Visitation students are confident thinkers, excellent writers, and fearless problem-solvers. Rooted in the liberal arts and sciences, our well-rounded college-preparatory curriculum nurtures these qualities and gives girls glimpses into subjects and fields that pique their curiosity and drive them to explore their passions.
We provide engaging electives that proactively enhance our traditional core subjects. Our classes are laboratories for questioning, where girls are challenged to grow and pushed to stretch their own boundaries. All classes emphasize hands-on lessons, real-world scenarios, and interdisciplinary collaboration. Many courses take advantage of our location in the nation’s capital, which allows students to relate their studies to the world.
Guided by experienced and passionate faculty, students feel comfortable and confident challenging, answering, discussing, learning, and laughing. Through group projects and constructive feedback, girls build relationships with their peers and teachers. Beyond simply learning dates and memorizing theories, classroom discussion inspires girls to tirelessly question and learn from one another.
Visi girls are analytical collaborators, eloquent speakers, and energetic self-advocates. In every discipline, students deepen their faith and knowledge and discover what they are capable of, all while having fun.
- Curriculum By Grade
- AP Courses
- Honors Courses
- Bridge Program with Georgetown University
- Online School for Girls via One Schoolhouse
Religion I: Scripture and the Revelation of Jesus Christ
Global Patterns of Civilization I: Ancient Peoples
Algebra I or Accelerated Geometry or Accelerated Math I
French I or Spanish I
Physical Education and Wellness
Aesthetics of Music and Art
Physical Education & Wellness
Learning Support & Strategies (by recommendation)
Religion II: The Mission of Jesus Christ and its Continuation in the Church
Global Patterns of Civilization II: Rise of the Modern World
or Honor European History
Geometry or Honors Elementary Functions or Algebra II
or Accelerated Math II
French II or Spanish II
Physical Education and Wellness
Religion III: Sacraments as Privileged Encounters with Christ and Catholic Social Teaching
Algebra II or Honors Elementary Functions or Precalculus or Accelerated Algebra II/Trigonometry
French III or Spanish III
Religion IV: Bioethics and Moral Decision Making
4 Academic Electives
Academically eligible students may qualify for admission to Advanced Placement courses.
AP American Government
AP Art History
AP Calculus AB
AP Calculus BC
AP Comparative Politics
AP Environmental Science
AP French Language and Culture
AP Language and Composition
AP Literature and Composition
AP Music Theory
AP Physics C: Mechanics
AP Spanish Language and Culture
AP Studio Art: 2-D Design
AP U.S. History
Qualified members of the senior class may participate in our Bridge Program with Georgetown University, which enables them to take college courses for a nominal fee. Classes taken by previous participants include: Multivariable Calculus, Microeconomics Principles, Intro to Philosophy, Intro to Proof/Problem Solving, Principles of Accounting, Intro to Cultural Anthropology, and Intro to Sociology.
Our students have dozens more courses to choose from through Online School for Girls, a program offered by the organization One Schoolhouse. In recent years, Visitation girls have been most interested in the AP Computer Science courses.
- Foreign Language
- History & Social Sciences
- Physical Education & Wellness
Our English classes develop students' close reading, writing, and discussion skills to be sure—but they also go well beyond this. Our four-year, vertically integrated curriculum nurtures girls' sense of wonder, awakens their appreciation for literature's expression of the human experience, and builds their confidence in their abilities. Our students learn how to read with both a critical eye and compassionate heart and how to communicate effectively verbally and through a wide range of written forms.
Featured Project:One of the most notable moments in our English program is the junior-year research paper, which helps girls learn to create a strong thesis statement and argument, conduct research, identify proper sources and cite them correctly, and write an in-depth research paper. In the process, juniors are taught and expected to use resources in Georgetown University’s Lauinger Library.
Our Foreign Language Department aims to give students the linguistic and cultural tools necessary to appreciate the richness of global diversity and embrace the challenges of living in a morally complex world. As a Salesian school, Visitation gives students opportunities to practice another language, while also practicing and cultivating respect, patience, curiosity, and gratitude for the many cultures and peoples around the globe. Freshmen can choose to study French or Spanish and must continue their language studies for at least three years, although most girls take four. Juniors and seniors may take Latin.
