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A View From My Office

A Message from the Head of School: A View from My NDA Office

Dear NDA Family,

Today is September 14, 2021. As I sit at the desk in my NDA office, I look out my windows finally can see the faces and hear the giggles of our students while on their mask breaks again; Mia and Bianca are home, wishing summer was not ending; I enjoy the sunflowers on my desk which always remind me of St. Julie; and as I sip my cup of tea, I am filled with excitement for the 2021-202 academic year.

NDA has enjoyed almost a full week of classes and a wonderful start to our year! I have enjoyed meeting new students and parents/guardians as we begin the new school year. As promised, this issue of “A View,” one of the NDA communication vehicles to ensure our community receives important and timely communication, will focus on a review of the topics covered at the very well attended “Parent Back to School Night,” held on Thursday, September 9th.

We are dedicated: I proudly introduced members of the NDA Executive Leadership Team, Susan Butler, Principal; Ewa Mamro, Business Manager; Caitlyn Germain, Athletic Director; Caitlin Lubelczyk, Director of Enrollment and Marketing; and Colleen Sullivan, Director of Advancement and Alum Relations. I also shared the NDA full organizational chart with a reminder that a full listing of faculty and staff can be found in our online directory.

We are growing: With excitement, I shared that the NDA enrollment continues to grow as families learn about the tremendous value of an NDA education, especially given our success during the pandemic and so many exciting new programs and initiatives. For 21-22, we currently have 32 7th-graders, 42 8th-graders, 53 freshmen, 39 sophomores, 43 Juniors, and 32 Seniors. This is a 43% increase over our 2019-2020 enrollment. The 22-23 Enrollment is kicking off soon. Please be sure to let your friends and family know that our Fall Open House is scheduled for October 17th at 1:00 pm and interested families should register online. I encourage interested families to apply early as we did have a waiting list for some grades this year.

We are active: The NDA Activity Block (2:00 pm - 2:45 pm) is part of the school day. Each student now has access to the Activity Block calendar to view all Clubs, Advisors, and locations. Students in grades 7-10 are required to be on campus. If not participating in a co-curricular activity (clubs, tutoring, etc.), Study Halls have been assigned and students will need to sign out at the end of the day. Junior and Seniors are required to attend Mandatory Activity Blocks (assemblies, liturgies, special events, etc.) and it is highly encouraged that they participate in co-curricular activities on other days. The Activity Block allows upperclassmen in our dual enrollment with Assumption University to attend classes after 2:00 pm and also gives student-athletes and others with extracurricular activities immediately following school the opportunity to be active in Clubs. And, there certainly are many to choose from! The 21-22 Club list includes the list below. Students will have an opportunity to learn more about all Clubs at the Co-Curricular Showcase on September 21st.

Art Club

Herron Project

Percussion Ensemble

Book Club

Instrumental

Public Speaking Club

Business Club

 

Ensemble

Science Club

Declamation

Math Club

Service Club

Diversity Club

Mock Trial

Ski Club

Dance Ensemble

Model UN

Slam Poetry

French Club

Newspaper/NDtv

Spanish Club

girlUp

Oxfam (fall only)

Sports Management

Glee Club

Panda

Student Council

Guitar/Ukulele

Peer Support 9-12

Writing Club

 

Ensemble

Peer Support 7-8

 

 

Writing Tutoring

Yearbook

 

 

 

We are hungry: The Rebel Cafe now consists of a new micro-market in our Student Center. There are many choices for snacks, sandwiches, meals, and beverages. (The bag of pickles is already an NDA favorite!) Each student has received an Avanti Market Card. Value can be added to the card at the kiosk or by visiting the Avanti Market App with a credit or debit card. Cash can also be used to purchase items directly at the kiosk by selecting the item, scanning the barcode on the item at the kiosk, and then scanning the barcode on the Market Card. The kiosk also allows you to scan a fingerprint to link to an account if you so chose. Please note that security cameras have been installed to monitor the Kiosk and the merchandise. All items taken must be paid for at the kiosk. Anyone found not doing so will receive disciplinary action.

We are learners: Mrs. Butler provided a brief overview of our new Notre Dame Academy Certificate Programs. Our longstanding Global Perspective Studies (GPS) certificate is being enhanced, and this year we are adding a STEM Certificate as well as the Salisbury Arts Certificate. These certificate programs will allow students to take a deep dive into an area of interest and to graduate from NDA with valuable information about future educational and career paths. Students will commit to a program by October of junior year and will complete two years of specified courses, community activities, projects, and a capstone. We are proud to have been assisted by WPI in creating our STEM Certificate and by Holy Cross in assisting with exploring collaborative opportunities for our Arts Certificate Students. We look forward to sharing more information on these programs on Curriculum Night, scheduled for September 28th. More details on that night and Parent-Teacher conferences (scheduled for November 30th) will be forthcoming.

