St Bartholomew School

470 Ryders Lane, East Brunswick, NJ 08816
Phone: 732-254-7105 Fax: 732-254-6352

Our Principal
Mrs. Ann Wierzbicki,
R.N., M.A.E./Ed.S.

Email Mrs. Wierzbicki

 
Cognia Executive Summary

Ann Wierzbicki
St. Bartholomew School
AdvancEd Executive Summary

Description of the School

St. Bartholomew School is a coeducational Catholic parish school for students in Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 8. Our daily school hours are 7:30 a.m. until 1:45 p.m. Located in East Brunswick, NJ, the school was established in 1964 under the guidance of Monsignor J. Morgan Kelly. The Sisters, Servant of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, administered our school from its inception until 1996. Monsignor Michael J. Alliegro served as the second pastor. Currently, the school is operated under the administration of the Very Reverend Thomas Walsh, Pastor, and Mrs. Ann Wierzbicki, Principal. St. Bartholomew School serves youth from Middlesex and Somerset Counties, and is staffed by clergy and laity.

The enrollment is currently 373 students. St. Bartholomew School admits students of all races, ethnicities, and religions. Of the 373 students, 30 are Asian, 21 are African-American, 265 are Caucasian, 2 are Native American, 1 is Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, and 43 are multi-racial. Seventy students are Hispanic or Latino. Eighty-four percent of students are Roman Catholic. Enrollment has steadily increased since 2013 when less than 250 students were enrolled. Administration and Marketing continue to work together to retain and increase enrollment.

Our teachers, striving to teach as Jesus did, are dedicated to the spiritual, moral, academic, and physical development of each child. Currently, St. Bartholomew School has a Principal, an Assistant Principal in charge of discipline, 21 full time teachers, 5 part time teachers, a librarian, a full time guidance counselor, full time nursing staff, 8 teaching assistants, and 7 After School Care staff. Additionally, the Educational Services Commission of New Jersey provides 4 teachers and 1 aide for students in need of remediation, speech/language services, ESL instruction, and students with learning disabilities. Each child is valued as a child of God, and is encouraged to develop a positive image of himself and others as they begin to live the Gospel message. Furthermore, our school is a place where students, faculty, and staff grow in the awareness that they are an important part of God’s family, and that as members of God’s family, they will be called upon to responsibly meet the challenges and needs of the world they live in. Here, within the context of a loving Christian environment, in which Christian principles can freely be woven into all areas of the curriculum, and where our school community can worship God daily through prayer, service, and liturgy, the students and faculty grow closer to God and to the plan that He has for each of them.

As members of Jesus’ Church, we are familiar with his command to “love our neighbor as ourselves,” and that our neighbor is anyone in need. In response to Jesus’ command to love, our students reach out to those in local and global communities. They respond to the call to share God’s unconditional love for them with those less fortunate by donating time, treasure, and talent. These works of mercy further help raise the students’ awareness of worldwide issues of peace and justice, involving the needs of others that go beyond their physical needs. In these ways, our students, faculty, and staff keep God’s love alive in their lives and in the lives of others.

Our St. Bartholomew School Family is a partnership of the Pastor, students, faculty, staff, parents/guardians, priests, deacons, Parish, Home School Association (HSA) members, School Advisory Council (SAC), and volunteer parents/guardians who are dedicated to the school and to upholding its ideals and principles. All members of this partnership are indispensable to the academic life of our school community.

Our academic purpose is to love, educate, and inspire our students to live the teachings of Jesus Christ as they become knowledgeable, aware young adults who can make valuable contributions and a moral difference to the world in which they live. Accordingly, St. Bartholomew School provides our students with a rich academic environment consistent with current educational best practices. We provide an integrated curriculum, project-based learning, and an emphasis on higher-level thinking skills. Recognizing that Christ is present in each of us, St. Bartholomew School responds to the Church’s challenge to serve all students possible. In order to accommodate the needs of all students and to address the needs of students with learning disabilities, Compensatory Education, SupplementalInstruction, Speech/Language, and ESL are provided by the Educational Services Commission of New Jersey to students who qualify. Within the classroom, provision is made for differentiated instruction. By presenting such a comprehensive, diversified academic program, the uniqueness of our students’ talents and needs is met so they can develop their skills to their full potential, while acquiring a genuine love and respect for learning.

