Both Upper and Middle Level visual art students showcase their artwork throughout the building all school year. Each May, friends, and family come to NDP for Arts Night, when they can peruse the foyer, hallways, and gallery of our building to view the outstanding drawings, paintings, pottery, photographs, digital prints, and mixed media art created by our students.
At the Upper Level assembly, graduating seniors and other Upper Level students receive recognition for their achievements. Awards are given for community and school service, as well as academic success and overall excellence. The coveted White Blazer is awarded to the senior who best displays leadership, good school citizenship, and loyalty to Notre Dame Prep to an outstanding degree.
In the Middle Level, the end-of-year Awards Ceremony celebrates those outstanding eighth-grade students who have achieved academically during their time in middle school.
Designed to recognize those classes which excel in certain sports, class spirit, loyalty, fundraising, and many other things, banners signify that a class has worked well together and has well represented Notre Dame Prep. The prized banners are given out during the school year after events such as intramurals and Gym Meet.
A much-loved tradition at Notre Dame is the Big Sisters/Little Sisters Program. On the first day of freshman year, each student is assigned a junior "big" sister who helps her little sister learn the school. Big sister/little sister friendships have been known to last many years after the girls have graduated.
Each year, NDP students celebrate the season with several special events. The annual Christmas concert showcases the talents of Middle and Upper Level musicians. At Tree Trim, which Student Council, CCAP, and Athletic Association jointly sponsor, students paint their noses red, wear pipe-cleaner antlers, and sing Christmas carols in the foyer. Santa Claus comes to town to give students candy canes and door prizes. Each advisory makes an ornament to hang on the tree in the foyer, as well as "Adopts-a-Family" to provide gifts and food for a family in need. CCAP also hosts an annual school visit and Christmas party with children from Baltimore's Head Start Christmas Program.
Held on the last Wednesday in May, graduation is a formal, dignified ceremony. Graduates wear matching white dresses, an NDP tradition, and carry bouquets of red roses, which they receive in a private ceremony in the school chapel. Diplomas and awards are given, a guest speaker delivers a meaningful message and the headmistress bids the newest alumnae farewell. A procession through the Gateway arch concludes the ceremony.
Begun in 1929, Gym Meet is one of the oldest NDP traditions. Every March the four Upper Level classes compete for the coveted Silver Cup. Designed to develop class spirit and close bonds with fellow classmates, Gym Meet includes competitions in singing, marching, dancing, and aerobics routines. After choosing themes in the fall, the girls begin preparing after Christmas break. They practice after school for three weeks leading up to the Friday and Saturday performances in front of friends, family, and anonymous judges.
Juniors receive their school rings and become upperclasswomen at Ring Day, one of the most memorable and treasured NDP traditions. Prior to Ring Day, all juniors participate in a two-day retreat. Ring Day itself begins with a liturgy for class members and their parents. Then, in a formal school assembly, the headmistress presents each junior with her onyx and gold ring. The class president, headmistress, and a chosen faculty member wish the juniors success. The ceremony concludes after the juniors sing their class song. The annual Ring Dance, held that evening, caps off the day.
Each year, NDP students celebrate other cultures through the holidays of dia de los Muertos and Mardi Gras, as well as French Week and Chinese New Year. Organized through the Language Department, these special days allow students to sample food, listen to traditional music, and try their hands at crafts.
The entire school comes together to pray and receive Communion. Organized by the school's Campus Ministry Program and planned by students, liturgies are held before special occasions and on Holy Days. The Student Liturgy Band provides music. One special liturgy, the Senior Farewell Liturgy, honors the departing senior class. At the end of this celebration, each senior receives a basket full of letters from her friends, classmates, and teachers. Recent senior classes have begun some new traditions following the liturgy, such as singing their Gym Meet farewell song and jumping into the pool fully clothed. It is one of the most poignant and memorable events of the school year.
Middle Level Field Day includes team games, relays, and other fun athletic activities. It begins with each homeroom presenting its own creative fight song, guaranteed to amuse. Many Middle Level parents volunteer to help with Field Day activities.
Fundraising becomes a challenge and a delight as elected class "Penny Queens" perform zany stunts to earn spare change for charity. The class that raises the most receives the "Penny Queen" banner. The Christian Community Awareness Program sponsors the weeklong event, which supports school service projects and community organizations representing those in need.
Prayerful, reflective, and unifying, NDP retreats help faculty and students focus on the joys of teaching, learning, and being together in the presence of God. At various times throughout the school year, all students participate in specially designed age-appropriate retreats for each grade.
To celebrate the approaching graduation of the senior class, members of the class are invited to a special event with alumnae. There they share memories of their years at Notre Dame with their classmates and friends and hear from young alums about college life.
Each winter, members of the senior class travel to New York City, a trip which unites the class and their teachers together as they experience the Big Apple. They see two Broadway plays, dine together, and explore. The girls have plenty of time to shop, sightsee, and have fun.
Sponsored by either the Student Council, the Athletic Association, or the Christian Community Awareness Program, school dances are held three times a year in the fall and in the spring. Money earned from ticket sales goes to charity or the school.
School Song: "The Gateway"
Where the Gateway opens to our Lady's Way, There a column symbols truth by night and day. Where the seal is woven into white and blue, Stands a flag of beauty, Notre Dame for you.
Refrain Ever hail her alma mater, Know her colors sign for you. Work and play beneath her mantle Blue be loyal, white be true.
As the campus greets you every tree unfolds, And ready mother gives the gift she holds Here is love's pure whiteness and the blue lamp's glow, Thought and care of one's heart from her two hands flow.