The Notre Dame ACE Academies are Catholic schools that provide an excellent Catholic education to the children in the communities they serve. NDAA schools strive to remove the cost barrier for families whenever possible.
NDAA is an innovative new model of Catholic schooling. A program of the University of Notre Dame, NDAA was established to strengthen and sustain existing parish and diocesan Catholic elementary schools using research-proven methods to address every aspect of schooling, from classroom instruction to resource management to leadership development.
In establishing the NDAA schools, Notre Dame and the Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) empower partner Catholic schools to respond to the U.S. Bishops call to provide parents with “the choice of an education that no other school can supply—excellent academics imparted in the context of Catholic teaching and practice” (Renewing Our Commitment, 2005). The goal of this university-school partnership program is to provide a Catholic education of the highest quality to as many children as possible. Through a unique model of urban Catholic schooling supported by parental choice scholarships and the mobilization of the resources of ACE, the University, and partnering dioceses, ACE and parish schools collaborate to put more children on the path to college and heaven.
The NDAA model focuses on three foundational pillars: educational excellence, the experience of community in Christ, and faith formation in the Catholic tradition. With those principals as guides and goals, NDAA supports partner schools in the areas of leadership, financial management, marketing and development, curriculum and instruction, and Catholic identity.
Notre Dame ACE Academy schools:
- Enjoy the support of the bishop of the diocese, the pastor of the parish, and ACE
- Benefit from a local NDAA school board that includes diocesan leaders, pastors, local community leaders, and ACE faculty and staff
- Are led by high-quality school leaders who are supported by ACE in an on-going faith formation and professional development program
- Share a common Catholic school ethos and school culture informed by the three pillars of ACE
- Implement structural features in the educational program known to facilitate school improvement
- Are supported by ACE through both a regional and national network of dedicated pastoral and educational professionals
- Benefit from parental choice programs, including voucher and tax credit scholarship programs
The first cluster of Notre Dame ACE Academy schools were established in Tucson, Arizona, in 2010. The program expanded to the Tampa Bay area in Fall 2012.