NDV is a fantastic school. I have a 6th grade girl and a boy that just graduated. My son attends an extremely rigorous & competitive high school.His excellent organizational skills, I attribute solely to NDV. The 8th grade play was an amazing experience. My son and his NDV friends (boys & girls) continue to see each other visiting their high school events to support one another. My daughter now in 6th grade is enjoying her friends and involved in sports, acting(after many afternoons watching the 8th graders practice), poetry and academics. I have been extremely pleased with the after school program. They have planned activities that are enriching and engaging. All the kids do homework and when my daughter had trouble with math, there was someone to help. Every middle school teacher is available after school for 1 hour to support the kids academically. When I pick up my daughter at 5:30pm she often says in a relieved, happy voice. "I got all my homework done! What's for dinner?" We have a night ahead of us free from the stress of homework. Many thanks NDV. You are a wonderful blessing to our family.
As a parent of of a fourth and first grader at NDV I have been very happy with the academics and the quality of the teaching staff. The teachers and Administration provide a warm and personal experience for each student (and family) while maintaining strong academics. The parent community is wonderful and deeply committed to enhancing the school experience and improving the school for future families. Continual efforts are made to update the facilities, raise money for special projects, and create social opportunities for families to get to know one another. Annual events such as Bal de Paris, the family picnic at GG Park, the Halloween party and Christmas Pagaent are memorable and first rate events. The kids, parents and staff participate on every level. In support of the Catholic education is a strong Art and Music program, an 8th grade musical production, sports teams, French program and much more. Older grade "buddies" boost younger students confidence from K-8th grade, attending filed trips together and attending each others graduation ceremonies. Graduates of NDV attend the best high schools in the Bay area, leaving NDV with lasting friendships and memories.
NDV is a wonderful school if you are looking for strong academics and a real sense of community. The principal is beyond dedicated and the faculty is excellent. No school is perfect but, for our family, NDV is as close as one can get. Every kindergarten student knows every 8th grader by name long before Christmas! The older students are kind to the little kids and this does not just happen magically. The proof is in the pudding. My kids come home happy and excited about their experiences at school. Graduating students are accepted at top tier high schools and adjust easily because they are prepared socially and academically. We are so grateful to be a part of this exceptional school and would highly recommend it.
NDV is a hidden gem of a school, offering excellent academics, extensive extra-curriculars, and a progressive yet values-based approach. Students are not only well prepared for, and routinely accepted at, all the top Bay Area high schools (St. Ignatius, Lowell, University, Lick-Wilmerding, Convent/Stuart Hall, to name a few) they are good, kind kids to boot. The downtown location in Nob Hill draws a diverse group of families, who, together with the school/church leadership and teachers, create an exceptionally close-knit community dedicated to enriching the student experience. Students have the opportunity to participate in music lessons (piano, violin, cello, guitar), technology (computer science, programming, robotics), art, French, and sports (soccer, basketball, volleyball, track). Is NDV perfect? No school is, but NDV more than delivers on the most important measures: academic achievement, cultural appreciation, strong work ethics, and an enduring moral compass.
We were not looking for a Catholic school. What we cared about most was strong academics, strong community, and solid values. NDV had them all. This is not my fathers Catholic school. The tolerance and diversity this city is known for permeates the culture of the school. There is a class trip each sixth grade class takes; a week in Yosemite. I was a chaperone on the trip this year, and got to see the kids in action on trails, in the dining hall, mucking about at the campsite. What I saw were 32 kids* who had genuine appreciation for each other. It reminded me of my friends from elementary school. A handful of us, email weekly. Friends for life. My sense is that my kids will have at least a few of their NDV classmates as friends for life. That's what the culture at NDV produces. Given the minefield of challenges kids face growing up today, I consider those close friendships, to be among the greatest assets my kids have received from NDV. The academics are excellent. Graduates are readily accepted by the best high schools in the city. *(the class sizes are large, and when you've got a good teacher, an aide, and 32 kids behaving and listening it doesn't matter).
NDV is a superb child-centered school offering a solid balance of academics and enrichment (especially with regards to art, music, sports and robotics). If you are looking for exceptional academic results, NDV is always at the top with the results and high school placements year after year to back it up. The school has significant diversity, encompassing a healthy mix of different cultures and religions outside of its French and Roman Catholic core. The environment is safe, positive, and fun with a caring and active community. It is a small school that encourages parent involvement so it feels like everyone knows and is looking out for your child. There is a strong alumni tradition and its location makes it unique and special for city natives and residents (especially great for working parents downtown!). The teachers are engaged and challenge the children, and enough can t be said about the principal who goes above and beyond on a daily basis her love of the school is undeniable. My daughter is receiving an excellent education, stretching creatively and making life-long friendships. We are thrilled to be part of NDV and highly recommend this school.
