I wish I could add stars for my review! I can't say enough about Notre Dame and what it has done for our family. We lived abroad and began our educational journey with our children at an IB school in Europe. When we moved back to the US, we were convinced we would never find another school like the one we had to leave. We were so glad to find one even better in Duluth, GA! Notre Dame Academy, with it's IB curriculum, Catholic education, and dedicated teachers and staff, has surpassed our expectations! We feel our children have blossomed there. They are all very different, and each of them have been embraced by their teachers, allowing them to shine in their own special way. We highly recommend Notre Dame Academy to anyone looking for not only a quality education for their children, but also an amazing environment that the whole family will appreciate.
We moved to Atlanta a few years ago and the best decision we made was enrolling our children in NDA. After looking at many other Catholic and non-denomiational schools, we are blessed that we chose NDA. Administration is effective and listens, teachers want to help your children and the families are wonderful. The curriculum is rigorous but manageable and they learn in the most amazing ways with their IB program. The families embraced us and made us apart of this community. We love NDA!
Our family has been a part of NDA for 7 years. Each day, our 3 children enter the school greeted by the Principal. She looks them in the eye and welcomes each and every student by name. This level of personalization and respect continues throughout the day, NDA students are provided a well-rounded education--focusing on academics, physical ed, technology, as well as commitment to helping others in the community. Classes are kept smaller (about 20 students); physical education is offered every day; technology is integrated into every classroom and Ipads provided each middle schooler. This is a remarkable school in many ways, and we are truly lucky to have our children be a part of such a fine school.
This school is a farce! Started out with their brochure motto "A Catholic Education for Every Child Who Wants One" to "An Elitist Education with some Catholic Stuff Thrown in for However Long Each Child's Affluent Parents Can Afford it". What an affront to parochial education!
To the first Parent writing a review on 3/22/12 - Before you criticize others on the "grammar", you should check your own. Often people write reviews or blogs without proofreading because they're writing about something emotional to them. Education of one's child(ren) is a significant investment for any concerned parents. So, before you go about banal grammar, it's the content of the criticisms that are most important. You write with many dangling particples and parts of sentences missing subjects/pronouns that you shouldn't be the one to JUDGE others who might have wrote fast without checking. Staying on topic of the messages in the debate is more important than criticizing the messengers.
Sad to say the the reviews written on NDA, simply are true. Or the parents have no clue! Yes NDA is an IB program but on a very low scale in comparsion to other schools especially out of state. It is very confusing to me that our child completed 3 years at NDA with test scores always well above avg. However now attending a different in which we spent the first two months of school last year playing catch up. B/c it was clearly ALOT that wasn't taught at NDA. I hope the parents at NDA take a good look at the other schools and what they are teaching in those schools. I can honestly say we did NOT get 11k worth of education from NDA. Also for the amount of $ it cost to attend NDA you would think by now they would at least have a gym for the children to play in. What a huge waste of time, money, and energy.
What a GREAT school! I am actually shocked by the negative comment below. Believe me, one disgruntled parent does NOT represent the vast majority of very happy families at this school! Our family has been extremely satisfied with the professionalism of the faculty & staff and the high level of education that challenges our kids to constantly ask questions and dive deeper into the task at hand. Then, there are the many extracurricular activities offered, the frequency of opportunities that we have as parents to get involved at the school, and the emphasis on the Catholic faith. What a wonderful place to raise a family.
I am a parent at Notre Dame Academy. I was attracted to the school by a parent and friend. The school is a fantastic school. The teachers and staff are wonderful. The school has 2 brands - Marist (educators for over 100 years) and IB (Globally minded for an international world). In a world of growing obesity, this school has DAILY P.E. I do not pay up front at this school, but pay using its 8 months plan. I am not related to an an administrator but have a great teacher for my child. You only have to look at the grammar in the complaint to know that education criticism is not that parent's strength. Blessings to all.
DISGUISED and FURIOUS at myself for being fooled through great advertisement and making such a horrid decision.This is the worst way to spend your money. You would not want to send your children to this school even if they gave you a scholarship for full tuition. The school is over rated and over priced. The education is sub par. The children are not challenged and that IB part of the curriculum is a joke, despite what they advertise. The administration is the worst! Even as a paying parent you are treated as an outsider, unless you are related to an insider. Do yourself a favor if you are NOT related to an administrator, DON'T put yourself, or your child through this school. They take all your money up front and place your child in the outsiders class with the least experienced teacher. As a catholic I pray daily for my child's teacher and the principal. Good Luck.
We are in our 5th year at NDA, and have 2 children currently attending the school. We are not Catholic, nor are we able to contribute financially much beyond the tuition. One of our children excels at reading and most other subjects; the other is a slower learner. With all of that said, Notre Dame Academy has been a fantastic experience for both of our children, and our family. We have not felt that we received anything less than the best the school has to offer - and it has a great deal to offer! The teachers, the technology, the curriculum, the other parents, etc. are all wonderful. I'm sorry some folks have not had good experiences here. We have felt blessed to be a part of something so special.
Teachers are either "hit" or "miss". It's like winning a lotto. The chance of getting the teacher who's a rock star is slim, unless you're an insider of which there're many because they're the ones who founded this new'ish school. The founding members still have kids going to school so you get the picture. For a small school, there seems to be a lot of relatives or kins working there so the favoritism comes into play which diminishes the self-esteem of the other students who're completely new to the school and/or don't have any ties there[ with either the administrators or the founding families] don't necessarily always get the "better" teachers. The IB part of the curriculum is its key asset. However, the overall curriculum [again, it' may be the variance in teaching quality as some teachers may be great] is not rigorous enough. You often feel that the rest of the class has to wait until the ones who don't get it finally catches up when in fact everyone pays the same tuition. There seems to be a heavy pendulum swing towards the Special Needs students rather than the norm and up.
