Inclusivity and Culture Self-Study

ISM survey opens April 12!

Given our commitment to diversity and inclusivity, and to help us further our efforts in this area, this spring Notre Dame will participate in an online survey from Independent School Management (ISM) regarding inclusivity and culture. The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) committee rolled out a comprehensive self-study and online survey. This two-part process engages our whole school community in a months-long in-depth evaluation of our inclusivity and multiculturalism.

It is designed to assist in strategic planning initiatives to build and sustain inclusive learning communities. The DE&I committee is implementing a two-part culture assessment. This two-part assessment includes a school self-assessment (qualitative element) from the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) and an online climate survey (quantitative element) from ISM.

PHASE 1: Committee Focus Groups

The first part of this process was NAIS’s self-assessment  that was conducted in the early part of 2021 and focused on all aspects of our school, including school life, school governance and leadership, and teaching and learning. Small focus-group committee discussions were facilitated by trained moderators. The committees discussed strategic questions related to a specific area of concentration (i.e. alumni, parents, etc.) and generated feedback that will be included in our assessment and shared with the entire school community at a later date.

PHASE II: Climate Survey

The second part of the process is ISM’s online survey which includes a confidential online assessment, which is administered to students, parents, board members, faculty, staff, and alumni. The assessment takes approximately 15-20 minutes to complete and is available beginning Monday, March 12.

Why Now?

The insights our school community will gain because of the NAIS and ISM’s assessment will shape and inform our programs and activities, allowing us to maintain a welcoming school environment and further our mission.

I am excited that we are able to take part in this very important work and grateful to the board committee and volunteers who have already spent a great deal of time, energy and effort to bring us to this point. You will be hearing more about the ISM survey in the coming weeks. In the meantime, if you have questions, please contact Kala Parker, director of diversity, at

As a Catholic school, we believe there is room for everybody. We were all created in the image and likeness of God and that we are all different for a reason.” – Andrew J. Guest, Head of School