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Program of Studies

Happy Students in Class

The Program of Studies is updated each spring prior to registration for the following school year. The academic program of each student at Georgetown Visitation is coordinated by the Academic Dean. Listed courses may be canceled if enrollment is too low.

Each student should familiarize herself with the expectations currently in effect within each academic area, including:

  • No more than two credits of the 21 may be taken in summer school.
  • Students who earn less than a C- in lower level language and math classes must repeat the course in summer school before returning to classes at Georgetown Visitation.
  • Credit earned in the 8th grade for a subject normally taken in grades 9-12 (e.g. Algebra I) may be counted toward fulfillment of the required courses after a placement test has established proficiency, but it will not reduce the over-all requirements of 21 credits for graduation from Georgetown Visitation.

Academic Program

Types of Diplomas

A. The College Preparatory Diploma requirements are:

    1. Twenty-one credits, 16 of which must be academic, with the following distribution:
      • 4 English
      • 4 Religion
      • 3 Lab Sciences
      • 3 Social Studies
      • 3 Mathematics
      • 3 Modern Languages OR 2 Modern Languages AND 2 Latin
      • 1 Fine Arts or Aesthetics
      • Speech
      • Physical Education

2. A final cumulative average of 2.0 must be earned to qualify for a College Preparatory Diploma. A student who at the end of her senior year has a cumulative average less than C (2.0) will be awarded a general diploma.

B. The General Diploma requirements are:

1. Eighteen credits with the following distribution:

      • 4 English
      • 4 Religion
      • 3 Social Sciences
      • 2.5 Mathematics
      • 2 Foreign Languages
      • 2 Lab Sciences
      • 1 Aesthetics
      • Speech
      • Physical Education

2. A final cumulative grade point average of 1.7 must be earned to receive a General Diploma.

If these requirements are not completed by June of the senior year, a student must complete academic work by the end of the next school year. After this time, the school will not grant a diploma to the student.

There will be no distinction at graduation or on college transcripts between students receiving College Preparatory Diplomas and those receiving General Diplomas.

Academic Recognition

A. Honor Roll

At the end of each trimester, students with a grade point average of 3.0 or above with no grade below C receive Second Honors. Students with a grade point average of 3.7 or above with no grade below C receive First Honors.

B. Clorivière Scholars

The top 20% of the junior and senior classes are designated Clorivière Scholars.

C. Cum Laude Society

Student membership is limited to 20% of the senior class who have demonstrated academic excellence in the college preparatory curriculum. Seniors who are in the top 10% of their class at the end of junior year are inducted into the Georgetown Visitation chapter in September of their senior year, and an additional 10% are admitted in June.

AP and Honors Elective Courses

Students considering admission to an AP/Honors level course are strongly encouraged to seek the advice of their current teacher in the discipline. Students may register for AP/Honors level course if they meet one of the following criteria in their current/most recent course in the discipline:

A. Have a simple weighted average of 3.3 in the school year to date.

B. Have the recommendation of the most recent teacher in the discipline if the weighted average is below 3.3.

C. Earn a final weighted grade of 3.3. Students in this category will be admitted to the course on a space-available basis.

Students who enroll in AP Courses will take the AP exam.

For students with accommodations in AP courses:

Students who have received College Board accommodations will have the approved accommodations for course assessments that are simulations of or practices for AP exams.

Students who have submitted documentation and are awaiting approval from the College Board will receive accommodations as requested of the College Board for course assessments that are simulations or practices.

Students who have accommodations at Georgetown Visitation but have not applied for or are denied accommodations by College Board will not receive accommodations.

For AP course assessments that are not simulations of or practices for AP exams, students with accommodations at Georgetown Visitation will follow the school policy.

Grades

Percentage Equivalents to Letter Grades:

A+ = 97-100

B+ = 87-89

C+ = 77-79

D+ = 67-69

A = 93-96

B = 83-86

C = 73-76

D = 63-66

A- = 90-92

B- = 80-82

C- = 70-72

F= 62 and below

GPA Equivalents to Letter Grades:

A+ = 4.3

B+ = 3.3

C+ = 2.3

D+ = 1.3

A = 4.0

B = 3.0

C = 2.0

D = 1.0

A- = 3.7

B- = 2.7

C- = 1.7

F = 0.0


Final Grades

Final grades reflect the numeric average of a student’s grades throughout the school year and are awarded at the end of the year. Only final grades, which appear as letter grades, appear on academic transcripts.

Weighted Grades

A grade in an Honors or Advanced Placement course is weighted 0.7 grade point more than a grade in a college preparatory course; Calculus receives a weight of 0.35. The course title on the report card and transcript indicate that the course is an Honors or AP course. The student’s report card and transcript reflect the grade earned in the course. The grade point average reflects the weighted numerical grade.

Our Program Includes

AP Courses

Honors Courses

Electives

Bridge Program with Georgetown University

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.

Online School for Girls via One Schoolhouse

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.

Departments

Religion

Philosophy

We believe in the importance of leading our students to know, love, and serve God; that an education rooted in Gospel teachings, Catholic tradition, virtue, and social justice will lead our students to become compassionate women of service. Mary’s actions at the Visitation are at the center of our department’s mission – to accept Jesus in our lives and to carry him to others.

Our program of study promotes an understanding of God, the teachings of Jesus Christ, and methods for integrating those teachings into one’s life. Students grow in their knowledge and understanding of Catholic theology while simultaneously developing a habit of critical and analytical thinking. Above all, we encourage our students to develop a personal relationship with God and to Live Jesus by reflecting God’s gentle strength in their interactions with others.

This freshmen curriculum offers students an introduction to Salvation History as it is revealed in Sacred Scripture.  Through their study of the Scripture students encounter the living Word of God, Jesus Christ. Students pay particular attention to the Gospels, They are introduced to what it means to be a disciple of Christ and what life as a disciple entails. In this course, students are first introduced to our Salesian heritage through a study of our founders, St. Jane de Chantal and St. Francis de Sales and an exploration of the Little Virtues and the Universal Call to Holiness.

