This Student/Parent Handbook is intended to present school policies and procedures and be a guide to answer questions of both students and parents/guardians of the Notre Dame Academy community. The handbook continues to be a work-in-progress as the students, faculty, parents/guardians, and administrators strive to outline the guidelines that help to create a safe and comfortable learning environment that flows from the philosophy and mission of NDA.
The administration of Notre Dame Academy reserves the right to add, modify, or change any part of this handbook for the good of the school or students. The administration is the final recourse in all disciplinary matters and may waive any and all regulations for a just cause at its discretion.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Notre Dame Academy is a Catholic, college-preparatory high school dedicated to educating young women to make a difference.
Notre Dame Academy graduates are:
Women of Faith who live Catholic values and witness to God’s goodness and provident care. They . . .
Women of Academic Excellence who think critically and communicate effectively. They...
Women of Vision and Leadership who collaborate, problem solve, and use technology ethically. They...
Women of Service and Compassion who make a positive difference in the world. They...
Admission is determined by four basic indicators of the student’s potential for success at Notre Dame Academy:
Ordinarily, a student with a D or F in grades 6, 7 or 8 will not be considered for admission. Additionally, a student is expected to maintain her level of performance through the completion of grade 8 following her acceptance at Notre Dame Academy. A significant drop in academic or behavior grades may jeopardize a student’s status for admission. Notre Dame Academy will finalize acceptance upon review of the student’s June report card, financial clearance by the elementary school and the completion of all paperwork.
HSPT scores become part of the student’s permanent file and will be accessible to the student upon admission to Notre Dame Academy. This policy is consistent with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 which guarantees the right of access to the permanent file only upon admission as a student. Recommendation letters do not become part of the applicant’s permanent file and therefore are not open for review.
Impelled by Jesus Christ and His mission and our rich educational heritage, we, the Board, Administration, Faculty, and Staff of Notre Dame Academy are committed to maintaining a healthy and inclusive Catholic environment of educational excellence for the transformation of individuals and society. We strive to form women who are skilled and committed to journey together in hope as witnesses and catalysts for the responsible care of all God’s creation and for justice and peace, especially for those on the margins of society (From The Educational Vision of the Sisters of Notre Dame).
We affirm our commitment as a Catholic school to inclusivity. We welcome all into this Gospel community including, but not limited to people of all races, colors, religions, ethnicities, nationalities, immigration statuses, abilities, socio-economic classes, and sexual orientations. We receive and love all here as God’s children and do not tolerate discrimination. We remain vigilant to create an environment of mutual respect, of welcoming hospitality, and of genuine warmth in which none is a stranger, and in which all may flourish according to God’s plan.
As a Catholic school, every attempt is made to serve students whose parents desire a Catholic education for them. While the school does not discriminate against students with special needs, a full range of services may not always be available to them. Decisions concerning the admission and continued enrollment of a student in the school are based on the student’s emotional, academic, and physical abilities and the resources available to the school in meeting the student’s needs.
Students may enter the school building beginning at 6:50 a.m., when the front door is unlocked. The Student Learning Commons opens at 7:00 a.m., the main office is open from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and security is on campus from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m. Parents are expected to pick up their daughter by 6 p.m. unless she is involved in an evening event at school that day. A security guard assigned to an evening event will remain on campus for 15 minutes after the event ends. Parents are expected to pick up students before security leaves.
On days when the school calendar says, “School Closes at 3 p.m.,” or a 3 p.m. closing is announced, parents are expected to arrange for their daughter to be picked by 3 p.m. Security will leave at 3 p.m., and students may not return to campus after 3 p.m.
On most days, classes are in session from 8 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. or 1 p.m. Classes rotate daily, with either six 50-minute classes or a block schedule with three 85-minute classes. Zero Period classes begin at 7 a.m. and Period Seven classes begin at 2:45 p.m. or 1:15 p.m. Students are expected to attend school on retreat and activity days.
Students may not stay in the student lot after they park, but must proceed directly to the main campus. The student lot is off limits to all students throughout the day. Office personnel may allow a student to go to her car during the school day, accompanied by the security guard.
After 3 p.m., all students still on campus and not meeting with a teacher or coach must be in the Student Learning Commons or outside but within the gates/fences.
Students may not bring guests to school without prior permission of the Assistant Head of School and the permission of each subject teacher concerned.
Students who have left the school for disciplinary reasons are not permitted in or around the school (State Vagrancy Law - Penal Code 647) or at school-sponsored events.
A student who does not have a current immunization record on file may not attend school until she submits a verification of current immunization.
When a student misses class time, she misses more than paperwork -- she misses the intellectual sharing, the group dynamic and the opportunity to test her ideas against those of her peers and teachers.
Every day that a student is absent, her parent/guardian must call the school office by 9:30 a.m. and leave a message on the voice mail or speak to office personnel. A parent/guardian call is necessary each day, whether the student will be absent the entire day or a portion of the day. Absences from Zero and Seventh Period classes must be reported as well as absences from Periods One through Six. The information that must be provided in this phone call is as follows:
If the parent/guardian has not called by 9:30 a.m., office personnel will call home or work to verify the absence. When the student returns to school, no note is required.
A student who misses more than 8 sessions of a class during a semester may lose credit, with block days counting as two sessions. Two-hour Seventh Period classes count as two sessions, and four-hour Seventh Period classes count as four sessions. The administration reserves the right to determine how much credit the student will receive. Missing class impacts a student’s ability to keep up with the course content and puts her grade at risk. Parents are encouraged to monitor absences on PowerSchool.
To participate in any sport or after-school activity (practice, game, rehearsal, performance, dance, etc.), a student must be present for at least three hours of the school day, excluding lunch, on the day of the sport or activity.
If the prom is held on a Friday, juniors who plan to attend this event must be at school for the entire day. If a junior who failed to attend the entire school day goes to the prom, her parents will be contacted and asked to pick her up. In addition, the cost of the bid will not be refunded.
If a student’s parent/guardian must take a student out of school early (i.e. medical or dental appointments, travel plans, or family business), the parent/guardian must call the front office at least 24 hours in advance of the time of release so that arrangements can be made for her dismissal during class.
No student may leave the school premises during the day without authorization by the office. Students cannot be released to anyone other than a parent, guardian or other person listed in PowerSchool.
Students must have signed parent/guardian permission slips for school sponsored field trips and excursions or they will not be permitted to participate in the trip and must remain at school.
Front office personnel will contact a parent or guardian if a student becomes ill while at school or during off-campus activities. It is, therefore, essential that current emergency information be on file for each student at all times. Please be advised that NDA is unable to provide any medication, including aspirin, to a student.
Accidents and illness must be reported immediately to an administrator and to the school office. This regulation includes every accident and illness in the school building, on the school grounds, at practice sessions, or at any school sponsored event. Students also have the responsibility to report another student's accident or illness. The school recommends that all families provide insurance for their daughters, particularly for those students involved in sports. The secondary insurance provided by the school is subject to a deductible and copayments. In case of an accident, an insurance claim form should be secured from the school office. The supervising teacher will make a written report of the circumstances on the day the accident happens. Neither the school nor its personnel incurs any financial responsibility for the transportation and/or treatment of a student.
Additional Notes Regarding Absences from School
Students tardy to class during the school day, for any reason, must go to the office for a tardy slip. A teacher may excuse the tardiness. In that case, the teacher signs the tardy admit and returns it to the student who is then responsible for taking it to the office before the end of school the same day.
Students who are tardy to class because they have been delayed by a teacher or staff member are required to take a note from that person to the office. The student will receive a tardy admit slip already marked “excused” which she presents to the teacher for whose class she is late. No other action is necessary on the part of the teacher or student.
Each unexcused tardy during the day results in a one hour detention.
A student is considered late to her first class of the day if she arrives after the 8:00 a.m. bell but before 8:30 a.m. Students are allowed five excused morning tardies each semester. When a student has accumulated three morning tardies, her parents/guardians will receive a letter of notification stating that she only has two excused tardies remaining. There are no detentions attached to the five excused morning tardies.
After the student has used her five excused tardies, she will be issued a detention for each unexcused morning tardy. Students who arrive later than 8:30 a.m. (but still during the first class of the day) will be considered absent from their first class of the day and a parent/guardian needs to call the front office.
Please update the demographic information in PowerSchool each spring before registration and notify the office of any changes to contact information during the school year. Please let us know if another person assumes responsibility for the student for any period.
State law allows no minor (a person under 18 years of age) to work without a permit. The State of California does not provide work permits to private and parochial schools. To obtain a work permit, students at Notre Dame Academy must ask at the Front Office for the following:
1. a request for a work permit form (Note: This form is not the work permit itself.)
2. a letter stating she is a student at NDA
The office will fill out the school portion of the request for a work permit and provide the letter. The student then takes this information, along with her birth certificate, to the public school in her district. The public school will issue a work permit. Call your local public school to check on special times for service. It is suggested that a part-time job not exceed 20 hours per week.
A parent/guardian who wishes to withdraw a student from the school must contact the Assistant Head of School for Academics who will provide the Withdrawal/Transfer Request Form and set up a mandatory exit interview. Official transcripts will not be released until the completion of the exit interview. See Financial Policies for further details.
