Notre Dame Preparatory School (Towson, Maryland)
|Notre Dame Preparatory School|
|815 Hampton Lane
Towson, Maryland, (Baltimore County), 21286
(We Pursue Truth)
|Religious affiliation(s)||Roman Catholic|
|Headmistress||Sister Patricia McCarron, SSND|
|Campus size||60 acres (0.24 km2)|
|Color(s)||Blue and White|
|Rival||Maryvale Preparatory School|
|Accreditation||Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools|
|Tuition||$17,200 for 2013-14|
Notre Dame Preparatory School is a private, Roman Catholic, independent school in Towson, Maryland. It is located in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore. Notre Dame Preparatory School is one of Baltimore's oldest Catholic, college preparatory schools for girls. Founded in 1873 by the School Sisters of Notre Dame, a teaching order from Germany, Notre Dame Prep is located in Towson, Maryland, north of Baltimore City.
Notre Dame Preparatory School (NDP) was founded on September 21, 1873 in Baltimore, Maryland on Charles Street by the School Sisters of Notre Dame, under the name Notre Dame of Maryland Collegiate Institute for Young Ladies. There were 63 pupils. The school was founded due to overcrowding at the SSND's first school in Baltimore, Institute of Notre Dame. Ulysses S. Grant, President of the United States, presided over the first commencement as his niece, Bessie Sharp, was a student at the school in 1876. Notre Dame's preparatory school existed 20 years before the college. In response to the high school graduates' requests in the early 1880s, the School Sisters of Notre Dame expanded Notre Dame of Maryland's curriculum with two years of post-secondary education. This led to the charter of the college on April 2, 1896. Although the school has always been for girls, in the early 1900s, boys were admitted. The sisters began to admit them, it is believed, at the urging of Cardinal James Gibbons for the convenience of some Baltimore families. In more than one school catalogue, the sisters assigned girls' names to the boys. In another, they penciled in "B" above each boy's name. By the late 1920s, however, the school was once again all-female. In an attempt to distinguish the prep school from the College of Notre Dame of Maryland and to meet the growing demand for classroom space, the school moved in 1960 to the current Hampton Lame campus in Towson, Maryland.
In 2010, the school celebrated its 50th Anniversary on the Hampton Lane campus with a parade of students and a Mass led by Jesuit Father James McAndrews. Students, wearing the traditional uniform including the blue dress, blazer and saddle shoes, processed into the Mass carrying each class banner the school has hosted since its move to the Hampton Lane campus. Many of the school’s oldest traditions were mentioned in the celebrations including Gym Meet, one of the oldest annual traditions, begun in 1929.
An admission test and interview is required to apply to Notre Dame Preparatory School for both the Middle and Upper Levels. Currently, the school has over 6,000 living alumni and enrolls about 750 students from grades 6-12. Class sizes average 16-20 students and the school boasts a student-faculty ratio of 9:1. Notre Dame Preparatory School offers more than 160 courses in core and elective subjects all of which are geared towards college preparation. Courses include mathematics, science, English, history, religion and foreign language, visual and performing arts, physical education and swimming. The school offers 23 Advanced Placement courses in English, language, mathematics, science and the fine arts. The school adheres to a phasing system that aims to ensure each student is learning at the level suitable for her. There are four phases, Phase 2, Phase 3, Phase 4 and Phase 5. A student can move up or down when appropriate and can be in different phases for different subjects.
Notre Dame Preparatory School offers over 15 interscholastic sports during the fall, winter and spring. Fall sports include crew, field hockey, cross country, soccer, tennis and volleyball. Winter sports include basketball, indoor track, soccer, swimming and winter soccer. Spring sports include crew, lacrosse, softball, golf, tennis, track and field and badminton.
The school is known for its talent and success on their field hockey, lacrosse and soccer teams. In fall 2010 the Notre Dame Prep field hockey team was the No. 1-seed in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of the Maryland A Conference. The Notre Dame Prep soccer team also competed in the 2010 IAAM A Conference game In 2003, the soccer team won the IAAM A Conference championship led by the All Metro Player of the Year, Zoey Bouchelle. In 2010 the lacrosse team was seeded No. 2 and one of its players, Covie Stanwick, was named on the 2010 Girl’s Lacrosse first team by The Baltimore Sun.
