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Emphasis Program

Answering today's call

Through a combination of inquiry, experiential learning, and community-wide symposia, our unique emphasis program challenges students to grow as they gain deeper knowledge of the world around them, develop passions and try to solve real-world problems. 

The world is far more complex and connected than ever, becoming aware of its intricacies enables one to navigate with agency. In response, the Emphasis Program reimagines the high school experience by supporting and expanding NDA’s excellent curriculum with unique learning opportunities in and outside of the classroom. Designed to incorporate current pedagogy, on-campus events, and off-campus experiences, the program exposes students to in-depth understanding and knowledge of the structures that form our world. The Emphasis Program equips students with the skills needed to be innovative, resilient critical thinkers, and creative individuals who work collaboratively to address current world issues.

The program encourages students to develop

  • the curiosity and love of learning essential to a 21st century environment;
  • the joy of creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking;
  • agency to navigate the complex global structures;
  • connections among disciplines, life experiences, and beliefs in pursuit of solving world problems;
  • understanding of the importance of love as an essential component of a happy life;
  • a deepened appreciation for the dignity, uniqueness, and potential of themselves and others.


The Emphasis Program consists of three pillars that work in synergy to create a cohesive learning experience on campus and beyond. Through the program, Notre Dame Academy expands learning opportunities to include all of Los Angeles and beyond through digital communication. The three pillars are

  • Curriculum – In each classroom teachers use pedagogy and shared language that promotes inquiry, research, collaboration, and cross curricular connections
  • Symposium – Every year the school joins together in a community centered exploration of a topic. This is supported by campus events, virtual experiences, and classroom discussions
  • Experiential Learning – All students are encouraged to explore their world through research. This will culminate with hands-on experiences in their senior year that will take the form of internships, apprenticeships, and unique learning opportunities. This will expand Notre Dame Academy’s campus to include all of Los Angeles, and beyond virtually.