Groundhog Day has come early to Notre Dame Preparatory High School as the school has experienced a rush of shadows since September 17. The shadow program, which has been an important part of the recruitment for the school, affords eighth graders from local public and private schools the opportunity to look up close at NDP. During busy days, as many as 16 students visit from a myriad of institutions around The Valley. Parents of middle schoolers hop online to make a request for their child to shadow. The child fills out a short form describing their interests, and then the prospective Saint is assigned to a current freshman with similar interests.
Shadows arrive at 7:20 a.m. and begin their day in the life of an average student, attending all the same classes as their shadow host. Along with their Shadow Day, on Nov. 3 over 320 prospective students gained a feel for fine arts classes, athletics, and clubs when they gathered on campus with current student leaders, known as ambassadors, for Eighth Grade Day.
Regarding her first experience as a shadow host, freshman Reece Matson said, “I showed her (the shadow) the school and my classes. It was really fun because she actually enjoyed coming.”
During breaks, shadows usually tour the campus, visiting all the prominent NDP landmarks. Shadows receive a free lunch and an NDP Class of 2022 spirit shirt. Shadow hosts also hand write thank you cards for their shadows.
Middle school students attend the program in order to learn more about the school and hopefully get excited about their future career as an NDP Saint. Shadowing can have a significant impact upon students and a large portion of the current student body began their NDP journey as shadows.
Recounting her adventure as a shadow, NDP senior Caitlin Beers said, “I can still remember when I shadowed in eighth grade. Kaitlyn Smith took me to all her classes. We strummed guitars in the bleachers, had a free lunch, and played get-to-know-you games in her theology class. … There was a friendliness in the community that was enticing to me.”
From now through mid-February, NDP is thrilled to host over 300 shadows, which means six more weeks of winter.