Notre Dame Parish Elementary School has changed over the past fifty –four years. Once staffed primarily by Dominican Sisters and Franciscan Brothers, the school today is staffed by laywomen and three Sisters of St. Dominic.
Our school philosophy attests to the fact that Our Blessed Mother is the model of for our efforts as we endeavor to teach as Jesus taught. Academics are important, but even more so is the spiritual dimension that is offered. As one parent expressed about Notre Dame, “God lives within these halls.” It is an environment based on the Gospel that enriches the lives of all who are part of Notre Dame School.
We have a fine academic record, and we are proud of the work that our students do. Their academic program is enriched by having a wonderful art and physical education program. Technology is integrated throughout all areas of the curriculum and students are using the tools of today in an authentic manner. Because we are an exceptional school, we continually strive to do better. To this end we are in the midst of the accreditation process by the Middle States Association.
While the enrollment in our school is still very healthy, we are feeling the same pressures shared by Catholic Schools across our Diocese: enrollment decline, financial strain, limited resources. We are blessed to have a highly qualified staff of professional women, who bear witness to the Gospel in their teaching and the community of faith they foster for the children and one another. Our parents are supportive and are actively engaged in sustaining a sound educational and spiritual community for their children’s growth.
We hope to maintain and increase our enrollment through greater publicity and community outreach so that others may see the work that we do in creating responsible faith-filled members of society. Anyone interested in finding out more about our school can visit our school web site, www.ndsnet.org, directly or go to the link on our parish web site. Please feel free to call the school office as well.
P.A.V.E. – Parents Acting as Volunteers for Education
PAVE is an acronym for Parents Acting as Volunteers for Education. Its mission is twofold: to raise funds to help offset the tuition costs and to generate spirit while building community.
This parent run organization has a large budget goal to meet and the PAVE Board who oversee the coordination of events work tirelessly to meet that objective. It is a commitment born of love for our school. Many activities are sponsored with the intent of raising money within the guidelines of our school philosophy. Social capital is often built by the shared commitment to raise financial capital.
There are many events and treats sponsored by PAVE that directly benefit the children – Halloween Parties, Christmas Boutiques, Holiday Breakfasts, Catholic School Week lunches. PAVE also works closely with the school administration to enhance school events such as our Health Fair and School Picnic. Coordination between the teachers and PAVE help to create items for our annual auction which is a major fundraiser.
All school parents are PAVE members and by virtue of their selection of Volunteer Status for tuition agree to assist and support the endeavors of this group for the betterment of Notre Dame School. Parents with ideas for events or fundraising may contact the PAVE Chairs or any member of the PAVE Board, the names of which are published in the School Handbook and web site.
The PAVE Board is structured so that the entire board is not replaced at one time. It is the hope that Chairs will take the position for two years while other position may be one or three year terms. Parents who would like to join the Board are asked to contact the Chairs directly and/or send in their names to the school office.
Notre Dame School Board, like the School Boards of parish schools, falls under the jurisdiction of cannon law and as such has only advisory capabilities. It is comprised of the pastor, the administrations (principal and vice principal) and nine parents (one parent is the president of PAVE and as such is not a voting member). Catholic School Board members function as consultants only and do not have jurisdiction over policy. However we do assist in formulating policies that are compatible with the school’s Catholic mission. Assistance is provided in formulating budgets and tuition projections and represent the school to the parish finance committee. An important function of the school board is to receive and disseminate important information about the school to other school parents and to the broader community.
The Notre Dame School Board meets approximately five times a year. Each member serves a three year term. Elections are held in the spring and are open to parents of children attending our school. Parents who are interested in sitting on the board are asked to write a brief biography. These are compiled and elections are held.
Names of the School Board members are published in the annual school handbook and on the web site. Parents are free to contact Board members with questions or concerns regarding policy.
Catechesis is an education in the faith of children, young people, and adult which includes especially the teaching of Christian doctrine with a view to initiating the hearers into the fullness of Christian life.