When our family moved to Clarendon Hills, we sent our kids to the public schools, as this was a big reason we chose to live in this area. We have the utmost respect for our public school teachers. However, the frequent curriculum changes in Math and Language Arts have created a very unsettling situation, as the methods used by students and teachers are in near constant flux. Education is increasingly viewed as a race to higher and higher "above grade level" courses, which reduces the time needed to truly absorb concepts and develop critical thinking.
We transferred our children to Notre Dame. We are so happy that we did! Notre Dame provides a much smaller school atmosphere, with greater personal contact between student and teacher. The curriculum is very stable. Math is rigorous and accelerated, but with no sense of rushing. Along with much reading and writing, Language Arts includes grammar and spelling, subjects which have been sadly absent from public school curricula. Religion is taught every day, and incorporated into the general curriculum. Students know that being a good person is of greatest importance and that starts with a relationship with God. Extra-curricular activities are many, with NO-CUT athletic teams starting in 5th grade, a beautiful school musical which includes any student who wants to participate, and a new STEM club, giving "get your hands dirty" opportunities for inquisitive young scientists. Graduates from Notre Dame attend and excel at both Hinsdale Central and Catholic high schools. The list of colleges that ND graduates attend is top level as well.
All of these positives are truly significant, from the academic perspective. But Notre Dame is set further apart by the family atmosphere of children, teachers, parents. The principal, Ms. Feeney knows every child's name and knows their interests and personality. The teachers are mentors as well as educators. The older students take special interest in the younger students, know them by name, and interact. And the parents are invited to be partners in their children's education. These relationships make our kids feel happy and safe at school, and allows them to grow intellectually, spiritually, emotionally and morally.
I have four boys and my oldest went to public school. My other three have gone to Notre Dame. There are so many things that I love about Notre Dame. I love the principal, Ms. Feeney. She is so dedicated to the school. She arrives most days before 5:00 am! She knows every student by name and can tell you who takes and who picks up each student! She also looks at student work for the ENTIRE school at least once a week and writes a positive comment on each paper that she sees!!! She is outside on the piazza every day monitoring and talking to students!! The parents at school could not be more amazing!! If I ever asked for help, there would be so many people who would drop everything to help me!! I have made such great friendships with other moms and families that will last a lifetime!! The teachers are working with the parents in partnership. In the older grades some of the classes are split so classes sizes are small which allows for more one-on-one instruction. The students are amazing, too!! My sons have made such great friendships with such nice boys!! I love Notre Dame!!!
Notre Dame is an excellent school. The teachers are dedicated and prepare the students well for high school and beyond. I currently have 3 children who have graduated from Notre Dame attending high school. They are taking honors and AP level courses. Their teachers at Notre Dame provided a good foundation for them and encouraged them to strive for more. There are several opportunities for service and leadership at Notre Dame. On Friday mornings children in 1st. - 8th. grade attend mass together. Each week a different grade helps to prepare the liturgy. Children as young as 1st. grade are responsible for the readings. They are exposed to public speaking at a very young age. There are numerous extra-curricular activities such as Student Council, STEM club, Math Club, Band, Choir, Chess Club, etc. with many also offering the chance to participate in competitions too. Children in 5th - 8th grade can participate in a variety of sports such as basketball, volleyball, cross country and track and field. These are all no-cut sports at Notre Dame. The Notre Dame community is very caring and always willing to help out where needed.
As an Uncle with no children, I have attended many events at my nephews school, either a sporting event, a play, a fund raiser or an academic challenge that they take part in...I notice every time, that the kids look me straight in the eye and say hello - TO ME! This community is blessed by the dedication of the parents and the teachers...it shows! When I am GOD has blessed me with my own children someday...I will look to sending my children here!
If you’re like us, choosing where to send your children to school can be a monumental and daunting decision. You strive to do best by your child. You try to find a place where they will academically excel and where the educators help foster the same moral values that you try to live by at home. We have happily come to the realization that this is what happens at Notre Dame School. This is our first year enrolled at Notre Dame and we have children in 1st and 2nd grades.
We believe our children have gotten more by being enrolled at ND. The curriculum is challenging and sound and preparing them for their future schooling years. The attention to detail by the staff creates a level of education and opportunity for the student body that wasn't seen at our old school. Teachers are very much involved in day to day teaching as well as many of the after school and special functions offered by the school and the PTO. The children at the school seem to positively respond to the structure given by teachers on up to the principal, Ms. Feeney. Ms. Feeney is very hands on with the teaching staff, children, as well as the parents. She (Ms. Feeney) has a knack for knowing every child and their families. We believe this filters down throughout the entire school and creates a real sense of community/family within the school and the families that are enrolled there. The entire staff seems to relate to these kids on a deeper level than just student and teacher. They genuinely care about the kids.
Continuing on that path, the families at ND have been more than happy to involve us in activities, play dates, and in their lives. We never thought that we'd be part of such a tight knit group of people that really care for one another and their families. The positive feed back from our kids is constant. From the little anecdotes that they share with us about their day, to how nice they say everyone is, how they get to share their own special intentions during morning prayer, to the eagerness of seeing their teachers and friends, the great things they are learning, and of course, the smiles…those speak for themselves! We are so very pleased with our decision to send our children to Notre Dame and consider ourselves blessed to have met the warm and inviting community we have come to know.
We transferred this year to Notre Dame from a public school. The experience has been overwhelmingly positive. The teachers and staff are so invested in the students and the school community really feels like a second family. We are very happy with our decision.
We recently changed from a public school to Notre Dame. The school has been fantastic. It has exceeded our expectations regarding the teachers, the principal and the community as a whole. The standards are high and the confidence and friendships that my two daughters have gained are awesome. Everyone is welcoming and friendly. The communication and consistency from all of the school staff is refreshing. We highly recommend this school.
We are thrilled with our experience at Notre Dame School. My kids are challenged daily with a great curriculum with the added bonus of teaching the importance of being a good person. The older grades work with the younger grades to foster an team atmosphere throughout the school. We could not be happier there and the cost for three girls is less than sending one child to school in the City. All parents in the school are very involved and I can count on them to step in for teachable moments.
In a town where you pay taxes for the best public schools in the State, we chose to send our 3 Children to Notre Dame and could not be happier with our choice. Our Children received a First Rate Catholic Education and were well prepared for the transition to High School. We were most happy with the small class sizes, the individual attention and the focus on building character. I would highly recommend this school!
My husband and I have had 3 girls graduate from Notre Dame, and currently have a 6th and 8th grader enrolled at Notre Dame. Our girls who have graduated from Notre Dame, were very well prepared for high school and our college age daughter even credits Notre Dame, with her success in college. It was important to my husband and I for our girls to receive a faith based education as well as to be challenged academically. Notre Dame, has given us both of those things as well as a sense of community that has offered us more love and support than we ever could have imagined.