As Sister Patricia McCarron, SSND, Ph.D., headmistress, explained in her opening remarks, when NDP was invited to participate in the prestigious Sustaining Excellence protocol in 2018-19, “We eagerly embraced this opportunity to delve deeper into a mission tenet that is at the core of our identity as a School Sisters of Notre Dame-sponsored institution,” specifically global citizenship.
Faculty members presented in breakout session on three subtopics of global citizenship: technology, diversity-equity-inclusion-belonging (DEIB), and care for creation. Dance and science teachers presented on the interdisciplinary Global Water Dance Unit that connected arts integration with biology, geography, and social justice topics. The Technology staff explained how the tools, techniques, and tactics the school employs protect the community from cyber vulnerabilities and educates savvy digital citizens. In the area of DEIB, the Library Department demonstrated how they conducted a diversity audit on the library collection and collaborated school wide to add a global perspective to research projects. In addition, they shared library reading incentives, author visits, and new information literacy skill lessons which were developed to promote global citizenship.
For the students participating in the day, the Sustaining Excellence Colloquium provided a new window through which to view Notre Dame Prep and to understand the school’s mission of transformational education. Says Summer Nelson ’23, who served as a student speaker in the DEIB presentations, “After attending the colloquium, not only was I overwhelmed with a sense of pride for my school, but I was also impressed by the level in which all community members engaged in learning using technology and with hearts and minds directed by DEIB and care for creation.”
With three and a half years remaining in the protocol, the Colloquium provided an opportunity to share what has been achieved thus far so that NDP can receive valuable feedback as it positions itself for future growth in the three focus areas of global citizenship. Among the future steps to be taken include creating enhanced professional development in the areas of technology and DEIB, expanding outdoor spaces and more extensive ecological projects, and developing working relationships with SSND schools outside the United States.