We are Rebels: For decades, the Rebel has been the Notre Dame Academy mascot. To us, an NDA Rebel is a leader, a challenger, an ideator, an innovator, a change agent, a hard worker, a risk-taker, and a collaborator. She is strong, respectful, colorful, open-minded, generous, comfortable with who she is, purposeful, inspirational, authentic, results-oriented, and fierce. Last year, we re-branded NDA Athletics with new logos and marks that can be used on uniforms, athletic gear, and other athletic items. The primary athletic logo is a green shield with gold “NDA” within, and images representing our beloved entry gates on the top. This year, as we continue to build and strengthen our brand identity, we are not only embracing the “Rebel” in all of us, but we are bringing her to life. Rose, named in honor of Marie-Rose Julie Billiart, later Saint Julie, the foundress of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur - our first Rebel, will be making her first appearance at NDA late Fall. Keep your eye out for both Rose the Rebel on campus and our 21-22 marketing campaign, Rebel Rising, in print and online mediums.

We have spirit: To express our NDA Rebel Spirit, we wear green and gold! NDA has shifted from a physical store to a virtual Spirit Shop. And, though you may not have time to order NDA merchandise this week, students are encouraged to go crazy with green and gold attire for our first Pep Rally of the year on Thursday, September 16th during our Mandatory Athletic Block. Our student-athletes will show their pride in their Athletic uniforms. GO REBELS!

We are adventurous: One of the highlights of our Parent Back to School Meeting was the announcement of Rebel Adventure 2023! During April school vacation week in 2023, NDA Rebels have an opportunity to partake in a STEM-focused international trip to Iceland. The trip has limited space but undoubtedly will be an adventure of a lifetime! Interested families can register here to hear more details at Rebel Adventure Spring 2023 Information Night on September 23rd. Though not confirmed, we are also planning Rebel Adventure Spring 2024, a 10-day Athens and the Islands trip (including a 4-day cruise), and Rebel Adventure Spring 2025, a 10 day trip to Dublin, London, and Paris.

We are continuing to explore other travel opportunities, including service trips, trips within the United States, and Alum Trips (Class of 1988 - who’s coming with me?!) I will certainly provide more information as details are available.

We are spiritual: Notre Dame will also be offering two small group weekend retreats, one in the Fall and one in the Spring. We are currently confirming details for the Fall 2021 Rebel Retreat but it is being planned to begin after school Friday, October 29 through late afternoon Sunday, October 31. Retreats are limited to a maximum of 20 students and will be open to all students, with priority given to upperclassmen. The Fall Retreat is being held at Berea Monadnock, Jaffrey, NH. The cost of the retreat will be $250 including bus to/from, dorm-style housing for 2 nights, 5 meals (dinner on Friday; breakfast, lunch, and dinner on Saturday; breakfast on Sunday. Registration is now open but will close on September 17. Payment to be made immediately after confirmation and due by September 24th.

We are service-oriented: The Notre Dame Academy Religion Department has had a long-standing service-focused program, Love In Action. For this program, Juniors and Seniors must provide community service, document their experience, and complete a capstone project, in order to receive an NDA diploma. For many students, including me, this program not only highlights the importance of giving back to the community and those often less fortunate but sparks a fire that leads to a passion for a career in the field in which the student volunteers. Almost every NDA alum you meet can tell you an impactful story about her Love In Action.

This year we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Love In Action program! As part of our 50th Anniversary celebration, after the 2021 Love In Action Commissioning ceremony on November 12th, NDA will be hosting a school-wide Service Day. Every student, faculty, and staff member will be traveling to a service site to help with various projects and much-needed help. Once we return to campus, we will continue our celebration with a school-wide cook-out.

Also, for those not aware, Sr. Evelyn McKenna, collects cans and bottles and sends the proceeds to the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur community in the Congo. Students should place their (empty) bottles and cans in the bins provided on campus and parents, alums, friends are welcome to bring household bags of recyclable cans and bottles to the NDA campus where we will ensure that they are given to Sr. Evelyn.

We are part of the community: NDA Back to School Night at the Woo Sox is September 22, 2021! Those that purchased tickets can pick them up the night of the game at will call at Polar Park.

Our parents are important: At the Back to School Night, NDA Parent Association, Tara Leahy, encouraged parents to get involved. This year the Association, led by Tara as well as Vice President, Kim Davenport; Treasurer, Gina Dugan; and Secretary, Katelyn Wojnarowicz, has developed four Committees.

 

Admissions Ambassadors

Volunteers work with the Enrollment Office to assist with the recruitment process.

Hospitality Committee

Volunteers help with set-up/clean-up, decorating, and host student, alum, and community events at NDA (Sub-Committees for grade-level events)

Boost-Her Club

Volunteers help with fundraising and events specific to Athletics

Fundraising Committee

Volunteers organize and run events in conjunction with the Development Office

 

All Parents interested in participating in the Parent Association and helping to enhance the NDA community can register here. The Parent Association Meeting schedule is below. All meetings will begin at 6:00 pm and will be held in-person at NDA. Any changes of location, time, or in-person will be shared in advance.

