Welcome to Notre Dame's Update Center, a dedicated page on our website designed to keep our community informed. All communications regarding campus-wide health and safety issues will be banked here. You can also find information resources linked to the right.

We are communicating weekly to parents and students through ND News which is delivered electronically at 5:00pm on Thursdays. If you are not on those distribution lists, you can click on the links below to view ND News. If you would like to be added to our distribution list, please email communications@ndsj.org.

As of April 3, 2020, Notre Dame will continue with our Flexible Learning Program through the end of the school year. Campus will remain closed. Flexible learning will continue.

Dear Notre Dame Families,

I am writing to let you know that following the recent directives from the state of California and the County of Santa Clara, Notre Dame, along with other Catholic schools in the diocese, will remain closed through the remainder of the academic calendar year.  We are saddened that we will not reconvene together on campus, but assure you that flexible learning and virtual campus experiences will continue through the end of the school year. We are committed to making this new reality a vibrant learning experience for students, faculty and parents.

There are many details to address as we move forward. We will start today and continue to address logistics, calendar and other concerns through up-coming communications. Today, I want to focus on two topics: grading for this semester and graduation for the Class of 2020.

We have had extensive conversations about assessments and grading that have included consideration of letter grades and pass/fail options and have decided to continue with letter grades through the end of the semester. You can read more about our position here.

Most pressing on our minds and hearts are our seniors and their end-of-the-year celebrations. While we are not able to host in-person events for the Class of 2020 in the timeframe we originally planned, we will find ways to recognize the accomplishments of our remarkable seniors and bring closure to their years at Notre Dame. In the coming weeks we will be working on the details. We can’t tell you exactly what it will look like, yet, but we will tap into the creativity and innovative minds of our learning community to ensure these celebrations are as meaningful as possible. We will be in touch with more information soon.

This pandemic is testing us in ways none of us could have imagined. And, each day I see our community rise to the challenge. Our faculty and staff continue to work ‘together’ to ensure the best possible experience for our students as they rise to the challenge of continuing their education remotely. Notre Dame is much more than just a place, it is a community of learning, of caring and of belonging.  We are NDStrong.

I leave you at the end of this week with this quote from St. Julie, “With time and the grace of the good God and good will, everything can be achieved but courage is necessary.” (Julie, L186)

Courage Notre Dame.

Mary Beth Riley, Principal

 

Dear Notre Dame Families,

We have had a productive day on campus with students as we prepare to move to our flexible learning schedule. We are ready to launch on Monday morning!

Today we shared the following with your daughters:

  • Students were oriented to the next few weeks with the Introduction to Flexible Learning Plan in each class. This information will help you understand the system and is particularly important to share with students who were not at school today.
  • During mentoring, these Support for Flexible Learning slides were presented to share tools and ideas for this transition. This is a good resource for all.

We are also sharing some additional information for parents:

  • The main office will be open from 8:00am to 3:00pm every day if you need assistance.
  • ND News will continue to go out every Thursday. Please read it for new information and updates. 
  • We have made the decision to reclaim the March 23rd holiday and use it as a flexible learning school day in support of our instructional schedule and have updated the calendar accordingly.
  • Campus ministry will provide resources for prayer and pastoral support. Please note: the Diocese of San Jose has suspended all public masses until further notice.
  • Requirements for community service learning hours will be waived for the remainder of the year. Senior Service Learning Project information will be updated next week.
  • All co-curricular programs are suspending their regular after-school activities for the next two weeks. Program directors will be in touch with students with alternative ways to stay connected.
  • Please reach out to counselors with any concerns about your daughter or needs of your family.  
  • Please report all absences using the attendance line as usual to provide us with accurate information for the health and well-being of our community.

Today at lunch I was struck by the resilience and joy of our students. The music string ensemble and ND vocal groups, Fleur du Soleil and Regent Harmonies, had an impromptu concert in Pardini Park. How uplifting to end a challenging week with beautiful music and lovely voices!

We concluded our day with this reflection: 

Francoise Blin de Bourdon, good friend of St Julie and co-foundress of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, who once wrote this, “It is true that we understand each other from a distance as well as when we’re close. My heart also shares with yours a sense that our friendship is firmly rooted in God.” 