The sophomore curriculum expands upon students’ introduction to Christology, focusing on how the Church was established by Christ to continue His saving work on earth.  Students receive an overview of salvation history. This study culminates in an exploration of Christ’s passion, death, and resurrection and ascension and its implications for the life of a believer. The course continues with a study of Ecclesiology, focusing on how the Church was established by Christ. Ecclesiology topics and doctrinal teachings are contextualized in their historical emergence over time. Students are introduced to the foundational elements of the Church’s identity: one, holy, catholic, and apostolic. The course explores the role of the Church in the world, and how it evaluates “signs of the times,” with significant attention paid to dialogue within the Church, with the state, and with other religions.

Sophomores contextualize Salesian spirituality in the larger narrative of the history of the Church. Students explore the spirituality of St. Francis de Sales and St. Jane de Chantal as well as the charisms of other Catholic  religious orders and their founders throughout our study of Church History. 

The junior curriculum focuses on encountering Christ in the sacraments, and in service and advocacy for others. There is an emphasis on sacramental theology and the social doctrine of the Church. Students examine the scriptural foundations for justice, followed by an historical overview of the Church’s social teaching, with a special emphasis on surveying the social encyclicals of the last 100 years and the recent pastoral letters of the U. S. bishops. Domestic and global issues of justice are then examined in light of Catholic social teaching. Using St. Jane de Chantal as a model, students connect the Universal Call to Holiness and the Salesian call to live in the present moment to their own lives, as they explore ways to use their gifts in service to others.

The senior curriculum focuses on ethics and moral decision-making. There is a primary emphasis on bioethics, which introduces students to the ethical and social implications of recent scientific advances in the fields of biology, medicine, and technology. Students are challenged to confront conventional attitudes on freedom, suffering, personhood, and dignity from a Catholic perspective. Students are given the opportunity to examine bioethical issues in the framework of the Gospels, philosophical  ethical systems, Salesian spirituality, and the social sciences. They examine moral decision-making and explore their own values and responsibilities as they grow as women in the Church.

English

PHILOSOPHY

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.

Through an introduction of the literary genres of short story, epic, drama, and novel, students learn to read for literal as well as figurative meanings. Class discussions encourage the sharing of ideas and impressions based on evidence from the text. Students work with literature-based vocabulary to enable them to communicate clearly as well as to prepare them for success on standardized tests. The course includes formal sequential instruction

Sophomore English presents a genre study of literary forms; short fiction, drama, novel, poetry. Grammar, vocabulary, and literary terms enhance and enrich the student’s communication and reading skills. Students will continue to develop writing skills with such assignments as comparative papers, poetry explications, and literary analyses. Students will also learn research skills and write a brief paper relating to the literature studied. The works studied in this course have included: Nine Stories, Sound and Sense (a poetry anthology), Rebecca, A Tale of Two Cities, Ethan Frome, A Separate Peace, Antigone, and Macbeth.

More rigorous than English II, this course will encourage students to take risks with their thinking and writing as they study the short story, drama, novel, and poetry. In addition, students will engage in daily grammar practice and continue to learn new vocabulary. This Honors course also includes an introduction to the rudiments of classical rhetoric and debate, through which they will get a glimpse of the AP Language course offered junior year. In addition to core reading selections for all sophomores, including Oedipus, Antigone, Macbeth, and A Tale of Two Cities, students will analyze speeches and satire and a wide variety of poetry and prose.

The goal of this sophomore level course is to enable students to speak with poise, ease and confidence in front of an audience. In addition to studying famous speeches in history, students will practice presenting various types of speeches and will learn to evaluate their own speeches and the speeches of others.

Junior English traces the chronological development of American literature from the 19th century Transcendentalists to the noteworthy Americans. Students will consider distinct literary periods and recurrent themes peculiar to American literature. In addition, juniors will refine critical writing and research skills culminating in the composition of a major research paper. Short story and poetry study will familiarize students with many authors and allow us to reinforce literary terms and devices. Major works include The Scarlet Letter, Huckleberry Finn, The Great Gatsby, Catcher in the Rye, The Things They Carried, In Cold Blood, The Glass Menagerie, and Their Eyes Were Watching God.

More intensive than English III, Honors English III offers a thorough exploration  of American literature. Working at a rigorous pace, students will hone critical writing skills by drafting a variety of essays, including a comprehensive research paper, which will adhere to Modern Language Association guidelines. In addition, honors students will study collegiate-level vocabulary. To sharpen their critical reading skills, students in this course will delve into various works of American literature, such as Self-Reliance, Walden, The Scarlet Letter, The Great Gatsby, Catcher in the Rye, and In Cold Blood. In addition to these works, students will read and study short stories and poems by major American authors and poets such as Edgar Allen Poe, Langston Hughes, Ralph Ellison, and Flannery O’Connor. In conjunction with assigned reading and writing, the honors course emphasizes the study of grammar as the foundation of the English  language.

AP Language and Composition students study rhetorical strategies and devices and apply  their learning in writing assignments, Socratic seminars, and a research paper. The AP Research paper, assigned at the start of the school year, is an interdisciplinary analysis of war, race or politics through a reading of  Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried, Richard Wright’s Native Sun, and Robert Penn Warren’s All the King’s Men. Because junior year in our curriculum is devoted to American literature, we read American fiction, while our non-fiction selections embrace a larger world. There is no overlap between AP Language in junior year and AP Literature in senior year; students may choose to take both courses. Primary source materials include The Scarlet Letter, Catcher in the Rye, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Great Gatsby, Death of a Salesman, Julius Caesar, and  nonfiction by George Orwell, Martin Luther King,Jr., Jonathan Swift, Henry David Thoreau, Nora Ephron, James Baldwin and many others.