❏     October 5, 2021

❏     November 2, 2021

❏     December 16, 2021 (Parent Holiday Cocktail Party)

❏     January 4, 2021

❏     February 1, 2021

❏     March 1, 202

❏     April 5, 2021

❏     May 3, 2021

 

Parents and all other NDA golfer friends are welcome to join our 4th Annual Swing into Action Golf Classic. This years’ event is at Heritage Country Club in Charlton, MA on Monday, September 20th. The Shotgun Start begins at 10:00 am and we expect dinner to begin at 4:30 pm. The event pricing is $150 per golfer (includes dinner), $600 per foursome (includes dinner). But even if you are not a golfer, we would love to have you join us for Heritage’s famous steak dinner. Tickets for dinner only are $50 each. We hope you can join us as we raise money for our Athletic Department and maybe even win great prizes in our auction!

Together we are staying safe: Ms. Meaghan Roach, Director of Student Services, and Mrs. Rosanna Burke, School Nurse, reviewed the current NDA protocols. These protocols have been designed with the intent of protecting all members of the NDA community while allowing our faculty, students, and staff to collaborate and participate in learning and community activities as normally as possible. We have reviewed current CDC guidelines, DESE recommendations, and our own NDA vaccination rates (as provided by our vaccination survey) and have established the following protocols:

❏     Masks will be worn by all students and adults while inside NDA buildings.

❏     Outdoor masks breaks will be incorporated into the daily schedule.

❏     In order to foster collaborative learning, strict distancing protocols will be relaxed.

❏     A designated area will be provided for those students who wish to ensure they are able to space 6 feet apart while unmasked and eating. Outdoor spaces will also be available while the weather allows.

❏     If you have been vaccinated, this should be indicated on your current physical, which must be submitted to NDA via FamilyID. A copy of your vaccination card is also acceptable (emailed to rburke@nda-worc.org).

❏     Students are expected to attend classes in person. Remote learning access will be provided only to students who will be out seven days or more due to NDA mandated quarantine.

❏     Parents should continue to monitor their students’ health daily. If it is necessary for a student to miss school, the absentee form must be submitted. Possible COVID symptoms should be noted on this form.

❏     Contact tracing will be measured through interviews conducted by the school nurse. Quarantine recommendations will be determined on a case-by-case basis and are dependent on vaccination status.

The above protocols will be reviewed regularly in consideration of changing guidelines and infection rates and adjusted when necessary. We are confident that all members of our school community will respect these protocols in order to provide our students with a supportive learning environment.

Lastly, in addition to providing answers to many parents’ frequently asked questions, I also reviewed the new parking and traffic flow for this year. At morning drop-off, students should only be dropped off at the corner before taking a right into the Main Parking Lot or right in front of the Main Academic Building door (3-4 cars.) At afternoon pick-up, cars may not be parked anywhere on the driveway so please follow the traffic through the driveway to the Main Entrance and pull all the way forward to the front door to help eliminate traffic delays. Students and visitors can park in any row of the Main Parking Lot. Students must register their vehicles with the Main Office as noted in the Family and Student Handbook. Please do not pick up students on Salisbury Lane and do remember that Salisbury Lane is a two-way street. When exiting, please remain on the right side of the road (even when turning left) so that residents can enter.

Most importantly, new this year, we are asking that all traffic exiting from the primary lane (adjacent to the Main Building), travel through the third lane of the parking lot (parallel to the outer edge of the lot and adjacent to Salisbury Lane) in order to reduce congestion.

 I look forward to continuing to provide updates on a monthly basis via this newsletter. Remember that you can also stay connected in numerous other ways. Daily announcements are published each day on the NDA website and you can subscribe to a daily notification to get them directly to your inbox late morning. And lots of information is always posted on our social media. You can find us on Facebook, @NotreDameAcademyWorcester and @ndaworcathletics, on Instagram @ndaworcester and @ndaworcesterstudents, on Twitter @ndaworcester and @ndaworcathletic and on Snapchat @ndaworcester.

Last year we welcomed back students with bubbles at the front door reminding them to “mind their bubble.” This year, we again stood amidst the bubbles instead representing, “Rebels Rising.” With the support of our faculty and staff, “teaching them what they need to know for life,” and our many transformational experiences, I am confident that this year each of our students will rise to her calling to be an NDA Rebel. In this academic year, I commit to you, that our Rebels will continue to be inspired to achieve their personal best in order to become forward thinkers and future leaders whose unique gifts will impact the world.

If you know any of those Rebels, nominations are still open for our 10 Under 10 Award. This year, we will be honoring alums who graduated between 2011 and 2020 and are emerging leaders in their fields, making significant contributions to their communities by living out their calling. Our awardees serve as outstanding young role models for our current and future students by showcasing the attributes of an NDA graduate. The event will take place virtually on Sunday, November 14th. The criteria for the award and the nomination form are available here.

Please join me in asking our Good God to ensure His protective wings cover our school and all of us in it as we embark on the 21-22 school year.

With excitement,

Lisa
Lisa Mancini ‘88 P‘18
Head of School
Notre Dame Academy
lmancini@nda-worc.org

A Message from the Head of School: A View from My NDA Office

Dear NDA Family,

Today is August 11, 2021. I would like to welcome the new NDA families to our very special community. I am looking forward to meeting new students and parents/guardians as we begin the new school year. In the meantime, I hope everyone is enjoying the last few weeks of summer! As summer begins to wind down, I hope you enjoy reading this issue of “A View,” one of the NDA communication vehicles to ensure our community receives important and timely communication.