In Notre Dame,

Mary Beth Riley, Principal

Dear Notre Dame families:

This evening the Diocese of San Jose Department of Catholic Schools announced the closure of all diocesan schools beginning next week and extending through March 30. As we have previously communicated, Notre Dame remains aligned with their recommendations and will transition to our Flexible Learning Plan where students will work remotely from home beginning Monday, March 16. 

Tomorrow, Friday, March 13, Notre Dame students will report to campus to learn how to access online learning for each class. The schedule will be a block 1 through 7 day that begins at 8:00am and ends at 2:45pm. Students will also have time to meet in mentoring groups and will be asked to gather all needed materials before leaving campus. The Learning Commons will be open until 6:00pm, however, all after-school and co-curricular activities will be cancelled.

Online coursework will begin on Monday, March 16 and teachers are prepared to conduct flexible learning to continue your daughter’s education. We are utilizing Google Classroom as our learning platform. Materials, assignments and assessments will be distributed, collected and graded through this platform. Teachers, counselors and campus ministers will also be available electronically from 8:00am to 3:00pm. Students need to use their ndsj.org email account to communicate with faculty and staff.

We will continue to monitor attendance remotely and ask that you use the attendance line to report student illness. It is critical that your daughter check in during her assigned meeting time.  Please note our flexible learning plan schedule, which prioritizes balanced coursework for student well-being.  Thank you for partnering with us to ensure your daughter remains healthy and accountable to her coursework and remote learning schedule.

We want to assure you that there have been no cases of COVID-19 in our community. We anticipate Notre Dame being closed through March 30 and will continue to communicate with you regularly during that time. After that date, we will reassess and make decisions accordingly.

It is with a heavy heart that I anticipate our students not arriving on campus for the rest of March.  We will miss them. I hold you all in my heart and pray that we are reunited quickly.

In Notre Dame,

Mary Beth Riley, Principal

 

Dear Notre Dame Community,

We stand committed to the education and well-being of your daughter. Our campus currently remains open in alignment with recommendations set forth by the national, state, and local health agencies and the Diocese of San Jose Department of Catholic Schools. These agencies are not recommending the closure of schools and we trust their expertise. We continue to assess the situation daily and have no reports of COVID-19 exposure in our learning community. 

Notre Dame’s small footprint and small class sizes allow us to more easily ensure that school facilities are disinfected and that individuals do not congregate in large groups. It also allows us to pivot quickly should the need arise. We will continue with the protocols we have in place while ensuring meaningful learning and instruction.

We will begin regular screenings at school and ask parents to partner with us in ensuring the continued well-being of our community with careful at-home monitoring of your family’s health. If your daughter is not feeling well, she should stay at home. If you believe she has been directly exposed to COVID-19 you should contact your health provider and notify us immediately. The same message has been shared with faculty and staff. 

If you feel it is in the best interest of your family to keep your student at home, absences will be excused. Additionally, if your daughter has serious medical issues, health officials encourage self-isolation.

A list of frequently asked questions has been added to our Updates web page. Should you have a question that is not answered on that page, please email communications@ndsj.org

I hold you in prayer and ask that you do the same for our greater community. 

Ora et Labora,

Mary Beth Riley, Principal

Dear Notre Dame Community,

On Thursday, March 5, the Santa Clara County Public Health Department released new guidelines developed to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the community. The guidelines included the recommendation that events where large numbers of people would be in close contact be cancelled or postponed.

Based on the health department’s recommendations, and in the best interest of our Notre Dame community, we are postponing the Woman’s Place Project community open house (March 16) and evening event for freshman parents (March 18) as well as the Young Women’s Advocacy Summit (March 20). We will reschedule these important ND “bookend” experiences for our students later in the spring as the situation allows.

We are also cancelling two large group excursions, the American Conservatory Theater (ACT) field trip for juniors (March 13) and the Exploratorium trip for physics and trig/pre-calc classes (April 1). We will continue to assess the situation and make decisions on a case-by-case basis for events, field trips and immersion travel as we move forward.

At this time there are no cases of COVID-19 in our learning community. We will continue to urge frequent and thorough hand-washing as well as the other precautions we have shared with students, faculty and staff. Be sure to view our Updates web page for all communications as well as important links and resources.

Should you have questions, please email communications@ndsj.org and your email will be forwarded to the appropriate individual. Please keep our Santa Clara County community and our global family in your prayers as we meet health concerns together.

Ora et Labora,

Mary Beth Riley, Principal

Dear ND families,

As shared in an email sent to all families on Tuesday, we are providing an update as we continue to monitor the COVID-19 outbreak and work with public health agencies. 

