Notre Dame Academy is the only Pre-K through 11th grade Catholic School in Gwinnett County. Founded in 2005, ND Academy fulfilled a longtime need for many families seeking a Catholic Education in the northern suburbs of Atlanta.
It was the first Catholic elementary school in the nation to receive authorization from the prestigious International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO), which helps students “develop the intellectual, personal, emotional and social skills to live, learn and work in a rapidly globalizing world.” It also maintains dual SACS and AdvancED accreditations.
Notre Dame Academy was founded under the leadership of our existing Head of School, Debra M. Orr. She was more than a successful administrator in the Atlanta private school system…Ms. Orr was also a mom who wanted her son to attend a Catholic school in Gwinnett County. With assistance from other motivated, likeminded, resourceful parents and the sponsorship from the Marist Order of Priests, Ms. Orr set forth to open the school on August 14, 2005 with 151 students. This number grew to over 200 by the end of the first year, and the Academy opened with 380 students in only its second year. Even as the economy took a steep downturn in 2008, just a few years after the school opened, God’s Will prevailed and the school continued to survive and thrive.
Today, the school is over 560 students strong and still holds the honor of being named the first Catholic elementary school in the nation to receive authorization from the International Baccalaureate Organization. Founded under the guiding principles of the Marist community, the goal of Notre Dame Academy is to integrate the teachings of the Gospel within the context of academic content. Students with faith have a desire to critically examine the world around them and not accept statements as truths. Knowledge of the Gospel gives power to the learner to remain objective and independent when faced with the attitudes and habits of society.
We cannot succeed on knowledge alone. Notre Dame Academy believes in teaching children to identify problems, work cooperatively as a team, listen to others, take risks and present their ideas. The academic program, combined with prayer and the teachings of the Catholic Church, provides students with a foundation that prepares them to excel in the global economy with awareness and sensitivity to the needs of others.