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  Issue #250
                       August 22, 2014
Mission Statement
Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin is a Catholic,
co-educational, college preparatory school sponsored by the Sisters of Notre Dame.
Like Mary, who gave Christ to the world, NDCL educates leaders who transform the world, as Jesus did, by living the truth in love.
Core Values
Energy, enthusiasm, enhancements mark
beginning of new year of faith and learning
Our 702 students brought the NDCL campus back to life last week as we began a new year of faith and learning with the announcement of several initiatives to enhance our facilities and programs.
In a new approach for the first day, Principal Mr. Joseph A. Waler and assistant principals Mr. Vince Bonacci and Mrs. Denice Teeples met face-to-face with all students in grade-level meetings to brief them on these enhancements, including a new grading scale and related set of academic policies. Students took home printed documents about these policies to share with their parents.
Enhanced academic policies
Blended learning opportunities
Mobile computers almost tripled
Improved wireless throughout campus
Student-run Cardinal Credit Union branch
Students also learned about the status of McGarry Gym, which remains out of commission as work continues to repair roof and floor damage caused by a June thunderstorm.
Mr. Waler gave students a glimpse of the new computers we've purchased that nearly triple the number of mobile computers available for their use. He told them about significant infrastructure improvements that have greatly expanded wireless connectivity throughout the campus.
The administrators also introduced NDCL's initial plans for blended learning opportunities through the Blackboard online platform—the identical teaching and learning tool used at nearly every college and university our students will eventually attend. You can read more on our blended learning initiative below.
Finally, students learned about plans to open a student-run branch of the Cardinal Community Credit Union at NDCL later this fall. A group of students interested in business and business careers has taken the lead on this project.
The administrators' presentation was just one part of the students' first day's activities. In addition to starting all four of their Blue Day classes, they attended special presentations to learn about guidance and campus ministry programming directly related to their grade levels.

SMILIN' LIONS: Freshmen Matt Tuohey (left) and Josh Szabo enjoy Link Crew's welcome celebration for the Class of 2018.
LEADING THE WAY: Junior Tommy Laffey leads nearly 180 members of the Class of 2018 into Baker Gym for the start of the Link Crew freshman orientation last Wednesday. Following Tommy's lead are freshmen Brian Carney (center) and Julian Mangelluzzi.
WELCOME TO THE FAMILY: Seniors Jacqueline Vanek, Elizabeth Pona, Julianna Cirino, Katie Doubrava, and Mikayla Gress get acquainted with Miss Christie Fleming (third from left), who joins us as a campus minister.

THE BOYS ARE BACK IN TOWN: Collin O'Neill, Justin Black, and Mick Stanovsek reconnect in the corridor on the first day of their senior year.
LIFTING OUR HEARTS TO THE LORD: Father James Caddy, new NDCL chaplain, leads the school community in prayer during our Mass in Lion Stadium to celebrate the Assumption of Mary.
Meet our talented teachers on August 28
Plan to join us for NDCL's Meet the Teacher Night on Thursday, August 28, at 6:30 p.m. This popular event, which was announced in this summer's back-to-school mailing, gives parents the opportunity to meet their children's teachers as they experience an abbreviated version of the school day.
Parents will begin the evening in their children's Block 1 classes. Lists of locations and student guides will be available, so no one needs to worry about getting lost—or getting marked tardy!
Link Crew freshman transition program welcomes, supports Class of 2018
Enthusiastic cheers and high-fives from a crowd of upperclassmen and teachers greeted the members of our Class of 2018 when they walked through the doors of Baker Gym on Wednesday morning,  
This high-energy greeting celebrated the arrival our youngest Lions and the second year of Link Crew, a student-led transition program that links the incoming freshmen to juniors and seniors who will support them to succeed spiritually, academically, and socially throughout the year.
FIST BUMPS OF FRIENDSHIP: Freshman Joe Muzina (left) and junior Jimmy Tuohey take the lead in one of the group activities during the Link Crew freshman orientation last Wednesday. 
"We are thrilled about the Link Crew program," said Assistant Principal Mr. Vincent Bonacci. "It has a proven track record of success in high schools throughout the country and will continue to build upon the strengths of our community."
Mr. Bonacci, Director of Counseling Mrs. Rachel Siegel, and science teacher Mr. Nathan Smith serve as coordinators the program. 
Built on the belief that students can help other students succeed, Link Crew trains members of the junior and senior class to be year-long Link Leaders. As positive role models, Link Leaders motivate incoming freshmen and help them discover what it takes to be successful in high school.
"Link Crew empowers our juniors and seniors to take a vital leadership role within their school. Through Link Crew, they actively connect with incoming freshmen and support them throughout the entire school year," said Mrs. Rachel Siegel, Director of College, Counseling and Support Services. 
Freshmen, juniors and seniors enjoyed an action-packed day on Wednesday, including ice breakers, community-building activities, and the chance to find their classrooms and meet their teachers.
"It was a lot of fun and made me feel more confident," said freshman Bayley Stefanek. "My Link Leaders were nice, helpful, and took the time to show us around."
The freshmen will be linked to their mentors and meet once a month throughout the school year.
Senior Rachel Krevh enthusiastically praised the freshman class. "The freshmen were really excited and are so nice! This is my second year as a Link Leader, and I can see how Link Crew has already helped the freshmen in my small group make connections right away."
"I'm excited to have the opportunity to work with Link Crew, especially because I teach all freshmen and even have a freshman study hall. I look forward to helping them learn and grow during their first year of high school," said Mr. Smith.
Click here to view a slideshow of photos from Wednesday's Link Crew orientation.