I have two kids at NDV now and I could not be more delighted. A second language (French) every day, a truly fantastic Art program, a solid music program with great support for 'pull out' sessions and academics that get kids into the best high schools in the City. And in the last few years they have bought notebook computers and completely upgraded the WiFi network in addition to the great computer lab they already had. Perhaps most impressive to me is the support for educational robotics. NDV is the only school in SF that hosts the Lego FIRST robot league competition. They have at least ten of the Lego NXT robot kits and they are integrating them into the science program across the grades. And the NDV DragonBot club went to the State championship two years ago and to the Regionals last year. Where else are you going to send your kids where they will get such a complete education for the price?
NDV is a great school- If you care about great scholastic outcomes you should care about NDV. Not only do a large percent of the graduating classes get into exceptional high schools, the children are mature and well-prepared for continued growth. In fact, take a tour and talk to some eighth graders like I did and you will easily recognize what a caring and academically challenging environment can yield. These outcomes are because of strong leadership from our long-tenured and wholly committed principal, our passionate pastoral team, our strong and caring faculty, our parent community, and even from the leadership of the student body itself. San Francisco has great schools, and NDV is one of them.
My three children attend the school (5th, 2nd and K) and it has fabulous attributes. NDV provides a Catholic education, with an emphasis on arts, language (French) and music, in the urban setting of downtown San Francisco. The extra-curricular music program can start as early as Kindergarten or 1st grade. My 5th grader has been playing violin for 5 years and my 2nd grader plays piano and my youngest is learning the cello. NDV does not promise to make your child bi-lingual by graduation but most kids enroll in French 3 when they enter the 9th grade of high school and can speak the language. It puts a child on a good footing to really excel in French Language at the High School and College level. The Catholic community is amazing and definitely puts God in the forefront of the child's education. It can be as little as Father Phil greeting the children as they walk in to school or the children's preparation for the sacraments with daily catholic education in-between.
NDV is a City Family's perfect choice. As brand new Kindergarten Family in 2111, we can enthusiastically say that NDV is warm, welcoming and amazing school / community. Ffinding such a perfect home for the next 9 for our son and soon our daughter is heartwarming. The kids are polite, diverse and happy yes happy to be at school. It s a small school community; our son is building relationships with kids from all grades. They have this great buddy system for the kindergarteners with the 8th graders, where the 8th graders take them to a pumpkin patch for Halloween and the kindergartens support the 8th graders on their annual 8th grade musical with joy and exuberance. This all the best pieces of an elementary school experience. The events, like a kids Jogathon, Halloween Carnival, International Night of food and drink and of course a party to end all fundraising parties, for parents and children alike these events while of course raising money are also full of energy, commitment and real fun. As we have a commitment and deep desire to live and learn with our kids in SF this is the perfect school. In addition the uniforms are cute and so easy!! Love it
NDV is a great school for my son 2nd gd) and daughter (K). If you are looking for a school that will nurture your child spiritually, academically, socially, emotionally, and physically, then consider NDV. My son, who was casted as a shy boy, has blossomed to be a respectful, happy, and engaging 2nd grader. It has to do with the fact that he is surrounded by other boys and girls who have supported him and encouraged him to be able to socialize in a safe environment. Every conversation I've had with a NDV student has always engaging. They're able to express their feelings eloquently and give their opinion with eye contact tells me that they're in an environment where they are encouraged to express themselves and prepared to be successful individuals. My (K) daughter is reading at a 2nd grade level and her penmanship is of an adult. My 2nd gdr is doing research paper on dinosaurs and tigers and reading his work to the principal and other grade teachers. How great is that where the school principal, is making time, given her busy schedule, to listen to my 7yr-old son read out his paper?He's also completed many math-in-a-minute exercises and weekly spelling tests w/o any mistakes.
NDV has made great strides to grow and change over the past 5 years we have been there. There has been much talk of boys not getting what they need and not being supported, but with my 10 year old that is not the case. I am watching my boy grow learn responsibility, how to be organized and of course all of the academic skills. The classes are large, but the full-time aides balance the numbers. The community is strong and diverse and we are proud to be a part of it.
