The academic goal of Saint Joseph Notre Dame High School is to prepare students to be successful at the university level and beyond.
Students are encouraged to participate in the Advanced Placement program, which offers college-level course work in all major subject areas.
The curriculum exceeds state requirements for high school graduation and offers a wide variety of electives, as well. SJND offers advanced, honors and Advanced Placement classes in all of the core subjects (mathematics, English, science, modern language, social studies and art).
A stellar group of teachers inspire and instruct students in a small-class atmosphere that encourages Socratic methods and individualized learning. Students also are actively engaged in their own learning. They ask questions, participate in learning groups and evaluate their own performance.
The school offers a wide array of courses, listed in the current course catalog, so that each student has the opportunity to enroll in a challenging and interesting curriculum.
Here are descriptions of the academic departments at SJND:
The purpose of the Mathematics Department is to develop an understanding of mathematics skills and practices to prepare them for college-level courses, for use in future careers, and as consumers and citizens. Students use mathematical practices such as pattern and data analysis, logical and qualitative reasoning, and the application of proofs and theorems to develop skills in problem solving and critical thinking. Students demonstrate an understanding of the connection between mathematical topics and real-world situations and learn that mathematical understanding influences decision-making in all areas of life. Teachers and students effectively incorporate technology into assignments, presentations and demonstrations.
Modern Language Department
The purpose of the Modern Language Department is to prepare students with intercultural and language skills necessary to live in a global society. The ability to communicate effectively and understand other cultures becomes a student’s passport to global understanding and provides potential for future careers and enjoyment. Students develop cognitive flexibility and to think structurally as they practice conveying meaning in a new language. Students engage in each of the language skills--listening, speaking, reading and writing – through working cooperatively in groups, writing exercises and by making formal presentations to an audience. The Department brings the world to the classroom through current events, art, history and many of the world’s great works of literature. Students and teachers employ technology to explore the virtual world and have conversations, whether ASL or another language, with video and audio capabilities that broadcast the discussion for the entire class.
Physical Education Department
The purpose of the Physical Education Department is to equip students with the skills and knowledge necessary to become physically active and health-conscious for a lifetime. Instruction in all physical education courses recognizes students’ individual development and movement abilities. The curriculum focuses on physical development and health-awareness, while also integrating the emotional, social and intellectual components that develop the whole student. Through individual and group physical fitness activities, as well as class projects and presentations, students learn about cardiovascular fitness, nutrition, drug and alcohol awareness, stress management and various ways to live an active lifestyle. The Physical Education Department ensures that students explore appropriate practices of competition and cooperation and incorporates opportunities for students to build self-esteem, discipline, confidence and respect.
Science Department The purpose of the Science Department is to inspire students to understand scientific methods of inquiry and prepare them to live in a scientific and technological society. Students learn to access and process information from readings, diagrams, investigations, and oral communications, not just in the classroom, but with an eye to future STEM careers and in their personal health and environmental stewardship decisions. Students learn to design effective scientific investigations, analyze data, communicate results, and apply results to explain phenomena inside and outside the laboratory. Teachers and students collaborate on project-based work to explain scientific concepts in biology, chemistry, the environmental sciences and physics. Students participate on field trips to some of the Bay Area’s top science centers and have several curriculum-based service learning opportunities.
Social Studies Department
The purpose of the Social Studies Department is to train citizens in a democracy to intelligently participate in public discourse. Social Studies disciplines teach a wide range of knowledge, critical thinking and communication skills, as well as key academic skills for future study and life. Students apply higher-level thinking skills to complex social issues, effectively communicate a position through group discussion and debate, and identify and analyze important information in various sources. The Department teaches reflection, action, and the analysis of media throughout history and today. Students participate in lab activities that simulate the stock market, elections and debates. Teachers and students use technology for research, multimedia presentation, social discussion and group work.
The Theology Department of Saint Joseph Notre Dame High School assists in development and education of the soul, the heart, the mind and the body of our students. As a Catholic institution, our mission is rooted in centuries of experience and tradition that is based on the life and message of Jesus Christ. As part of a living and learning institution we have an obligation to teach by example and place our students at the center of our mission in spreading the Gospel and its values. Tending to the needs of our students, the curriculum includes a variety of religious experiences and courses that reflect the traditions of the Church and the real lives of our students. Our students come from all types of faith backgrounds and this diversity allows us to foster and invigorate a community of faith and to teach by example. The study of Scripture, World Religions, Catholic Social Justice, the Church and Its Traditions, Faith in Film and Literature (to name a few), are some of the courses in our strong academic portfolio. The Theology Department at Saint Joseph Notre Dame High School encourages students to incorporate faith in to their daily lives. Our goal is to help students uncover for themselves the invitation of God’s love in their lives and assist them in accepting that invitation to know God more intimately.
Visual and Performing Arts Department
The Visual and Performing Arts Department’s goal is to expose students to a breadth of artistic styles and build a solid foundation in a variety of artistic and musical techniques so that they can apply creative skills and begin to find a personal artistic style. Students learn to employ creative problem solving and detailed planning in the studio and digital art experience, the creation and performance of musical scores and the application of acting techniques on the stage. Projects allow students to explore, express and develop their creativity. The department teaches that the arts are a fundamental human learning experience and are essential to the education of the whole person. Students participate in art exhibits, musical concerts and theatrical performances to demonstrate the skills they have developed to communicate effectively through the arts.
Saint Joseph Notre Dame High School • 1011 Chestnut Street, Alameda California 94501 • Phone (510) 523-1526 • Fax (510) 523-2181