Middle School Academics
Twelve academic disciplines in the Middle School are staffed by 30 of the Academy's full-time teaching faculty members. The student-teacher ratio is 5 to 1 and the average class size is 15 to 20 students.
ND Middle School Graduate
The Middle School years are significant in a young girl's maturation process. It is a time that offers an opportunity to address their special concerns. Notre Dame's expectations for the young women who graduate from the Junior School are that they will:
- perform successfully at the high school and future academic levels;
- understand their own religious beliefs and respect those of others;
- interact meaningfully with peers and appreciate diverse cultures;
- desire to live a life of service to others;
- appreciate and participate in the fine and performing arts;
- use technology competently and responsibly;
- participate in physical activities that promote a healthy lifestyle.
In light of these objectives, Notre Dame’s Middle School curriculum strives to provide courses that stimulate growth in knowledge, skills, and personal qualities. One of the objectives chosen by the Academy for its Middle States Evaluation was to raise students' critical thinking skills - particularly through reading and writing. For the foreseeable future, each academic area will emphasize these skills with our students in the following courses:
The Middle School program addresses specific topics and skills sequentially by grade. In accordance with the Academy’s Middle States Objectives, the curriculum will emphasize problem solving. All eighth grade students take Algebra or Geometry.
Sixth Grade students have an opportunity to sample French and Spanish, each for a semester, before making a decision to pursue their choice in seventh grade.
The Notre Dame Middle School has its own Guidance Counselor who not only provides classroom sessions on pertinent topics for each grade but also takes the time to know and guide each child.
Each grade in the Middle School participates in a scheduled Social Service activity throughout the year: Sixth Grade visits senior citizens at Fair Acres; Seventh Grade joins in a program with the young children at Drexel-Neumann Academy; and Eighth Grade helps with food distribution at the Patrician Society of Norristown.
Instrumental Ensemble/Middle School Chorus
At present, the Middle School has the greatest number of students performing in the Notre Dame Ensemble which bodes well for the future of the music program. Participants take lessons either privately or through the school. The class performs at both the Christmas and spring concerts.
All sixth grade students take technology classes with an emphasis on keyboarding skills. Students are introduced to the software applications and the technology available at Notre Dame. These include using the campus computer network, using and managing their email account, the Citrix remote access system, Edline (classroom course management system), and online research tools such as the Notre Dame library page, subscription websites, and the online card catalog system.
Core technology concepts are reinforced in seventh and eighth grade as students utilize technology applications in course projects. Assistance is provided for projects assigned to the students by faculty who are integrating technology into their curriculum.
Middle School Administration
President/Head of School: Judith A. Dwyer, Ph.D.
Principal: Ms. Eileen Wilkinson
Director of Counseling: Mrs. Janice Janosik
Director of Middle School Admissions: Mrs. Mia Wesner
Middle School Course Offerings