Welcome to Notre Dame!

Mary Beth Riley PrincipalWe are proud to have the distinction of being the oldest girls' high school in the western United States and to be a partner with the city of San Jose since 1851. I invite you to spend some time with us on our website or visit us at the corner of 2nd and Reed to learn more about our distinctive programs that shape young women for socially-just leadership.  Here is what I have experienced every day for more than three decades on our campus:

  • Integrated learning across programs that combines the best of teacher instruction and student inquiry with hands-on, experiential engagement across courses and outside the classroom.  A perfect example of this is the focus on women and children at the 9th grade level where students will learn about women around the world in global studies, do research on a woman and the contribution of her life's work, develop a place setting to honor the woman studied and present it at a public art installation on campus, learn about social issues and concerns that affect women and children and engage in direct service that addresses those needs. The sophomores focus on themes centered around human responsibility, juniors on race and membership, and seniors on solidarity and advocacy.
  • An urban school that embraces the city as a classroom: from field trips to museums and the MLK library, to direct service at the local public school and outreach agencies, school excursions to St. Joseph Basilica for liturgies, team practices at San Jose State University's pool and tennis courts, chassis building at The Tech Shop for robotics, Friday afternoon lunches at Iguanas, parallel parking on 3rd St, Notre Dame students live immersed in the city and their campus is a gateway to limitless learning.
  • A mission-aligned faculty and staff who take seriously the 200-year old challenge of St. Julie Billiart, the foundress of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, to "teach them what they need to know for life." 
  • A proud circle of alumnae who value their relationships with each other and their alma mater throughout their adult lives.  They find each other in their professional circles.  They stand by each other as neighbors, witnesses, godparents and friends.

Our commitment to educating young women to be intelligent, spiritually strong and upstanders in the 21st century is unwavering.  Join us!

In Notre Dame,
Mary Beth Riley