Through close reading of both classic and contemporary fiction, the English IV course examines how virtue affects the pursuit of a good and happy life, how we define such a life, and how that definition relates to our own humanity. We also continue to work on skill development –both oral and written—focusing on elevating vocabulary, grammar, and rhetorical skills. Readings may include The Heart of the Matter, The Kite Runner, The Remains of the Day, Doctor Faustus, Frankenstein, Reading Lolita in Teheran, Brave New World, 1984, and a variety of essays and poetry.

This course engages students in a rigorous study of master works  of British Literature, from the Anglo Saxon period to the 20th century. In addition to mature, scholarly analysis  of prose, poetry, and drama, this  course reinforces and builds upon previous study of literature and composition and invites the students to recognize the universal themes and concerns that transcend the boundaries of geography.  Assignments will focus on honing critical reading and fluid, analytical writing skills as well as help them make important connections to their own lives, current events, and the world in which they live. Some of the major works include Beowulf, Grendel, Doctor Faustus, Frankenstein, Picture of Dorian Gray, 1984, Brave New World, Hamlet, and a variety  of supplemental essays and poetry.

The College Board suggests the following guidelines for an AP English course: “An AP course in Literature and Composition is a course emphasizing the skills in critical reading of imaginative and discursive literature and in writing about literature and related ideas. It is for students capable of doing college level work in high school. Students must be willing to devote the energy necessary to complete a course more rigorous and demanding than other English courses for the college-bound student.”

This AP course provides students the opportunity for in-depth study of selected masters of English literature (including Shakespeare, Milton, and Eliot) and of World literature (such as Ibsen, Danticat, Tolstoy and Camus). The selections should present a challenge to the student who reads with knowledge, sensitivity, and skill. This course also encourages independent study in areas related to the course. Primary source materials include such works as: Anna Karenina, Claire of the sea Light, Billy Budd, The Plague, Hamlet, Paradise Lost, Mrs. Dalloway, Frankenstein, An Enemy of the People, Brave New World, 1984,  Picture of Dorian Gray, “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” and poetry text An Introduction to Poetry. ed. Dana Gioia

Creative Writing has been designed to afford students the opportunity to try their hand at fiction, poetry, drama, and creative nonfiction, exploring the written word from the point of view of the writers' craft, instead of from the point of view of literary analysis. Exercises are assigned to inspire students to develop their own voices by both drawing on their own experience and drawing on models of established fiction writers, poets, and dramatists. Students "workshop" their drafts in a cooperative setting, and are expected to work through the process of drafting and revision in order to understand what it means to produce something according to time-honored aesthetic qualities. This process also helps students critique their own and others' works through forming a positive, affirming, and nurturing environment in the class. As the course proceeds, students build a portfolio of short fiction and poetry, wrapping the year up with a one-act play they "produce" using their friends from both inside and outside the class as actors. In addition, opportunities are offered for reading works aloud, both inside and outside class, and all students are encouraged to submit to both the Georgetowner and the annual Scholastic Student Writing Awards.

History & Social Sciences

PHILOSOPHY

The History and Social Sciences Department is committed to educating young women to be critical thinkers and engaged students of a pluralistic, democratic society within a complex global environment.

Teachers seek to cultivate a lively curiosity about the past so that students may better understand the present. To this end, courses emphasize the critical examination and evaluation of historical sources and social science data. The department fosters independent thinking, self-directed learning, and collaborative inquiry. Finally, it emphasizes the importance of analytical writing and effective oral communication.

In fulfilling the curricular goals of the History and Social Sciences Department, the Visitation graduate will:

  1. Examine diverse approaches to local, national and global issues and policies which have affected humankind from prehistory to the present;
  2. Acquire the cultural literacy necessary to confidently make informed judgments connecting past and current events;
  3. Understand government, politics, and economics in order to practice responsible citizenship and promote justice;
  4. Investigate the belief systems which have shaped our increasingly diverse and interdependent world;
  5. Appreciate the power of individuals in history in preparation for assuring a morally responsible position in society;
  6. Analyze patterns and consequences of the interaction among nations and cultures;
  7. Construct evidence-based arguments, oral and written, and engage in the exchange of ideas with clarity and conviction.

This freshman-level course provides an introduction to Western and non-Western civilizations from prehistory through the Renaissance. Students trace historical themes and identify global patterns in order to illuminate the origins of contemporary developments. A thematic approach allows students to compare ancient societies’ means of interacting with the environment, navigating cultural diversity, participating in global exchange, and adapting to technological change. Throughout the year, students will analyze and evaluate  a variety of primary and secondary sources, conduct research using library resources, and construct and support historical arguments.

This sophomore-level course explores world civilization since 1500. Students consider the consequences of cultural, political, and commercial interactions, including the Columbian Exchange and the Triangular Trade. Students compare the worldviews and social and governmental structures that characterized western Europe, China, and the Islamic empires during the early modern era. Next, students examine the nineteenth-century ideologies that sparked a new age of imperialism and nationalism, culminating in the world wars. Finally, students trace the origins of the Cold War and twentieth-century decolonization movements. Through simulations and Socratic seminars, students identify patterns and articulate themes. Students hone their ability to construct historical arguments by evaluating diverse sources of information and synthesizing them in essays and presentations. For the final project, each student researches an individual who made a significant impact on the world and reflects on the attributes that facilitated his or her success.

The broad scope of this college-level course addresses the major trends in European political, economic, intellectual, cultural, and social history from the Renaissance to the present. Students are expected to develop an understanding of the dialectic  of change as it affected movements and trends in European life during the past six centuries. This course entails a high volume of reading and requires students to grapple independently with a college-level textbook. Strong reading comprehension skills and a well-developed vocabulary are essential. Students who have mastered the synthesis required in the ninth-grade document-based essay will be pressed to examine more complex documents and to raise their analytical thinking skills to the next level. Considerable attention is given to developing the ability to construct historical arguments in oral discussion and presentation and to write thorough, well-organized and well-informed essays. Primary sources are used extensively.

