May 12, 2020
Due to extended local health restrictions (Shelter in Place, Safer at Home), all remaining classes for the 2019-20 school year will be held online. This includes final examinations. We are truly sorry to have to make this decision and truly appreciative of your understanding and support.
Regarding senior Class of 2020 activities the following decisions have been made:
iPad Collection for Seniors (Thursday, May 28, 2:00 to 6:00 p.m.) – The NDHS Technology Department will send each senior student/parent a time on the afternoon of May 28 for a drive-thru return of iPads and accessories. Please carefully follow the instructions that are provided by the Technology Dept.
Baccalaureate Mass (Friday, May 29, 7:00 p.m.) – We will celebrate our Baccalaureate Mass, as originally scheduled, on May 29. The Mass will be held at school and available via livestream. A few faculty/staff and students will participate in the Mass so that it can be as personal and meaningful as possible to graduating seniors. It is important to us that this important ceremony is offered on its regularly scheduled date to provide seniors some sense of closure and accomplishment following final examinations.
Senior Prom (Saturday, July 25, 7:00 p.m.) – It had been our hope to host the prom prior to the end of the school year. Public health restrictions have prohibited this. We have decided to push the prom as far back as possible this summer to increase the likelihood that we can actually have a prom. We also did not want to provide earlier dates in June and July that might need to be postponed or extended. The prom is planned to be held on campus at Notre Dame High School. Given all the time seniors have missed on campus, it is our thought that a prom on campus will be well received and appreciated. Mr. Thomas and ASB officers will be making further announcements and are planning to pull out all the stops to make it a great evening.
Graduation (Saturday, August 1, 9:00 a.m.) – We are hopeful that all health restrictions will be lifted by this date and we can conduct our graduation ceremony as we normally would. In the event our “normal” graduation is not possible, we will adapt to allow for social distancing, graduate and parents only, phasing the ceremony, etc. More details will follow regarding the graduation ceremony as we get closer to the date and are more certain of any health restrictions which might remain in effect.
Summer School 2020 – All summer school classes will be online. Please refer to the school website or call the school for more summer school information.
Thank you again for your understanding and cooperation during this extraordinary and challenging COVID-19 period. Best wishes to all students as you prepare for final examinations. Congratulations to our Class of 2020 as they prepare to celebrate the completion of their prescribed NDHS college preparatory curriculum that will be offered in service to our world.
Brett A. Lowart
April 28, 2020
My last note (dated April 1st) indicated that our campus would continue to be closed and distance learning practices would be extended through April with the hope of re-opening campus on May 4. Regretfully, we are extending distance learning through May 15 to align with Los Angeles County's "Safer at Home" moratorium. We are holding out hope that the County will be able to release restrictions in late May, but we will conform to whatever the County decides, as it would be inappropriate, and possibly unsafe, for Notre Dame to defy County health directives.
Even though we continue to be amazed at our online learning successes, we are truly sorry for the disruption we are experiencing due to the COVID-19 health concerns. I know many students, parents and teachers are pleading with us to re-open, especially for our seniors that they may enjoy and celebrate their final month at Notre Dame. On or before May 15 we will make one final announcement about whether or not the campus will be re-opened for the final two weeks of the school year. This announcement also will clarify our plans for final examinations and graduation. If the campus is not opened at all in May, our administration is developing contingency plans for graduation and for a possible summer gathering for seniors.
A few other important related announcements (please continue to check all future emails from the school):
- ND Athletic Uniforms/Equipment: If your child participated in a winter or spring sport and is still in possession of school-issued uniforms or equipment, the Athletic Department or coaches will be reaching out separately to make arrangements or appointments to collect the gear.
- Belongings in Lockers: The Deans will be reaching out by separate email to schedule appointments for collecting your belongings out of lockers. If a student has belongings that are needed urgently or immediately, please call or email the Deans and sooner arrangements will be made.
- Technology/iPads (Seniors): At the end of the school year seniors are required to return their iPads and iPad accessories. The Technology Department and administration will be separately issuing instructions along with other important senior/graduation information.
- Retreats: KAIROS and Immersion retreats remain scheduled for this summer. Our Campus Ministry Department will be issuing separate notices regarding retreat activities and registration.
On behalf of the faculty and staff of Notre Dame High School, I want to again thank you, our tremendous students and parents, for your cooperation and support during this challenging time. At this time it seems like most people know someone, or know of someone, who has contracted the virus. We all have been affected. We all live in awe and gratitude for our first responders, medical professionals, grocers and many more service providers. In May, as we celebrate the month of Mary, I encourage our entire community to pray to Our Lady Queen of Peace to comfort our sorrows and bring hope to our world.
