Shadow Day


Be a Juggler for a Day: What to expect from a Shadow Day Visit

Life is full of big decisions. At the time, none seems more important than deciding where’s the right place for your student who’s ready to transfer to a different school.  While that decision may be a critical turning point in your student’s success, it doesn’t have to be difficult, frustrating, nerve-racking or exhausting. In fact, that is exactly why Notre Dame has made its Shadow Day program a realistic reflection of a day-in-the-life of a Notre Dame student. 

Shadow Day visits begin in mid-September and continue until mid-May. It’s easy to schedule a visit. Just contact Notre Dame. Don’t forget to check out what you need to know before you visit.

Before you make that phone call or send us an e-mail, here are the five must-see-to-believe Shadow Day experiences your student will enjoy at Notre Dame.

  1. PERSONALIZATION: No Student’s Visit is the Same

Every Notre Dame student has unique interests, abilities, and personal gifts. That’s why each Shadow Day is personally tailored to meet the needs and expectations of each prospective student.

  • What are your interests? When you schedule a shadow visit, our admissions team will ask your student about his or her academic and extracurricular interests. Why? That way we can best match prospective students with a student host.
  • Interested in NJROTC? Get paired with a student in our Nationally ranked unit, which has been named a Distinguished Unit with Honors for the past three years.
  • Shoot hoops? Play tennis? Love performing arts? We’ll team you up with a student who will introduce you to others with the same interests. You’ll be able to ask questions and get answers from students just like you.
  • Passionate about campus ministry? Learn more about Notre Dame's unique outreach programs to the community.
  • Time Challenged? While we recommend experiencing a full day at Notre Dame, we know sometimes busy schedules make it difficult. Partial-day visits can be arranged. And if you want to bring a friend, we’ll make sure both of your interests are addressed.
  1. REAL-LIFE: A True Notre Dame Day

It’s important that prospective students get a realistic feel for what their own Notre Dame experience might be like. That’s why we team students from the same grade. How do we make our Shadow Day as real as can be?

  • Follow Actual Class Schedules. Shadow students follow their host’s daily schedule, including attending their classes. Shadows experience typical classes, including Biology, Morality, World History, World Literature and more! Want to experience band, chorus, or an art class? Let us know!
  • What About Lunch? Read on…that one deserves a shout-out all its own.
  1. MEET & GREET: Students, Teachers, and Coaches

With almost 150 shadow students visiting Notre Dame each year, our students are accustomed to seeing prospective students in the halls, sitting among them in classes, or visiting clubs or athletic teams. “Hey, Shadow!” greetings, followed by high fives are not uncommon. We want to make sure you meet as many students as possible.

  • The Inside Scoop. We’re proud to say that our students really know each other—who plays what sport, who is passionate about particular subjects, who is a member of what club. This allows the student hosts to connect shadow students with other students who have similar interests.
  • Class Action. Our teachers enjoy meeting shadow students and involving them in class activities too. They won’t call you out—but if you want to jump in and participate, it’s all you!
  1. YOU DESERVE A BREAK: Lunch and Fun

There’s a lot to digest over the course of a school day, and shadow students and their hosts welcome a pause in the action. Time and again, we hear how prospective students say that the Notre Dame lunch program is a Shadow Day highlight.

  1. BE HEARD. We Want Your Feedback

Shadow Day doesn’t end once you leave Notre Dame. We want to hear from you, both students and parents.

  • We want to know how the day went.
  • Answer your questions.
  • Hear your student’s thoughts.

Are there more areas of interest your student wants to explore? We can arrange that.

To arrange a visitation day, parents should first obtain permission from your child’s present school. Parents should then call the Admissions Office at 315-749-7060 to set up a visitation day.

On the day of the visit, students are asked to:

  • Arrive at the main office between 7:50 and 8:00 a.m.

  • For boys, wear dress slacks, a shirt with collar, shoes and socks, and preferably a tie and/or sweater. For girls, wear a dress, or skirt/slacks with a shirt with a collar, a sweater or cardigan, if appropriate, and dress shoes.   Dresses and skirts must be at least knee length.  Jeans and/or sneakers are not allowed.

  • Bring gym clothes (sneakers, t-shirt, shorts, and athletic socks).

  • Arrange to be picked up at 1:55 p.m.