Notre Dame High School Mission Statement

Adopted in June 2010.

Notre Dame High School, in the heart of downtown San Jose since 1851, provides young women an exemplary Catholic and college preparatory education. We do so in the spiritual legacy of Saint Julie Billiart, the foundress of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, embracing the gift of God’s goodness to support the personal journey of each student. This journey occurs in a uniquely compassionate community with meaningful and integrated learning programs that foster intellectual curiosity, critical thinking, reflection, social awareness and responsibility, and the discovery of each young woman’s voice and leadership capabilities.

We bring to life the values stated in The Hallmarks of a Notre Dame de Namur Learning Community.
• We proclaim by our lives even more than by our words that God is good.
• We honor the dignity and sacredness of each person.
• We educate for and act on behalf of justice and peace in the world.
• We commit ourselves to community service.
• We embrace the gift of diversity.
• We create community among those with whom we work and with those we serve.
• We develop holistic learning communities which educate for life.

We honor Saint Julie’s wisdom to “Teach them what they need to know for life.”

Developed in conjunction with the 2015-2020 Strategic Plan.

Notre Dame San Jose, a Catholic college-preparatory high school for young women since 1851, will be known as the women's high school in Silicon Valley that educates for career success, global leadership and socially-responsible entrepreneurship.

A Notre Dame graduate is a life-long learner who:

•    is college prepared
•    can access, integrate and apply knowledge across the curricular areas
•    can use a variety of resources –  civic, cultural, technological, creative –  to learn about her world
•    is able to wrestle with complex ideas and arguments
•    approaches her education with passion
•    respects diverse viewpoints and moves beyond assumptions
•    makes connections  and applies concepts beyond the curriculum to make informed choices
•    uses  technology comfortably, understanding its power, its limitations, and its mandate for ethics

A Notre Dame graduate is a spiritual seeker who:

•    recognizes and respects the Catholic perspective according to the charism of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur
•    respects diverse religious perspectives
•    honors the dignity of the individual,  embracing faith, gender and community affiliations
•    engages in prayer and personal reflection
•    develops healthy relationships with self and others
•    embraces environmental stewardship

A Notre Dame graduate is a justice advocate who:

•    seeks justice in local and global communities
•    recognizes and articulates social justice issues as reflected in Catholic Social Teachings
•    participates in direct service and stands in solidarity with others
•    acknowledges the inherent power and gift of diverse perspectives

A Notre Dame graduate is a community leader who:

•    makes choices grounded in knowledge, spirituality and justice
•    discerns  her passions and talents and develops skills for her life’s work
•    recognizes the legacy and contribution of women and connects to the tradition of Notre Dame
•    develops a positive sense of self, a dignity for self and a reasonable expectation of self
•    finds her unique voice and supports the voice of others throughout her journey of creative expression

Notre Dame High School in San Jose, California, is a Catholic learning community with more than 165 years of teaching ministry in the Santa Clara Valley. This educational legacy is dedicated to gospel values, sacramental worship, service learning, and compassionate community, in accord with the vision of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.1   A Notre Dame, Catholic education begins with the tradition and spiritual gifts of St. Julie Billiart and the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. Their charism, articulated in the Hallmarks of a Notre Dame de Namur Learning Community, provides the spiritual lens that shapes our Catholic perspective and program.

Because we are a Notre Dame, Catholic learning community, we promote:

  • The Church in the Modern World: We realize our educational ministry participates in the development of the Catholic Church and its members both now and for years to come, and we seek to translate the living tradition of the Church for the modern adolescent experience.
  • Community: We welcome all people to our community—students, families, employees, friends and guests—with a spirit of joy and hospitality, and forge meaningful relationships for the good of the learning community.
  • Liturgy and Prayer: We celebrate God’s presence among us with Eucharistic liturgy and various forms of prayer and sacramental worship.
  • Spiritual Growth: We endeavor to provide space for reflective, honest and maturing faith formation.
  • Education of the Whole Person: We recognize the growth of the human person—spiritually, intellectually, emotionally, and physically—in our pedagogy and services, and aid each student as she explores choices, passions, and opportunities to further that growth.
  • Integrated Learning: We create educational programs that serve the twenty-first century needs of our students with integrated curricula, critical inquiry and global perspectives.
  • Gospel Values and Social Justice: We engage contemporary issues of morality and justice in light of Sacred Scripture, Catholic theology and social teachings.
  • A Call to Serve: We respond to Jesus Christ’s call to discipleship with service learning and look to Mary, St. Julie Billiart, and all holy women and men in our human history as models of a faith that does justice.
  • Transformative Leadership: We ground the formation of leadership, service and advocacy in spirituality and the expression of faith.
  • Solidarity:  We foster inclusivity, ecumenism, and open dialogue among people of different faiths, cultures, and experiences, to honor all that uniquely shapes our diverse human family.