Notre Dame Blessings to All,
April 1, 2020
After considering various health and safety announcements and advisories concerning COVID-19, we will extend our distance learning (safer at home) program through May 1, 2020 (hopefully resuming on-campus instruction on May 4). We appreciate your continuing support and understanding during this extraordinary and challenging time. I want to thank parents for their support and students for their commitment to learning under very difficult circumstances. Our faculty and staff are working hard to make sure we are maintaining a high quality of instruction and we appreciate the overwhelmingly positive feedback that has been received.
We are holding out hope that our campus can be opened for regular school in May, at least for final examinations and senior activities. We will make another announcement prior to May 1 regarding the remainder of the school year. Please know the administration, technology team and counseling staff are available to support you as needed. We encourage our entire community to pray for one another, for our society and for a cure to this terrible virus. On behalf of our faculty and staff, Happy Easter to our Notre Dame family.
March 27, 2020
As many of you know, counselors and some teachers at schools like Notre Dame are using the Zoom application to conference remotely with students and parents. Zoom allows students and teachers to see and communicate with each other in real-time, which is providing tremendous support for our community during this time. Unfortunately, there are some nefarious individuals who are gate-crashing or “Zoom-bombing” these conferences and posting racially and culturally insensitive material as well as pornographic images and videos. This week courses at USC and other colleges and universities were Zoom-bombed, as was the Conejo Valley Unified School District. Sadly, several of our sophomore history classes, a French class, and a ninth-grade history class were also Zoom-bombed this week and we are currently investigating to see if we can determine whether or not it was done by one of our own students, or someone outside the NDHS family. My sincerest apologies to the students and teachers who were subjected to the insulting derogatory comments. I know that anxiety and uncertainty are heightened during this time, and this kind of behavior makes things even worse. Please know that our technology department is working with Zoom to try and prevent these kinds of hijacks from happening again, but unfortunately we cannot police what our students may be doing at home, and this is where we really need parent support.
Parents, please make sure you speak with your child about the importance of protecting their own online identity, and the identity of others. Please remind them that we need their support. Our teachers and staff are working extremely hard on their behalf to keep them connected to their teachers and to each other, and it is disheartening and disrespectful when students impede our ability to do so by sabotaging these Zoom conferences.
Here are some ways to prevent this situation from happening again:
- Do not share your logins, passwords, or email accounts with others, nor should you ever use someone else’s logins or passwords.
- Do not impersonate another student or teacher online by changing the name on an email account to appear as something other than your own.
- Do not share screens or invitations to join Zoom or Canvas Conferences with other NDHS students, or others outside our community.
We appreciate everyone’s support during this difficult time, and while we want to assume the best of our students I feel compelled to issue this warning: if we determine that any of this Zoom-bombing behavior or inappropriate use of social media is the result of a Notre Dame student or students, the person or persons responsible will face dismissal. Our administrative staff is trying to keep school running for 1,250 students, and our time is better spent supporting our teachers and students who are grateful and eager to learn, rather than attempting to police students who are lacking in maturity and good character.
Given how hard everyone is working, I also want you to be aware that I have given faculty the option of not holding classes on the Tuesday and Wednesday before Easter break, April 7th and 8th. Many of them need some time to catch up on their grading and lesson planning. Please be aware, however, that there are some teachers who will need to hold class on those days because of the way their courses have been mapped out, and/or due to the heavy content-nature of their courses. Other teachers may assign assessments or assignments for students to do on those days, but not require students to log in at the regularly scheduled class time. Students and parents are asked to be supportive of our teachers as they try to navigate these individual situations.
Finally, I am asking for continued conversations at home around issues of academic integrity. It is disappointing to see some students continue to take advantage of the online situation by cheating on quizzes and copying others’ homework assignments. We can, and must do better as Holy Cross men and women. With my sincerest thanks for your continued support, prayers, and encouragement.
March 20, 2020
Given the most recent appeals from national, state and local leaders we are requiring all students to remain “Safer at Home” and attend classes online until at least April 21st. Easter break for students is April 9-20 with school resuming on April 21st. Our faculty will return to campus on April 20th, pending further advisories and developing events. We will make a subsequent announcement prior to April 20th to confirm school operations or to extend the online instructional period. The decision will be made on the basis of the health and safety of our community and with an abundance of caution.
March 17, 2020
Online courses begin Wednesday, March 18.
Please take some time to read all of these attachments so that you are prepared for class at 8:25 a.m. tomorrow morning (Wednesday, March 18.) The attachments are as follows:
*The copy of the blue and gold schedule contain slightly revised times. Since there are no bells at home to remind you of class time, you may want to set alarms.
Please continue to check your emails several times each day, and check the school’s website and your Canvas account frequently.
March 12, 2020
Please click on the link below to access information about how we plan to move from on-campus classes to an online learning environment beginning March 16-20. You will also find additional information about school activities and athletics.