If a student transfers from Notre Dame Academy to another school, a copy of her official NDA transcript, the original Health Record and any other relevant documents will be sent upon request from the school where the student has enrolled, contingent upon the student’s completion of all NDA withdrawal process requirements.
“Student Records” indicate any record related to a student that is maintained by a school or one of its employees and includes health records. It does not include “directory information” or a school employee’s informal notes.
Only the Assistant Head of School for Educational Operations, as custodian of the records, authorizes the release of student records. Only teachers or administrators charged with student oversight have the right to view or use student records. Student records may be released by judicial order such as a subpoena or a search warrant. In specific cases, such as suspicion of kidnapping, police officers may be given access to records.
Parents and legal guardians of minors have the absolute right to access their daughter’s student records in accordance with the school’s reasonable procedures for providing such access. Parents or legal guardians may grant any specified person written consent to access specifically identified student records. In cases of legal separation and/or divorce, California state law gives the custodial parent and a non-custodial parent with visitation rights the right to access and examine student records. However, a parent with custodial rights may consent to the release of records and has the right to challenge the content of the records and to write responses to information regarding disciplinary action.
NDA submits transcripts to seniors’ colleges of application, as well as a final transcript after graduation to their selected school. For a summer program or a concurrent school program, please request official NDA transcripts from the Registrar.
Students requesting a letter of recommendation from a teacher or advisor must give that person the following information in writing: the student’s name, a résumé, any form required by the school and an outline of the information required. Students should give teachers/advisors at least three weeks to complete recommendations.
Parents and guardians are expected to observe rules of good sportsmanship when attending home or away sports contests. Anyone exhibiting inappropriate behavior may be asked to leave the event and/or the premises. Failure to follow school policy/ regulations may result in the school’s requesting the parent/guardian to withdraw the student from Notre Dame Academy.
Any parent, guardian, or other person whose conduct disrupts class work or extracurricular activities or involves substantial disorder is guilty of a misdemeanor which is punishable as described in California Education Code Section 44881.
Eighteen Year-Old Students:
All school regulations, policies, and protocols apply to students who are 18 years or older while they are enrolled in school. The school continues to communicate with parents or legal guardians concerning grades, disciplinary matters, etc.
Change of Residence:
Students who attend Notre Dame Academy must reside with their parents or legal guardians. The administration must be notified immediately of any change in residence status.
Since a married student is no longer accountable to a parent or guardian, the relationship between the school and the parent/ guardian is compromised. Any student who marries forfeits her enrollment at Notre Dame Academy.
The teaching of the Catholic Church is clear regarding the right to life of all human beings and the reverence and respect owed to each person, including those conceived and not yet born.
The school will allow a pregnant student to continue to complete coursework toward graduation. The welfare of the student and her unborn baby, as well as the impact on the rest of the student body, will be carefully considered in all decisions pertinent to the situation. Any pregnant student attending school must have a doctor's approval note on file at the school. The administration reserves the right to make decisions on a case-by-case basis.
Students with a communicable disease or condition should be treated by medical personnel and kept at home until they are no longer contagious. A student who comes to school with an untreated infectious disease or condition will be kept in the office until a parent/guardian comes to pick her up. A doctor’s note must verify that a student is no longer contagious in order for her to be readmitted.
Notre Dame Academy has accepted the United States Bishops’ statement, “The Many Faces of AIDS: A Gospel Response” as adapted for use within the Archdiocese. This document states:
HIV/AIDS infection is not spread by casual contact; therefore, infection with AIDS in and of itself is not a reason to exclude a student from attending school. Usually, these students are entitled to all rights and services accorded to other students. Decisions about any changes in the educational program of a student who is infected with HIV/AIDS shall be made on a case-by-case basis. Each situation will be analyzed and responded to as required by its particular facts. Any decisions will take into consideration Christian concern and compassion, community health and well-being, and individual privacy and needs.
Central to the philosophy of Notre Dame Academy is the belief that parents/guardians are the primary educators of their children. In support of this belief, the school and the parents/guardians work in close collaboration in all aspects of the student's educational process. Notre Dame Academy educates the whole person, with emphasis on spirituality, academics, and extracurricular activities. It is important that the student maintain an appropriate balance among these three areas as she progresses toward her goals.
The NDA Honor Code addresses three specific areas:
I strive to be an honorable person. I pledge always to:
Notre Dame’s policies aim to:
Please consult the Curriculum Catalog for course requirements.
The California State Education Code requires that all students enrolled in Physical Education/Health (all freshmen) or a Seventh Period conditioning class submit a valid physical.
Notre Dame Academy considers Christian Service a hallmark of the NDA community. In conjunction with the Campus Ministry program, NDA requires every student to participate in the Christian Service program. The school’s philosophy states that intellectual faith must be put into practice. Therefore, the school encourages a commitment to lifelong service to the Church and community. NDA recognizes that the lived experience of faith is an ongoing process which deepens with age and maturity. Specifics about the Christian Service program can be found in the Curriculum Catalog and on the Christian Service website via Naviance.
Notre Dame Academy provides the opportunity for some students to take online courses for NDA credit under the following circumstances:
Students in these situations should register for Independent Study and submit a request to the Assistant Head of School for approval of the proposed online course. Keep in mind that VPA and lab science requirements generally cannot be completed via online courses. Students must research proposed online classes with their academic and college counselor to ensure eligibility for UC/CSU and NCAA credit (as appropriate). Students will take online courses during Independent Study and must complete the course with a satisfactory grade (C- or higher).
The only schedule changes possible once the school year has begun are those initiated by teacher recommendation or administrative decision. The only common exception is that a student may add or withdraw from a sports conditioning, art, or performing arts Seventh Period class during the first two weeks of the class. Other exceptions to this policy require the approval of the Assistant Head of School for Educational Operations.
Students who earn a D or F in a required mathematics, world languages, science, or English course at NDA must make up that course during the summer at an accredited high school or college or with a UC approved online course; keep in mind that VPA and lab science requirements generally cannot be completed via online courses. Students should consult with their academic and college counselor to determine exactly which courses require remediation and to consider the best options for doing so; also, consult the school’s website here for a list of options.
Students earning a D or F in any class should carefully review the requirements for next year’s courses. College eligibility may be hampered by not remediating any D or F grades. Student athletes must consult with their academic and college counselor to ensure NCAA course eligibility. Any remediation courses taken must be full, 5-credit, semester courses that are UC approved. Students must ensure that a transcript of the summer grade is submitted to the registrar before the end of summer vacation in order to be eligible to attend school the following school year.
Highly motivated students may choose to pursue community college courses due to special interests. Since these courses will usually not appear on the student's NDA transcript, the community college transcript should be submitted along with the student’s NDA transcript for college applications. Students may consider taking a UC approved VPA (Visual and Performing Art) course—or another course to remediate a D or F grade—at a community college to meet their NDA graduation requirements, but they must receive administrative approval prior to enrolling.
NDA offers numerous course options during NDA Summer School; students are encouraged to consider these to open up more elective course options in their schedules during the school year or to take enrichment or prerequisite courses. Please consult the separate NDA Summer School Curriculum Catalog for more information. NDA does not offer remediation courses during the summer; these must be taken at other accredited schools or through approved online providers.
Teachers use a variety of evaluation methods to determine a student’s grade. Report cards are issued after each semester. A student’s percentage grade in a class is converted into a letter grade that has a GPA value as listed below; these values are then used for calculating the student’s cumulative GPA. Grades for Advanced Placement and certain honors courses may be weighted, according to UC standards, as indicated in the Curriculum Catalog. In those cases, the student receives an additional GPA point for any grade above D+.
A: A 93–100% 4.0 GPA points
A- 90–92 3.7 GPA points
B: B+ 87–89% 3.3 GPA points
B 83–86% 3.0 GPA points
B- 80–82% 2.7 GPA points
C: C+ 77–79% 2.3 GPA points
C 73–76% 2.0 GPA points
C- 70–72% 1.7 GPA points
D: D+ 67–69% 1.3 GPA points
D 63–66% 1.0 GPA points
D- 60–62% 0.7 GPA points
A student with a D at the semester receives credit but typically must repeat the course in summer school.
F: F 0–59% 0.0 GPA points
A student with an F at the semester receives no credit and must repeat the course in summer school.
I: Indicates that the student's work for the grading period is INCOMPLETE. An incomplete grade becomes an automatic F if the student does not complete the work within eight weeks.
P: Indicates PASS without a grade designation. Some courses do not carry letter grades but still earn credit. The computation of the GPA does not include these courses.
NP: Indicates NON-PASS for no credit in a class without a grade designation. Some courses do not carry letter grades but still earn credit. The computation of the GPA does not include these courses.
In most classes, the letter grades published on report cards are calculated by giving 80% weight to the semester work and 20% weight to the semester final exam or culminating project. The work during the term is indicated by T1 or T2, the semester exam by E1 or E2, and the overall semester grade as S1 or S2.
Semester exams are required in all honors level classes and may be waived by some teachers in college preparatory and/or Advanced Placement courses. Students are expected to take final exams at the scheduled times. No exams may be taken before exam week without prior permission from the Assistant Head of School for Academics. Students who are late for a semester exam may forfeit the time missed.