As I sit at the desk in my NDA office, I look out my windows and see empty fields that will soon be filled with student-athletes and physical education classes; Mia and Bianca (my puppies) are home, likely looking out our windows at the squirrels running by; I enjoy the hydrangea blossoms picked from my yard and a good reminder that summer isn’t over yet; and as I sip my cup of tea, I am filled with excitement and anticipation at seeing our students (using their lockers!) on the first day of school!

This summer, though very different from last summer, was still very busy for the NDA Leadership Team as we plan for the return of our faculty and staff and our students. Many items on our “Summer To-do” lists have been completed. Beyond the “typical” preparations (floor waxing, books, schedules, hiring, etc.), we also have many exciting new programs and events planned for this year.

The first day of school for all NDA students is Wednesday, September 8th. New Student Orientation for those in grades 7th and 8th is being held on September 1st from noon to 1:00 pm. New 9th graders and transfer students are scheduled on September 1st from 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm. Returning students are able to pick up their locker keys and schedules on September 2nd anytime between 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm. Per the recent email from NDA Office Manager, Ms. Lindsay Baker, please remember that all families MUST electronically sign the Student-Handbook and submit all necessary forms via FamilyID in order for locker keys and schedules to be released. There will be no exceptions. Should you need any assistance with FamilyID, please let us know.

I know that one of the most anticipated updates from parents/guardians is in regards to the protocols that will be in place for the return to school. I am sharing that information today and we will devote a small portion of the upcoming Parent Back to School Night to a Q&A period as well.

COVID 21-22 Return to School Protocols have been designed with the intent of protecting all members of the NDA community while allowing our faculty, students, and staff to collaborate and participate in learning and community activities as normally as possible. We have reviewed current CDC guidelines, DESE recommendations, and our own NDA vaccination rates (as provided by our vaccination survey) and have established the following protocols. Effective, August 15th,

●     Masks will be worn by all students and adults while inside NDA buildings (regardless of vaccination status.)

●     Outdoor masks breaks will be incorporated into the daily schedule.

●     In order to foster collaborative learning, strict distancing protocols will be relaxed.

●     A designated area will be provided for those students who wish to ensure they are able to space 6 feet apart while unmasked and eating. Outdoor spaces will also be available while the weather allows.

●     If you have been vaccinated, this should be indicated on your current physical, which must be submitted to NDA via FamilyID. A copy of your vaccination card is also acceptable (emailed to rburke@nda-worc.org).

●     Students are expected to attend classes in person. Remote learning access will be provided only to students who test positive for COVID.

●     Parents should continue to monitor their students’ health daily. If it is necessary for a student to miss school, the absentee form must be submitted. Possible COVID symptoms should be noted on this form.

●     Contact tracing will be measured through interviews conducted by the school nurse. Quarantine recommendations will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

The above protocols will be reviewed regularly in consideration of changing guidelines and infection rates and adjusted when necessary. We are confident that all members of our school community will respect these protocols in order to provide our students with a supportive learning environment.

Please note that we are still awaiting formal protocols from the MIAA for athletics and there could be differences in those protocols. We will share as soon as they are available.

All current parents have received an invitation and a link to RSVP to the NDA Parent Back to School Night on September Thursday, September 9th at 6:30 pm. At that meeting, we will share information and answer parent questions on a variety of topics. The meeting is being held in-person to allow parents/guardians to meet each other. Masks will be mandatory for this event. Additional topics that will be covered at the Parent Back to School Night are below.

●        Brief NDA Update

●        21-22 Enrollment Update

●        Activity Block/Clubs/Co-curricular

●        Rebel Cafe Update

●        A glimpse at New Certificate Programs (full presentation on Curriculum Night)

●        New Marketing Campaign and Mascot

●        A peek at 2023 Spring Travel Opportunity

●        Love In Action 50th Anniversary and Service Day

●        Woo Sox Back to School Night

●        21-22 Calendar Highlights

●        Parent Association Update

●        Covid Protocols Review

●        Q&A

 

For parents/guardians not able to attend on September 9th, I will provide updates on all of these topics in future issues of this communication. Also, please note that teachers will not be attending the Parent Back to School Night but will be available at Curriculum Night, scheduled for September 28th. More details on that night and Parent-Teacher conferences (scheduled for November 30th) will be forthcoming.

Please enjoy the remainder of the summer. I truly look forward to seeing our beautiful campus on 425 Salisbury Street come alive again with the return of all faculty and staff and every member of the 21-22 student body!

