Since 1851 Notre Dame San Jose has been providing an exemplary Catholic education to young women in the heart of downtown San Jose. We develop women of impact who are life-long learners, spiritual seekers, justice advocates and community leaders.
We welcome applications from students who identify as female as well as those who were assigned female at birth and are aligned with the women-centric mission of Notre Dame San Jose.
Each applicant is evaluated based on academic readiness and mission alignment.
Notre Dame High School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin in the administration of education policies, admission policies, scholarships, loan programs, athletic or other school-administered programs.
Notre Dame does not have a program for international students and does not consider international applicants for admission to our school.
Eighth grade applicants for the Class of 2028 will receive decision notification emails after 5pm on Friday, March 15, 2024.
As part of the application process, each applicant will submit three digital portfolios:
- Academic Portfolio to demonstrate academic readiness and strengths.
- Personal Portfolio that provides insight into the student's character, interests and values.
- Family Portfolio that recognizes families as partners in their daughter's education.
Please attend our events during the fall to learn more about the application process and the Notre Dame experience.
Notre Dame considers transfer applicants for 10th and 11th grade. We do not accept transfer students into 12th grade.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about how to apply as a transfer student.
Transfer Student Requirements:
- A's and B's on transcripts
- Academic letter of recommendation from a high school math teacher
- Academic letter of recommendation from a high school English teacher
- Graded writing sample from the current school year
- Character letter of recommendation from an adult mentor
- Student essays
Notre Dame’s commitment to promoting equity and student wellness begins in a family's experience of the admissions process. Research has evidenced biases within standardized testing as well as the overwhelming anxiety that it causes students. Ultimately, a standardized test score is not an accurate measure of student academic ability or potential. Therefore, the High School Placement Test is not a required component of the application process.
Notre Dame has a test optional admissions process, which allows students the choice to take the HSPT or to submit an academic sample of work that they feel demonstrates their ability and potential. Students may still opt to take the test and submit the results to Notre Dame.
Applicants for the incoming freshman class will submit two letters or recommendation:
- Academic letter of recommendation
To be completed by a middle school teacher, principal or academic team that can speak to the applicants academic strengths, areas of growth and potential.
- Character letter of recommendation
To be completed by a non-family member who can provide insight into the applicant's character, interests and values.
Requesting a letter (for applicants)
After submitting the application cover sheet in SchoolAdmin, the application portal will allow students to digitally request a letter of recommendation from a teacher, mentor or coach using a personalized window.
Alternative Method (Please contact us first if you think you need to use this method.)
Students may print and request a letter of recommendation in hard copy by using these PDF forms:
Submitting a letter (for letter writers)
When a student sends an email request for a letter of recommendation from you, please use the personalized link in the email to send the letter directly into her school admin file. You wil have the option to complete the form online or upload a PDF form. Once you submit the recommendation, this required item will be marked as received on the student's application portal.
Please send recommendation forms digitally to email@example.com or by mail to:
Notre Dame High School
596 South Second Street
San Jose, CA 95112
Recommendation forms received by an alternative method may not be marked as received on the application portal.
Thank you for your interest in Notre Dame High School! The following are responses to frequently asked questions from applicants.
When should I start the application process?
Students applying to enter as freshmen should submit their application between October and December. The application opens October 3, 2023 and the deadline is December 12, 2023.
Transfer students typically apply between April and June for the fall term, however transferring to Notre Dame is subject to available openings. Interested students should contact firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire about the possibility of transferring.
Why can't I select Notre Dame as an option on Ravenna?
Each school uses their own systems to support the admissions process. Notre Dame currently uses an outstanding product through SchoolAdmin for both the admissions of incoming students and the enrollment of returning students. This decision was made to benefit the overall needs of our learning community.
Notre Dame uses the same form for the letter of recommendation as the other high schools in the diocese of San Jose and aligns with the same admissions deadlines.
Why are there three portfolios in the application process at Notre Dame?
Learning portfolios are an increasingly common practice in education. Portfolios are a way for students to gather a variety of items that showcase who they are and what they can do. Similarly, the online portfolios are a collection of items that demonstrate who the students are academically, personally and as part of a family. You can also think of the portfolios as sections of the online application.
