This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Notre Dame Academy Elementary School5
Posted July 14, 2014
- a parent
We have been at this school for the past 9 years. We have seen many changes in the school including changes in school leadership, acceptance of technology and variety of programs. This is a great academic prepartory school where the emphasis is on academics. While traditional teaching methods are used, the school has not been shy to embrace technology and introducing it, first in the middle school and now into elementary. One can always find faults and imperfections when scrutinizing something as important and fundamental as educating our children however, when considered in the big picture and looking at the end results i.e. the 8th grade graduating classes, these are minuscule and often apply to individual situations that may not have been a good fit for the school. This school has shown courage in exploring new techniques while retaining it's 60+ year traditions. This is an ongoing journey that is producing happy, well rounded and prepared kids.
We transferred our three children to NDAE last year from American Martyrs because of the rapid decline of AMS. We definitely made the right choice! The difference is like night and day! NDAE truly cares about its students. The Principal knows each child by name, and knows how each one is doing. The teachers are communicative and highly effective. While not as demanding on the parents as far as involvement, it still fosters a very close knit atmosphere. This is a very traditional-style Catholic school, with an excellent balance of discipline, academic standards, compassion, and love.
The true Christian feel of the school is vanishing. There is much hypocrisy with the Administration and very little parent involvement. Only those parents available in the mornings, get involved. Working parents can't do this. There is too much experimentation with the children with some families leaving due to the negative changes. The emphasis is to make the school elite with little compassion.
As an alumni and parent, NDA is doing amazing things all of the time. The campus has been revamped with students and families responding well to it. New programs have been great. Keep up the good work!
After being at Notre Dame for years, first as a student myself, and then as a parent, I have noticed a sad trend in the last couple of years. They are so interested in being a flashy school that they have lost sight of the true meaning of Catholic Education. The iPad technology while fantastic in its idea, is not being used a a supplement to the teaching, but as a replacement for the teacher. A general lack of concern for the student also seems to be prevalent now.
NDAE was a good school when we our son started 8 years ago. We chose NDAE because of the safe campus, good teachers and diverse community. What I could not have predicted was how GREAT NDAE would become. Our new principal started 2 yrs ago & committed to making NDAE "a catholic school for the 21st century". She & her team work to reach this goal every day! Progressive teaching methods, ongoing teacher development & best practices from a career in catholic education are helping drive the transformation. 4 boys basketball teams, after school arts (theater) and academic programs (#1 Decathlon team). Most programs did not exist 2 years ago & are a blessing at a small school. Technology is fully embraced by the entire community. All Jr. High students have iPads. My son is more engaged with Math & Science than ever before! The skills taught at NDAE will get our sons ready for HS & beyond. Instruction is focused on critical thinking, project based learning & teaching to the whole child. Our boys will be life long learners! Their future success will be due (in part) to the dedication of the NDAE administration and faculty. Our experience at NDAE has always been good but now it is GREAT!
NDAES offers a balanced curriculum and since the new administration took over, emphasis on building character and spirituality has taken the forefront even more. The administration made some much needed changes and the school is now a better institution. The new principal identified which curriculums needed an overhaul and took appropriate action. The new teachers this year have brought life to their subjects. For example, the JH students produced full Spanish dialogue imovies which illustrated their technological advancements and recently learned Spanish communication skills. The new principal has also catapulted the school into The Nation's spotlight by becoming a successful pioneer in the use of ipads at the K-8 grade levels. She remodeled and updated classrooms to keep up with modern-day technological needs and even surpass them. The new Junior High Villa houses a full Broadcast Media Center. The principal is humble about the school's accomplishments. Every newsletter we receive gives credit to where credit is due and the letters thank parents for their hard work and contributions. NDAES is giving our child a superior well-rounded education in an incredibly caring community.
Our daughter started K in September and so far, she is doing very well and already reading proficiently. The school is strict, but fair and while demanding of parents, everyone pitches in to help. We were accepted into two other excellent catholic schools in the area (St. Timothy's and St. Paul's in Westwood) and chose NDA over both, mainly due to the school's long-staning academic record, leadership and experience of the new Principal Mrs Paetzold and finally, the school's impressive campus facility. We also like the diverse community at NDA. We thought we would miss not having a church asociated with the school, but have not found this to be an issue.
Don't believe the March 2011 posting. Talk to some of the great teachers that the school administration drove out. Talk to the 6th grade parents whose children have been working on the names of colors in spanish class. When the last Principal left, many had great hope for the school's future, but another ineffective leader followed her. Academic Decathlon? The credit goes to the PARENT who managed the team. Most will tell you how the school hardly supported her efforts.