Warmest Regards,

Lisa
Lisa Mancini ‘88 P‘18
Head of School
Notre Dame Academy
lmancini@nda-worc.org

 

 

P.S. The Worcester Railers have offered NDA families a discount for their Opening Night on October 23rd at the DCU. The discount link is www.railershc.com/catholic

A View From My Office- June 2, 2021

A Message from the Head of School: A View from My NDA Office

Dear NDA Family,

Today is June 2nd, 2021. As I sit at the desk in my NDA office, my windows are open and the sun is shining; Mia and Bianca are home, undoubtedly anxiously awaiting my return for our evening walk; I enjoy the sprouts from the newly planted seeds on my windowsill; and as I sip my cup of tea, I exhale knowing we made it! The signs indicating the colleges this year’s graduates will be attending lining the entrance to 425 Salisbury Street are a sure sign that the end of the year is upon us!

The entire NDA community made it through a difficult year. We zigged and zagged as we navigated so many unknowns. It certainly wasn’t easy, but the year seemed to fly by! On the first day of school, we had bubble machines at the entrance prompting students to “mind their bubbles” and use social distancing. On our last day of classes, bubbles once again welcomed students into the building. A sign of having come full circle.

Tomorrow marks the last day of finals. As we approach the end of the remarkable school year, I have spent a lot of time reflecting. Despite being a difficult year in many ways, one that could leave us feeling like we didn’t do enough, didn’t teach enough, didn’t connect enough, didn’t celebrate enough, I am confident that we did have an extremely successful year as measured by the growth and involvement of our students. So many young people today are experiencing epidemic levels of isolation; however, especially in the last month of school, our campus was as vibrant as ever.

No doubt the neighbors knew it was the annual NDA Beep Day on May 13th. After their last day of classes, Seniors enjoyed the traditional few minutes in the parking lot with cars decorated, music playing, and their final “beeps” as they headed out the NDA gates. On May 14th, Arts Day showcased some incredible works of art in the form of dance, visual arts, music, and theater.  The chalk mandalas in the parking lot were absolutely beautiful! May 20th brought all of the NDA Student- Athletes together in person and virtually for our 37th Annual Athletic Awards Night. The evening included a special presentation from Mayor Petty who honored Coach Provost with a key to the City for her 600th field hockey win.

On May 21, 22, and 23, I am sure you could hear the cast of High School Musical from miles away. I still found myself singing “Get Your Head in the Game!” in the grocery store aisle this week. Though we worried about the impact of weather on the outdoor venue, the rain held off until 5 minutes after the last show (and then the downpour came!) Bravo to the entire cast and crew! The sun was certainly out the afternoon of May 26th when the Seniors were inducted into the NDA Alum Association and then enjoyed a BBQ and ice cream truck, lawn games, photo booth, and music outside. And again on May 27th, Class Day 2021, we were fortunate to have perfect weather as many Juniors and Seniors received Academic Awards and each class honored the Seniors in very special ways. Every bit of Class Day was wonderful, but after being in an NDA Junior Skit in 1987, and watching an NDA Junior Skit in 1988, I can now say, in 2021, I was a character in an NDA Junior Skit. Congratulations to the NDA Class of 2022, especially Edith who made a wonderful Ms. Mancini in the skit as she wrote “A View From My NDA/Home Office.” It was a wonderful parody and certainly received the desired comedic effect! Bravo ladies!

The cold weather and rain did alter our plans for a traditional graduation on the graduation lawn this past Sunday; however, the ceremony in the theatre still allowed for students and their families to celebrate the momentous occasion and cross the stage to receive their diplomas in a very special ceremony. I was honored to present the Foundress Award to Senior Mabel McDonald. This award was established by the Mother's Guild in 1983 to honor a senior, chosen by her class, who best represents the spirit and tradition of St. Julie Billiart in faith, devotion, commitment, and kindness. As the recipient of this award in 1988, I know what an honor it is!

Samantha Gulachenski was chosen by her “sisters for life” to deliver the Senior Speech. Sam’s words were poignant and meaningful as she shared her experience of being instantly welcomed into the NDA family as a Junior transfer student. I share her parting words, “Today, we will pass through the iron gates out into the world for the first time as graduates. As our paths begin to branch off once again into new directions, we will all take one thing with us wherever we go.

Each other. We are all a mosaic of the people in our lives. Aren’t we lucky that this family shaped us to be who we are today? A piece of each and every one of us will be within us forever. No matter where your path leads you, take with you your NDA family. The lessons you’ve learned, the values instilled in you, and the people who lived it with you. Go out and show the world who you are and what it means to forever be a part of the family that has helped you grow. Do great things. I know we will…because we are and will forever be NDA.”

Jo Massarelli, NDA Class of 1975, was this year’s Graduation Speaker. Her message that “in this wildly changing world there are some constants in life, and if we can discern them amidst all the noise and chatter, we are in a much better place to frankly maintain our personal sanity, be a nurturing presence for those we love, and make a positive difference in this world.” was profound and inspiring. She brought her NDA uniform to share with the graduates and their families and left them with a very important sentiment, “And as I wrap up here, I'd like to speak to you as a woman. Don't let anyone tell you that the only difference between men and women is anatomy, or preference, or sensibility. All wisdom traditions tell us that there are deep-seeded aspects of our souls as women that complete us. Our spiritual identity as life-bearers, present in us whether we have children or not, is what distinguishes us as necessary beings in the world and distinct from men. Yet so often we are encouraged to be caricatures of men: the high-powered businesswoman, the hard-bitten politician, the gun-toting detective, the fists-swinging lawyer… These are the archetypal images we are told make up the successful woman.