Student leadership at NDP consists of three key organizations: Athletic Association (AA), Christian Community Awareness Program (CCAP), and Student Council (SC). Officers are elected each spring along with one representative from each homeroom. In addition, the school issues three student-led publications including Finis, the school yearbook; Esprit, the school literary magazine; and the school newspaper, The Gateway.
The uniform is unchanged; students still wear nearly the same uniform, saddle shoes, and gym uniform from founding.
Ring Day happens during Junior Year. In November, the Junior class has a special liturgy and ceremony where students receive their rings. The ceremony includes a prayer, given by a teacher that was selected by the Junior class, and homeroom teachers calling each girl by name. Then the Junior class president gives a speech and the entire Junior class sings a special song written for the occasion. The girls are then dismissed and allowed to leave at noon. Later that night the girls celebrate with a class dance.
Gym Meet is a tradition where high school students compete in the categories of March, Song, Aerobics, and Dance for the Silver Cup. Each of the 4 high school classes picks a Gym Meet theme and elects a Gym Meet Captain each year. Gym Meet committees are selected by the Athletic Association. The committees, under the supervision of the Gym Meet Captain, create routines in the categories of dance, march, aerobics and song. The routines are approved by the Athletic Association before the committees teach them to the class. Classes have set practice times after school during the month of February to learn the routine. Gym Meet takes place during the first weekend in March. The classes compete on both Friday and Saturday nights in front of an audience of parents, friends and anonymous judges. The results of the competition are revealed on Saturday night. Classes with the most points in each category win the respective march, song, aerobics and dance plaques. The class with the most points overall wins the Silver Cup. (In the case of a tie, the winner of the poster category, which is revealed prior to the weekend competition, is awarded the silver cup.)
Walking under the gateway is a recent school tradition that marks the entrance and exit of students to the NDP community. The iron and stone structure is reminiscent of the gateway that once graced the main entrance to the Charles Street Campus. Incoming students walk through the arch toward the school to mark their entrance into the Notre Dame Prep community. Similarly, on graduation day, seniors walk under the arch toward Hampton Lane, symbolizing the end of their journey at NDP.
Other traditions include Tree Trim, Field Day, retreats, Senior NYC Trip, Coffee House, and Penny Queen. The money from Coffee House and Penny Queen goes to benefit Notre Dame's sister school in El Salvador, Ignatio Ellacuria. 
- Susan L. M. Aumann, member of Maryland House of Delegates 
- Catherine Curran O'Malley, Maryland state judge, wife of Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley
- Yeardley Love, University of Virginia lacrosse player, murdered May 3, 2010 
Notes and references
- MSA-CSS. "MSA-Commission on Secondary Schools". Retrieved 2009-07-31.
- "NDP Timeline". Notre Dame Preparatory School. Retrieved 14 December 2010.
- "NDP History". Notre Dame Preparatory School. Retrieved 14 December 2010.
- "Notre Dame Preparatory celebrates 50 years of ‘wisdom’ in Towson". The Catholic Review. Retrieved 14 December 2010.
- "Catholic Schools Week Events". The Catholic Review. Retrieved 14 December 2010.
- "Admissions". Notre Dame Preparatory School. Retrieved 1 November 2010.
- "Quick Facts". Notre Dame Preparatory School. Retrieved 21 October 2010.
- "Academics Program Overview". Notre Dame Preparatory. Retrieved 1 November 2010.
- "Phasing System". Notre Dame Preparatory School. Retrieved 1 November 2010.
- "Team List". Notre Dame Preparatory School. Retrieved 22 November 2010.
- "Bouchelle goes from NDP to Penn State to Soccer Without Borders". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 14 December 2010.
- "IAAM lacrosse playoff brackets set". Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland. Retrieved 14 December 2010.
- "Girl's Lacrosse: First Team". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 14 December 2010.
- "Student Organizations". Notre Dame Preparatory School. Retrieved 14 December 2010.
- "Publications". Notre Dame Preparatory School. Retrieved 14 December 2010.