Students who are too ill to take an exam on the scheduled day will be expected to take the exam on a scheduled make-up day. Students who do not take their exam(s) on the dates scheduled for other than financial or medical reasons will receive an F for the exam(s). Advanced Placement students who take the AP exam in May may be exempt from the second semester final, at the discretion of the instructor. Senior exemptions are at the discretion of the instructor in accordance with administrative directives.
Semester exam papers are not returned to students; however, students have the right to examine their graded exam papers on site with the teacher at a mutually agreed upon time.
PowerSchool allows parents/guardians and students to view the student’s grades and attendance record online using school-generated personal usernames and passwords. As a result, it is the responsibility of parents/guardians and students to check student progress regularly. Prior to contacting a teacher regarding academic matters, parents are encouraged to consult PowerSchool as teachers often communicate essential information to parents/guardians and students via PowerSchool. Please refer to the school calendar for PowerSchool blackout dates during semester exams and grading timeframes.
NDA submits transcripts to seniors’ colleges of application, as well as a final transcript after graduation to their selected school. For a summer program or a concurrent school program, please request official NDA transcripts from the Registrar.
Requirements for Semester Membership:
Students in grades 10, 11, and 12 earn membership in CSF if they apply and have earned ten CSF points. Points are earned on grades from the previous semester (first and second semesters of 10th grade, first and second semesters of 11th grade, and first and second semesters of 12th grade) according to the following scale.
A = 3 points Honors/AP A = 4 points
B = 1 point Honors/AP B = 2 points
A D or F in any course, even if not counted for CSF, disqualifies the student from membership.
Only five classes may be used to calculate these points, and the first seven points must be earned in core classes (English, math, social studies, science, and world language). To earn membership, a student must submit a completed application to the CSF moderator each semester by NDA’s published deadline. Failure to do so results in ineligibility for the prior semester.
Poor citizenship may disqualify students from membership. It is the CSF moderator or Assistant Head of School’s prerogative to determine disbarment.
Life Membership can be achieved by seniors who have been members for four of the last six semesters of high school. A Life Member is also known as a Sealbearer and is recognized with a gold cord to be worn at graduation. Semester application submission deadlines are indicated on the school calendar and must be met in order for the application to be eligible. No late applications will be accepted, as per CSF policy. The CSF application and rules may be found on the NDA website.
The National Honor Society Regina chapter of Notre Dame Academy, a duly chartered and affiliated chapter of this prestigious organization, is open to students in grades 12, 11, and the second semester of grade 10. To be considered for membership, a student must meet the minimum academic requirement of a weighted cumulative GPA of 3.90. A faculty committee selects members based on their excellence in character, service, leadership and scholarship. Any student falling below a weighted cumulative GPA of 3.90 will jeopardize her NHS membership. Once membership is forfeited, it cannot be regained. Members in good standing wear a cord in their class color at graduation.
Based on semester averages, students receive honor ribbons as follows:
First Honors 4.00 and up Gold ribbon
Second Honors 3.50 – 3.99 White ribbon
Third Honors 3.00 – 3.49 Burgundy ribbon
Standards of academic excellence at Notre Dame Academy, as expressed in the school’s Honor Code, include expectations of academic integrity. The expectation is that every member of the NDA community act with the integrity and dignity befitting membership in this community and in the wider Catholic community. Students who commit academic infractions lose credit for their work, meet with the Dean of Students, and incur disciplinary consequences.
Below are ways in which students may collaborate.
Level 1: Totally open. Collaboration allowed.
Level 2: Discussion permitted within assigned groups. You will either turn in one assignment as a group, or individual assignments, depending on the teacher’s instructions, but collaboration is limited to your assigned group.
Level 3: Only your own work. No collaboration allowed.
Level A: Anything is allowed.
Level B: Specified resources; see list below.
Level C: Nothing is allowed; i.e. test.
Checklist of Resources for Out-of-Class (homework) Assignments
Notre Dame Academy requires that students maintain a weighted semester grade point average (GPA) and weighted cumulative GPA of 2.00. A current or semester GPA below 2.00 and/or Ds or Fs in three or more classes are grounds for academic probation. The Assistant Head of School will notify a student’s parents/guardians informing them of this status. Academic Probation, like Citizenship Probation, may make the student ineligible to represent her class, organization, or school in sports teams, speech tournaments, dance performances, choir concerts, DTASC, the spring musical, etc. If the student’s weighted cumulative GPA has improved to at least 2.00 after the probationary semester, she regains good academic standing.
A student's registration and course schedule for the new academic year will not be processed until she provides proof of completion of required summer school classes with a grade of C- or better. Incoming freshmen may be placed on academic probation depending on their performance in required summer school classes.
Work missed during an absence must be made up. It is the student’s responsibility to get homework assignments from each teacher. Please refer to the course policy sheet for each class for the teacher’s specific policies concerning prompt completion of missed work. If the absence is longer than two days, parents/guardians should notify the student’s Academic and College Counselor and the front office.
E Period (for “Engagement” Period) is a scheduled opportunity for students to meet with teachers, collaborate with classmates, or study independently. The Student Learning Commons and classrooms should be utilized for academic collaboration or quiet study time, while the cafe and outside spaces are available for less structured activities.
Freshmen and sophomores will remain in the class that precedes E Period. If a freshman or sophomore needs to meet with a teacher, staff member, counselor, or other students (for collaborative projects), she must sign out before leaving the room and must sign in upon her return. Juniors and seniors, as upperclasswomen, will have the privilege to choose where and how to best use their E Period.
Students must follow school rules while they are on field trips, and they are responsible for making up missed schoolwork. Parents must sign a permission form to approve their daughter’s participation in a field trip.
Those topics or issues of a religious, moral, social, political, or scientific nature about which there are definite but differing opinions among recognized theologians, moralists, social scientists and scientists are generally considered to be controversial. Notre Dame Academy desires that students acquire critical thinking skills and the ability to recognize the difference between fact and opinion. When students and teachers explore controversial issues of a religious or moral nature, the authentic teaching of the Catholic Church will be presented.
The process outlined below is the same for both students and parents. However, because NDA students are encouraged to develop effective communication skills and to become independent young women, students should first follow the steps below before parents become involved.
Communicate with the teacher, moderator, or coach directly regarding any concerns about course material, course content, club/organization, or athletic issue.
Step 2 (academics)
Communicate with the Academic and College Counselor.
Communicate with the Director of Student Life.
Communicate with the Director of Athletics.
Communicate with the Dean of Students.
Step 3 (academics)
Communicate with the Dean of the Academic area (Humanities, STEM, or VPA).
In all cases, the final steps are to consult first the Assistant Head of School for Academics, and then, if necessary, the Head of School/President. Because Notre Dame Academy is a private, Catholic school and not under the jurisdiction of the Department of Catholic Schools, referral of school matters to the Archdiocesan office does not further the resolution of the situation.
Teachers, advisors, staff, retreat leaders, and other school personnel respect verbal and written confidences, except in circumstances where the health or safety of the student or others is at risk. Please be advised that all school personnel are mandated reporters.
All students are expected to join the classrooms for their grade level and each class they take. Just as with their email, they should consult their Google Classroom posts regularly to keep up with assignments and notifications from their teachers.
Recognizing and nurturing the dignity, uniqueness, and potential of each individual is the foundation of the Academic and College Guidance Department at Notre Dame Academy. At NDA, the Academic and College Counseling Department, working in partnership with teachers, students, and families, provides a comprehensive counseling program that attends to the needs of all students with the spirit and belief that, in order to educate each student, the whole person must be served.
Academic and college counselors provide educational guidance and assistance for students by planning schedules, recommending courses, and providing academic support and resources to students. In addition, the academic and college counselors guide students through the entire college admissions process, from satisfying college entrance exam requirements to completing a college application -- which includes writing recommendation letters, contacting college admissions offices, and providing students with detailed information about the specific colleges they are considering. Academic and college counselors foster the development of the whole student and ensures the successful completion of graduation requirements.
In our counseling department structure, students will work with counselors based upon the following alphabetical breakdown by student last name, and will have the same counselor throughout high school.
9th - 12th Grades
A - F
G - M
N - Z
To assist each student during her four years at NDA, both individual and group academic counseling services are offered. Counselors will schedule appointments with students via Google Calendar. It is the responsibility of the student to confirm and/or reschedule appointments with her counselor. In addition, students must inform a teacher at least two days in advance that she has an appointment. Students should not seek academic or personal counseling sessions during a class period in which they have a quiz or test except in case of emergency. A student may make an appointment with her academic and college counselor directly by going to the office of the counselor to schedule an appointment.
Counselors carefully monitor the academic progress of each student and assist in course selection for the next year. The academic counseling program also includes standardized testing; freshmen take the PSAT 8/9, sophomores take the PreACT and juniors take the PSAT/NMSQT.
The Academic and College Counseling Department offers presentations and workshops on topics including, but not limited to the following:
The academic and college counselors work closely with students throughout their academic career at NDA to assist them in making college/university choices. Each student is taught the skills to handle the college admissions process efficiently and effectively. Please refer to the Curriculum Catalog for specific information regarding college and university requirements. The NDA counseling center provides students with resources, tools, and materials needed for selecting the best fit college.