Certainly, strive for excellence in whatever you do, but bring compassion with you. Appreciate your womanly nature as life-bearer in the broad sense, as sister, as auntie, as listener, as gentler, as healer, as nurturer, all so vital in this iron-bound, chilly and troubled world.

Dostoevsky said, ‘the world will be saved by beauty’ and that is us! So, appreciate that. And one another. Cherish the friends you have made at NDA. Stay close to one another and to the school. And hang onto your NDA artifacts. Who knows? Maybe in 40 years, you’ll get to be the graduation speaker.” It certainly wouldn’t surprise me if one of the graduates will be.

Tomorrow we will celebrate our 8th graders with their Promotion Ceremony. This special outdoor ceremony with their family marks a milestone as we acknowledge their transition from middle school to high school. We are hopeful the weather will cooperate.

This week we also shift the focus from current students and 2021 graduates to new incoming students and alum! This Saturday, we will be welcoming back members of all NDA graduating classes ending in 0, 1, 5, and 6. I am so excited to be able to spend time with the 175 alum who will be coming back through our gates to reconnect, re-engage, and reaffirm their support of the Notre Dame Academy experience! I have no doubt it will be a wonderful event. During the event, we will also be celebrating two classes that have responded to the Reunion Challenge.

The Reunion Challenge celebrates the entirety of each class’s philanthropy to the Academy during their respective milestone year. Although the fiscal year ends on June 30, we encourage our reunion year alums to make their contributions before the Reunion celebration. The Reunion Class Gift includes all contributions to the Academy received in the current fiscal year (July 1 to June 30) and allows classmates to support the priority of their choice. The classes that have reached the highest participation and the greatest impact by June 5 will be recognized during the reunion celebration, however, the challenge will extend through to June 30, 2021. As of today, the class of 1986 leads the way in participation, with 22% of the class making a gift to the Academy this year, and the class of 1960 has collectively donated $26,900. After we cross the finish line, the final results will be shared with each reunion class. Then on June 9th, we shift gears, and we will welcome new incoming students to NDA, many of whom have not been able to explore the campus in-depth, due to COVID.

The week of June 7th begins NDA Summer Hours with the Main Office open Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9 am to 2 pm. However, the campus will remain vibrant with a prolonged sports season, campus rentals, and our AICS Summer Programs! Be sure to check out the great offerings for students in grades 7-12. There are a number of programs strongly encouraged for any rising and incoming Notre Dame Academy 7th and 9th-grade students and there are many other programs open to the public. Spread the word!

I will continue to share this communication with you in July and August as we prepare for the new academic year. As you may know, The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has announced that all COVID-19 related health and safety requirements will be lifted for the 2021-2022 school year. That means students will be able to return to NDA without physical distancing requirements. Current Parents will also receive communication from Mrs. Susan Butler, NDA Principal, and Ms. Emily Haley, NDA Dean of Students as it relates to books, schedules, the first day of classes, etc. throughout the summer.

I hope each member of our community has an opportunity to truly enjoy some lazy days of summer. In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Live in the Sunshine, Swim in the Sea, and Drink in the Wild Air.”

 

Grace and Blessings,

Lisa
Lisa Mancini ‘88 P‘18
Head of School
Notre Dame Academy
lmancini@nda-worc.org

Dear NDA Family,

Today is May 5th, 2021. As I sit at the desk in my NDA office, my windows are open and the cool May breeze comes in; Mia and Bianca are home, likely also looking out the windows at the squirrels playing in our yard; I enjoy a bouquet of tulips, one of my favorite spring flowers; and as I sip my cup of tea, I am reminded that NDA has had an incredible year, even in the craziest of times. There is no doubt that every member of the NDA team deserves some beautiful beach days this summer!

It’s hard to imagine we have flipped the calendar to May and have begun the countdown to year-end activities, final exams, and graduation. The Service Club, under the direction of Mrs. Butler and Miss Sullivan, hosted a Beautification Day on Saturday and has ensured that our campus looks beautiful for all of the upcoming outdoor events! Faculty and students continue to work hard. Many teachers have shared some of the creative final assignments and projects and I would love to share them with you.

●     Grade 9 Latin students are working on writing and illustrating children's stories using the vocabulary and grammar concepts that they have learned this year.

●     The Diversity Club is planning a school-wide mural project on what diversity means to NDA students before the end of the school year.

●     Grade 10 English students watched Little Women and were asked to reflect on the similarities and differences between their own lives as modern, Massachusetts teenage girls to the lives of the March girls at the close of the Civil War.

●     The Psychology class created some incredible pieces for their psychological disorders mural project. Groups created murals using black spray paint and colored chalk pastels to visually represent the symptoms and emotions surrounding various psychological disorders. In addition, Psychology students presented their independent research projects in a science fair-style environment. They covered topics ranging from the psychological diagnoses of Winnie the Pooh characters to the reward/punishment system used within inpatient facilities to the portrayal of dissociative identity disorders in Hollywood movies.

