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Mission & History

Notre Dame Academy is a Catholic, college-preparatory high school

dedicated to educating young women to make a difference

by living Gospel values. 


Notre Dame Academy is fully accredited by both the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and the Western Catholic Education Association and holds membership in the National Catholic Education Association. In its most recent WASC evaluation (Spring 2019), NDA earned a full six-year accreditation.

Notre Dame Academy nurtures the development of the whole person by recognizing the dignity, uniqueness, and potential of each student. The educational program promotes excellence and features a value-centered, rigorous, college preparatory curriculum. NDA cultivates the academic and leadership potential of each student and provides the tools to develop self-confidence and strong habits of mind. Celebrating its rich heritage and diversity, NDA cherishes each student as a reflection of God’s goodness and prepares her to lead a life characterized by spiritual and moral growth, academic excellence, social responsibility, and a love of learning.

In light of Church teaching, Notre Dame Academy acknowledges that parents and guardians are the primary educators of their children and therefore partners with them to promote the growth of each student. Committed to forming women of faith, Notre Dame Academy cultivates an environment in which students are empowered to live Catholic values, witness to God’s goodness and provident care, and put their faith into action. Providing myriad opportunities for prayer, reflection, and service, Notre Dame Academy encourages lifelong participation in the Church as well as in the local and global community.

Go out to California and build a house of love.

Reverend Mother Mary Cecilia, 1924

These words have characterized the history of Notre Dame Academy for nearly 75 years. After opening Notre Dame Academy in 1949 in the makeshift quarters of the school library, the Sisters broke ground for a new high school building in March of the following year.  Two years later, Timothy Cardinal Manning, then Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles, dedicated the first phase of the completed building. Once focused on preparing girls for marriage or the convent, the curriculum has emphasized college preparation for all students since 1969.

With a President/Principal model and established a Board of Trustees and a Board of Members, the elementary school and the high school have maintained separate identities but have shared one President and a single Board of Trustees. In 2012, a corporate restructure merged the corporations of the two schools into one corporation, Notre Dame Academy Schools of Los Angeles, and established a separate foundation. The Sisters of Notre Dame retain reserved powers as the member of the corporation, but delegate the majority of the governance to the Board of Directors.