My family has been at Notre Dame Academy for four years, and I can honestly say it is a privilege to be associated with the school. The teachers and administration emphasize character, integrity, hard work, knowledge, and spirituality. My kids work hard because they see the children around them working hard; the families at this school value education. In four years, we have had seven different teachers, all of whom are still teaching at the school. Fundraisers at the school include an annual fund drive, a gala (optional), and a Fun Run (student raised donations, optional, but encouraged). Everything about this school is considered and well thought out, and as a parent, I have seen them make the right choices, time after time. Of all the schools we toured/interviewed, Notre Dame is the one that most strongly emphasized learning and knowledge, with an inquiry based approach that creates students as learners, making them partners with the teaching staff. This school is a wonderful gem, and I think that would be completely clear to anyone who takes a tour, or sends their child in for a day to shadow a class.
I have two children at NDA, and we are now in our 4th year. It is hard to describe just how amazing this school is - it really feels much more like a family than a school. The best things: -the teachers KNOW my children and know exactly how to challenge them to think deeply. We have consistently seen teachers challenge our kids academically to push them to accomplish things our kids did not think were possible -my kids have been given work ahead of grade level to keep their interest in learning - they are never bored -the school is an international baccalaureate school, with an emphasis on creativity, integrated learning across disciplines, and incorporation of technology into the curriculum -the education is strongly faith based -not only do our classroom teachers know my children, but most of the other teachers also know them by name -every teacher we have had since pre-K is still at the school, and my kids love to visit with their old teachers -the music/arts program is great -they have PE and recess outside every day Most of all, my children are learning in an environment that places knowledge in context within the world around us. They are proud to call themselves learners.
Several years ago when Notre Dame Academy was first opening I discovered a very dedicated group of teachers and staff that worked very hard to open the doors of the school. We moved away and recently came back to the area and I have found it very sad that VERY few of those who put in the blood, sweat, and tears for this school to open had left the school. I have done further investigating to find out that many of these amazing teachers and staff were used up and let go because the focus of the school quickly changed from being about the school to being about growing administration. Very sad and unfortunate as at one time this was a place full of academic strength and a community of caring.
I am thrilled with the school. We have a child that is gifted academically and the IB program challenges her everyday. The reading program is individualized in that she reads on level that is best for her - she is reading several grade levels ahead. The Head of School does monitor the test scores and shares the results with the parents. My husband and I were very impressed to learn at a recent parent meeting that the 8th graders at Notre Dame score in the 99%. Our child is at the school for the academics and she is performing well above grade level.
Notre Dame has been a great school for our family. We have been since it has opened. There has been very little turnover in the teachers and we have the BEST teachers in Atlanta. This year the school has introduced Apple technology and my children are doing amazing things. We have fundraisers just like any school but the administration makes wonderful choices as to how to spend the money. Every dollar raised is invested back into the school to enhance the educational program. I would invite any family to come and tour our school and meet our wonderful teacher. You will be amazed.
My children attend Notre Dame Academy and both my husband and I have been involved at the school. We find the administration to be open and willing to listen. We have only had to ask to meet twice in five years but both times they listened to our concerns and immediately took action to solve the problem. The community is outstanding. We have wonderful opportunities as a family to share in events such as family picnic and bingo night. We have been at the school since it opened and we find the teachers and administration to be the same caring and dedicated professional throughout all five years. There has been very little turnover, in fact, our children have shared the same kindergarten teacher and second grade teacher. I don't know what high rate of turnover the earlier post is referring to.
Notre Dame Academy has a high turnover rate in teachers, weak leadership, and sub-par academics. It is run by a handful of families, who contribute the majority of money to support the school. Bullying is rampant and the admin. will turn a blind eye. They churn through students as well. It is very easy for a child to achieve all A's on their report cards and then fail in National testings. I would not recommend their education program and overall fostering of a child to anyone. They hold out they are a Marist school, but the reality is only a handful of graduating children get into Marist -- it is not automatic, at all and have the same chances anywhere else.
I am shocked to read the posting prior to mine. I have 3 kids at NDA for the 3rd year and we love it. I have no idea where the money and testing comments come from. Sure, we have fundraisers like any school but it's not in your face and clearly optional (I've heard of much worse elsewhere). I love that the primary fundraiser is the annual fund - I'm thankful we don't have to sell wrapping paper or magazines (where kids bug you over an over because they want a silly prize) . Standardized testing occurs but it's not a focus at all - such a relief from public schools who teach for the test. My children are all challenged at their own level and the teachers and administration are fabulous - truly concerned about every child, excellent communication, kids are happy to go to school everyday, etc. The class sizes are smaller so students do get individual attention and challenges. I'm sorry this family had a bad experience - I think it's rare.
Watch out! The school has a focus on 'money raising' and 'self promotion' without addressing the individual learning levels of the students. The 'head' of the school's sole focus 'in her own words' is on the numbers (mostly raising money) and is happy to recite a series of statistics but won't accept any parents critically challenging her teaching methods or process. Her opinion of continuous testing as the solution to provide the best in education is troubling considering that students at higher abilities are told to wait for the rest of the class to progress. They are happy to ask for all your money months in advance as well as starting their fundraising campaign during the first month of school. However, when the school isn't challenging your kids in the classroom you are told to wait until the second semester. And, if you change schools, don't expect a full/partial/future semester refund or any consideration or response from them - they have collected their money and are now looking for the next source of funds from another unsuspecting family.
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