This required junior-level survey course is organized chronologically, from the arrival of European explorers and settlers through the the election of President Trump. Its main themes are American exceptionalism, the role of religion and race in American life, regional differences, and the idea of the frontier in shaping American identity and self-image.  Students develop an understanding of key constitutional provisions and economic factors that have influenced American history.  The course considers  the impact of demographic, social and geographic forces and analyzes the effects of watershed events and laws. In addition to the textbook, students use primary sources, databases and independent research in their studies and in writing a Spring-time research paper. Students begin to analyze the current character of America, based on their studies of the events, trends and personalities in her past.

This College Board designed course provides a survey of American history from the pre-Columbian period to the present in preparation for the required Advanced Placement exam. In addition to exploring key topics in government, economics, culture, and foreign relations, students will trace the “peopling” of the North American continent, Americans’ interactions with their environment, the evolution of a unique American identity, and the consequences of technological change. This course entails a high volume of reading and requires students to grapple independently with a college-level textbook. Strong reading comprehension skills and a well-developed vocabulary are essential, as is the ability to think conceptually in order to construct the “big picture.” Students who have excelled at composing the traditional five-paragraph essay will be challenged to master more complex writing formats. Primary and secondary sources are used extensively.

This College Board designed curriculum encompasses the study of the founding, institutions and political processes of American government along with the basic concepts of the discipline of political science. The founding and principles of American government will be examined and analyzed using primary source documents such as the Federalist Papers. Issues of civil liberties and civil rights will be examined in the context of the U.S. Constitution, as well as in the current context of minorities and gender. Key institutions of American government—Congress, the President, the Judicial branch and the Bureaucracy—will be examined in the context of checks and balances and separation of powers. Students will evaluate the role of the citizens in the political process, including elections, political parties, the political culture and the role of public opinion and they will study the complexity of the policy process especially with regard to economic and foreign policy. Throughout the year, students will learn to accurately identify, define and apply political terms in preparation for the mandatory AP exam. Finally, the issue of American democracy or “Who rules to what ends?” will serve as a theme throughout the course. Beyond preparation for a successful national exam result, the student will become an astute observer of the American political system and elections. Two college texts and a reading of daily news stories are required.

Economic issues have taken center stage in our political debates, and books like Freakonomics apply economic perspectives  to all aspects of human behavior. This course will familiarize students with economic principles ranging from the behavior of national markets to  individual cost-benefit decisions. After an introduction to basic economic  principles (such as supply-and-demand and the multiplier), the course moves to macroeconomic ideas like inflation, unemployment, capital markets, taxes and even Bitcoin. The course then moves beyond a basic macroeconomics curriculum, to explore questions including behavioral economics, recent structural changes in our economy, and international and developmental economics. Unlike Macroeconomics courses in college, no specialized mathematics skills (or even calculators) are required.

This College Board designed curriculum encompasses the study of government and politics of United Kingdom, Mexico, Russia, China, Nigeria, and Iran. General political science concepts will be used to interpret the key political, social, and economic relationships found in virtually all nation-states. Students engage in the comparative method to formulate ideas, test theories, and evaluate the dynamics of public policy. Particular attention is devoted to the application of political reality, thus daily and/or weekly readings of The Economist, The Washington Post, and/or The New York Times are assigned. The impact of globalization is studied through the domestic and foreign affairs policies of each nation. The ever increasing role and impact of supranational organizations such as the World Trade Organization and the European Union upon nation-states is studied. The AP exam is mandatory for all students. Beyond preparation for a successful national exam result, the student establishes herself as an astute observer of various regimes systems and global politics.

This College Board designed curriculum introduces students to the scientific study of the behavior and mental processes of human beings. Students are exposed to the psychological facts, principles, and phenomena associated with each of the major subfields within psychology. Students will learn to critically evaluate research relevant to each content area and to explore how research design drives the reasonable conclusions that can be drawn in each field. Projects that allow students to apply content first hand will be assigned each quarter, allowing each student to take an active part in forming her own questions and analysis in preparation for the Advanced Placement exam in May.

Prerequisite: Completion of Algebra II

Mathematics

PHILOSOPHY

The Mathematics Department strives to provide a program in which each student is challenged according to her ability to develop facility in using mathematical skills. This program has a two-fold goal: an immediate one of preparing each student for future courses in mathematics and related disciplines; and a long-range one of bringing her to a level of mathematical knowledge and competence which will empower her to be a problem solver in the midst of our rapidly changing and morally complex world.

Each level of mathematics emphasizes the acquisition of basic and complex skills, clarity and precision of language, and effective techniques for solving problems and writing proofs.

Students in mathematics courses will:

  1. Demonstrate the requisite skills and conceptual understanding which prepare her to advance in mathematics and other related disciplines beyond high school;
  2. Use appropriate mathematical terminology in written and oral communication for both independent and collaborative learning;
  3. Take risks and offer ideas when problem solving;
  4. Demonstrate personal integrity and honesty by taking ownership of their individual work, by living the honor code, and encouraging others to do the same.

Depending on a student's level of math education when she enters Visitation, we offer a number of different learning pathways:


This course is a study of algebraic concepts and their applications with emphasis on skill development and problem solving. Students are encouraged to develop precise and accurate habits of mathematical expression.

This course begins with a review of algebraic concepts, with emphasis on complete mastery of skills and understanding of relevant applications. The Accelerated Math I course concentrates on Algebra I topics and concepts generally studied during the first semester of Algebra II. This is the first of a two-year sequence of courses in which Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II will be covered.

Prerequisite: Math Department Recommendation                                       

Note: A student with a final grade lower than a B- will be placed in Geometry sophomore year.