NDV is a fabulous school and community; its students grow into successful adults-ethical, respectful, cultured, insightful, purposeful and resourceful. The older comment about the purported Catholic punitive environment is off. NDV teaches respect; discipline, when necessary, is meted out gently. In addition to the 3 Rs (and French!), NDV kids learn decision-making, accountability and gracefulness; families are drawn precisely because of these traditions. Music/art programs are superb; cultural enrichment opportunities abound. Students achieve highly and are well regarded by the best high schools in SF (I know this well because I serve on the board of one of them). Academic program is rigorous and contemporary, and technology is up to date (computer lab, Promethean boards, etc.). Many alums like me come back as parents. NDV s proposition is: first-rate education, uber-competent principal and administration, teachers who care about your whole child, grown-up parents who are actively raising their kids and a warm, vibrant, culturally diverse community, all at a bargain price. It s the best of Catholic education and a lovely place for your child if these things speak to you.
NDV is a fantastic school. Don t let a few grumpy parents reviews keep you from considering NDV for your child. The majority of parents and children are extremely happy with the school administration and teachers. NDV provides a solid education and results that prove it. From impressive test scores, to art music & sports programs, not to mention top Bay Area high school acceptances, we ll take the traditions and values of this school any day. We were impressed when we toured the school years ago and continue to be impressed by the educational programs, the talented Principle, the committed parent community, plus the supportive Parish. The parent community is very involved which builds on the solid foundation this school provides. Our child thrives at NDV as do many others. This school is a gem. Take a tour, talk to parents and you ll rind a richer prospective. Not every school is going to be perfect, but we ve witnessed first hand actions the administration takes to consistently deliver an exceptional well rounded program. Our family feels extremely lucky to be part of the NDV community and so do many others.
Do not agree at all with the negative reviews. The school is academically rigorous and traditional in many ways, but the principal makes great effort to make informed, thoughtful decisions and strives to be forward thinking and open to making school-wide policy and program changes as needed. Her dedication to the school is like nothing I've ever seen. The support and level of commitment from the pastor and church is phenomenal. Overall, this school provides the ideal balance of a structured yet progressive environment for the kids, boys and girls alike. As for staffing, high turnover and/or (the opposite) "dead wood" teachers entrenched in thinking and approach are cliche challenges of any school. NDV is no different- finding and keeping great teachers and getting the long term ones to be open to ever-evolving changes in curriculum and teaching approach are ongoing missions that the school takes to heart. School community is tight- knit, highly diverse, low key and committed like no other. This is a safe, fun, enriching school for any child; they come in as adorable kindergartners and leave as young leaders motivated and equipped to make a difference.
Have to agree with some of the reviewers here. School does seem out of touch and have seen a lot of turnover in recent years, but the school does have some real gems, especially in the lower grades. Good sports programs overall and very caring/committed parent community. After School Program significantly below par with stories of parents and kids complaining regularly with nothing changing. We know several parents who have said leadership is unresponsive to repeated parent and child complaints.
Soon our child will graduate and we can be done with the Catholic style punitive envronment that is pervasive in this traditional school. Innovative it is not - but then how could it be when you have leadership and teachers that aren't interested in furthering their own personal and professional education. K thru 3 works, middle school continues to be a challenge with teachers changing year after year after year. The parent community is wonderful.
My child has also graduated and, quite frankly, it is a tremendous relief to be away from the school. Although the early years are great and the uniforms very cute by the time middle school roles around the bloom is off the rose. There is tremendous teacher turnover at the middle school level except for the English teacher who has been there for years and is excellent. Math and science are poorly taught and the French program lacks structure and focus. After 9 years of exposure to French one would except a child to be somewhat knowledgable but the children never seem to rise above a very basic level. Math is the greatest disappointment, however, poorly taught and harshly graded the program leaves children ill prepared for high school.
Now that our son has graduated I feel compelled to tell the real truth about NDV. They are old-school, traditional, and are not up to speed on the critical thinking and expository writing requirements kids need today for high school. For years we witnessed many boys being told that they were lazy, not up to par, and that their questions and ideas lacked importantance. Our son, among other boys, self esteem over the years was crushed and limited his ability to feel successful. We tried to work with the leadership and we were patronized again and again. We wish that we had transferred after the first signs of red flags. I am sure that others do too - parents do talk. Complacency in education is not okay - Be careful in your selection.
NDV is the city's best kept secret. It attracts highly motivated parents with a strong sense of community and commitment to education. The Principal and the Pastor are very strong and committed leaders. The school has strong Catholic values but is also very inclussive and supportive to non-Catholics. My kids who are in elementary school have thrived at the school, their favorite subjects being art, PE and science. NDV has been very supportive of one of my kids who has learning differences. The school also has a great afterschool program which makes it viable for both parents to work a full day. The downside is the large class size. I also wish the core French program were stronger in the Elementary School. There is a new afterschool French program which is a great supplement.
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