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A photo of students walking in the hall at Notre Dame Academy

Welcome to the 2021-22 Academic Year

Dear NDA families, faculty and staff:

We hope that you have experienced an active, healthy and recreational summer thus far. It is a little early to have you think about the school year, but within a month students will be in their Notre Dame Academy classrooms!

This letter attempts to address the many things that have filled the days of the NDA administration over the days since last we were together. As part of our strategic planning process, NDA has added a dimension to its mission statement as well as some of its mission documents that help us to guide our community’s fidelity to our work as part of the Church, and as a Catholic educational institution.

First, as we proceed into the school year we shall continue the optional masking policy we have used successfully over the summer. We earnestly encourage you to have discussions with your medical professionals as you discern your way forward regarding vaccination, mask use, social distancing and the awareness of your own health status on a daily basis. If symptoms arise, we ask that you stay away from school and see a medical professional to assess the extent of any illness. It is recommended that those who are not vaccinated wear a mask. Distanced provisions for students will be made available as needed. COVID-19 resources from the Centers for Disease Control, Brown County Health Department and WIAA can be found be found at the links below.

NDA and its professional health advisors from Prevea, Bellin, Aurora, Brown County and our surrounding counties shall assess the health situation regularly, and post changes to procedures on the Health & Wellness link on the school’s website. As public health situations change procedures will be altered accordingly.

Second, last summer NDA was approached by a large group of alumni to examine how NDA instructed students about racism. Our Curriculum and Student Life Committee did an extensive study of our current practices and the Church teachings that ought to govern our way forward. In the words of the U. S . bishops:

Racism can only end if we contend with the policies and institutional barriers that perpetuate and preserve the inequality — economic and social — that we still see all around us. With renewed vigor, we call on members of the Body of Christ to join others in advocating and promoting policies at all levels that will combat racism and its effects in our civic and social institutions.”

– U.S. bishops, Open Wide Our Hearts

As people affected by Original Sin, sinful social structures result from human actions. Through the thoughtful consideration and application of Catholic social principles, NDA affirms the inherent dignity of all people, and teaches we have a shared responsibility to ensure institutions enhance the flourishing of people to grow and enjoy the life God has given.

A key part of the educational program is the broadening experience of student service. It stands as a core value of NDA. To enhance the student experience of our service program both the 10th and 11th grades will participate in structured service and reflection. On a community-wide note, in addition to the traditional 9th grade orientation, the 10th grade will experience a “re-orientation” because of their altered entry into NDA last year, and the 11th and 12th grade will participate in experiences tailored to their unique NDA experiences.

In addition to an enhanced service profile, two exciting expansions of NDA’s learning opportunities will begin their inaugural work this year. The Aquinas Learning Program works with 9th and 10th grade students struggling to acclimatize to the rigors of college preparatory learning as it begins its pilot year. The Career Preparation Program seeks to educate students about the range of possibilities, pathways and personal growth needed to engage the world of work. Operating as a partnership with Green Bay’s Youth Apprenticeship Program and with the IB Career-related Program, career-related study prepares students for higher education, internships, an apprenticeship or a position in a designated field of interest. This program will be built throughout the course of the year.

Over the next month key announcements will be sent via our weekly News & Notes email sent on Thursdays as well as through updates posted to our website. Please stay informed about athletic workouts and practices, activities being launched throughout the school, schedule and book pick-up and orientations as we join together to experience all the year has to offer to each of us on our journey guided by God’s grace.

Blessings,

 

Tom Kiely

NDA President

 

Embracing Father,

You grace each of us with equal measure in your love.

Let us learn to love our neighbors more deeply,

so that we can create

peaceful and just communities.

Inspire us to use our creative energies

to build the structures we need

to overcome the obstacles

of intolerance and indifference.

May Jesus provide us the example needed

and send the Spirit to warm our hearts for the journey.

Amen.

— USCCB, A Prayer for Community

 

“Together ... we are more.”

— Sisters of St. Joseph Carondolet

 

“Prepared for every good work.”

— The Norbertine fathers, brothers and sisters

About Notre Dame Academy: Notre Dame Academy is located in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and is a co-ed Catholic high school founded by the Norbertine Order, Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet and the Diocese of Green Bay. NDA’s distinctive history embraces the more than 120-year foundation of St. Joseph Academy, Abbot Pennings High School and Our Lady of Premontre High School. NDA offers a globally focused education with a leading IB Diploma Program. Its high-caliber educational community is focused on outstanding learning and creating a lifetime of opportunity for all students.