The first trimester of this course emphasizes concepts and skills in the following algebraic topics needed for successful completion of higher level mathematics: factoring polynomials, rational expressions, solving quadratic equations, and graphs of linear equations. Plane Euclidean Geometry is studied for the remainder of the year with emphasis placed upon deductive reasoning, the logical nature of math, formal proof, and measurement. In the third trimester, students learn how to use spreadsheets to analyze data and perform numerical experiments.

Prerequisite: Math Department Recommendation

Postulates and theorems are studied in the context of formal proof. Applications of postulates and theorems in problem solving involving points, lines, planes, triangles, quadrilaterals, circles, and 3-dimensional shapes are emphasized. Statistics topics such as data analysis and basic probability will be studied as well.

This is the second year of the Accelerated Math I-II sequence. The topics of Euclidean Geometry with emphasis on deductive reasoning are first covered, followed by the remaining topics of Algebra II. With successful completion, students will be eligible to enroll in Pre-Calculus as the next course in their study of Mathematics.

Grade Prerequisite: B- or higher in Accelerated Math I

This course is a comprehensive program preparing students to use advanced algebra skills and concepts that will be required for Pre-Calculus/Calculus. It includes a study of functions, systems of equations, inequalities, polynomials, rational expressions, radicals, logarithms, complex numbers, and matrix operations.

This is the first course in the Math Honors Program. It treats the elementary functions which are differentiated and integrated in Calculus. These include the polynomial, exponential, logarithmic, rational, irrational, and algebraic functions. The course also covers systems, higher degree functions, complex numbers, and sequences and series. There is an emphasis on using the functions as mathematical models for real-world applications.

Grade Prerequisite: Teacher recommendation from Accelerated Geometry or B+ in Algebra and Geometry

First trimester emphasis will be on advanced algebra concepts required for success in calculus. Second trimester will complete the concentrated study of algebraic, exponential, and logarithmic functions followed by the third trimester study of trigonometry.

Grade Prerequisite: B+ in Geometry and in second semester of Algebra

This course will introduce all of the core concepts of Pre-Calculus, covering all the Algebraic, Exponential and Logarithmic and Trigonometric functions. Then the course will study how each of these topics can be leveraged and applied to solve problems in building design, music theory, art and more. Students will gain an appreciation for how upper level mathematics underpins so many of the current developments in technology and problem solving in our modern world.

The first trimester continues the work of the Algebra II sequence; the emphasis is the study of trigonometry. Understanding is enhanced through the extensive use of the graphing calculator. The second and third trimesters include a review of exponential and logarithmic functions, graphing techniques, a study of conic sections, and sequences and series.

Grade Prerequisite: B or higher in Algebra II

This is the second course in the Honors Program sequence. Its objective is to provide the student with a thorough grounding in pre-calculus mathematics, as well as to introduce the student to other topics which are pursued in non-calculus college mathematics courses. The first trimester is devoted to trigonometry. The second and third trimester topics include advanced function theory, polar and parametric functions, analytic geometry, probability, sequences and series, and an introduction to calculus.

Grade Prerequisite: Completion of Honors Elementary Functions or teacher recommendation from Accelerated Math II

AP Calculus is the third course in the Honors Program sequence for those highly motivated students who have completed Pre-Calculus in their junior year. The AP Calculus AB course covers topics from limits and continuity of functions through derivatives and integrals, both with applications.

Grade Prerequisite: B+ in Pre-Calculus or Honors Pre-Calculus and teacher recommendation

This covers all the same material from AP Calculus AB and goes further with methods of integration, infinite sequences and series, and parametric, vector, and polar functions. Both courses emphasize a multi-representational approach to calculus, with concepts, problems and results being expressed graphically, numerically, analytically, and verbally.
Grade Prerequisite: B+ in Honors Pre-Calculus and teacher recommendation

This course is offered to seniors who completed Pre-Calculus or Algebra II/Trigonometry in their junior year. The course includes a brief review of elementary functions and an introduction to limits. The study of differential calculus includes techniques of differentiation, analysis of functions, and applications of the derivative .In integral calculus, the course covers techniques of integration and applications of  area and volume. The course is weighted as an Honors course with an additional 0.35.
Grade Prerequisite: Completion of Pre-Calculus or B or higher in Accelerated Algebra II/Trig

AP Statistics is an honors course for students who have completed a course that included trigonometry. The course involves extensive use of graphing calculators to analyze data with histograms, regression lines, and statistical procedures. Computer web applications will be used to simulate long-run probabilities and distributions. Solutions to statistics problems include numerical computations as well as thorough verbal explanations.  Several units of study include cooperative learning and labs/projects.

Grade Prerequisite: Completion or simultaneously taking Pre-Calculus  or Accelerated Algebra II/Trigonometry

Science

PHILOSOPHY

As St. Francis de Sales, one of the most representative of Renaissance men, had an excellent command of the knowledge which marked his time, so it is our hope to instill in our students a knowledge of science and its importance to the world in which we live.

The aim of the Science Department is to inculcate in students a deep respect for and a continued interest in science, to instill an appreciation of the work of scientists, and to develop an attitude that expresses this respect and appreciation.

Through our science curriculum, students will be able to:

  1. Understand fundamental scientific concepts and principles in core scientific disciplines and integrate content across the sciences;
  2. Demonstrate practical skills and techniques, inquiry-based methods, and quantitative reasoning that enables independence in solving problems and conducting scientific investigations;
  3. Think critically and skeptically in assessing claims, data, evidence, methods, and conclusions, especially in relation to information and reports in the media, and in recognizing that the scientific process is a social and human enterprise;
  4. Make meaningful connections between scientific concepts and society, in order to highlight the relevance of science, to communicate thoughtfully about science, and to encourage lifelong interest in science;
  5. Appreciate the wonder and mystery of the natural world, inspired by the vastness of the universe, the constancy of physical laws, the openness of the future, and the magnificent diversity and unity of life.