The school provides personal counseling through Outreach Concern, a private counseling service. If you feel you would like to receive guidance from this service, appointments can be made directly with individual Outreach Concern counselors. Students may meet once with an Outreach Concern counselor; successive visits require parents to complete a permission form.
The school chapel is available for individual or class prayer/ reflection experiences, as our Blessed Lord is present in the tabernacle. Having the Lord present to us under the Eucharistic species requires reverence and respect. It is because of His Presence that Our Lady of Grace Chapel is reserved as a sacred space for prayer, reflection and adoration, and appropriate behavior is required. The chapel is not a meeting room or a place for casual conversation or private phone calls. Everyone is expected to show proper reverence for Our Lord Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.
NDA will offer the following clubs topics for the 2019-2020 school year:
ASB/Class Councils: This Associate Student Body (ASB) and class councils plan school community activities to encourage and build school spirit. Both ASB and the class councils plan whole school activities and class councils plan specific events for their grade level. The entire school votes for ASB members and each class votes for the class council members. Class council positions of president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer are open to all grades; ASB positions (President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Publicity, and Activities) are open to rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors who have previously been on a class council.
Student Forum: Student Forum is a group of elected students, class presidents, and ASB members who tackle issues and needs of the NDA community. Each semester Student Forum members participate in an action research project to address an issue that impacts students. The members conduct research in order to devise potential plans of action to the challenges. Student forum members will submit a proposal to the administration for approval. Student forum representatives are elected by their class and these positions are open to students of all grades.
Queen’s Council: Queen’s Council is an organization of student leaders who serve as ambassadors of Notre Dame Academy and represent the diverse interests and talents of the students of Notre Dame Academy. Queen’s Council works closely with prospective students and their families, alumni, and other guests on campus. Queen’s Council members are selected through an application process. Once on QC, there are opportunities for leadership positions (President, VP, etc.) QC is open to rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors.
Campus Ministry: Campus Ministry is an organization that animates and promotes all aspects of faith life on campus. Under the guidance of the Director of Campus Ministry, and with the support of the Religion Department, Campus Ministry students organize, plan, and provide opportunities for faith formation and spiritual development. Campus Ministry student leadership is comprised of the Campus Ministry Core Team, the Liturgy Committee, the Retreat Team Leadership, Students for Justice, and the HOPE (Helping Other People Everywhere) Club. Campus Ministry members are selected through an application and interview process and is open to rising Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors
Retreat Team: Retreat Team is a group of student leaders who plan, organize, and facilitate the annual class retreats for the student body. The retreat team promotes faith development and fosters community amongst the students. Retreat Team members are selected through an application and interview process. Open to: rising juniors, and seniors
NDA United: NDA United is a group that explores issues concerning kinship, diversity, and inclusivity in both the NDA community and in society at large. In light of current events, NDA United discusses meaningful topics and issues, raises awareness of those topics and issues, hosts student sounding forums, and plans schoolwide activities. NDA United consists of approximately fifteen members and aims to be representative of the entire student body. Students who wish to participate, rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors, are asked to go through an application process. .
Honor Council: The Honor Council is a group of three seniors, two juniors, two sophomores, two teachers, the Assistant Head of School principal, and the Dean of Students. This council is 100% confidential and no one but for the members on the Council itself, know who is on the council. Because this leadership position is completely confidential, there is no restriction regarding other leadership positions for students at NDA. The council provides input to the administration regarding Honor Code violations. Students, rising sophomores and seniors, nominate themselves to the Honor Council through the Dean of Students which then moves to voting by the entire on students who will sit on Honor Council. . During the annual Honor Code survey, the entire student population votes for the teachers who are to sit on the Honor Council
Honor Code Steering Committee: Students from all grade levels can be appointed by the moderator of the Honor Code Committee to the Steering Committee after expressing interest in a leadership position within the Honor Code Committee itself. The Honor Code Committee is open to the whole student body, and the main goal of the committee is to educate students and teachers about the Honor Code. This group of students also address student concerns and issues regarding the Honor Code.
Club Leaders: Club leaders work with faculty club moderators to conduct interest specific meetings and organize student activities related their club interests. Clubs are focused on developing the whole person by enriching the academic experience. Leadership positions are open to rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors.
To be eligible to run for and/or to retain leadership positions listed below, a student must have a cumulative weighted G.P.A. of at least 3.0. The G.P.A. will be verified one week prior to each application deadline. She must also have good citizenship standing with no more than four detentions for the school year during which she runs for or holds the position. If a student receives a fifth detention during the year in which the election/appointment takes place or during the year in which she holds the position, she will be removed from her position. To be eligible to run for ASB, a student must have been an NDA Student Council officer for one year. A student must be a senior to hold the office of president of:
To be eligible to run for and/or to retain any of the following positions, a student must maintain a cumulative weighted G.P.A. of at least 2.8 and good citizenship standing. An academic or citizenship probation at any time during the year makes the student ineligible to hold a position in:
Dances are sponsored by the Student Council under the supervision of the Director of Student Life. Dances are open to Notre Dame students, young men from Catholic high schools who present a current student body card, and students with an authorized guest pass.
Students are expected to abide by school regulations at dances. They should adhere to published dress regulations and to the directives of the chaperones in regard to behavior and manner of dancing. If a student violates dress regulations, she may be asked to put on a school skirt and/or polo shirt.
NDA students may leave before the dance ends only if they have presented a parent permission slip to the Student Council moderator by the announced deadline. A guest who leaves the dance will not be readmitted.
The school reserves the right to refuse admission to anyone. A student who has been asked to leave NDA for disciplinary reasons may not attend the dances.
Student publications/videos are important to the school's instructional program and contribute directly to the school's goals. The staff of each publication/video is accountable to the school and administration for all student work. Nothing may be published/produced that would infringe on the dignity of any individual or group or that would be contrary to Catholic/Christian philosophy or principles.
Among the objectives of a Catholic school publication/video are the following:
The above guidelines are to be followed with regard to posters, flyers, and any other written or visual materials. All materials are to be approved by the moderator or the Director of Student Life. The blue painter's tape is the only tape that is permitted anywhere. It is the moderator’s responsibility to see that all posters and announcements are removed after an event.
The Administration grants privileges to students of Notre Dame Academy to create an environment of choice and trust at school and to offer variety. With these privileges come responsibility and a higher expectation of trust that students will make good choices and follow the rules and guidelines set forth in this handbook. The Administration reserves the right to revoke any privilege outlined in the handbook as well as any that are added during the school year. Privileges may be revoked from a student, a group of students, a class or the entire student body.
Schoolwide privileges include, but are not limited to:
The call to responsible stewardship is in keeping with NDA’s mission to develop Christian leaders dedicated to service. Notre Dame Academy’s fundraising efforts aim to provide monetary or material assistance for charitable projects and to support the present and future students of NDA.
Helping Other People Everywhere (HOPE) Club is the primary organization that sponsors fundraising events, such as Buck-a-Stuff. The club donates money to NDA’s sister-schools St. Julie Primary School and Notre Dame Academy High School in Buseesa, Uganda; breast cancer and heart disease research; disaster relief around the world and other charitable causes.
All proposed fundraising/charitable projects requested by any club, organization, team or class must be granted approval by the administration. A proposal must be submitted to the Director of Student Life at least two weeks before the fundraiser. No publicity may take place until and unless the proposal is granted administrative approval.
The student retreat program is an essential component of educating the whole person. These specially designed retreats are unique opportunities provided by Campus Ministry for the students to grow closer to God and one another. Campus Ministry Coordinators and the student retreat team plan conduct a freshman retreat on campus for an entire school day, a sophomore retreat off campus for an entire school day, and a junior service experience retreat. On the senior level, the adult Campus Ministers work with a specially trained team of seniors to present Kairos, a four day, off campus retreat experience. There are two Kairos retreat opportunities in the senior year, fall and spring, and students are encouraged to sign up for the one that best accommodates their schedule. Adult and student members of Campus Ministry plan the class retreats and Kairos retreats to provide students with the opportunity for reflection, individual and group prayer and sharing. Adult chaperones, including a school administrator, attend each Kairos retreat.
Students trying out for any sports must follow the regulations and contract in the Athletic Handbook/Contract. The California Interscholastic Federation (CIFSS) requires a student to have an annual physical examination certifying that she is physically fit to participate in athletics. A student may NOT try out, practice or participate in interscholastic competition before she has her annual physical examination (Rule 305). Participation in a sports team may NOT conflict with a Zero/Seventh Period class or a longer commitment, such as the spring play.
It is important for each student to understand that by being selected for a position on a Notre Dame Academy athletic team, the expectation of the school, the athletic department and the coach is that an athlete conducts herself in a way that reflects the good name and reputation of the school. An athlete’s personal appearance, her attitude and her behavior are a reflection on the institution she represents. An athlete must dress appropriately at all athletic events and when traveling with the team. The official team uniform must be worn appropriately at all times.
