St Julie School
St. Julie Primary School
In October of 1996, groundbreaking began for the St. Julie School Boarding School. The Kibaale District was selected because of the desparate need for education in that area. Because of the distrance most children live in relation to the school, all students who attend St. Julie School reside at the school. Children come from villages in the Kibaale district of Uganda in East Africa.
The school, which looks something like a small village, consist of several one-story separate buildings which include: dormitories, a dining hall, classrooms, latrines, and a administration building. All the buildings are built using bricks. The first school built was a primary school because educational standards were so low that the place to make a difference is from the bottom up.
Throughout the buidling process, sisters visited eight parishes to introduce themselves and describe the school and the curriculum to the people of Uganda. Each parish went through a referral and screening process for those students interested in attending the primary school which is called St. Julie School. Of the eight parishes, two girls and two boys were selected to represent the parish for the first year. Most parents are farmers or peasants. To help pay tuition for their children to attend St. Julie School, many sell the maize, beans, and groundnuts they grow. A few parents are traders or have a shop at the trading center while a few others work for the government or civil services.
On February 2, 1998, St. Julie Primary Boarding School opened its doors with 20 girls and 20 boys for primary third grade. Besides the basic skills necessary for the students to pass their final exam, called "Leaving Exams", the sisters teach religion, English classes and the English language. These "leaving exams" are crucial exams for the students because they determine admission to further education. Today class sizes is limited to 40 in each grades 1st through 7th. There is also a preschool of about 60 girls and boys.
To watch a video of our pre-school children performing a traditional Uganda dance, click here.
Notre Dame Academy Senior Secondary School (NDASSS)
Notre Dame Academy Senior Secondary School opened with twenty-two students in February, 2003, just five years after the opening of St. Julie Primary School. Today NDA has over one hundred students learning in the Norte Dame tradition of excellence. NDA emphasizes a solid work-ethic, self respect, and personal accomplishment. Every girl is encouraged to set goals for herself and to develop a plan of action. While many Ugandan schools require rote memorization, students at NDA are expected to apply their knowledge creatively and constructively. It is a fact of educational life in Uganda that grueling exams at the end of secondary school determine a student's future in the system. In addition to encouraging best efforts on the exams, the Sisters of Notre Dame prepare each student to be responsible, generous leaders who make a difference in the world.
Notre Dame Education Center, St. Julie Nursery School
Since arriving in Uganda, the Sisters of Notre Dame have been fundamental in identifying and proactively addressing critical needs to best serve women and children in Uganda. In May of 2008, St. Julie Nursery School was built in Buseesa, Uganda to help children 3-6 years of age become better prepared to enter primary (elementary) school. Currently 75 children are enrolled in the school. The nursery school operates Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Primarily funding for the program is through the generous support of donors from the Sisters of Notre Dame Covington, KY and Thousand Oaks, CA Provinces; parents of the children also contribute a small percentage of the tuition fee. Sister Mary Juliet teaches children English and Math concepts, as well as, opportunities to develop their basic social skills. Sister Cristina Marie Busckowski is the principal for both the nursery and primary schools.
Notre Dame Education Center, Notre Dame Nursery School
In February of 2011, Notre Dame Nursery School also opened in Lyamutundewe, Uganda. Approximately 105 children between the ages of 3-6 are currently enrolled. Children registered in the program learn to sing, dance and play musical instruments that helps them build upon their social and interactive skills while strengthening their English language. The program runs from 8:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. with most children attending the afterschool program which runs until 4:30 p.m. Transportation service is provided. Sister Mary Colette Theobald and Sister Maria Ruthilde co-direct the nursery school, while Sister Mary Sunday teaches the class.