School’s Purpose

The mission of St. Bartholomew School is to love, educate, and inspire our children to live the teachings of Jesus Christ. Our mission statement drives everything we do so that we develop lifelong learners who are strong citizens with a strong Catholic identity. We affirm our mission statement daily in the way we love, educate, and inspire our students and model love of God and others. We are committed to living the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Our vision states that we seek to nurture the whole child socially, academically, spiritually, intellectually, and morally whereby students will construct knowledge in the context of doctrinally-sound faith. Each student will reach his full potential as a person created in God’s image. Our students will graduate to become responsible, productive citizens with strong critical thinking and excellent academic skills who promote a spirit of charity, social justice, and love of God and others. An overarching theme of academic optimism, equity, and excellence will prevail. To accomplish these goals, students experience a rigorous, relevant, comprehensive, standards-based curriculum delivered in partnership with family, community, and a competent staff in a safe, nurturing environment. Best practice instruction that is outcome-based is provided to challenge students to become purposeful, critical thinkers and productive group participants who will meet the challenges of the 21st century by applying and synthesizing knowledge.

While the Catholic Church teaches that parents serve as the primary educators of their children in the truths of the Church, St. Bartholomew School actively assists parents in their ministry. Faith Formation classes have been offered by priests, deacons, and principal to assist parents and guardians in this important role. Each student, made in the image and likeness of God, is unique. We are a community of diverse learners, so we share a commitment to implementing our vision and goals for educating the whole child. Our goals for teaching and learning include rigorous expectations for all students in an environment that transmits our faith and Catholic identity. Our students experience unconditional love and acceptance so that they may understand God’s grace. In the words of Pope Francis, we must have “a heart without limits, but not just a heart: also a certain gaze, the sweetness of Jesus’ gaze, which often is more eloquent than many words.” At St. Bartholomew School, we are dedicated to minister in this way to the students in our care.

While the Catholic Church teaches that parents serve as the primary educators of their children in the truths of the Church, St. Bartholomew School actively assists parents in their ministry. Faith Formation classes have been offered by priests, deacons, and principal to assist parents and guardians in this important role. Each student, made in the image and likeness of God, is unique. We are a community of diverse learners, so we share a commitment to implementing our vision and goals for educating the whole child. Our goals for teaching and learning include rigorous expectations for all students in an environment that transmits our faith and Catholic identity. Our students experience unconditional love and acceptance so that they may understand God’s grace. In the words of Pope Francis, we must have “a heart without limits, but not just a heart: also a certain gaze, the sweetness of Jesus’ gaze, which often is more eloquent than many words.” At St. Bartholomew School, we are dedicated to minister in this way to the students in our care.

We continue on a journey of professional learning to support our journey of continuous improvement. Technology has become an essential and integral part of the teaching and learning at St. Bartholomew School. We have ensured that our teachers have received professional development in order to support 21st century learning. Administration has made a commitment to assure that each student and educator has access to state-of-the-art technology and to learning technical skills to empower students’ learning. With the hiring of a technology teacher, students’ experiences reach beyond Microsoft Word applications to the ability to utilize educational apps, create instructional videos, utilize power point and create movies, learn keyboarding skills, and integrate STREAM. Additionally, one of our middle school teachers is in the process of receiving ISTE certification and uses innovative programs such as Nearpod in the classroom. The Technology Plan was updated this past year and includes a progression of purchasing technology, professional development, and teaching applications that allow students and educators to become life-long, engaged learners. Classrooms have been updated with digital whiteboards and whiteboards to replace chalkboards. This year’s improvements include the installation and configuration of a new server infrastructure and system virtualization, the purchase of 20 Surface Pros and 20 additional iPads and covers, improved wireless access, installation of 2 new ecofriendly Toshiba multifunction printers/copiers, a 3-D printer, and IXL to complement the curriculum. Recent purchases include 35 iPads and covers, iPad carts, 40 laptops and carts, and installation of a projector system in the auditorium. The addition of classroom furniture with an innovative design, which allows for collaboration in a middle school classroom in order to further enhance and support the learning of 21st century skills, was installed. The Science Lab has been updated with a digital microscope and stateof-the-art digital screen. The Music Room has been updated with a digital whiteboard, WiFi, and classroom whiteboards. Technology is carefully purchased to align with our vision and goals. The principal works closely with the Pastor, School Advisory Council, and Business Manager to ensure that funds are allocated wisely so that St. Bartholomew School operates fully as a 21st century school. Feedback from teachers is considered before purchasing. Equipment and technology acquisition is monitored for maintenance and appropriate use.