Every athlete must be in compliance with the eligibility requirements of the school and CIF. Before an athlete is allowed to compete she must,
Any transfer student wishing to participate in athletics must meet the CIF requirements as stated in the CIF Blue Book in order to play a varsity sport. In addition, a transfer student must complete a Transfer Eligibility form and a Pre-enrollment Contact Affidavit form. See the Athletic Director for these forms or for any questions.
Attendance at practice is vital for improvement of the player and for the team. Players are expected to attend all mandatory Monday through Thursday practices, any mandatory Friday games, tournaments and invitationals. Failure to do so may result in the expulsion from the team, as well as team recognition withheld from the athlete’s transcript. If a circumstance arises whereby an athlete cannot attend a practice, game or meeting, the coach must be notified prior to the absence. Notification must be in writing and come from a parent.
An athlete who accumulates three unexcused absences over the course of her respective sports season, fails to appear for a game or fails to attend a team event, will face consequences. This may result in the expulsion from the team. If an athlete is expelled from the team she may not tryout for another NDA team in the future. Even with prior written notice to the coach, the reasons for an absence being considered unexcused include but are not limited to absence because of:
An absence from a practice, game, tournament, invitational or team event, with prior written notice to the coach, will be excused if the absence is because the athlete:
If a player fails to attend school on the day of, or part of the day of competition, she is ineligible to play that same day. An athlete MUST inform her coach of her absence or partial absence on that day. Failure to comply with this rule, may affect the team’s eligibility with CIF.
No athlete will be expelled from a team without just cause. However, if an athlete is in jeopardy of expulsion because of a serious violation of the rules, she will be required to attend a meeting with her coach and the Athletic Director. The coach and the athlete will have an opportunity to state their grievances before a final decision is made. If an athlete is expelled from a team, she will not receive team recognition.
Notre Dame Academy provides transportation for all AWAY athletic contests. In the case of tennis, softball, soccer, beach volleyball and swim athletes will be expected to secure a carpool or drive (if licensed) to all home contests as our “home” fields / venues are permitted off campus. By signing this contract, a parent gives permission for his/her daughter to ride in the athletic transportation provided by NDA to any home contest or off campus venue that requires a carpool or student driver. If a parent/guardian has an isolated request for his/her daughter to drive herself to an AWAY athletic event, the parent must submit this request in writing. The Athletic Director must receive this written request 24 hours prior to the event in order to approve the request. Every effort must be made to use the transportation provided by Notre Dame Academy.
Before a student is allowed to participate on a Notre Dame Academy athletic team, both she and a parent/guardian must first read, understand and sign the Notre Dame Academy “Athletic Contract”, the Los Angeles Athletic Association (LAAA) “ Code of Behavior”, the CIF “Code of Ethics” form and the “Use of Steroids” agreement.
The Los Angeles Athletic Association was established to provide interscholastic competition for athletes of its member schools. It is the goal of the league that through athletic competition athletes will develop their physical abilities and knowledge of various sports, as well as develop friendly relationships with members of other teams. To achieve these goals the league has adopted the following Code of Behavior for all athletes who participate on teams of the member schools and expects that all athletes abide by these standards.
After the athlete has read the Code she must sign below, acknowledging that she understands the expectations of the League.
In the spirit of the NDA philosophy and sense of fair play, the following policies have been developed for student athletes and their parents/guardians:
All Notre Dame Academy students are expected to behave with honor, decorum, and a respect for the dignity of others. In our school, as in our community, we work together. The discipline policies for our students are based on our philosophy of providing a quality education in the framework of our Catholic tradition. Each component of our school community, in conjunction with our families, is committed to the welfare of the students, their growth in our faith and their academic achievement.
Discipline in the school is to be considered as an aspect of moral guidance and not a form of punishment. It is a means of training the student to assume her responsibilities and be in more control of her conduct, helping her to grow progressively in self-competency and maturity. Discipline promotes genuine character building.
When a student falls short of these expectations, there are a variety of consequences of increasing severity in place to address the infraction:
The school retains discretion to impose whatever consequences it determines is appropriate; it may determine progressing discipline does not apply to specific circumstances. Thus, there is no guarantee of progressive discipline. For example, a severe infraction, even if it is the first disciplinary issue for a student, may result in dismissal.
In general, a student may receive a detention for failure to follow any school rule or policy. Grounds for detention include, but are not limited to:
A student who questions a particular detention should communicate first with the teacher or staff member who gave her the detention. If the student is not satisfied, she should then speak to the Dean of Students. Any detention a student or parent/guardian wishes to dispute must be contested within one week of receiving the detention notice.
For a first cell phone violation, the student receives one detention and the phone is confiscated by the teacher or staff member who witnessed the violation. The student may claim her phone from the Dean of Students after school the same day. For additional violations, there will be increased disciplinary action, including detentions, and the confiscated phone will remain in the possession of the Dean of Students until arrangements can be made for a parent/guardian to retrieve it. A student whose phone is confiscated and given to the Dean of Students has no expectation of privacy.
The official uniform of Notre Dame Academy is the dress uniform. Every other uniform item is a privilege and will be treated as such. If a student is found in violation of the uniform code, she will lose the privilege of wearing the casual uniform for a day. On the designated date, the student must wear her complete dress uniform to school and will have her teachers sign her uniform violation form at the beginning of each class period. For every third violation, the student will receive a uniform violation as well as a citizenship detention. If a student fails to complete her day of dress uniform, she will receive a detention. Uniform violations may also be issued on non-uniform school days or at non-uniform school functions (e.g., school dances).
If a student is in violation of the dress code on a dress uniform day, the student will receive a detention.
NDA has a closed campus before, during, and after school. Students may not leave campus during the day, they may not host visitors without permission, and they may not accept deliveries of food or other orders. After school, students may not host visitors unless they are attending an NDA event.
Violating these regulations may carry a penalty of one to five detentions or more serious disciplinary action.
A student will serve a one hour sitting detention for each infraction. During that hour, she must remain silent and unoccupied, i.e., no cell phone, iPad, laptop, homework, conversation, note-writing, or sleeping is allowed.
Students will sign up for detention via the form emailed with the detention notice. Students are never permitted to miss a Seventh Period class in order to serve detention. If a student does not serve her detention by the deadline, she will receive an additional detention.
Before a student may take her first or second semester final exams, the student must serve all detentions, regardless of whether the student will be returning to NDA. Graduating seniors must complete their detention time before completion of senior exams in order to participate in baccalaureate/graduation practices and the public graduation ceremony.
If a student receives a detention, the Dean of Students emails her and her parents/guardians a detention notice. A parent/guardian must reply to the Dean of Students to acknowledge receipt of the detention notice.
Parents/guardians are notified in writing if a student accumulates five detentions for various offenses or receives a suspension (a serious infraction resulting in five hours of detention). If a student accumulates eight or more detentions in a year and is placed on citizenship probation, the parents/ guardians are also notified in writing.
Grounds for suspension include, but are not limited to:
A student who incurs a suspension will serve an in-school suspension, on a weekday or Saturday. A suspended student will not be allowed to attend class. In addition, students who have violations that warrant a suspension will serve five hours of detention as stipulated by the Dean of Students. The suspension adds five detentions to the student's citizenship record.
Under Strict Probation, in addition to the aforementioned restrictions from certain school activities (see #1 of Citizenship Probation), the student may not run for or hold a class or club office. A junior who is on Strict Probation may forfeit the privilege of attending the prom in her junior year and other senior privileges. A junior on Strict Probation may not order her senior sweater until she receives approval from the Dean of Students. A senior on Strict Probation may forfeit certain special senior privileges. The terms of Strict Probation will be provided in writing to the student and her parents/guardians; the contract is to be signed by the student and her parents/guardians and returned to the Dean of Students.
A student's enrollment at Notre Dame Academy assumes acceptance and support of the school’s rules, mission statement, and philosophy by both student and parents/guardians. Governed by the spirit of the NDA Honor Code, students are expected to behave appropriately on the school campus and at all school-sponsored events. Any events held at and/or sponsored by other schools are considered school sponsored activities. Additionally, the student is expected to be the best possible representative of NDA at all times, whether she is wearing the school uniform or not.
The administration reserves the right to determine the appropriateness of a student’s appearance and behavior. The school has the right to dismiss at any time any student whose conduct on or off campus is harmful to the reputation and/or the moral welfare of the school community.
Notre Dame Academy’s philosophy encourages students to live in light of the Gospel message. In holding itself to the same high standards and believing strongly in the importance of moral and academic integrity, the school will report any serious disciplinary issues to the administration of a school an NDA student intends to attend, including a college or university.
A student may be asked to withdraw or may be expelled for violations of school rules committed while on school grounds, while going to or from school, or during or while going to school-sponsored activities. Grounds for dismissal include, but are not limited to the following three categories.
It is unacceptable to use Notre Dame Academy's name, mascot, crest, initials or logo, or names, pictures or titles of staff, students, the school or school activities in a degrading, lewd, threatening or violent manner. Deliberate publication of the above on the Internet or anywhere else may result in serious disciplinary action, including expulsion. If a student posts libelous statements, with or without parental knowledge, her parents/guardians could be held legally liable for damages. If a student posts threats of any kind, she could be liable for criminal prosecution.
