Community Impact in Uncertain Times: Notre Dame School of Milwaukee

May 21, 2020

This week we are featuring our client Notre Dame School of Milwaukee, a K4 – 8 grade school Catholic school sponsored by the School Sisters of Notre Dame (NDSM). With a successful capital campaign and $7M in New Markets Tax Credits (thank you Forward Community Investments and TriCity National Bank), NDSM is five-months into their project to revitalize the existing 1905 campus with new facilities and improved services for students in their co-ed primary school and expanded boys middle school.

As the COVID-19 health crisis emerged, the Administration, Staff, and Students and their Families at NDSM developed a plan to support one another and to ensure that the school continues to make a significant impact in the community it serves during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. While the school may be closed, NDSM teachers and staff are working hard behind the scenes to make sure students and families have as many tools and resources as NDSM is able to provide during this time.

Photo Credit: NDSM

*NDSM has distributed over 15,000 breakfasts and lunches to NDSM families since March 16. Patrick Landry, President, estimates that over 50% of NDSM families are unemployed, so this has been an essential priority.

*A five-week virtual summer school will be available for all NDSM students. This innovative response was developed as NDSM teachers find that they are getting through about ½ of their usual content in reading and math, so this five-week summer school will support students to enter the fall better prepared. So far, 500 students have enrolled in summer school!

*Landry has been visiting homes to drop off diapers, formula, and gift cards to NDSM families most in need.

*There is concern about rising COVID-19 positive cases amongst NDSM families. The school has been able to help these families with medicine, food, Gatorade, and supplies.

While NDSM is working hard to meet the needs of its students and their families daily, they are also very forward-focused as their school expansion is scheduled to be completed this fall. The school administrators and staff make plans daily to move in positive, new directions to best serve their students.

“The parent contact – interactions between parents, teachers, administrators – has been a huge blessing. For many families in need, our school has become the first point of contact. It shows the trust between the school and the parents. This has been an opportunity strengthen the home / school relationship.” – Patrick Landry, President

Want to help? Supporting students and families during this difficult time remains NDSM’s top priority. Check out NDSM’s COVID-19/Coronavirus response page where you can learn about ways to financially support this incredible organization as they live out their mission of fostering respect, responsibility, and sharing of personal talents while preparing students for admittance to a college preparatory high school.

Photo Credit: NDSM