This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Notre Dame High School4
Posted October 27, 2014
- a parent
This is my daughter's first year at Notre Dame H.S. in Easton PA. So far I am very impressed with the culture and academic quality of this school. Students have been friendly and welcoming. The teachers challenge the students and are willing to help and guide wherever possible. A peer tutoring program exists to be sure extra-curricular activities do not overshadow academic excellence. Parents are encouraged to log into the "parent portal" to review grades, and to communicate with teachers and administrative staff. Parents are view as partners in advancing the school curriculum. We chose this school because of its excellent reputation within the community and among the alumni. We are quite satisfied that what we are investing in our daughter's education is well spent at Notre Dame.
This is a clean school, with respectable kids, a great student teacher ratio, and a myriad of extracuricular activities. There is a diversity issue when administrators tell you up front that some teachers have problems with "certain" demographics. We found this to be true. The execution of both teaching & grading is far more problematic. Quizzes & tests don't have many questions, often falling in the (11-15) question range--a poor way to test comprehensive learning. My child's results reflected knowledge of the "nuances" of how to take a particular test more so than the material. If answers weren't in the precise form, they were marked wrong! Then there is the overall grading system. Only % grades were reported after the first semester. The school provides a grade point average only after the second semester. Only after inquiry, did we learn that grades are translated downward if you didn't take honors (which our child had ALL last year @ another school) The principal admited, in front of another parent, that the staff INTENTIONALLY withheld this information from us during our nine month courting process, at the orientation, and even when we selected classes. WOW!
Diversity at Notre Dame isn't accomplished only by the thriving exchange student program. Many of the students have multicultural backgrounds which they discuss openly and proudly with each other. I have found this to foster an atmosphere where tolerance isn't even a consideration, it is a given. My son and daughter have many friends of many backgrounds at ND, a fact that is insignificant to them as they only see friends, not races. I attribute this to the atmosphere at ND of family, and the notion often repeated to them by staff, that ND is a Family. There are many scholarships and programs available to encourage and allow any student to attend and benefit from this private school.
I am not sure how someone could say this school has a lot of diversity when 88% of the students are white. Only a handful of the teachers wish to help the students succeed. Office staff is not very professional. The act like they have thousands of students to manage. I had to submit several documents more than once. For whatever reason things seem to get misplaced regularly or staff fails to pass on the information to the correct individual. There are three people handling around 30 exchange students and there isn't a designated individual to go to for help with exchange students, they just get shuffled around. Very difficult to get teachers to respond to emails. One teacher actually told me I was not allowed to contact her, that the student had to make the first contact. I was looking for ideas or suggestions to help my child but the teacher wouldn't even let me explain my position. I wasn't contacting her to complain about her teaching I was just looking for help. The principal does not get involved. He passes everything to Mr. Steiner who actually cares about the students and doing what is best for them.
Besides it being way overpriced, they weren't able to follow my I.E.P. to my satisfaction by ignoring/forgetting some special needs I had. Many (not all, most) were unorganized losing papers and unreasonable with grading, as well as biased with close-minded thinking that could obviously be seen by how rudely they treated me. Don't go here if you are not Catholic or you aren't fully supportive of every Catholic teaching, they will not be friendly to you, they will belittle and harass you although they make the student life diverse to make it look like they won't. Overall It's an expensive mistake you shouldn't make.
My child attends this school and requires special education. The services they provide far exceed the public school's and my child is consistently making honor roll due to this. We are very happy with this school - best decision ever.