The Sisters of St. Ursula founded Notre Dame School in 1912 when they came to New York from France. The school was begun in their home and hence became known as chez nous, an affectionate way of referring to the school that has been a second home to generations of young women.
Originally located in Our Lady of Lourdes parish (West 142nd Street, near Amsterdam Avenue), the school was known as the Academy of Our Lady of Lourdes until the Sisters moved the school to West 79th St. in 1943. At that time the name of the school was changed to Notre Dame Convent School and after that to Notre Dame School.
In January 1989, the Sisters of St. Ursula sold the property and transferred the ownership of the school to an independent Board of Trustees. The following September the school opened at 104 St. Mark's Place in the East Village of New York City.
Strategic planning for the future of the school pointed to the need for a slightly larger student population to facilitate program changes relevant to the 21st century. To accommodate this modest growth and program changes, the school relocated in the spring of 2002 to 327 West 13th Street in Greenwich Village.
Notre Dame School continues to educate young girls in the Catholic tradition of Anne de Xainctonge who founded the Sisters of St. Ursula. She advocated an excellent Christian education for young women characterized by attention to each student and provided in a family-like atmosphere that prepares young women for lives of service in the spirit of the Gospel and leadership for the good of others. Today, these ideals are maintained by a staff of dedicated lay people and members of different religious congregations.