This is an outstanding school led by a superb headmaster. We have had three children go through St. Bernard. In general, the faculty is also wonderful. When there are problems teachers, the headmaster works quickly to replace them if necessary. The school is small and this is given our children opportunities for many activities that they might not ordinarily have any larger school. All three have enjoyed playing sports at St. Bernard. Our eldest daughter is now in high school at one of the cities top schools. She was extremely well prepared but St. Bernard. The community is very welcoming and there is no tolerance for bullying.
Abrupt changes seem to be the norm at SBA. With all that said, if you get lucky with the right teachers and your child is flexible, you can get an excellent education. In my experience, the leadership is not forthcoming about why they make certain changes and they do not own up to the difficulties some changes can cause. Luckily, I found the teachers to be more candid and very committed. Not very Catholic. Deployed a secular anti-bullying program called Olweus rather than choosing to incorporate the concept into religion class. I would say the religious influence is a 3 on a scale of 1 to 10. My oldest child could not have been more prepared for high school where she did well. My other child eventually moved from SBA because of the chaos we experienced with his class and the revolving door of inexperienced teachers. We would have liked to have had math under one if the senior math teachers, but there was just too much junk going on to try and make it work.
SBA is a Nashville tradition and unique in the multi-level curriculum offered in each grade. Our boys love the personal attention from the teachers and the administrators. We selected SBA based on the academic success of the last 150 years and the test results from The Iowa Test (throughout), Duke Test (5th and 6th grades) and ACT Test (5th-8th grades.
Their academic programs are extremelly wonderful, exspecially their AP classes. The music classes will teach you to sing well and play instruments. The only downside of the music program is that band is not a class, but simply a voluntary, before school club. The parents are also very involoved. However, there might be a few that will drive you mad, most of them are simply delighful. Overall, SBA is a great school.
My child is a student in the lower school and we have been extremely pleased with our experience and her performance (we've been at the school since kindergarten). The quality of teaching is excellent, as illustrated by the continued success of SBA graduates into high school and beyond. The teachers have shown a keen interest in discerning our child's strengths and opportunities for improvement and building on that knowledge in formulating a plan for her education. The personalized attention given to each student is a defining characteristic of the school. The music and arts programs are outstanding, with the parents (many of whom are involved in the local music industry) supporting the programs through gifts of time and money. Parents are super-involved! We have just hired a new head of school who is going to be amazing! This is a time of great excitement at SBA! The aftercare is also outstanding.
I have been very pleased with the academic program at St. Bernard Academy. My child loves his math instructor Miss. Jennifer Land! She is awesome and truly motivates her students. This is the first time my son has ever liked math! The teachers as a whole are awesome and I so appreciate their dedication and hard work.