School starts at 9:40 a.m. this Monday

As previously published in the school calendar, the school day will begin with Block 4 at 9:40 a.m. on Monday, August 25, to give teachers time to meet in their professional learning communities. Please note that we reverse the order of the classes on these monthly two-hour late starts to be sure that lunch occurs at a reasonable hour.

NDCL partners with Blackboard to engage
students, teachers, parents in online learning

Ask any college student, and you'll quickly learn that he or she is probably enrolled in courses where some or even all of their academic work is completed online. When recent graduates return to campus to share their stories as first-year college students, they always talk about how online learning complements their studies.
That's a key reason why NDCL has partnered with Blackboard, Inc., to give our students experience with the identical online learning platform used by thousands of colleges and universities worldwide. Schools using Blackboard include The Ohio State University, John Carroll University, Case Western Reserve University, Miami University of Ohio, Ohio University, Kent State University, University of Cincinnati, and University of Dayton.
Click the logo above to view a one-minute video of the educational vision and capabilities of the Blackboard learning management system.
Blackboard is a powerful digital toolkit that enhances learning by delivering media-rich content, facilitating monitored collaboration and communication, and providing speedy, focused feedback to students. NDCL teachers will use Blackboard to create units, lessons, and assessments that complement or extend the learning that occurs in their classrooms.
"Our own teachers will be in the driver's seat," explained Assistant Principal Mrs. Denice Teeples.  "Blackboard is not a package of 'canned' online courses. It's a platform for our teachers—and even our students—to develop online learning experiences."

Blackboard also provides tools for parent-teacher communication as well as for parents to check on their children's online learning activities. We will share these tools throughout the coming year.
To get started with the Blackboard platform, this year all teachers and students will participate in six "blended learning days" as shown on the school calendar. These days will "blend" classroom instruction with related online learning.

“This is not
blizzard bags. We’re not talking about pages of online worksheets for students
to fill in.”

Students will wor k on their online learning remotely, wherever they have access to the Internet. Teachers will be at school engaged in professional learning on the blended learning days. They will also be available to help students on these days through online office hours.

"This is not blizzard bags," Principal Mr. Joseph A. Waler emphasized. "We're not talking about pages of online worksheets for students to fill in."
"Blackboard is a sophisticated system that engages students in the way they prefer to be engaged—and that's digitally. They'll be able to access media, practice their skills, connect through posts and web conferencing, and take online quizzes or exams to measure their learning. It's really quite amazing and worth every dollar we've invested in the system."

Mr. Waler explained that blended learning days will serve as focal points or appetizers for the entire school community to get introduced to online learning.

"These are only our first steps. As teachers and students develop expertise with the Blackboard platform, the online learning experiences will be more fully integrated into day-to-day teaching and learning," he said. 
"Over time, the sharp lines between online and classroom instruction will naturally fade away."   

Counselors sponsor College Kickoff Monday
It's time for seniors and their parents to "think college!" Our Office of College, Counseling and Support Services will host a College Kickoff Night for all seniors and their parents on Monday, August 25, at 7:00 pm in the O'Brien Center.
The program will provide families with essential information to help them successfully navigate the college application process. Online registration is required.  
Our counselors will also offer an optional Naviance tutorial for parents at 6:00 pm, also in the O'Brien Center.

Freshman Community Retreat is Tuesday
Led by a team of trained seniors and members of our Link Crew, our freshmen will share in their first class retreat on Tuesday, August 26, on the NDCL campus. The theme for the retreat is NDCL's core value of community. Activities include the popular low-ropes course, prayerful reflection in small groups, and the celebration of the Eucharist.
Freshmen may dress down for the retreat according to the guidelines in the Parent-Student Handbook. A free lunch will be provided. The day will end at the normal dismissal time.
If you have any questions about the retreat, please contact campus minister Miss Christie Fleming.

Seniors gear up for college during App Fest
Nearly half of the senior class came to school in early August to prepare for the fall college application season during NDCL's Fourth Annual App Fest.
GETTING A HEAD START: Seniors Alex Fox and Kevin McMahon work on their college application essays during App Fest earlier this month.
Sponsored by our Office of College, Counseling & Support Services, App Fest gives seniors the opportunity to work with school counselors, college admission representatives, and recent NDCL alumni to receive tips on how to complete their college applications and craft compelling college essays.
Assisting at this year's program were admissions professionals from John Carroll, Case Western Reserve, Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute, Findlay, Hiram, Xavier, Heidelberg,  Ursuline, Gannon, and Allegheny.

