Notre Dame High School (Belmont, California)

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For other schools of the same name, see Notre Dame High School (disambiguation).
Notre Dame High School Belmont
1540 Ralston Avenue
Belmont, California, (San Mateo County), 94002
United States
Coordinates 37°30′55″N 122°17′10″W / 37.5153°N 122.286°W / 37.5153; -122.286Coordinates: 37°30′55″N 122°17′10″W / 37.5153°N 122.286°W / 37.5153; -122.286
Type Private, All-Female
Motto Ora et labora
(Pray and work)
Religious affiliation(s) Roman Catholic;
Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur
Established 1851
Opened 1928 (current location)
CEEB Code 050275
Principal Rita Gleason
Asst. Principal Carolyn Hutchins
Head of school Maryann Osmond
Associate Principal Anne Schaefer-Salinas
Chaplain Rev. Stephen Howell
Grades 9-12
Average class size 28
Student to teacher ratio 14:1
Campus Suburban
Campus size 10.6 acres (4.3 ha)
Color(s) Blue, White and Gold             
Athletics conference West Catholic Athletic League
Mascot Tiger
Team name Tigers
Accreditation Western Association of Schools and Colleges[1]
Newspaper The Notre Dame Times
Yearbook The Torch
Tuition $19, 700 (as of 2014-2015) [2]
Feeder schools Notre Dame Elementary School (Belmont, California)
Admissions Director Cathy Lewis
Athletic Director Jason Levine
Activities Director Theresa Vallez-Kelly

Notre Dame High School, Belmont is a private, All-Female, Catholic, college preparatory high school located in the San Mateo County suburb of Belmont, California. The school is operated by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur for the Archdiocese of San Francisco. The school's mission is driven by the teachings of Saint Julie Billiart, the foundress of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur.


On August 4, 1851, Notre Dame Academy was established by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur in San Jose. The Academy, one of the earliest secondary schools to be accredited by the State of California, included elementary and high school classes for local students and was a separate entity from the College of Notre Dame which served high school and college resident students at the same location. Because of increased enrollment in both the resident and day student population, a new building was erected in 1853, and the first Mass was celebrated in the chapel on January 1, 1854. The curriculum was rigorous and included Latin, English, French, German, Spanish, mathematics, science, astronomy, botany, music, art, drama, physical education, secretarial studies, homemaking, and sewing.

The present high school building, designed for a large resident population, was completed in the fall of 1928. The first graduation from the new high school building was held in 1930 with 31 graduates. During the next three decades, Notre Dame's day and resident student population continued to grow. In 1968, the Stanford School of Educational Research conducted a general study of the high school facility. As a result, the science area was renovated to provide increased laboratory space. The introduction of flexible scheduling followed and enabled greater utilization of the high school building. An additional classroom enlarged the art department, and former resident rooms were converted into seminar rooms and resource centers. In 1972, the boarding school was discontinued.

Today, Notre Dame High School appears to be quite different from Notre Dame Academy and the College of Notre Dame in San Jose; yet, in many ways it is the same. The school continues to provide an educational foundation which emphasizes academic excellence, spiritual growth, critical thinking, creative expression, physical well-being, social awareness, and self-confidence. Reflecting the vision of St. Julie Billiart and her pioneer Sisters, Notre Dame High School will continue to be a special place for students to learn, grow, and prepare for life.


Student council[edit]

Each class has 7 officers and homeroom presidents for each homeroom. The 7 offices are: president, vice president, secretary/treasurer, historian, athletics, activities, and mascot. There are also 6 student body officers, called the Associated Student Body (ASB), who work with the director of student activities in coordinating the programs listed. Student Council meetings are held twice a month. Student body officers run the meetings. All class officers and advisory presidents are asked to attend, but any student may attend a student council meeting. Student Council members also attend three leadership conferences/retreats per year.

Leadership Opportunities[edit]

There are many opportunities for students to sharpen their leadership skills. Positions include Ambassador Leadership Board, California Scholarship Federation Board, National Honor Society Board, Campus Ministry Board, WAVE Leadership Team, and Students in Action.

School mascot[edit]

Two students share the position of "NDB Tiger." They make appearances at school, athletic, and community events.

The official school colors are navy, blue, and gold

Each grade also has their own colors and mascots, which were voted on at the beginning of their freshmen year. Currently, they are:

  • Class of 2015
    • Color: Red
    • Mascot: Gladiators
  • Class of 2016
    • Color: Green
    • Mascot: Avengers
  • Class of 2017
    • Color: Purple
    • Mascot: Royals
  • Class of 2018
    • Color: Blue
    • Mascot: Mavericks
  • Past Mascots:
    • 2014: Tritons
    • 2013: Olympians
    • 2012: Warriors
    • 2011: Spartans
    • 2010: Knights
    • 2009: Patriots
    • 2008: Titans
    • 2007: Pirates
    • 2006: Broncos
    • 2005: Pythons
    • 2004: Gators
    • 2003: Panthers
    • 2002: Bulldogs
    • 2001: Dragons
    • 1992: Cougars
    • 1987: Barons
    • 1985: Pirates
    • 1984: Gators
    • 1982: Sailors
    • 1981: Vikings
    • 1964: Scots


There are over 35 clubs at Notre Dame. A member of the faculty or staff moderates each club. Clubs meet regularly to plan activities. Students are welcome to join a club at any time during the school year. If a student would like to start a club, they are welcome to do so under the guidance of the Director of Student Activities.