The academic portfolio includes:
- Middle school transcripts and test scores
- An academic letter of recommendation
- An example of academic strength and potential - whether that is the results of the High School Placement Test or an example of student academic work.
The personal portfolio includes:
- Student essays
- A character letter of recommendation
The family portfolio includes:
- Demographic information
- A parent statement
- The $75 application fee
Can I submit more than the required number of recommendation letters?
To complete the application, a student needs to submit one academic letter of recommendation and one character letter of recommendation.
Regarding the academic letter of recommendation,
- for eighth graders, the letter should be from a middle school representative (teacher, counselor or principal) who can speak to the applicant as a student
- for transfer students, a letter of recommendation is required from an English teacher as well as from a Math teacher
Regarding the character letter of recommendation, the letter should be completed by a non-family member who can provide insight into the applicant's character, interests and values.
Should a student wish to submit supplementary letters of recommendation, the applicant should email the name and email address of the additional recommender to email@example.com so that the admissions team can send the request.
Should I take the High School Placement Test?
Whether a student decides to submit HSPT scores to Notre Dame for the academic portfolio is a choice for the student and family to make. Some students test very well and may feel that the test results will showcase that strength. Some students may be applying to the other high schools and choose to use the test for the admissions process at more than one school.
Notre Dame, along with the other Catholic High Schools in the Diocese of San Jose that use the High School Placement Test as part of the admissions process, will be administering the test. Student are encouraged to register to take the test through their first choice high school. Students wishing to test through Notre Dame will register through the application portal.
How do I register for the HSPT at Notre Dame?
Once an applicant has begun the application, an item called "Academic Showcase: HSPT or Academic Sample" will populate the application checklist. Through this checklist item the student can register for the HSPT at Notre Dame.
When will I get my High School Placement Test results?
When taking the test, students designate which schools they would like to receive the results. The high schools receive those results directly from the Scholastic Testing Service and use the results as one academic indicator when considering applicants.
Notre Dame sends a summary of results by postal mail to families with the admissions decisions in March.
What would I submit instead of High School Placement Test results?
For students who choose not to take the HSPT as part of the application process to Notre Dame, a quality, academic sample should be submitted instead. Students should identify work that they feel showcases their academic strengths and potential. The only requirement is that it is the student’s original work and that it can be uploaded digitally to the online application. For more information about the academic sample please carefully read the Academic Sample and Self-Reflection Resource Guide.
Can an applicant submit both an academic sample and take the High School Placement Test?
At this time, applicants are given the choice and must make the choice. There is not the option to both take the High School Placement Test and submit an academic sample. Both are good choices and each applicant should choose which option is best for her.
What resources do you provide for students who have a documented learning difference, IEP and/or 504 plan?
The Academic Resources and Accommodations Program at Notre Dame high school provides appropriate and reasonable services to otherwise academically qualified students with disabilities. This is unlike a formal special education program as would be found in a traditional public school. We aim to create opportunities for students to reach their potential, support students to become independent learners, and help students develop a greater understanding of and respect for self. For more information visit our A.R.I.S.E. program webpage.
During the admissions process it is important to disclose the most current and accurate description of the supports and services your child receives. Our two, full-time Learning Resource Specialists work closely with the admissions team to review and evaluate IEP/504 and psychoeducational documentation submitted by families to determine if our resources can meet the specific learning needs of the student throughout their four years at Notre Dame. Upon admission, admitted applicants who have provided documentation receive a list of accommodations and supports that Notre Dame can, and cannot provide.
When will I know if I have been accepted?
Notre Dame sends admissions decisions to applicants by email in March. For the Class of 2028, the notification will be on Friday, March 15, 2022 after 5pm. Additionally, a letter formalizing the admissions decision is sent by postal mail.
Will applying for tuition assistance affect my admission?
No. We are committed to admitting mission-aligned young women who will be academically successful at Notre Dame.
- The application process and decisions for admission to the school are managed by the admissions department.
- The application process and offer of tuition assistance are managed by the business office. Please visit the tuition assistance page for information regarding process and deadlines.
* Once the application cover sheet is submitted and fee paid, the application portal checklist should update within 48 business hours and provide access to the complete application and required forms.
Applications for the class of 2027 are now closed.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org by clicking the button below if you would like to learn more about applying.
Thank you for your interest in Notre Dame High School!
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