Through our chapter of the National Spanish Honor Society, nearly 20 students have won either the Bertie Green Travel Award (an all-expense-paid trip to a Spanish-speaking country) or a $1,000 college scholarship. More than 30 students have been published in the National Spanish Honor Society’s literary magazine, “Albricias.”
As a culminating project in the sophomore-level Honors European History, students examine the European refugee crisis from multiple perspectives to gain knowledge of modern Europe. By studying historic events, conducting research and original interviews, reviewing national and international news, and producing a final presentation for the class, girls come to understand the political, economic, and national security issues involved in the crisis and how historical events have shaped the present situation.
In Algebra, girls simulate businesses and consumers to learn about markup and profits. As businesses, half the class tries to sell more goods than their competitor-classmates, while still making the most profit possible. The other half of the class plays consumers trying to find the best deal. This provides girls with a fun way to learn about percent, markups, discounts, and budgets.
The Praxis Project allows all juniors to be servant leaders and explore social justice through the lens of Catholic Social Teaching. In small groups, they research and advocate for a social justice they are passionate about. Read our magazine story about the Praxis Project.
Exploring the Chesapeake Bay, slighshoting a water balloon at your Physics teacher, and dissecting a fetal pig are only three of the interactive labs that instill a love of science in Visi girls. Our Science Department fosters scientific curiosity in and out of the classroom that ignites and enhances students interest in STEAM fields. Many students discover an enjoyment of science in freshman and sophomore year and enroll in more science classes than required.
Physics First is the foundation of our science program. All freshmen take Conceptual Physics because physics gives girls a strong foundation for chemistry and biology and has a symbiotic relationship with Algebra, which freshmen also take. Girls love the class because it hands-on and fun! Read our magazine story on Physics First.
In addition to learning a variety of sports and fitness activities, students learn to work together and respect each individual’s role in reaching a common goal through Physical Education lessons and activities. In their Wellness classes, girls develop an understanding of how health is an essential element of physical, mental, spiritual, and social well-being. P.E. and Wellness are required classes in freshman and sophomore year.
Throughout all units, classes emphasize positive body image. We believe and teach that self worth does not come from a number on a scale. Everyone is unique, beautiful and made in the likeness of God.
The Technology Department supports students and faculty individually and with curricular needs. Students come to understand how technology impacts their lives both in and out of school in positive and negative ways. Girls learn to find balance in using technology effectively and appropriately.
Our 1:1 iPad program teaches students how to successfully integrate technology into their schoolwork and to become responsible digital citizens. Students especially love the note-taking apps and organizational tools. Many teachers use iPads and specific apps to enhance the classroom experience and advance research.
Every student explores the arts as freshmen in Aesthetics of Art and Music. Through this class and other electives, the Art Department (encompassing Visual and Performing Arts) fosters an open and respectful attitude toward people and ideas, an experimental and creative approach to the world, and an awareness of the joy of learning, thinking, and creating.Some Highlights
Arts classes are supported by many co-curriculars. Our annual student art show, judged by external arts experts and alumnae artists, features pieces from art students and non-art students. Our Chorus annually sings at diverse public venues, such as the National Cathedral, and is invited to private celebrations, including at the Capitol and Vice President's residence in recent years.
The Saint Bernard Library responds to the rapidly changing face of information -- the many avenues available to access it, the skills required to evaluate it, and the intentionality of using it ethically and responsibly. Through a wide variety of projects and experiences, a Visi student is well prepared for college-level research. She expects questions for which there are various answers and opinions and is critical yet open minded in her pursuit of knowledge.
Whether she is searching for background information for a student government speech or gathering data for an economics presentation, a student has access to an outstanding electronic and print collection: 13,000 volumes, periodicals, and DVDs, 2 daily newspapers, and multiple English, Spanish, and French language magazines. She is also only a few blocks away from Georgetown University's Lauinger Library should she want or need more resources.
Over 50 student-led clubs provide opportunities for girls to explore interests and build leadership skills.
Girls thrive in our classrooms because we understand how girls learn.
Our Campus Ministry and Christian Service programs help girls deepen their faith and put it into action.