Performing Arts[edit]

In July 2008, a combined choir represented Notre Dame at World Youth Day 2008 in Sydney, Australia. The choir sang for over 300,000 people prior to a mass presided by Pope Benedict XVI. In addition, the Notre Dame choir program has received special recognition including many first place trophies at various competitions, and a proclamation made by the Belmont City Council in late 2008.

Rallies and assemblies[edit]

Spirit rallies are held several times during the school year to honor sports teams or simply to celebrate school spirit! Rallies take place in the NDB gym. Awareness raising assemblies are also held. Past topics include: mental health, abstinence, and forgiveness. These assemblies are held for the entire school as well as for smaller groups of students.


Dances are held on four Friday evenings during the school year. Each dance has a theme, which is chosen by student council. All NDB students are invited to buy tickets for the dance on a first come, first served basis. All dances are chaperoned by a crew of faculty and parents. Notre Dame dances have some rules, but are very fun. The dances held at NDB have a purpose of bringing our "sisters" together while enjoying their time on a Friday night. No dirty dancing allowed.


One of the high school's most beloved and fun traditions is an annual event called Aquacades, in which the four grade levels compete against one another in different routines: synchronized swimming, cheerleading, banner/backdrop design, and a series of dances. Students perform musical numbers, called deck routines, to introduce the swim acts, and a crowd adorned in class colors (red, green, purple, and blue) scream cheers for their classmates. The teachers also perform a deck routine as do the members of ASB (Associate Student Body). the lighting crew plays a vital role to the event. Joan Meyer and Suzanne Melson were groundbreaking with their use of lighting of aquacades. Great lighting draws you in close, and then blows you away with huge looks and crazy movement to match the energy. Each year there is an overall theme and then each class has a sub-theme. All routines are representative of their sub-theme, except for the ASB, whose routine encompasses all classes' themes, and the teachers, who get their own sub-theme. A committee of alumni judge all performances in addition to each class's overall spirit to determine the winner.

These are past themes: 2014

  • Theme: Disneyland Lands
    • Seniors: Adventureland
    • Juniors: Fantasyland
    • Sophomores: California Adventure
    • Freshman: New Orleans Square
  • Winner: Seniors


  • Theme: Boardgames
    • Seniors: Battleship
    • Juniors: Candyland
    • Sophomores: Monopoly
    • Freshman: Chutes and Ladders
  • Winner: Seniors


  • Theme: Decades
    • Seniors: 60s
    • Juniors: 80s
    • Sophomores: 90s
    • Freshmen: 70s
  • Winner: Seniors


  • Theme: Music Legends
    • Seniors: Rock Legends
    • Juniors: Pop Legends
    • Sophomores: Jazz/Blues/R&B/Motown Legends
    • Freshmen: Latin Legends
  • Winner: Seniors


  • Theme: Awards Ceremonies
    • Seniors: Grammys
    • Juniors: Tonys
    • Sophomores: Oscars
    • Freshmen: Emmys
  • Winner: Seniors


  • Theme: Cruisin' America
    • Seniors: California
    • Juniors: New York
    • Sophomores: Tennessee
    • Freshman: Florida
  • Winner: Juniors


  • Theme: Decades
    • Seniors: 1980s
    • Juniors: 1990s
    • Sophomores: 1970s
    • Freshman: 1960s
  • Winner: Seniors


  • Theme: Disneyland
    • Seniors: California Adventure
    • Juniors: Fantasyland
    • Sophomores: Adventureland
    • Freshman: Tomorrowland
  • Winner: Juniors


  • Theme: Music Genres
    • Seniors: Rock
    • Juniors: Pop
    • Sophomores: Hip-Hop
    • Freshman: Country
  • Winner: Seniors


  • Theme: Movie Production Companies
    • Seniors: Disney
    • Juniors: Paramount
    • Sophomores: ?
    • Freshman: Columbia
  • Winner: Seniors


  • Theme: Decades
    • Seniors: 1970s
    • Juniors: 1980s
    • Sophomores: 1990s
    • Freshman: 1950s
  • Winner: Seniors


  • Theme: States in America
    • Seniors: California
    • Juniors: New York
    • Sophomores: Texas
    • Freshman: Florida
  • Winner: Seniors

Spirit points[edit]

Spirit points are awarded to classes that have the most involvement in a particular activity (Aquacades, food drive, fundraisers, etc.). At the end of the year, the class with the most spirit points is awarded the spirit trophy.

Sister Tri-fecta[edit]

Sister Tri-fecta is a competition between the Senior and Sophomore classes vs. the Freshman and Junior classes. At the end of the year the Sister Tri-fecta trophy is awarded to the sister classes who had the best teamwork and participation in the following spirit competitions: Powder Puff Football, Penny Wars, and Aquacades.

Notable alumnae[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ WASC-ACS. "WASC-Accrediting Commission for Schools". Retrieved 2009-06-05. 
  2. ^ [1]

External links[edit]