Professional development is constructed and aligned to goals based on research, effective teaching and learning, results of surveys of teachers, and formative and summative evaluations. Recent professional development included the following: Differentiation of Instruction, Project-based Learning, Classroom Management, Developing a Math Mindset, Writing across the Curriculum, Data Analysis, FlexibleGrouping, Active Learning, and Faith Formation. The principal is meeting to work collaboratively with a Rutgers University Professor of Environmental Chemistry to develop a program that fully integrates the Arts with Science, Engineering, Math, and Technology. Teachers participate in Professional Book Clubs and receive scholarly books to further enhance teaching and learning. Recent titles include: The Power of Our Words, Cultivating STEM Identities, Best Practice, Suicide in Schools, and The Book Whisperer. Professional development is evaluated for individual and program effectiveness, which is measured by resultant change in teaching practices and achievement of goals. The quality of teaching and learning through a journey of continuous improvement is further enhanced through collaboration with peers.

Teachers participate in Professional Learning Communities whereby teachers engage in reflective practice in order to improve curriculum and instruction. We ensure that school-wide practices and programs focus on a rigorous curriculum and delivery of standards-based instruction. Peer mentoring among teachers is standard so that master teachers may assist newer teachers in order to embrace academic equity and excellence. Administration builds a professional culture by developing a shared understanding and commitment to high standards for all students. Teachers and administration participate in collaborative data analysis by collecting and analyzing assessment data in order to make decisions for differentiated instruction, adjustments to instruction, and to design assessments that monitor and inform learning.

Student learning has been enhanced further by our librarian who was the former head of Youth Services at the East Brunswick Public Library. The librarian has served on numerous committees including Caldecott Honors. The lending library houses over 6,000 books along with a computerized system for book tracking and asset management.

Our curriculum is aligned with Diocesan and Common Core State Standards. The focus of the curriculum goes beyond a skills-based approach to a process that embraces problem-solving, critical thinking, higher-order thinking, and deep learning. Teachers facilitate students in understanding, interpreting, and applying knowledge so that understanding can be transferred to other areas. Teachers continue to collaborate to create unit plans that integrate technology, contain essential questions, include various formative and summative assessments, higher-order thinking and critical thinking components, closure activities, and Catholic identity. Teachers are implementing Best Practice whereby the learning is set up to be more student-centered, collaborative, and interactive. Best Practice involves teachers adding a widening repertoire of choices to allow students to move among a richer array of activities in order to promote collaboration, actively involve students, balance teacher and student-directed activities, deepen learning, balance traditional and interactive activities, and utilize assessments effectively.

Administration monitors instructional practices and student progress to assure that all students are prepared for and have access to a challenging curriculum. Administration also conducts frequent classroom visits and walkthrough observations to provide constructive and meaningful feedback to faculty and staff that improves practice and student learning.

A full time guidance counselor provides students and staff with extra support. A peer mentoring program, CHOICES, is open to students in Grades 6, 7, and 8 as a way to incorporate student leaders into the anti-bullying curriculum and to serve as positive examples for younger students. Twenty-five percent of eligible students participate. Mentors help to build community among students, teach character education to supplement teacher instruction, and coordinate and implement school-wide community service and social justice projects throughout the year. Service projects include Operation Rice Bowl through Catholic Relief Services, Souper Bowl, fundraisers to support Catholic Charities (penny wars, construction food drives, sock drives, coat drives, hurricane relief), purchasing Christmas gifts for Catholic Charities, food collection for St. Vincent DePaul Society, creating blankets for Project Linus, and other individual classroom projects. Lunch Bunch is a program offered through the CounselingDepartment for students in Grades 1-8. Lunch Bunch is a weekly group meeting of students with a focus on developing effective social skills in the school setting. This year, 150 of 272 (55%) of eligible student participate. Individual counseling sessions also take place with parent/guardian permission.

National Junior Honor Society is available to qualifying students. Students elected to NJHS excel in academics, leadership, service, and citizenship. NJHS students conduct service projects, which recently included fundraising to purchase Christmas gifts for Catholic Charities and Life Choices.

Faculty participates in a Spirituality Day, Catholic Faith Formation by Pastor, Associate Pastor, Principal, and Diocese, and a retreat at San Alfonso Retreat Center.