We hope to make the students aware of the problems of society which are related to science and to guide them in analyzing these problems using their knowledge of science and the moral principles to which they adhere.

Our science program begins with Conceptual Physics and continues with Chemistry followed by Biology. These are required courses. Physics offers concrete concepts that are easily understood by younger students because it is about the physical world around them. Physics is also the most fundamental science. Conceptual Physics introduces basic terms and ideas that will be used later in chemistry and biology. Conceptual Physics will help develop students’ critical thinking skills and enhance their scientific experience and literacy.

This course is designed to provide an engaging and hands-on introduction to physics. Emphasis will be on understanding physics concepts rather than on mathematical computations. Topics covered will include classical mechanics, energy, heat, sound and light, electricity and magnetism, and properties of matter. The scientific method, problem solving strategies, and use of technology will be reinforced in the laboratories. Students will develop skills in taking, recording, and analyzing data. This course will provide a foundation for the continued study of science in chemistry and biology.

The aim of this general biology course is to understand life and the life processes by learning the unifying principles and concepts applicable to all life forms. Areas of study will include biochemistry, genetics, physiology, evolution and ecology. In a laboratory setting, the student is encouraged to independently set up her investigations and draw conclusions.

Prerequisite: Chemistry

This course is designed to highlight an area of special interest to all who have taken the Biology I course, the human body. The study of human anatomy and physiology is made coherent and logical by the use of three integrating themes. These are: the interrelationships of body organ systems for regulatory purposes; homeostasis, which involves the normal and most desirable condition of body functioning; and the prerequisite study of an organ, tissue, or cell followed by the comprehension of its function. The course will also explore many current issues that impact the body’s functions.  

Genetics is a rapidly advancing field which has become increasingly important in medicine and everyday life. Through this course, students learn how diseases and traits are inherited and how DNA controls life processes. In the part of the course dealing with inheritance, students will learn how the probability of having children with specific traits or diseases depends on the parent’s genetic composition. In the DNA section of the course, students will gain insight into how these genes work at the molecular level. This section will emphasize the various lab techniques used to manipulate DNA in order to clone or isolate genes. The role of mutations in causing disease will be used to show how DNA directly affects our health and characteristics. The internet will play an integral part of the course, in addition to the class notes and the text. This course is recommended for students considering a career in the health services.

Prerequisite: Biology

This course is designed as an introduction to the concepts of chemistry, including atomic structure and bonding, states of matter, stoichiometry, the periodic table, kinetics and equilibrium, redox and electrochemistry, acids and bases, and nuclear chemistry. It is experimentally oriented and emphasizes the use of theory acquired in lecture to draw valid conclusions in lab.

Prerequisite: Conceptual Physics

This course covers the same concepts as Chemistry, but it is more mathematically challenging and moves at a faster pace. In addition, there is an introduction to organic chemistry. The course emphasizes quantitative laboratory experimentation and discovery methods.

Grade Prerequisite:  B+ in Conceptual Physics and B+ in Algebra I or B- in Accelerated Math I/Accelerated Geometry

The AP Physics C course is designed to be the equivalent of a college introductory physics course for science and engineering students. Students will become familiar with the content and the process of the scientific method through laboratory experiments, hands-on activities, problems, and demonstrations. The general area of study covered will be Newtonian Mechanics.  Students will take the AP Physics C exam.

Co-requisite: Calculus
Grade Prerequisite: B+ in Pre-Calculus or B- in Honors Elementary
Functions or B- in Honors Pre-Calculus

The AP Biology course is designed to be the equivalent of a college introductory biology course. Three general areas of study will be covered molecules and cells; heredity and evolution; and organisms and populations. The learned concepts will be reinforced through investigation in the laboratory component of the course. Data analyses may include the use of Excel to evaluate statistical significance and the use of programming to model evolution. Students will take the AP Biology exam.

Prerequisite: Chemistry
Grade Prerequisite:  B+ in current non-Honors/AP science course or B- in current Honors/AP science course.

This course is equivalent to a college-level General Chemistry course. The following topics will be stressed: descriptive inorganic chemistry, atomic and molecular structure, acid-base reactions, oxidation-reduction reactions, chemical bonding, stoichiometry, solution chemistry, chemical equilibrium, chemical kinetics, electrochemistry, and states of matter. An introduction to organic and nuclear chemistry will be given. Students will take the AP Chemistry Exam.

Prerequisite: Chemistry
Grade Prerequisite: B+ in Chemistry or B- in Honors Chemistry; B+ in Pre-Calculus or B- in Honors Elementary Functions

This course will take an interdisciplinary approach to exploring the inner workings of our nervous system. Beginning with a molecular and cellular perspective, we will examine the development and complex operations of cellular components of our nervous system, from the molecules within specialized cells, synaptic connections and communication within neural circuits and the physiological and behavioral outcomes of these interactions. Also discussed is the concept of neuroplasticity and its influence on the expression of our unique individual differences. In addition, we will explore how genetic and environmental influences contribute to diversity as a human species.

Prerequisite: Biology

Environmental Science is the interdisciplinary study of how humanity interacts with the natural world – Earth’s life support systems. This AP course is designed to be the equivalent of an introductory college-level course in environmental science with a regular investigative component. Students will employ scientific concepts and methodologies to understand the natural world; analyze complex environmental issues from an interdisciplinary perspective; and examine innovative solutions to environmental problems that promote sustainability. Topics include ecology, earth systems, food and agriculture, population dynamics, energy, urbanization, consumer society, global climate change, natural resources (e.g. water, air, soil, land, minerals), biodiversity, pollution, wastes, health and toxicology. Students will take the AP Environmental Science exam.

Prerequisite: Biology or concurrent course in AP Biology (seniors)
Grade Prerequisite:  B+ in current non-Honors/AP science course or B- in current Honors/AP science course.

