NCEA INNOVATION IN CATHOLIC SCHOOLS AWARD
We are proud to announce that the National Catholic Educator’s Association board of directors unanimously chose Notre Dame Academy Schools of Los Angeles to receive the 2020 Dr. Karen M. Ristau Innovations Award for exemplary innovation at a national level. At NDA we strive for excellence by using our resources in creative and innovative ways. For example, we re-designed our middle school schedule to give the teachers blocks of “think time”, planning, and collaboration based on the Google “80-20” model. By restructuring the entire school organizational chart to share resources and costs with the high school, this allowed us to bring on additional staff to improve student learning. We hired a Director of Innovation and built a state-of-the-art Innovation Lab where students learn design thinking, coding and tinkering skills, AutoCAD, and more. We enhanced our fine arts program with high-quality arts instruction for our younger students and elective classes with high school instructors. Our added STEM coordinator redesigned our elementary science program to teach science the way scientists work, starting with hands-on inquiry and observation, making claims, and testing them. At NDA, we strive to be good stewards of our resources, using our talents, gifts, and creativity to give our students a vibrant, 21st-century education that will prepare them to be the leaders of tomorrow.