Serious academic infractions which violate the Honor Code and carry disciplinary action, whether detentions or possible dismissal, include, but are not limited to:
A student who commits an academic infraction loses credit for her work, has a conference with the Dean of Students and incurs disciplinary consequences. She is in violation of the Honor Code and her case may be brought before the Honor Council. In addition, academic infractions reflect upon a student’s Habits of Mind and, therefore, can impact the approval of future course requests.
Citizenship infractions include, but are not limited to:
A disciplinary hearing, chaired by the Dean of Students, may be called at the Assistant Head of School’s discretion. The Discipline Committee makes recommendations concerning consequences for serious disciplinary issues; the Assistant Head of School makes the final decision. In more serious cases, students or parents/guardians may request in writing that the Discipline Committee reconsider or review a disciplinary action. Before a discipline hearing is held, the Dean of Students will offer to meet with the student and her parents/ guardians to allow them to ask questions and to prepare them for the discipline hearing.
A student whose infraction requires an appearance before the Discipline Committee may not participate in any school activity until after the Discipline Committee has met and rendered a decision. The administration has the right to make exceptions to this standard.
The following persons are members of the Discipline Committee: the Assistant Heads of School and Dean of Students, as well as a faculty member of the student’s choice.
In the case of suspected student use of alcohol/narcotics at any school-sponsored event, an administrator may:
In the situation of suspected substance use at a school-sponsored activity, the moderator will alert the administrator/ administrative designee in charge. If the administrator concurs, the administrator will talk to the student or guest and then call the parents/guardians of the NDA student or guest to notify them that there is a suspicion of substance abuse and determine the means for immediately transporting the student home from the event. The student or guest is expected to remain at the location until such determination is made and the authorized transportation is available. Any events held at and/or sponsored by other schools are considered school sponsored activities.
In cases where sale or possession is verified, a school administrator will confiscate all evidence, notify the parent or guardian, and may call the police. If an arrest is made and the student is removed from school, a representative of the law enforcement agency notifies the parent or guardian prior to the time that the student would normally return home from school; if an arrest is not made, the student may be suspended from school. An immediate conference with the parent/guardian and the student is arranged.
Notre Dame Academy is committed to providing a learning environment that is free from harassment in any form. Harassment of any student by any other student, lay employee, religious, or priest is prohibited. The school will treat allegations of harassment seriously and will review and investigate such allegations in a prompt, discreet and thorough manner. Individuals will be informed of the investigation on a need-to-know basis only. The procedure to be followed will be explained by the Assistant Head of School.
A charge of harassment shall not, in and of itself, create the presumption of wrongdoing. However, substantiated acts of harassment may result in disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal. Students found to have intentionally filed false charges may also be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.
Harassment occurs when an individual is subjected to treatment or a school environment that is hostile or intimidating for reasons that include, but are not limited to, the individual's race, creed, color, national origin, physical disability, or sex. It can occur any time during school or during school-related activities. Harassment can also occur through misuse of the Internet or other electronic means. Harassment or discrimination are violations of the Honor Code and any student who commits a violation of the Honor Code is subject to her case going before the Honor Council.
Harassment includes, but is not limited to, any or all of the following:
Verbal Harassment: Derogatory comments and jokes; threatening words spoken to another person;
Physical Harassment: Unwanted physical touching, contact, assault, deliberate impeding or blocking movements, or any intimidating interference with normal work or movement;
Visual Harassment: Derogatory, demeaning or inflammatory posters, cartoons, written words, drawings and gestures;
Sexual Harassment: Includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.
It is the student's responsibility to:
No student, including complaining parties and witnesses, who exercises her right to complain under this policy shall be subject to retaliation or the threat of retaliation in any form. Retaliation includes, but is not limited to, adverse actions directed against a student on the basis of or in reaction to the exercise of rights accorded by this policy.
Notre Dame Academy will not tolerate bullying and will take appropriate action on any reported incidents. Notre Dame Academy uses the California Department of Education definition of bullying, which is as follows:
“Bullying is exposing a person to abusive actions repeatedly over time. Being aware of children's teasing and acknowledging injured feelings are always important. Bullying becomes a concern when hurtful or aggressive behavior toward an individual or group appears to be unprovoked, intentional, and (usually) repeated.
“Bullying is a form of violence. It involves a real or perceived imbalance of power, with the more powerful child or group attacking those who are less powerful. Bullying may be physical (hitting, kicking, spitting, pushing), verbal (taunting, malicious teasing, name calling, threatening), or emotional (spreading rumors, manipulating social relationships, extorting, or intimidating). Bullying can occur face-to-face or in the online world.”
Notre Dame Academy is committed to providing a Catholic education in an academically challenging environment. Technological resources, such as school computers, devices, and networks, are provided for the purpose of promoting educational excellence by facilitating resource sharing, collaboration, interactive learning and communication.
The use of both school and student-owned technology while on campus must be in support of academic purposes and relevant to the curriculum being taught. The school will not be responsible for supervising or monitoring usage and communication beyond the scope of supervision defined in this policy. Students must use all technology in a responsible, ethical, and legal manner at all times.
The use of these technological resources is a privilege, not a right. Inappropriate use will result in the termination of the privilege and/or disciplinary action.
Students may use their cell phones and smartwatches (Apple Watch, Fitbit, etc.)before school, during break and E Period, at lunchtime, and after school. Since E Period is a work time, students who use their phones at that time must do so responsibly. During class time and passing periods, cell phones must remain in a student’s backpack or purse. If a student is found in violation of the cell phone policy, the phone will be confiscated and given to the Dean of Students to be claimed at the end of the school day. Cell phone use during break and lunch is a privilege and can be taken away from an individual student or the entire school.
Smart watches may not be worn during any form of assessment (quiz, test, final, SAT, ACT). Students may never talk on the phone in the Student Learning Commons. During break and lunch, they may use their phones in the Student Learning Commons only to text. Phones and smart watches must be kept on vibrate or silent.
Any user who is found to be in violation of these rules may be subject but not limited to the following:
In order for a student to receive her schedule at the opening of school, tuition and fees must be paid through August. All tuition and class fee payments are made through the FACTS Tuition Service.
Tuition is due on the 5th of the month and is delinquent thereafter. A fee of $35 per month is charged when an account becomes delinquent. In addition, FACTS Tuition Service charges a $30 fee when a scheduled automatic debit payment cannot be processed due to insufficient funds. For incidental fees paid in the business office, a fee of $35 is charged when a check is returned by the bank for non-sufficient funds, stop payment, or account closed. Notre Dame Academy reserves the right to deny students the privilege of participating in school functions and receiving school services if tuition payments become delinquent. Personal checks are not accepted in the business office during the last two weeks of each semester. Payments after these dates must be made in cash, cashier’s check or money order.
All tuition and fees for the current semester must be paid in full before a student may take semester final examinations. The school will not issue report cards or allow PowerSchool access to grades if the student’s financial obligations have not been met. If a student does not take her semester examinations, she receives an INCOMPLETE for each course. This INCOMPLETE will be entered on her transcript and will remain there until the student’s family meets their financial obligations and she takes her examinations. If a student transfers with INCOMPLETE on her record, she may need to repeat the courses in the new school, as schools give no credit for grades of INCOMPLETE.
If a student voluntarily withdraws prior to June 30, no tuition will be due and those who have paid tuition in full will be refunded at 100%, minus the non-refundable registration fee.
Any student who voluntarily withdraws after June 30 must follow this schedule:
Tuition – Paid in Full:
July 1 - July 31: 85% refund of total annual tuition
August 1 - September 30: 70% refund of total annual tuition
October 1 - October 31: 55% refund of total annual tuition
November 1 - January 1: 40% refund of total annual tuition
After January 1: No refund
Tuition – Paid on a Payment Plan
July 1 - July 31: 15% of total annual tuition is due and payable upon withdrawal
August 1 - September 30: 30% of total annual tuition is due and payable upon withdrawal
October 1 - October 31: 45% of total annual tuition is due and payable upon withdrawal
November 1 - January 1: 60% of total annual tuition is due and payable upon withdrawal
After January 1: 100% of total annual tuition is due and payable upon withdrawal
The financial obligation is incurred at the time of enrollment. If enrollment is canceled after June 30, the parents or guardians who are financially responsible for the student are obligated to pay the annual tuition and fees according to the refund schedule above. The refund policy applies to the tuition balance due on all accounts. If a student leaves the school before the end of the school year, the family is still obligated to pay the remaining balance regardless of the reason for leaving. In addition, registration fees, class fees, and sports fees are not refundable. Zero and 7th period class fees are not refundable after September 3. The Registrar will process the transfer grades when the tuition obligations have been met.
Seniors whose families have not met their financial obligations by the end of the second semester will not be eligible for the senior privilege of exam exemption. Seniors will not participate in the graduation ceremony or receive a diploma until the student’s family has cleared all financial obligations and she has taken her final exams and received her second semester grades.
A student who is dismissed from the school for disciplinary reasons will receive no refund on paid fees or tuition. If a student with delinquent tuition payments is dismissed, the Registrar will process transfer grades when tuition obligations have been met. A student who has registered for the next year but is not allowed to return for academic reasons will receive a refund of the registration minus a 15% processing and scheduling fee.