Foreign Language

PHILOSOPHY

The goal of the Foreign Language Department is to give students the linguistic and cultural tools necessary to appreciate the richness of global diversity and to embrace the challenges of living in a morally complex world. Our philosophy rests on the belief that language is the primary manifestation of culture and that there are four integrated skills of effective communication - listening, speaking, reading and writing. Therefore, we endeavor to create cultural environments in which instruction and communication are in the target language, using a full range of multisensory methods. The essential 21st century skills of critical thinking, collaboration, creative problem solving and adaptability are foundational to our program.

As a result of active engagement in the study of a foreign language, students will:

  1. Exhibit resourcefulness and willingness to take risks, to experiment and to cope with ambiguity;
  2. Show knowledge of and appreciation for world cultures, ancient and modern, leading to a better understanding of those cultures and of their own;
  3. Function as effective speakers, listeners, readers and writers who can communicate increasingly well with the non-English speaking world;
  4. Develop the linguistic skills and sensitivities necessary to engage in future language learning;
  5. Demonstrate an interest in continued exploration of world literatures and global issues.

MODERN LANGUAGES: Students begin their modern language study in the freshman year with a choice of French or Spanish. Three years of study is required; however, a fourth year elective course is strongly recommended.

LATIN: The two-year Latin program is taken by juniors and seniors as an alternative to a third year of French or Spanish, usually at the recommendation of the student's second-year teacher. Juniors and seniors who are concurrently studying a modern language may take Latin as an elective for one or two years.

This course presents basic grammatical structures in an integrated program aimed at developing the four language skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Students are also introduced to French geography, culture, traditions, and customs.

This course continues the work of French I with increasing emphasis on communication in the target language. The parallel development of the four language skills is stressed. The course includes a review of French I structures, an introduction to an application of second-year grammar, and the expansion of active and passive vocabulary. Students will also gain knowledge and understanding of the cultures of the Francophone world.

During the year, all grammatical structures and verb tenses introduced in French I and II are reviewed, and new structures are learned. The student learns to use a wide range of vocabulary and, at the end of the course, should be able to communicate in French in a variety of situations. The student continues to build on her knowledge of French culture through readings, videos and project research. The student is required to write paragraphs and short compositions and to make oral presentations in French. The course is conducted primarily in French.

This is a rigorous course intended to prepare a highly motivated student for a fourth-year Honors course in French culture and literature or the Advanced Placement course in French language and culture. To that end, the grammar of French I and II is reviewed while remaining intermediate-level structures are acquired. The student improves pronunciation, intonation and rhythm of speech in reading and free expression, and she works to perfect spelling and composition. The student expands her active vocabulary and learns to paraphrase in order to avoid the use of English. The class is conducted entirely in French.

This is an elective course designed for self-motivated students who wish to work at the college level. Students will take an active role in the learning process as they continue to develop in all skill areas: listening comprehension, speaking, reading and writing. Emphasis is placed on mastery of grammar and expansion of vocabulary and their application to original expression. Students will gain further insights into French-speaking cultures by engaging with authentic language materials from a variety of sources. There are opportunities for both individual and collaborative work. The class is conducted primarily in French.

This course is designed for the highly-motivated student who wishes to prepare herself to do work at an advanced level. The course is an introduction to the highlights of French history and francophone literature. The student reads to understand and appreciate the literature, writes on literary as well as non-literary topics, and works toward oral fluency in class discussions and formal presentations. Grammar structures from French II and III are reviewed and more advanced points of grammar learned. The class is conducted entirely in French.

This course presents basic grammatical structures in an integrated program aimed at developing the four language skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. This course is intended to develop the ability to communicate in the Spanish language as well as an understanding of the various Spanish-speaking cultures. The student is expected to learn to pronounce all the sounds correctly, to use and write the forms of simple verb tenses in sentences and short paragraphs, and to develop fundamental speaking skills needed to communicate with a native speaker.

This course continues the work of Spanish I with increasing emphasis on oral and written communication in Spanish. The parallel development of the four language skills is stressed as is the continued study of Hispanic culture. The course includes a review of Spanish I structures, the presentation of new verb tenses and other structures of grammar, and the expansion of active and passive vocabulary.

During the year, all grammatical structures and verb tenses introduced in Spanish I and II are reviewed; and new structures are learned. The student learns to use a wide range of vocabulary and, whenever possible, she learns synonyms and antonyms for the vocabulary listed in the texts. The student continues to build on her knowledge of Spanish culture through readings, listening exercises, videos, and project research. Students will create video speaking samples on their iPads each trimester. At the end of the course, the student should be able to communicate in Spanish in a variety of situations. The course is conducted in Spanish.

This rigorous course is meant to prepare the highly-motivated student for a fourth-year Honors course or the Advanced Placement course in Spanish language and culture. To that end, the grammar of Spanish I and II is reviewed while remaining intermediate structures are acquired. The student expands her active vocabulary and learns to paraphrase in Spanish. She furthers her knowledge of Hispanic culture through readings, short films, videos and songs in Spanish. IPads will be used for virtual visits to museums and cities and for video speaking samples. Students will make individual oral presentations to the class each semester. The class is conducted entirely in Spanish.

This is an elective course designed for the self-motivated student who plans to continue her study of Spanish at the college level. Students will take an active role in the learning process as they continue to develop in all skill areas– listening comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing. Students will gain further insight into Spanish-speaking cultures by engaging with authentic language materials from a variety of sources. This course is conducted primarily in Spanish and is not designed for native speakers of Spanish.

This course is intended for the highly motivated student who wishes to work at an advanced level. The course presents an overview of major topics in Spanish literature and culture, both Peninsular and Latin American. This includes poetry, short stories, films, and excerpts from novels, and plays. The students will review grammatical structures and learn more advanced points of grammar as well as more advanced vocabulary. Students work toward oral and written fluency in class discussions and by writing on literary as well as non-literary topics. The class is conducted in Spanish.