Heinen’s donation program helps NDCL
Shopping at Heinen's will help NDCL if you join the Heinen's Tasteful Rewards program. Last year NDCL received more than $1,000 thanks to parents and other friends who enrolled in the program.
To enroll, visit Heinen's Tasteful Rewards program website. If you're already a member of the program, simply log on to your account and select NDCL from the drop-down list of participating schools. If you're not a member, it's the perfect time to enroll and start receiving benefits.
Even if you participated in the program last year, you must re-register your affiliation with NDCL by logging on to your account, clicking My Profile, and selecting NDCL from the drop-down list of participating schools. Be sure to click save before exiting your profile. The graphic below should help. Contact Heinen's Customer Relations with any questions at 216.475.2300, ext. 2337.

Sister Joanne Keppler named first director
of professional learning for NDCL, NDES
NDCL Principal Mr. Joseph A. Waler and Notre Dame Elementary School Principal Mrs. Barbara Doering recently appointed Sister Joanne Keppler, SND, as the first director of professional learning for both SND-sponsored schools on the Munson Township campus. Sister Joanne previously served as an assistant principal at NDCL.
Sister Joanne Keppler
The creation of the new professional learning position reflects the schools' shared commitment to the Educational Vision and Principles of the Sisters of Notre Dame, which include an emphasis on professional growth and collaborative efforts that assure the continuity of excellence of Notre Dame education through commitment, competence, and dedication.
As director of professional learning, Sister Joanne will work collaboratively with teachers to enhance their knowledge and skills of research-based ways to elevate student learning.
"Sister Joanne is the perfect person for this highly visible and critically important leadership role on our campus," Mr. Waler said. "She has a remarkable ability to translate complex research and emerging trends in ways that are relevant and practical for teachers." 

Register for broadcast text, voice messages
Parents and students need to register for NDCLink, the broadcast voice and text messaging system we use to announce such events as snow days and event cancellations.
We also use NDCLink for occasional reminders and announcements for students and their families. In addition, the system provides a swift and effective means of communicating with students and their families in the event of an emergency.
The registration process for NDCLink is simple. Just complete the secure registration form. We will upload the registration database soon, so please be sure to register by Wednesday, August 27.
This messaging system complements but does not replace other notification procedures already in place. We will continue to notify local TV stations of school closings.
You may register more than one telephone number for this service. For each number registered, you may choose to receive voice and/or text messages. Please note that we usually use voice messaging only to announce school closings. Other reminders and announcements will be sent via text message.
Of course, parents can always check NDCL's website for the latest school news and information.

Link Crew, freshmen to gather for tailgate
We welcome all freshmen to our Freshman-Link Crew Tailgate on Friday, August 29, prior to the NDCL vs. Willoughby South home football game.
Sponsored by our Link Crew (freshman transition program) and Campus Ministry, the tailgate gives freshmen the opportunity to bond with each other and connect with their Link Leaders. Activities include cornhole competitions, face painting, learning some fun crowd cheers for the game, and much more.
Food and beverages will be provided. The festivities kick off at 5:00 p.m. in the NDCL courtyard. See you there!  

25 students earned academic letters in May
Today we presented academic letters to 25 students who earned academic letters as a result of their academic performance in the fourth quarter of the previous school year. NDCL awards academic letters to students who achieve a 3.7 GPA for any three quarters of an academic year.
Congratulations to these students for their successful pursuit of our core value excellence:
Emma Baker
Jared Bottger
Erin  Brownlee
Isabella  Carlozzi
Lauren Ferrell
Thomas  Fogarty
Ryleigh Hufgard
Olivia Jereb
Erika Kobus
Molly Mamone
Mary  Mamone
Jessica  Melaragno
Emily Pannitto
Jazmin  Pappalardo
Sarah Rosenberg
Emily Slak
Paul  DuBois
Kaitlyn Kirchmeir
Marisa  Brownlee
Antall Nguyen

Anthony Dedic
Alexandra Gunner
Cole  Prots
Jacqueline Vanek

NetClassroom provides online access
to students current academic information
NetClassroom, the web-based software used by NDCL students and parents  for accessing grades, assignments, attendance, conduct and other academic information, is available by clicking the link that appears in the upper right-hand corner of every page on the NDCL website.
This week we mailed user IDs and passwords to families of all freshmen and transfer students. Because students keep the same login information for the duration of high school, returning students and their parents can access NetClassroom by using their user IDs and passwords from last year.
If you have any questions about NetClassroom, please email Assistant Principal Mrs. Denice Teeples or call her at 440.279.1065.

Hockey informational meeting on Wednesday
Any students—boys or girls—considering playing hockey this year should attend an informational meeting during activity block on Wednesday, August 27, in Room 116. Head coach Mr. Paul Bilyk will be on hand to share information about the team. Students unable to attend the meeting should see assistant coach Mr. Michael Suso for details. 

Mobile site offers quick access to NDCL info
Smartphone and tablet users can find a friendlier version of NDCL's website when they access our mobile site (m.ndcl.org).
The features of the mobile website mimic the features of the full site. Visitors can view the most popular portions of the website on their phones or mobile device without resizing the page or constantly scrolling.
Mobile users still have the option of viewing the desktop version website on their devices.