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) provides guidelines for schools which do not have COVID-19 identified in their community. In addition to other protocols, we are doing the following.

  • Review, update and implement emergency operations plans. Notre Dame plans for a wide variety of situations including infectious diseases. These plans are being added to and modified as we learn more about COVID-19. For the time being, we are focusing on preventative actions shared in our last communication:
    • ​Frequent hand washing
    • Use of hand sanitizers and tissue
    • Appropriately covering coughs and sneezes
    • Campus daily cleaning of high-use surfaces
  • Develop information-sharing systems. We will continue to provide updates via email and, in the case of emergencies, our SwiftK12 system. 
  • Monitor and plan for absenteeism. Although symptom information is kept confidential, we do need to collect and report to local agencies. Please be sure to communicate with us if your child is sick.
  • Establish procedures for students and staff who are sick at school. Sick students and staff will be sent home and may not return to school until they are fever-free, without the use of medication, for 24 hours.

We have created a page on our website where communications will be banked along with links to additional resources. This will be added to as we gather information and make decisions regarding our Notre Dame community. You can access the page here or at www.ndsj.org/updates.

Ora et Labora,

Mary Beth Riley, Principal

Dear Notre Dame Community,
 
We are writing to update you on the COVID-19 outbreak and the steps Notre Dame is taking in response to this global and rapidly evolving situation. Yesterday we shared information with students regarding current protocol and best practices for remaining healthy and are sharing the same with you here. 
 
According to the CDC, the virus is thought to spread mainly through direct contact and there is increased risk of infection for individuals with potential exposure such as healthcare workers. Know the symptoms:
•    Fever
•    Cough
•    Shortness of breath

If your daughter is not feeling well or ill:
•    Keep her at home
•    Students must be fever-free for 24 hours without medication before returning to school
•    If under a doctor's care, provide a doctor's note to the attendance office
•    NOTE: health information is kept confidential but must be tracked for reporting to the county

Prevent the spread of disease:
•    Wash hands often and for at least 20 seconds
•    Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, throw it away and wash your hands
•    Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
•    Avoid contact with sick individuals

There have been no cases of COVID-19 among our students, faculty or staff and none have been exposed to known cases. However, in this very fluid situation, in which protecting the health of all members of our community is paramount, we have developed the following protocol:
 
Daily:
•    Monitor community health
•    Respond to local and federal health directives
•    Communicate updates as needed via email or through SwiftK12 (Notre Dame's utilizes SwiftK12 to deliver emergency communications via text and voicemail - you can review your selected settings through PowerSchool)
•    Wipe down desks, door knobs and light switches at the end of each day or as needed
•    NOTE: boxes of tissues are located in all classrooms and restrooms and hand sanitizer dispensers are being installed across campus

Longer-term planning, based on situation:
•    Assess and possibly cancel community events and global education travel
•    Campus closure plan, should it be needed
•    Remote learning plan through Google Classroom
•    Ongoing communications with families via email or through SwiftK12

We will provide an additional update in Thursday's ND News. At that time, we will also be sharing an ND web page where communications and resources will be banked. As always, we are committed to the health of our Notre Dame community. Should you have any questions, please email communications@ndsj.org. 

Ora et Labora,
Mary Beth Riley, Principal
 


Dear Notre Dame Community,

As you are probably aware, information and misinformation about COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus, is circulating. To keep our community informed, we have created a short presentation about the virus, how to stay healthy, and the actions Notre Dame is taking in response.

Please view this presentation: Know the Facts & Be Empowered Notre Dame

The administrative team is committed to monitoring the situation and responding accordingly, with the well-being and health of our community as our top priority. As we continue to hear news reports or share updates among one another, let us remember to be empowered with facts and make healthy choices for ourselves.

Ora et Labora,

Mary Beth Riley, Principal


Dear Notre Dame Families,

In light of today's news regarding a case of COVID19, also referred to as the Coronavirus, in Santa Clara County, we wanted to reassure our families that we are aware of the situation and closely monitoring any developments. 

As we have heard from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the most effective method for protecting yourself and your family against the virus is to wash your hands thoroughly and often and to stay home if you are ill. Please encourage your daughter's to do so as well.

We will continue to monitor the situation and will send out further communications as needed. As always, the health and well-being of our students, faculty and staff is our first priority.

Ora et Labora,

Mary Beth Riley, Principal