Foundation and its generous donors!

Linda Tarantelli and Jo-Ann Gardner made custom face coverings for our students and staff. They were fitted and adjusted to students on the first day of school, so they are extremely comfortable. We also received a donation of masks and 3D-printed face shields from the Mask Hub at Northwood School. Thank you to those in our community who helped ensure our students and staff had comfortable face coverings to return to school.

Our reopening plan included plans to allow our students more time outside, and so we wanted to create an outdoor learning space. Jimmy Goodrich, Ryan Morgan and Kevin Phelan helped make that space a reality. Barry and Stephanie Kilbourne created custom wooden stools and helped beautify the area with fall flowers. Thank you to those who have helped our students spend more instructional time outside!

St. Bernard’s School has always had a positive relationship with our local public school district. In reopening this year, we had to work together even more. Thank you to the administration and staff of the Saranac Lake Central School District. The transportation department was able to work their magic so our students can continue busing to and from school. The title coordinator and purchasing department helped procure air purifiers and disinfecting products using the federal and state CARES allocations for St. Bernard’s School.

Franklin County Public Health answered questions and provided recommendations on our reopening plan. Our local health care providers are also terrific to work with now that school has opened and screening procedures have flagged students. We thank public health and health care providers and trust in their guidance going forward!

The parish of St. Bernard of Montjoux has always supported the school. Our pastor, Fr. Martin Cline, the parish council, and parishioners have helped us make the necessary adjustments to maintain a safe environment for our students and staff. Thank you to those in the parish community for your support as well as offerings of encouragement, assistance and prayers for the school year.

Of course, our school wouldn’t be what it is without our SBS family. Thank you to the staff for their diligent preparation and continued flexibility and dedication. Thank you to the parents and grandparents who have rolled with the new normal so graciously. And most importantly, thank you to the students. Thank you for the joy and enthusiasm you have brought in returning to school!

Andrea Kilbourne-Hill

Saranac Lake


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