The NDA Student Learning Commons is student centered and used for research, collaboration, and quiet study. In addition, it is the location for students taking online courses/Independent Study classes or study hall. The Student Learning Commons staff is available to assist students with research, study, and other academic support needs. The Student Learning Commons will be open both before and after school for students arriving early or leaving late. There is to be no food or beverage in the Student Learning Commons at any time.
Students may have snacks and drinks in the hallway as long they clean up for themselves. Students may eat lunch in the following places only:
The café is open for the students' benefit during break and lunch. Backpacks or large bags cannot be brought into the purchase area and should be left in the hall outside the café. NHS students regulate the food lines during break and teachers regulate the food lines during lunch. Please note that there will be specified maintenance and meeting times after school when the cafeteria, including the vending machines, will be off limits.
Students may not order food to be delivered during the school day.
As a sign of respect, students may not use teachers’ desks or supplies or any school technological equipment without the permission and supervision of school personnel.
Lockers are assigned to students at the beginning of the school year. Students may not exchange lockers and are expected to keep their lockers locked at all times. Only school combination locks may be used. Students do not own their lockers or other school property. The student has some expectation of privacy in her locker from other students; however, a student may not exclude school officials if the school official has a reasonable suspicion that a law or school rule has been violated. The school will have a witness present during a search. Police may not inspect lockers without a warrant.
Decorations on the outside of lockers are allowed for birthdays only and must be appropriate for school. Blue painter’s tape is the only acceptable tape for lockers. Balloons must be taken home at the end of the day. Inappropriate decorations will be removed.
Each student should have her name clearly marked on all uniform apparel and other personal belongings. Found articles should be turned in to the office where they may be claimed by their owners. Found lunch boxes, bags, and water bottles will be put in the closet outside the door to the café food service area. Unclaimed articles will be given away.
Students may not be in a classroom, the gym, weight room, or dance studio unless a teacher, moderator, or coach is present. Students are expected to follow school personnel directives with regard to use of the building.
In accordance with fire regulations, the halls and stairways must always be free of obstacles. Students may not sit on the hall floors between 7:45 a.m. and 2:45 p.m. At no time may students sit on the stairs or landings. No books, bags or other items may be left or stored in the hallways, stairwells or landings during the school day. Sports bags must be stored in the locker room during the day. Any sports bags or backpacks left in the hallways during class time will be taken to the office to be claimed.
In keeping with the school’s Conditional Use Permit (CUP) and working with the City of Los Angeles, NDA has put the following regulations into effect. Disregard of these regulations may result in serious disciplinary action, including expulsion. It is the responsibility of the parents/guardians and also the student to make sure that everyone dropping off or picking up a student has been properly instructed in and follows all NDA regulations, including use of the established zones. Detention consequences for the student apply whether the driver is a parent/guardian or someone else.
ALL student drivers must park on campus at all times; student parking anywhere but on site is a violation of the school’s CUP. The only students who may drive to school are those whose cars have been registered by the school and who have an assigned parking space.
Notre Dame Academy requires full compliance with DMV law. NDA will not permit a provisional student driver to transport students to or from school or to or from school sponsored events. Student drivers in violation incur one to five detentions and may lose their school parking slot.
Driving a car to school is a privilege and NDA has established the following priority order protocol in granting parking slots:
Student drivers must register their car(s), submit proof of current insurance, complete an application and a quiz regarding the rules. Applications for a slot in the student lot must be submitted by the published deadline: late applications will automatically go to the end of the list. The school is not responsible for damage, loss, or theft involving student vehicles parked in the student lot.
Permission to drive to summer school does not guarantee a student a spot during the school year. Handicapped parking is available for students who qualify.
Student drivers are expected to be considerate of other drivers, neighbors, and pedestrians. Because the student driveway runs through a section of the elementary school yard and safety is paramount, drivers are expected to arrive on time and to remain on campus for the entire day.
Student drivers involved in afterschool activities need to be respectful of their parking slot buddy and ensure that no one is blocked. This might necessitate moving the car immediately after school to allow the parking slot buddy to exit.
Student drivers are expected to:
Wearing uniforms promotes school unity and reinforces the equality of all students. The administration reserves the right to determine what is appropriate in a student’s dress, make-up, hair and accessories. The official uniform of the school is the dress uniform. In order to offer more choices there are casual uniform options for students. The casual uniform options are a privilege for students who wear formal, casual uniform and non-uniform dress correctly based on the school guidelines.
Students who choose not to follow the school regulations will not have the option to wear the casual uniform. These students will wear the official dress uniform of the school. Uniform violations such as length of approved skirt as well as approved attire for dances or any school related event will result in the loss of the casual uniform privilege. Uniform violations are outlined on page 16.
All pieces of the uniform must fit appropriately and be in good repair.
Dennis Uniform: (323) 441-0168 or www.dennisuniform.com
Broadway Albion: (213) 624-7740 ex. 33: Contact – Mrs. Diane Salazar ( senior sweaters)
NDA Sweatshirts: (310) 839-5289 ex. 225 or email@example.com Ms. Bri Berlin
O, the good happy school days,
Spent in learning our aim;
Where true friends greet each other,
Guided by dear Notre Dame.
Hours that speed swiftly onward,
Striving for future and fame.
All for the honor and glory
Of our dear loved Notre Dame.
Here's to our dear Alma Mater belov'd.
Let us give praise to her name above.
May she continue fore'er the same,
Notre Dame, Notre Dame.
Always remember your love untold.
Cherish the crimson, the brown and gold.
Never will shame dim your glorious name.
Hail to our loved Notre Dame.
For freshman students, the challenges of high school life are easier to handle when they can count on the support and encouragement of a more experienced friend. It is also important for junior and senior students to have the opportunity to share the wisdom they have gained from experience with a younger student and to pass on their knowledge and love for their school and its traditions. The big/little sister program strives to make such a relationship possible for every student. Each incoming freshman is paired with a member of the junior class who becomes her "big sister." This relationship remains in effect throughout the students' sophomore and senior years.
Each grade has a color to signify the unity of the class. The four colors are red, blue, purple and green. Every year the graduating seniors pass down their color to the incoming freshmen. Class colors are part of many NDA traditions, including Notre Dame Day, class rings, senior sweaters, and the tassel on a graduating senior’s mortar board.
Traditionally, juniors who attend a high school sponsored by the Sisters of Notre Dame may purchase rings that bear the coat of arms of the Sisters’ congregation and have the image of Our Lady etched on the inside of the ring. NDA students may purchase the school rings through the school’s Herff-Jones representative only. In symbolic form, the coat of arms presents the history, the traditions and the spirit of the congregation of the Sisters of Notre Dame. Wearing the class ring symbolizes the student's status as an upperclasswoman and her commitment to the ideals of Notre Dame Academy. Currently enrolled juniors receive the class ring in a formal ceremony. Following the ceremony, it is a tradition that each junior ask people to turn her ring until the number of turns equals the number of her graduation year.
In May, the faculty and students honor Mary, the Mother of God. Campus Ministry prepares a liturgy/prayer service that recalls the special moments when Mary said yes to God, and at the liturgy, the recipient of the Archdiocesan Christian Service Award crowns Mary.
At the annual celebration of Notre Dame Day, faculty and students gather at a special liturgy to ask Mary, Queen of the Rosary, for her blessings on the school year. Newly inducted members of Student Council and Campus Ministry pledge their loyalty and support to the ideals of Notre Dame. The faculty and student body make commitments to the principles of the Honor Code. The remainder of the day provides students with the opportunity to promote school spirit and unity through a parade, class cheers, skits. and volleyball games. Lunch is provided by the school.
As a special remembrance, each freshman receives a single red rose, which symbolizes the beginning of her journey at NDA. This journey will culminate at graduation when she will receive a dozen red roses.
On St. Julie Day, the faculty and students recall the spirit of St. Julie, spiritual mother of the Sisters of Notre Dame.
On this day the Sisters of Notre Dame announce the recipient of the St. Julie Award, which the school gives to a senior who exemplifies the qualities of St. Julie -- qualities include having an optimistic and generous attitude toward all, believing in and living the principles of the Church, and having a positive and cheerful attitude in all of life's situations. The recipient's name is engraved on the school plaque that proclaims Julie's conviction: "You are not asked to do all the good in the world, but just the bit that lies in your power." The recipient is chosen by the Sisters of Notre Dame and the SND Associates.
In the spirit of St. Julie Billiart who proclaimed, “you are not asked to do all the good in the world, just that bit which lies within your power,” NDA has initiated Women Helping Women. Each graduating class has the honor of gifting an incoming freshman, who needs financial assistance to attend NDA, with a $1,000 scholarship. In order to raise money for this scholarship, given in the name of the graduating class, each freshman is asked to bring in just $1, each sophomore $2, each junior $3, and each senior $4. Individually this is not a lot of money, but collectively it helps another young girl realize her dream of attending NDA. Money is collected on October 1st, the Sisters of Notre Dame Founders’ Day.