●     8th Grade English students are learning about the Slam Poetry movement. Students have been watching and reading different slam poems as well as learning about different poetic devices that are used and their effects. Students will end the quarter by writing and performing an original piece.

●     8th Grade Dance students are learning new routines to be performed during the upcoming Arts day.

●     9th Grade History students recently completed their study of World War II and the Holocaust. Their slide presentations studied the rise of the Nazis and their anti-Semitic policies. They also studied the beautiful poetry, music, and art that was produced in the camps by the courageous Jewish people in so-called model camps. In addition, they presented on literature and memoirs such as The Diary of AnnFrank to Elie Wiesel's Night The project was intended to have students learn, and teach about the horrors of any form of discrimination based on color, sexual persuasion, ethnicity, or religion.

●     Biology 1 students just completed a fermentation lab where they made homemade root beer. They enjoyed a socially distanced taste test and made root beer floats at the end of class

●     In Biology II, they are working in biotechnology and did a DNA extraction lab. Strawberries were used as samples and each student got to take with them a microtube of strawberry DNA home.

●     Grade 8 Religion has practiced the method of prayer known as Visio Divina "Sacred Seeing" in which students use photographs or works of art to communicate and connect with God.

●     Anatomy students will be showing their creative side for learning the many muscle movements as they perform creations for the class.

●     Grade 7 Geography students have been studying the geography of South America. One student shared her knowledge of the art of Origami and then students created their own Amazon Rainforest frogs using the technique of Origami.

●     My Business Class celebrated Financial Literacy Month with group presentations on financial literacy topics. In addition, we all competed in a virtual Stock Market Challenge where we each had $100,000 (not real of course) to buy and sell stocks for 45 days. The simulation was based on the actual New York Stock Exchange daily results. Most of the students ended the challenge with over $100K while a few of us may have taken too much risk and lost some of our funds.

●     Grade 11 Religion students are analyzing Psalms of different categories, and then composing and illustrating a Psalm of their own.

Looking ahead at the next month, the calendar is packed with more activity - inside and outside of the classrooms. Here are some highlights of the upcoming activity.

●     Rehearsals are in full swing for High School Musical! The musical will be performed on an outdoor stage and the performers and crew are working very hard to get ready for the performances which will be held on May 21, 22, 23. Tickets will be going on sale soon! You don’t want to miss this!

●     Arts Day is May 14th and will showcase student art in the form of dance, visual arts, music, and theatre. There are no classes on this day and there will be an early release for students, though Seniors will have a graduation practice following the Arts Day events.

●     We look forward to celebrating our NDA Athletes on Athletic Awards Night on May 20th. This event will be a hybrid event with some attending the presentation in the theatre and others able to watch remotely from home. Additional details have been shared with all NDA Athletes.

●     Our 8th-grade students will enjoy their outdoor Promotion Ceremony on June 3rd.

●     May 13th is the last day of senior classes and also our Ascension Thursday Mass (mandatory for all students.) After school, we will also have our traditional Beep Day, one of the highlights of Senior year.

●     Even after their last day of classes, Seniors will be busy with their Induction to the NDA Alum Association and Senior Dinner (an outdoor event with food trucks and lawn games!) on May 26th, Class Day on May 27th where we will celebrate our last Mass of the year together and each of the other grades will honor the Class of 2021 in a special way, Graduation Day on the traditional graduation lawn on May 30th - and Junior/Senior Prom is planned for June 11th (assuming enough participation).

●     June 5th we welcome back members of all NDA graduating Classes ending in 0, 1, 5, and 6. I hope to see many alum come back through our gates to reconnect, reengage, and reaffirm their support of the Notre Dame Academy experience!

Keep an eye on the NDA Facebook Page and other social media for all these events as well as 2021 Senior Spotlights, College T-shirt Day, and pictures of the lawn signs representing each college that our Seniors plan on attending that will soon line the entrance to our gates at the main entrance!

Late Spring is an interesting time of year in an academic setting. We stand with one foot in this academic current year, ensuring successful culmination of activity as the year comes to a close. Yet, we also have one foot in the next year, laying the groundwork for summer activity and planning for the next academic year. Never is the goal to replicate the prior year, but rather to take the opportunity and challenge to continue to imagine and then make the next even better. This year we have that opportunity more than most. At NDA, we will eliminate things that we had to do for the crisis but no longer add value or are necessary. We will reflect and let go of the things that had always been done, but during the pandemic, we learned they are not important to our mission and vision. We will restart some of the things that we needed to stop as we shifted focus to the crisis, but we realize they are important or necessary to reinstate for the benefit of our school. We will amplify all of the new things that were implemented out of necessity but proved to be wonderful ideas that helped our community grow. Over the summer, the leadership team at NDA will look closely at all aspects of our community to close 20-21 and look forward to beginning 21-22 even stronger.

As I close the May 2021 edition of the “View From My Office” during Teacher Appreciation Week, I would like to thank every NDA teacher for everything they have done all year long. This year each one went above and beyond for our students and I am personally so appreciative of their time, creativity, and compassion for each other and our students. In the words of Carl Jung, “One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings.”