As a part of the Holocaust Curriculum required in NJ, eighth grade students, faculty, and staff participate in a trip to the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. with other students from the community. The trip is funded by the Daniel Pearl Center/Temple B’nai Shalom.

The formation of our students is further enhanced by our Fine Arts Program, co-curricular, and extracurricular activities. Students participate in weekly Art, Physical Education, Music, Spanish, and Technology classes that remain a strong component of the curriculum. A concerted effort has taken place to significantly increase our extracurricular offerings to all students in order to prepare them for the challenges of the 21st century by providing unique opportunities to engage students.Accomplishments include the addition of the following: Introduction to Latin and Latin 1; Mad Science; Sewing Club; Challenge Island; Game Design; Podcasting; Chess; Homework Club; Little Medical School;Bricks 4 Kids; Newspaper; Yearbook; Art Club; Yoga; Enrichment for Pre-K and K; and an Extracurricular Fair. Students in Grades 3 through 8 may participate in Chorus, Grades 4 through 8 in Band and instrumental lessons, and Grades 6 through 8 in Drama. A Master Class by a Broadway performer is offered to Drama students. All students perform in a Christmas Extravaganza and Band and Chorus participate in a Winter and Spring Concert. Chorus performs at the local Mall before Christmas. Students in Grades K through 8 may participate in Cross Country and Spring Track and Grades 1-8 in Basketball. Teachers also offer remedial and enrichment classes after school. Fifty percent of our students engage in extracurricular offerings and 11 teachers serve as moderators. The spirit of volunteerism of our faculty, parents/guardians, and coaches serves as a model of generosity and the gifts of time, treasure, and talent to the school community.

Administration also ensures that a safe environment exists by proactively involving stakeholders to address the physical and emotional safety and security of students and staff. The Safety and Security Plan was updated this past year after consultation with Police, Fire, and Emergency Management Personnel from the Township. Ongoing review of the plan is conducted. Key emergency support personnel have come to the school and have monitored lockdown and shelter-in-place drills. Police and the Emergency Management Coordinator provide an annual in-service to faculty and staff about safety protocols and procedures. Police also evaluated the school and offered advice as to how to update the current security. Police officers have been hired for weekly Mass to ensure student and faculty safety. An additional grant provided police officer presence in the school on days other than Friday. A parent who is a police officer also volunteers at events such as Open House and evening events when the school invites the public. A state-of-the-art two way intercom system has been installed throughout the plant to include the playground, parking lot, and Gym. The closed-circuit surveillance system was updated with 32 additional cameras and locked entries/fobs ensure that only appropriate personnel may enter the school. Security doors have been installed and specific locations and plans are underway for the installation of additional doors and for the installation of a “mantrap” at the main entrance. A school dress code exists and is enforced. The Parent/Guardian/Student Handbook is updated annually and there is a Code of Conduct with behavioral expectations. A Memorandum of Agreement has been signed.

Full time registered nurses provide instruction to the staff on OSHA requirements, blood-borne pathogens, asthma and allergies, and Epi-pen administration. They also monitor immunization requirements and health records and administer to the health and safety needs of the students and staff. Last year, faculty and staff became CPR and First Aid certified.

The physical plant is evaluated on an ongoing basis to ensure management of the organization, operation, and resources for a safe, efficient, and effective learning environment. The Parish Capital Campaign was conducted by the Pastor, and there are plans for the installation of new windows throughout the school which would then be efficient so air conditioning may be installed. This past year, the following improvements were completed: new Pre-K playground with fence; replacement of Main Playground fence; new Gym floor and tiles; new bleachers in Gym; ceiling tiles replaced; new window shades in classrooms and blackout shades on doors for lockdowns; innovative classroom design for a middle school classroom; installation of a new stage in the auditorium; new office furniture for the front offices and new couches outside the office; Music Room updates; implementation of next phase of the Technology Plan.