In recognition that each student is a reflection of God’s image and likeness, Notre Dame Academy nurtures the development of the whole person. In selecting students for awards, growth in character, leadership, and spirituality are important considerations. A student’s commitment to the school’s mission and philosophy, the ISO’s, Habits of Mind, commitment to the Honor Code, and her participation in the life of the NDA community will also be considered in addition to the specific criteria for each award. In some cases, financial need will also be considered.
The selection of all awards is coordinated by the Administration working with the faculty, academic departments, Sisters of Notre Dame, and/or donors, according to the specifics of each award.
The Faris-King Scholarship, established by Ms. Cheryl Faris, a former Notre Dame Academy teacher, and her daughter, Ms. Catherine King, Class of 2008, is awarded to an underclasswoman who has demonstrated her creative style and love of the written word through her participation in Drama or Mock Trial.
The Jennifer Peterson Scholarship, established by the family of Jennifer Peterson, Class of 2000, is awarded to a student who has demonstrated exceptional ability in athletics, sportsmanship and scholarship.
The Sister Mary Adelaine/Mrs. Barbara Roth Humanities Award is given to a student who goes above and beyond the assignment. Former NDA teachers Sister Adelaine and Mrs. Roth both emphasized the importance of being truly present in the classroom and looking for the many connections among different areas of learning.
The Sister Mary St. Ann Award, established in memory of Sr. Mary St. Ann, who taught art at Notre Dame Academy for over 30 years, is given to a freshman, sophomore or junior who has distinguished herself in the visual arts.
The Susan Hurst Memorial Scholarship recognizes a student who shows many of the qualities displayed and admired by Mrs. Hurst, a dedicated science teacher who died of breast cancer in 2003. It is given to a biology student who has shown dedication to learning, strength of character, a sense of humor, compassion for others and a love of the sciences.
The Victoria Evans Memorial Scholarship was established by the Evans family, Chelsea, Class of 2010 and Madison, Class of 2015, to honor a student who has distinguished herself through leadership and scholarship and has a GPA of 3.5 or higher. The Administration sends the Evans family information about three outstanding students and the family selects the recipient of the scholarship.
The Blanche Chauff Trup Scholarship, sponsored by the family of Blanche Chauff Trup, Class of 1971, who died in 2006, is awarded to a freshman who has shown great academic improvement through hard work and perseverance while enthusiastically supporting sports at NDA.
The JMJ Scholarship, established by alumna Cathy Duddy Wood, Class of 1974, is awarded to a freshman who shows great educational and scholarly potential.
The Mary and Gerald Duddy Scholarship, established in honor of her parents by Cathy Duddy Wood, Class of 1974, is given to a freshman who has distinguished herself through scholarship and leadership.
The Gladys Abaunza Memorial Scholarship, established by Bonnie Abaunza, Class of 1982, in honor of her mother, is awarded to a sophomore who has demonstrated a deep commitment to human rights work and global social justice issues. Students selected by their religion teacher working with the Administration are asked to write an essay on their social justice service and the recipient is chosen by Ms. Abaunza.
The Janet Edwards Award, named for a member of the Class of 1972, is given to a sophomore for all-around achievement.
The George Mayr Science Scholarship in Honor of Sister Gina Marie, SND is given to a junior who has demonstrated an aptitude and passion for science.
The Gina Hermann Award was established by the Hermann family in honor of their daughter Gina, Class of 1982, who died one month after her graduation. Because Gina spent much time using her equestrian skills to help handicapped and developmentally disabled children, this scholarship is awarded to a junior for distinguished dedication to Christian Service.
The Jeanne Rawson Scholarship, established in memory of Mrs. Jeanne Rawson, mother of former NDA teacher Mr. Michael Rawson and grandmother of Mallory Rawson, Class of 2012, honors a junior who has shown outstanding proficiency in language arts.
The titles of Valedictorian and Salutatorian are awarded to students who have earned a GPA in the top 10% of the class and who exemplify growth in character, leadership, and spirituality, a commitment to the school’s mission and philosophy, the ISO’s, Habits of Mind, commitment to the Honor Code, and her participation in the life and spirit of the NDA community. Please note that Naviance resumes will also be reviewed in consideration of the awards. At the graduation ceremony, the valedictorian delivers the message to the graduating class and the salutatorian delivers the welcome speech. A student must have attended NDA for her four high school years to be eligible for these awards.
The President’s Award honors a student who is representative of the Academy’s mission to empower young women to live their faith through word and deed. The recipient is a student who embraces her spirituality, leads by example in and out of the classroom, and values service and learning.
The Assistant Heads of School Award is presented to a student who demonstrates passion for knowledge and joy in learning, and whose infectious spirit and enthusiasm for exploring the world have enriched the lives of others.
The Alma Mater Award recognizes a student who has given generous service to NDA, shown outstanding school spirit and cooperation, and maintained a strong academic effort throughout her years at Notre Dame.
The Pillar of Notre Dame Academy Awards – Woman of Faith, Woman of Academic Excellence, Woman of Vision, Woman of Leadership, Woman of Service and Woman of Compassion – honor students who exemplify NDA’s hopes for all members of a graduation class as expressed in the school’s ISOs (Integral Student Outcomes). Recipients are chosen by the members of the senior class in conjunction with the faculty and Administration.
National Honor Society Medals are awarded to two graduating seniors in recognition of their outstanding scholarship, leadership, service and character.
The SND National Education Office Distinguished Graduate Award is presented to a student who is an authentic witness to Notre Dame education. She must have a GPA over 3.0, give evidence of thoroughness of study, witness to God’s goodness through service in her school and community, and strive as Mary did to live by Gospel values in her daily life.
The Sister Maria Aloysia Service in Education Award honors a student for her exceptional service in the area of education. Nominated students may be asked to write about their service experience and the recipient is selected by the Sisters of Notre Dame and the administration, based on recommendations of the faculty. A parallel award is given to an alumna each year.
The Saint Julie Award reflects the desire of the Sisters of Notre Dame to recognize the senior who best exemplifies the qualities of St. Julie, the spiritual mother of the Sisters of Notre Dame. The recipient is announced on St. Julie Day.
The Archdiocese of Los Angeles Christian Service Award recognizes a graduating senior who has distinguished herself through outstanding Christian Service projects in her school, community and parish. The student receives a medallion at a ceremony held in the spring at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angeles in downtown Los Angeles.
The Margarita V. Melendez Award was established by the Melendez family in memory of their daughter Margarita, Class of 1984, who died during her senior year. It honors a student who has exemplified the ideals of NDA by working perseveringly, cheerfully and selflessly for the good of others.
The Athlete of the Year Award honors a student who has demonstrated excellence in sports, a strong team spirit and superior sportsmanship through her participation in the NDA sports program.
The Scholar Athlete of the Year Award is presented to a student who has excelled in the NDA sports program while achieving an exceptionally high grade point average.
The Ralph Luchsinger Award, named for a longtime fan and supporter of NDA athletics who died in 2011, is presented to a student who has demonstrated a positive spirit while excelling in NDA athletics.
The Mr. Janken Award was established by a family whose daughters graduated from Notre Dame Academy. While both daughters were successful academically, they were most grateful for the lifelong skills they developed at NDA. The Janken Award goes to a student who has developed a strong growth mindset, who persists until she grasps the material, and who has critical thinking skills, integrative abilities, a love of learning, and a unique creativity in the field of mathematics.
The Mr. B. Polayya Math Scholarship, established by Mr. and Dr. Raju, parents of Marilisa and Sreekriti of the Class of 2011, is awarded to a student in recognition of her outstanding work in the field of mathematics.
The Cheryl D. Robinson and Class of 1970 Scholarship is given to a student who has demonstrated perseverance and determination in her studies, made a difference in the classroom, and striven to reach her highest potential, in appreciation of how much her unselfish efforts have enriched the NDA community.
The Claire Kageyama-Ramakrishna of the Class of 1987 Scholarship honors Claire Kageyama-Ramakrishna, a gifted poet and teacher and the author of two award-winning books of poetry. Claire, who passed away in 2016, viewed writing as a sacred gift, and she embodied the NDA mission to fill one’s life with a love of learning, the pursuit of academic excellence, a sense of social responsibility and a spiritual awareness. The award is given to a senior who has displayed a similar passion for the written word.
The Dr. D. Krishnaveni Science Scholarship, established by Mr. and Dr. Raju, parents of Marilisa and Sreekriti of the Class of 2011, recognizes a student who has done outstanding work in the field of science.
The Michele Prendergast Ley Memorial Scholarship, established by the family of Michele Prendergast Ley, Class of 1962, is given to a student who plans to study nursing.
Head of School/President
Vice President/Director of Marketing and Communications
Director of Finance
Assistant Head of School for Academics
Assistant Head of School for Educational Operations
Assistant Head of School for Mission/Director of Campus Ministry
Assistant Head of School for Student Life
Dean of Students
Director of Athletics
Director of Admissions
Director of the Duddy Innovation Center for Excellence
Director of Academic and College Counseling
Academic and College Counselor (A-F)
Academic and College Counselor (G-M)
Academic and College Counselor (N-Z)
Dean of Humanities
Dean of STEM
Dean of Visual and Performing Arts