With a bold strategic vision, state-of-the-art Riley Center for STEM Education, Scholar Programs and proven online teaching and learning protocols, the Academy of Notre Dame de Namur is inspiring young women from grades 6 to 12 to take their place as confident leaders in a global society.
Since 1856, the Academy of Notre Dame de Namur has educated, empowered, and inspired young women for a lifetime of compassionate leadership and service to others. The Academy is rooted in the faith tradition of the Catholic Church; the charism of Saint Julie Billiart, founder of the Congregation of the Sisters of Notre Dame; and the legacy of the Sisters of Notre Dame, who live and serve others on five continents.
Notre Dame recognizes the unique potential of each student, teaching them, in the words of Saint Julie, “What they need to know for life.”
Apple Distinguished School
For a second consecutive time, Notre Dame was selected as an Apple Distinguished School for 2021-2024, a three-year designation, for its continuous innovation in learning, teaching, and the school environment.
Head of School Dr. Laura Hotchkiss said that she has “great pride in the work of our students and faculty for their creativity and passion for the education of our girls! Congratulations to the team for this recognition.”
The first time Notre Dame was designated as an Apple Distinguished School was 2018-2021.
In order to be considered for the designation, a primary or secondary school must be a one-to-one Apple device school and teachers must have their Apple teacher certification, meaning they have had a certain amount of training in Apple products or programs.
Tyler Gaspich, Director of Information Resources and Technologies, said that this designation is a testament to not only Notre Dame’s commitment to powerful technology, but its emphasis on creativity and power.
“It’s an excellent demonstration of the innovative nature at Notre Dame,” said Gaspich.
Being an Apple Distinguished School and having this technology at students and faculty members fingertips allows for teaching which incorporates much more than a textbook and notebook.
Students learn not just through exams but by creating their own informational videos or even connecting with other schools across the globe who are also an Apple Distinguished School.
“We are a school that values creativity and innovation, and we are looking to reform how we assess and measure understanding from a student, while showing that we are a forefront leader in this effort.” said Gaspich.
How Notre Dame utilizes this technology can vary by teacher or department. Gaspich said that teachers are using it in ways to reinvent the wheel and change the classic classroom setting.
For example, instead of lecturing during school hours, teachers may assign students to watch lectures at home while doing more interactive work during classroom time. It could also be assigning students to create a video to share with the class about a subject instead of writing a paper on it.
Gaspich said that Notre Dame’s use of Apple products and familiarity with them “allows for teachers to create those different innovative strategies.”
iMovie is one of the most used Apple programs at Notre Dame according to Gaspich. By utilizing iMovie, Gaspich said that students are creating more than just informational video for themselves and their peers, it is creating leadership opportunities by putting students in leadership roles of their own education.
Gaspich added that students won’t remember the essay they wrote, but they will remember the video they produced.
Associate Head of School Dr. Liz Willis shared, “Notre Dame continues to differentiate ourselves as a school that prioritizes not only providing exceptional technology to students, but supporting their intentional use of these resources for learning, connection, and exploration.”
Gaspich hopes that the future of technology at Notre Dame involves blending it even more into the classroom but also teaching students how to stay safe online.
“Technology isn’t going anywhere,” Gaspich said. “It is important to learn how to integrate it instead of ignoring it.”
The Academy offers girls in grades 6 through 12 a challenging academic curriculum within a rich spiritual community in order to: inspire them to live the prophetic nature of the gospel, with a passion for justice and love for the poor; enable them to develop the skills and desire necessary for lifelong learning; and empower them to be honorable, compassionate leaders.
For more information, visit Academy of Notre Dame de Namur.