Collaboration by administration with key stakeholders is also invaluable to promoting the success of every student at St. Bartholomew School. Quarterly School Advisory Council (SAC) and Home School Association (HSA) meetings take place to ensure that key stakeholders are engaged in a proactive way. The SAC is an advisory council that consists of professionals and parent representatives and includes the following committees: Curriculum, Marketing, Finance, Facilities, Athletics, and Endowment. The Ave Maria Endowment Fund continues to grow monetarily to ensure the future of the school so we may continue to love, educate, and inspire our children to live the teachings of Jesus Christ as we have done for the over 55 years. A variety of programs that develop positive family and stakeholder partnerships are established to build community and celebrate school and student successes. Effective public information strategies to communicate with families and the community have been implemented including e-mail, websites, Facebook, Instagram, Honeywell Instant Alert System, weekly Communication Envelopes and newsletters, weekly principal letters to parents/guardians and parishioners, TV monitors, Back-to-School Night, Parent/Guardian/Teacher Conferences, and Faith Formation classes. Parents/guardians and families are invited to many evening events includingInternational Night, Drama Fun Night, Barnes and Noble Night, Sweetheart Dance, Story Hour, Halloween Party, Trick or Trunk, and more. Sacramental formation meetings and retreats are also offered. A full time marketing person has been hired and a Work Plan and Enrollment Tracking Forms have been created. The principal collaborated with Partners in Mission to retain and increase enrollment. Administration also collaborates with community agencies to ensure equitable and open access for students to all venues that are required and legally permissible including services for IDEA, Chapter 192 and 193 services, Title money, textbooks, nursing, technology, professional development, and busing.

Jesus, the Master Teacher, is the reason for our school. Our Catholic identity defines our professional culture. We embrace the charism of our founders so that the Catholic spirit epitomizes our Catholic school. After over 55 years of excellence, it is with grateful hearts and God’s grace that we continuously affirm our Catholic heritage throughout every aspect of our daily lives. Our administration, faculty, and staff serve as models for living the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Our every action is directed toward establishing and sustaining a school whereby we know, love, and serve Christ through our daily community prayer, our rituals, prayer services, and weekly Mass attendance. We are continuously reminded of the presence of Christ in our classrooms, cafeteria, faculty meetings, Gym, and at every event we attend. Indeed it is our Catholicism that best enables us to live our mission, achieve our vision, and express our Catholic faith: a faith we embrace through our prayer, curriculum, Code of Conduct, social events, dress code, athletics, co-curricular and extracurricular activities, and service projects that reflect Catholic Social Teachings. In the words of Pope Francis, we are a school that “embodies the virtues of compassion, tenderness, patience, and welcoming” to students of all races, ethnicities, and religions so that everyone in our community experiences “unconditional love and acceptance” in order to understand the gift of God’s grace.

In order to foster and embrace our Catholic identity, we nurture our faith development by way of our weekly attendance at Mass that is hosted by our students. Spiritual retreats are attended by our faculty and students. Our Catholicity is further present through our Lady of Guadalupe Curriculum and Family Life programs. Religion is integrated throughout our entire curriculum. Spiritual enrichment programs include our Student Mentoring Program, attendance at Diocesan Respect Life event, special prayer services, and Sacramental Preparation Retreats. Our beautiful Church, St. Joseph Garden, and Prayer Garden offer places where staff and students can rest and reflect in prayer. On First Fridays, faculty and students have access to Church where they can experience the presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and find tranquility and the true and lasting peace that comes from Christ. Teachers gather for community prayer before each day begins and then the entire school community prays together before we begin each day. Eighth grade students lead the daily communal prayer where we also pray for members of our community who have asked for our prayers. We announce birthdays and other special events unique to our school or parish. Various forms of prayer are used and traditional Catholic prayers are also recited as well as reflections. Our Pastor, Fr. Thomas, and Associate Pastor, Fr. James, remind us that we should always carry a rosary and teach us about our Catholic faith, rituals, and traditions during homilies at Friday Mass. Fr. James also formally teaches eighth grade Religion. Students receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation before Christmas and Easter. Students lead us in special prayer services, such as Stations of the Cross and May Crowing, and weekly liturgical celebrations. Special liturgical celebrations include Buddy Mass on the Feast of Guardian Angels, Christmas Mass, Family Day Mass, and Baccalaureate Mass. The bond we share through prayer and liturgy enhances the Catholic identity of our school. Our Christian spirit is not limited to these moments. Rather, these group gatherings serve to reaffirm who we are as a Catholic people. We reflect with enthusiasm these values in the culture of our school community, and this is what makes us unique. Our mission and vision of academic excellence and equity is rooted in the Gospel of Jesus as a natural progression of our Catholic identity. Our Catholic mission is lived every day so that we may know, love, and serve God more fully.