I ask the good God to keep you in his infinite goodness and look forward to seeing so many community members as we celebrate year-end activities on campus!

Wishing you continued good health and springtime joy,

Lisa
Lisa Mancini ‘88 P‘18
Head of School
Notre Dame Academy
lmancini@nda-worc.org

A Message from the Head of School: A View from My NDA Office

Dear NDA Family,

Today is April 7th. As I sit at the desk in my NDA office, my windows are open and I enjoy the field hockey pre-game music and action on the field; Mia and Bianca are home, likely resting after our beautiful morning walk; I enjoy the bouquet of small pink roses which are beginning to open, and as I sip my afternoon cup of tea, I can’t believe that 4th quarter is upon us and planning for year-end activities is in full swing. It seems like just yesterday when we were just welcoming NDA students back on campus, reminding each to “remain in the bubble,” so uncertain about what this year would bring.

Though not over yet, this academic year has brought so much. Most of all, it has brought me great pride. The tenacity, adaptability, optimism, empathy, and care that each of our faculty, staff, and students have shown has been nothing short of amazing. Even as each individual has had to overcome obstacles in their personal lives, every person has also provided a tremendous amount of support and encouragement for others. Over the last few weeks, many teachers have had to take time off to obtain their vaccine. In some cases (like me!), the vaccine necessitated a little extra time out of the office to recuperate, and I was amazed at how quickly others would jump in to cover classes. I am so happy to report that almost all NDA staff who wanted the vaccine are completely vaccinated. Looking forward to the students having their opportunity next.

I am also very proud of the recent “Sport your Support” event hosted by NDA Student Council. In total they raised $1083.80, with the 9th graders donating $600. For this event, each grade chose a non- profit organization, and the proceeds were divided amongst each. The organizations that will be receiving donations include the Alzheimer's Association, National MS Society, National Breast Cancer Foundation, St. Jude’s Children Hospital for Childhood Cancer, ADAA, the ALS Association as well as the NDA Lenten Mission. Not only do we thank those who donated, but we give a big thank you to all teachers who agreed to get pied in the face. It was a big hit!

On March 31st, another big event happened on campus. With appropriate safety precautions and distancing in place, a few friends, family, and previous field hockey players of our beloved coach Patricia Provost came to witness her win her 600th field hockey game! As our field hockey coach, Miss Provost has had 600 victories, 159 losses, and 113 ties. She has won 4 state championships (1992, 2002, 2003, and 2005), 13 District Championships (92, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 00, 02. 93, 04. 05, 06, 08), and has been a Central Mass Conference Champion for 23 consecutive years and 30 years total. Every athlete Patty has coached has memories to last a lifetime. Memories filled with a sense of belonging to a special family and feeling the confidence to do amazing things. Memories filled with rituals. Memories of her fur coat. Memories of her quotes and uplifting messages. Memories of lining up before a game and hearing her say "I wish you luck, I wish you a great game, and I wish you fun".

Patricia Provost embodies the spirit of a true NDA Rebel. As we look to reinvigorate and bring our NDA mascot, the Rebel, to life over the next few months, we will look at Patty for inspiration. On behalf of the entire NDA community, I would like to once again thank her for her passion for NDA, for loving our students, pushing our athletes, inspiring all of us - and reminding us all to always enjoy each and every moment. I promised her that when it is safe to invite every person whose life she has impacted to celebrate her incredible achievement with us, we will!

We also look forward to many upcoming Spring celebrations including our 8th grade promotion ceremony on June 3rd, our Junior/Senior Prom on May 14th, and Senior Graduation on May 30th. We are finalizing details for each event based on new guidance and will be sharing details shortly. However, I can share that graduation will occur on the traditional graduation lawn and each graduate will be able to invite 6 guests each. Although other schools may have to limit due to space constraints, because of our size, we can accommodate the maximum under the guidelines. We also hope to live stream for those who are not able to attend in person. I am very excited for all of the celebrations and hope that every community member continues to abide by the guidelines so we all stay healthy, and students can enjoy these traditional festivities.

The coronavirus pandemic has also unleashed an explosion of recent anti-Asian racism in the United States, ranging from derogatory slurs, to blaming the outbreak on people of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community, to violent physical attacks. Recent events in our country remind us all that there is still so much work to be done. Silence or lack of acknowledgment in these events can contribute to the perpetuation of these incidents. As we all know - "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing." The fact is many children in the AAPI community live in fear that their parents or grandparents will be attacked when they simply go out for a walk or to perform a simple task like buying groceries. Notre Dame Academy publicly acknowledges the recent rise in anti-Asian crimes and denounces anti-Asian racism. Over the next few weeks, our social media will highlight how our students have been involved in these discussions both in the classrooms and in our Diversity Club.

Let us pray for the continued support and love to sustain the mission of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, “women with hearts as wide as the world, make known God’s goodness and love with and among people living in poverty, through a Gospel way of life, community and prayer,” at Notre Dame Academy.

Wishing you springtime joy and continued good health,

Lisa
Lisa Mancini ‘88 P‘18
Head of School
Notre Dame Academy
lmancini@nda-worc.org