Problem with bullying that I addressed on numerous occasions. Students were allowed to ostracize and alienate certain students with no consequences. My daughter was so stressed at not fitting in that I had to remove her. For this to be a religious school their attitudes were far from Christ like.
We recently joined the Notre Dame community, and could not be happier with our choice. Our children's curriculum at both the grade school and junior high level, is challenging and thought provoking. Students are encouraged to think outside of the box, to learn concepts while also understanding practical implications of those lessons. The school also teaches students to be mindful of the world around them, and mentors them to consistently try to find ways to help those in need. NDA also employs some of the brightest, most remarkable teachers we have come across. We feel blessed to have found this school.
The school is in turmoil with the expansion of a high school. It appears the founder is in over her head and her hand selected Principal for the HS left the school shortly after he started. He ran back to his old school leaving NDA is a complete mess. The school apparently panicked as his replacement is a young man, with limited educational or professional background.
In fact, this may be the most inexperienced Principal in US history. I wont name him, but the school tried to bury his background in some email instead of celebrating the pick. Parents were sold that he is a hard worker, etc. Perhaps but I know multiple parents who are upset that such an inexperienced person is given this position. I have children in the elementary school, but it turned me off as well. The Board of Trustees at NDA is known to be filled with inside people with little executive experience, and the decision of the new HS Principal shows this. I wish I could be more positive, but when the board is filled with religious lay people with little executive decision making history, mistakes are bound to happen.
I hope the school survives the mistake... but the latest decisions show panic not foresight. On the positive side, the new Gym and buildings are a huge plus.
As a parent that volunteers I am always observing the faculty and staff to solidify my decision that this is the best environment for my children.
My husband and I are a middle class family that take our childrens' education very seriously and we are very confident Notre Dame Academy offers the best education within a community that is emotionally nurturing and uplifting.
My son attended this school for 3 years. We left because his teacher was very strict to the point he was afraid of her. This teacher punished him for 'being chatty' by putting him in the lowest reading level (he was at the highest reading level in class). The teacher told my son if he reported this degradation to us, his parents, he would be in even more trouble at school. Disturbing to say the least. By the end of the year, he was afraid to talk to his teacher at all. The curriculum is good, but not worth the emotional stress.
The School is okay. The curriculum is good, it's an IB school, it's very individualized, and the science class doesn't teach Creationism. However, I have many problems concerning the student body. Notre Dame Academy claims to have a "no tolerance" policy towards bullying, but I have never observed anything remotely similar enforced. The students can bully each other in nearly any way they please, and the teachers turn a blind eye to it. Some of the students are rude, violent, and are able to casually make insensitive remarks and frequently use racist, sexist, ageist, and homophobic slurs without having to worry about getting in trouble. The Religion program is awful. Anything that might even remotely suggest that the Catholic Church is anything but perfect are removed and/or distorted. For example, the 8th grade religion textbook states that the Protestant Reformation was the result of arguements over how people get into heaven, and not because of the outright horrid things the Catholic Church did during the Middle Ages.
We are thrilled in our ninth year at Notre Dame Academy. NDA does a great job utilizing the IBO structure. I have seen many examples on how NDA weaves the IBO focus topic through out the day. In keeping with the IBO theme, many of their Service learning projects emphasize a reach on a world view rather than an encapsulated one. My children always surpass the national average on standardized tests. Notre Dame continues to think outside the box when it comes to keeping kids interested. For example, the seventh grade social studies teacher has the kids creating a Facebook page of a historical figure. They have to think status updates in relation to the person and date. Thanks to NDA, my kids have kept up with all the technology in this ever changing world of new gadgets. I have always witnessed the latest and the greatest - IPADS as an emphasis on text book reading, smartboards for inter-active learning, google docs as a submission for homework, smart music programs to learn instruments, utilization of mac products and features and continued updates from teachers on web sites. My kids are happy and excited to attend school here; well, at least on most mornings!
Our family is in our third year at NDA and we could not be happier about our choice to send our child here at such a young age. Our daughter is blossoming, confident, social, active, and is always inquiring about learning more, even when she is at home. We have made genuine friends with the other parents, we think the world of our daughter's classmates, and we truly feel that her teachers and her principal care so very much about her. What a wonderful school in which to raise our growing family!