It is with a grateful heart that we serve the students of St. Bartholomew School as we continue to teach love of God and others. Many have been nurtured in faith, hope, and love and we now are working to pass the gift of St. Bartholomew School on as we serve as stewards for these gifts. The future of the Catholic Church is seen in the eyes of our students and in the spirit of Christ that fills their hearts. Our Church needs the energy and joy that these students embody. May our school continue to be a place of love, welcoming, and compassion where the love of Christ is experienced and nurtured so that all students may be fully educated: mind, body, and spirit.

On March 11, 2020, when it was mandated by the Governor of New Jersey to close school due to the COVID-19 pandemic, St. Bartholomew School effectively transitioned to virtual/distance learning overnight. St. Bartholomew School was well-prepared for success utilizing our state-of-the-art technology and innovative teaching methods already in place. Learning remained uninterrupted for all students. Students were able to continue their education safely at home. Teachers provided live, interactive, direct instruction via Google Classroom, Class Dojo, and Zoom, and met with students in whole group and small groups to continue to offer a high quality education. Teachers were available the entire school day to engage and support learners and to continue moving forward with authentic and meaningful lessons using a variety of educational platforms to engage students and differentiate instruction. Platforms and resources included Nearpod, Flipgrid, ConnectED, Think Central, IXL, Kami, LiLoLa, Padlet, Piktochart, Screencastify, Screencast-o-matic, G-Suite apps, Spelling City, Scholastic Learn at Home, Book Flix, Epic! App, Tumblebooks, Tumblemath, Quiziz, Jamboard, PhET, QR codes for Zaner-Bloser Handwriting, Happy Numbers, Newsela, Study Spanish, Google Drawings, Google Slides, Google Forms, Google Docs, Mystery Science, Noteflight Learn, Kahoot, Brain Pop, ABCYa, Starfall, Audible, Quizlet, Generation Genius, National Geographic Kids, Edpuzzle, Prodigy, Code.org, Typing.com, Public Library Resources, and more. Teachers worked collaboratively to make lessons exciting and visited other classes virtually to conduct science experiments and other lessons. Students continued to enjoy virtual specials classes, including Physical Education, Music, Band, Chorus, Drama, Art, Spanish, and Technology. The principal and teachers made special deliveries to students’ homes. The guidance counselor was available to provide social-emotional health support and continue with Lunch Bunch sessions. The librarian visited classes virtually. Faith formation continued and included live streaming Mass, Baccalaureate Mass, and May Crowning. Students, parents, and guardians participated in Holy Week services and praying the Rosary with the Bishop virtually. Surveys of parents, guardians, and students were administered regularly in order to receive feedback about virtual learning, and we monitored and adjusted as needed. Special events, including Field Day, read-aloud bedtime stories, Buddy Meets, field trips, and graduation, were held virtually. Signs honoring our graduates were distributed to each student’s home and banners were placed in front of the school. Surveys of parents/guardians and students were administered to receive feedback regarding virtual learning in order to monitor and adjust as needed. Positive feedback from parents, guardians, and students was received about the quality of the virtual learning experience.

