Sign-up Soon for NDA Serves

Clare Ravizza, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

The mission statement of our school reads, “Notre Dame de la Baie Academy, as an educational ministry of the Roman Catholic Church, educates the whole person by developing each student’s Christian faith, commitment to service, and full academic potential within a caring Church community.”

Service is a big part of every NDA student’s life, as well as one of our core values. One day a year, Notre Dame recognizes this value in particular by sending its students out to work in service to the community: NDA Serves.

Students can sign up to volunteer at over 80 establishments throughout our community who enlisted the help of Notre Dame Academy. The sites include local schools and parishes, nursing homes, St. Vincent de Paul, and Paul’s Pantry. Other opportunities for students to help out include leading retreats for middle school children or working the annual rummage sale.

This year, sign-up day occurs on Friday, February 20, during both lunch periods, and the actual event takes place on Thursday, April 9.

Traditionally, all four classes have participated in NDA Serves, but this year, that’s going to change.

“In the state of Wisconsin, they’ve made some changes to the standardized tests that students have to take,” said Dr. Ravizza. “This impacts both private and public schools.”

Sophomores in the past have taken the ACT Plan Test, which is similar to the Practice SAT(PSAT). Plan is a test taken by 10th graders to predict how well students will perform on the ACT. However, the ACT has now released the ACT Aspire, a more updated and better evaluating test than the Plan. The Plan test took three hours to complete, but the new Aspire takes over six hours.

The new test, now taking almost an entire school day to complete, prevents the sophomores from participating in NDA Serves.

“We could have had the sophomores come in for a Testing Day, and given everyone else the day off, but it’s hard when there are a certain number of days needed each year,” commented Ravizza.

In addition, the sophomores are required to complete 15 hours of service during their second semester for their Social Justice Theology class. Since their year is already so dedicated to service, the sophomores will not be participating in NDA Serves.

Some sophomores are not pleased with this news.

“I feel disappointed,” said sophomore Elijah Dercks. “It is unfortunate that the sophomore class be deprived of that service and representation this year, and equally unfortunate that the community will be deprived of our class’s contribution. Taking the ACT prep test is a good thing, no doubt, but I personally would have liked to have seen it scheduled on a day other than our NDA service day.”

Although the sophomores are not able to participate in NDA Serves this year, it is still important that they recognize the importance of that service.

“As service is one of our core values,” said Ravizza, “it’s important that we’re always conscious of the needs of the community and that we’re using our time, talents, and treasure to meet those needs.”