The shadows who walk among us

Prospective members of Class of 2022 visit campus

The annual shadow season began earlier this month with dozens of prospective members of the Class of 2022 visiting campus to experience a typical day in the life of a NDB student.

Coming from many of the local private and public middle schools, these eighth graders begin their first day at NDB in the small gym where they are welcomed by the Admissions Department and taken to classes by student hosts.

Cathy Lewis, Head of Admissions, says, “I think that shadowing is the most important step that students take in making a decision about high school because, when they come to Notre Dame, it’s their opportunity to see what it feels like [as a high school student] — How are the girls with each other, how are they with the teachers… Can you picture yourself there?”

Shadow season often causes NDB students to recall their own shadowing experiences and how they aided them in selecting NDB as their future (now current) school.

Senior Ariel The explains the value of the shadowing experience. She says, “I didn’t know how much I liked the school until I attended [a shadow day].”

The responsibility of welcoming shadows is not completely reliant on their specified shadow hosts; every NDB girl takes part in chatting with shadows and encouraging them to feel comfortable among the students they sit through classes with.

Over the course of several hours, shadows visit four classes in different subject areas. Classes welcome shadows, often taking a few minutes to introduce themselves, share what they are studying, and talk about their favorite foods, sports, or TV shows.

Teachers also get shadows involved. English/Social Science teacher Rebecca Fisher is one who makes sure that, in addition to watching and listening to classes, the shadows also have the opportunity to participate in them.

She says, “I enjoy having shadows in the discussions specifically because it brings a different perspective… To compare the idea of a younger mentality to a little bit older with juniors is sometimes helpful to bring another level of depth to the conversation.”

Throughout the duration of the day, shadows attend classes, have lunch with the NDB girls, return to classes, then head home after having experienced Notre Dame in a way that will lend new perspective to them when it comes to applying to future high schools.