Currently, St. Bartholomew School is open for students five full days per week with the option of virtual learning. A Return-to-School Plan was written collaboratively with the Pastor, Principal, Secretary, parents/guardians, teachers, nurse, Plant Manager, and Facilities Manager. Students and parents/guardians were educated on the procedures and health and safety protocols. A process to assess the daily health status of arriving staff and students has been established, including visual screening and temperature checks. Hand sanitizing stations have been placed at entrances, in each classroom, and outside bathrooms. Protocols for social distancing with visual supports have been established and taught, and the arrangement of furniture has been organized to reflect 6 feet distance between students. Individual, age-appropriate desks were purchased for Pre-K and Kindergarten students to ensure social distancing. Plexiglass sneeze guards have been installed on every desk. Everyone wears a face mask and no visitors are permitted in the building. Additional cleaning protocols were developed to clean and disinfect throughout the day and the necessary supplies have been procured, including Electrostatic Disinfection Technology and hiring of extra cleaning staff to clean frequently touched surfaces and bathrooms throughout the day. Students who are face-to-face remain in cohorts and enter and exit through assigned doors each day. Parents/guardians have the option of choosing virtual learning instead of face-to-face, and Mevo live stream cameras were purchased for each classroom to facilitate successful virtual learning, and teachers received professional development on how to live stream. Before School Care and After School Care remain available for students, and a new After School Care coordinator was hired to create a structured program and to engage students in a variety of experiential activities. Routines that support the strength of our school community have been maintained. Prayer and daily announcements take place over the intercom, virtual Back-to-School Nights and Orientations were held, and a Virtual Learning Plan and Virtual Tour were created. Instruction and integration of Social Emotional Learning to aid students is provided by our Guidance Counselor. Teachers create flexible instruction plans leveraging tools that work best in face-to-face and remote environments in order to focus on the most important learning. Teachers are participating in LINCspring professional learning, where they are able to choose professional learning modules specific to their needs and are able to work at their own pace. Google Classroom training was also provided. Emphasis on school liturgy continues by live streaming school Mass, and Holy Communion is offered in the classrooms to those who wish to receive. Fr. Thomas and Fr. James have a daily presence in the school, and Fr. James teaches our eighth grade students Religion and Social Studies. Opportunities for daily prayer and Scripture are provided. Six teachers were successfully replaced and have assimilated nicely with our school culture and mission. Our Technology teacher’s employment status changed to full time in order to support teachers, students, and parents/guardians. Sixty-six additional laptops and 6 additional iPads have been purchased. Currently, we have a waitlist for Grades Kindergarten through Grade 8. We continue to provide an education that is academically excellent and deeply rooted in our mission and Catholic identity as we continue to provide the transformational experience of an outstanding Catholic education.

Our Catholic schools exist, primarily, to teach the Gospel message and enliven our students to have a personal relationship with Jesus who is their hope and companion for life!
— Most Rev. James F. Checchio, JCD, MBA

Notable Achievements and Areas of Improvement

Some of the notable achievements in the last 3 years include:

  • Redesign of the school cafeteria with a new sound system, lighting system, and stage
  • Addition of a new sound system
  • Science Center improvements, including a state-of-the-art digital whiteboard, digital microscope, and V-Go Robot
  • Two way intercom system installed with security buttons and with reach as far as the playground
  • Air conditioning in the server room, Technology Center, and Kindergarten classrooms
  • New Pre-K playground with rubber mulch and fence
  • New fence surrounding existing playground
  • Establishment of Annual Fund and Day of Giving
  • Growth monetarily of the Ave Maria Endowment Fund
  • Rewriting Strategic Plan
  • Increased enrollment
  • Establishment of National Junior Honor Society
  • Intensive professional development for faculty
  • Grant received for extra police presence
  • State-of-the-art closed circuit surveillance system with the addition of 32 cameras
  • Professional Book Clubs for faculty established
  • Increased service to community and number of service projects
  • Increased scholarships for students attending Catholic high schools
  • Updated library and library system
  • Technology teacher hired
  • Student ID system
  • Hired full time Marketing person
  • Installation of innovative, collaborative workspace in middle school classroom
  • Updated music room
  • Significant increase in extracurricular offerings
  • New ceiling tiles installed
  • New Gym floor, tiles, and bleachers installed
  • New shades in classrooms and blackout shades on classroom doors
  • New modern office furniture in front offices
  • New couches in hallways
  • Projector system installed in the auditorium
  • New security door installation begun
  • Offering of Parent/Guardian Faith Formation
  • Improvements in technology according to the Technology Plan: all classrooms equipped with digital whiteboards and chalkboards resurfaced to whiteboards; installation and configuration of a new server and infrastructure; increased wireless access; 20 SurfacePros; 20 additional iPads and covers; 3-D printer; 2 ecofriendly Toshiba multifunction Printers/Copiers

Areas for improvement over the next 3 years:

  • Installation of mantrap at main entrance
  • Continued progression of Technology Plan
  • Addition of Advanced Math Program in Middle School
  • Continued evaluation and mapping of curriculum
  • Fully implement PBL and STREAM
  • Continue to work on differentiated instruction
  • Continue to increase and evaluate extracurricular offerings
  • Continue to add security doors
  • Increase Faith Formation classes for parents/guardians
  • New windows throughout the plant
  • Air conditioning in the West Wing

© 2019-2020 St Bartholomew School, All rights reserved

NOTICE OF NONDISCRIMINATORY POLICY AS TO STUDENTS The St Bartholomew School admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.

470 Ryders Lane, East Brunswick, NJ 08816
Phone: 732-254-7105 Fax: 732-254-6352