‘Shadows’ Visit for Sense of High School, Decision About NDA

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Gioia Cumicek, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

The shadow days for Notre Dame Academy are held in the months of October and November.

Prior to these weeks Mrs. Sarah Van Grunsven, director of admissions, and her assistant, Ms. Kimberly Uelmen, send forms to the schools that are shadowing. They then take all the names of eighth-graders who will be shadowing and organize them into a spreadsheet along with the names of their host student here at NDA.

They then give a list of the shadows to the teachers whose classes they will be attending so they can get additional chairs for each classroom. On the day of the shadow, the host, along with a few staff members, meet the shadows in the lobby to begin their day.

“On the day of the shadow, we meet the students in the morning and send them on their way as they learn what it’s like to be a Triton,” said Uelmen.

Shadows typically request their hosts, usually a sibling or a friend. If the shadow does not request a specific person, the admissions department reviews the shadow’s interests and pair them with a freshman or sophomore with common interests.

“I give a lot of credit to shadows for coming to visit us during the day. Following shadow day, we almost always receive positive feedback about their experiences,” said Uelmen.

Most shadows are nervous when they arrive at NDA in the morning, but by the end of the day they are more confident.

“My day shadowing at Notre Dame was very helpful and gave me an advantage of learning where things were around the school. It also let me get to know some of the teachers that I may have when I come to Notre Dame. This experience gave me an outlook on what high school is like and prepared me on how to switch classes every hour,” said shadow Mason Cumicek from Holy Cross Middle School.

Notre Dame offers this experience to the Grace System middle schools as well as to any students or families considering Notre Dame to be their new home away from home.