History & Philosophy
In the early 1950s, Archbishop Duke invited religious orders from across North America to come to Vancouver to found a high school to educate the children of ten Catholic parishes in east Vancouver and Burnaby (Corpus Christi, Holy Cross, Immaculate Heart of Mary, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Helen's, St. Jude's, St. Mary's, St. Theresa's, Our Lady of Sorrows, Sacred Heart). The Sisters of Charity of Halifax accepted his challenge, and in 1953 Notre Dame opened its doors for the first time.
Notre Dame Regional Secondary is co-educational, offering academic, fine arts, and business programs, as well as athletic, performing arts, and other extra-curricular programs, for students from grades 8 to 12.
WHAT IS OUR MISSION?
Notre Dame Regional Secondary School is a Catholic school, one with the mission of Christ, which seeks to educate the whole student — the body, the mind, and the spirit.
WHO ARE WE?
In 1953, Archbishop Duke invited the Sisters of Charity of Halifax to establish a high school to educate the children of ten Catholic parishes in east Vancouver and Burnaby (Corpus Christi, Holy Cross, Immaculate Heart of Mary, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Helen’s, St. Jude’s, St. Mary’s, St. Theresa’s, Our Lady of Sorrows, Sacred Heart). The school is co-educational, offering academic, fine arts, and business programs, as well as athletic, performing arts, and other extra-curricular programs, for students from grades 8 to 12.
WHAT ARE OUR CORE VALUES?
Based on the beliefs and traditions of the Catholic faith, our values include:
We pursue academic knowledge and knowledge of God and self.
We are committed to loving the Lord our God with all our hearts, all our souls and all our minds, and to loving our neighbours as ourselves.
With Jesus Christ as our model we serve our own community and respond to the needs of the greater community through prayer and good works.
All members of the Notre Dame community strive to do their best. This commitment to excellence manifests itself in a strong work ethic and a persistent winning attitude.
Students, teachers and staff, parents, pastors and parishes, and alumni work together as the Notre Dame community. We foster healthy relationships between all members of the community and we respect
everyone regardless of difference.
OUR VISION STORY
This is what Notre Dame and its members aspire to be on a daily basis:
FAITH SYMBOLS AND TRADITIONS YOU SEE
Central to the school is its chapel, a place of peace and tranquility. The school’s faith symbols and traditions are visible and audible throughout the school. You are impressed with school’s gallery of rich accomplishments.
You notice that our students take pride in their school and surroundings – students want to be here. It is obvious that they have a deep level of personal dignity. The students are polite and welcoming. You cannot but notice how respectful they are towards you and each other. You get the feeling that Notre Dame is a safe place.
You notice that teachers are professional in appearance and practice. They are helpful, caring and welcoming. They are role models and mentors to their students. Teachers support each other and work together. There is a family atmosphere among staff where friendships and celebrations prevail. Teachers are committed to extra-curricular activities.
You notice that students and teachers are eager to learn and take that learning seriously. They are active both inside and outside the classroom. The classrooms are productive, well managed and have a respectful atmosphere. Classrooms are well equipped and evidence of student work is present. Use of and access to technology is noticeable.
There is a prevailing school spirit that encompasses all facets of the community. Whether it is students, teachers, parents or alumni, everyone is proud to be a part of Notre Dame. You are impressed with the eagerness of the members to contribute back to Notre Dame.
Excellence abounds at Notre Dame. You see many students excelling in a multitude of areas. You notice the exemplary annual graduation rate and the many scholarships won.
As you leave you will realize that you were in a special place. Your only other thought is that you wish to be a part of this community.
Why Notre Dame "Jugglers"?
This is the Juggler's fascinating tale, taken from the medieval French legend and re-told by Anatole France (1844-1924):
"Before he became a monk, Barnabas was a juggler by profession, poor and simple in person, but clever and skillful in juggling. As his days slipped by in the quiet of the monastery, he was saddened by the thought that, unlike the other monks, he had no fine talent to offer to the Virgin Mary. He could not compose hymns or illuminate manuscripts; he could not sing beautifully or play an instrument. Nothing - nothing could he do to show his love of the Mother of God.
One night, while thinking of his poverty of talent, he reflected on his happy days of juggling. Suddenly he knew what he would offer to Mary. Quietly he hastened to the Chapel, and there, before the statue of Our Lady, he performed his spectacular feats of juggling. At last exhausted but happy he paused. Then it was that the Virgin Mary, pleased with his loved-filled offering, was seen to descend from her beautiful shrine and with a tender hand dry the wet brow of her weary Juggler."
So, too, the community of Notre Dame today offers to Our Lady its talents and efforts, hoping that she will find these talents as acceptable as was the offering of her first juggler.
And that is why we call ourselves the Jugglers of Notre Dame.