This basic course  introduces the student to the fundamental structure of languages as well as to the influence of Latin on English and the Romance languages. An introduction to classical mythology and Roman culture is integrated with language learning. A thorough study of vocabulary, morphology, and syntax gradually leads to a facility in reading Latin and to a better understanding of the mechanics of English.

This course is a continuation of the first year Latin course emphasizing  mastery of vocabulary and grammar. More complex syntax is introduced, and the Latin passages to be translated are longer and of greater literary value. Activities highlight the uses of Latin in the modern world. In the latter half of the third trimester, students pursue individual topics of interest through guided research culminating in a final paper and a creative presentation.

The College Board suggests the following guidelines for an Advanced Placement course in French/Spanish language: “The students who enroll should already have a strong command of grammar and vocabulary and have competence in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Most will be in the final stages of their secondary school training.” The course emphasizes the use of language for active communication through the study of six overarching themes and has as its objectives the development of

I.        The ability to understand the spoken language in a variety of contexts;

II.      A vocabulary sufficiently ample for reading newspaper and magazine articles, literary texts, and other non-technical writings;

III.    The ability to express oneself coherently, resourcefully, and with reasonable fluency and accuracy in both writing and speaking.

The AP French/Spanish Language and Culture courses are designed to achieve proficiency at the high intermediate level.

Arts

The Arts consist of both visual arts and music. As a result of taking courses in the Art, students will be able to:

  1. Interpret and discuss musical arrangements with the proper vocabulary;
  2. Critique works of art from various movements;
  3. Design aesthetically pleasing works of art which have original concepts;
  4. Solve design problems considering color, theory and composition.

VISUAL ARTS PHILOSOPHY

The values we endeavor to impart are an open and respectful attitude toward people and ideas; an experimental and creative approach to any materials; a strong sense of the discipline and effort required to achieve results; the importance of careful organization, clear analytical thinking, and well-focused goals; and an awareness of the joy of learning, thinking, creating.

MUSIC PHILOSOPHY

Music is a vital part of our school community. While serving to stimulate and develop artistry among the students, Visitation’s performances contribute to the broader life of the school. The year is punctuated by choral and orchestral concerts, dramatic and musical theater productions, Masses, and special performances that highlight important school events. Our music program is dedicated to artistic excellence, commitment, discipline, personal fulfillment, and meaningfully serving our community.

Aesthetics of Art is a course that teaches the basic elements of art. It is designed to develop the visual skills of the student. It includes exploring various mediums from several art movements. This is achieved by viewing works of art through slides, videos, movies and film clips, the internet, and a field trip to The National Gallery.

Aesthetics of Music is a course designed to develop a student’s listening skills and her appreciation for the expressive potential of music. Students are introduced to the elements of music and investigate musical styles and genres as they study great works of music from the Middle Ages through the 20th Century.

In Studio Art I, students explore a variety of techniques used by artists and designers in many areas of art and design. Important principles and concepts are discussed, and projects are assigned to give the students experiences using these principles and concepts. Various media are explored as the course progresses. Basic techniques of drawing, painting, ceramics, and other techniques are demonstrated and then practiced by each student. Emphasis is on good design, creative imagery, and skillful technique.

Basic concepts and techniques covered in Studio Art I are further developed. Some new media is explored. Emphasis is put on originality, creativity, quality, and special interest projects. Preparation for a portfolio is discussed and organized.

This course is ideal for artists who want to build a body of work and have it catalogued and ready for review for art schools. The class will meet four days a week and is a year-long course. Using the latest technology, students will photograph their works digitally and make slides as well as photographs. Students will meet with 2-3 representatives from art schools.

The AP program in Studio Art is intended for highly motivated students who are seriously interested in the study of art. The AP work involves significantly more commitment and accomplishment than the typical high school course and is not for the casually interested. The primary objective of this course is the completion of a portfolio of student work which can be used for college admission and Advanced Placement credit. In addition to the portfolio, students will develop a visual journal, recording their thoughts about art, both in and out of the classroom. Homework and the ability to work outside of class time are crucial to the success of this course.

The foundation and prerequisite for this course is Aesthetics of Art, which is a one semester course taken freshman year. This course will cover various art movements and themes spanning from the Stone Age to 20th century. This is a one-year course that will develop critical thinking skills, build a strong art vocabulary and develop a visual perception. It is expected that students take various trips to local museums at least twice a semester.

The Visitation Chorus is an all-volunteer, non-auditioned, ensemble of approximately 80 young women who perform 3-4 major concerts each year, as well as at Masses and other school functions. Annual highlights include numerous off campus concerts in DC, Williamsburg, and New York City. Traditional choral singing is stressed and music of all styles is performed, often with orchestra. Students registered for Chorus dedicate their Affinity Homeroom (25 minutes, three days per week) and one club period (50 minutes per week) to this course plus scheduled extra rehearsal (outside of the school day) in preparation for concerts.

To receive credit a student must complete the year. Grades earned will be indicated on the student’s transcript but will NOT be included in the student’s grade point average.

The Visitation Orchestra is an all-volunteer, non-auditioned ensemble of approximately 40 young women who perform three to four major concerts each year, as well as at Masses and other school functions. A variety of repertoire is performed reflecting the talent and instrumentalists in the ensemble. Students registered for Orchestra dedicate their Affinity Homeroom (25 minutes, three days per week) and one club period (50 minutes per week) to this course plus scheduled extra rehearsal (outside of the school day) in preparation for concerts.

To receive credit a student must complete the year. Grades earned will be indicated on the student’s transcript but will NOT be included in the student’s grade point average.

This course requires a prerequisite of musical studies in voice or orchestral instrument. The basic understanding of music note reading must be established and a pre-test maybe required to enroll in this course. The syllabus includes the study of the structure of music, form and analysis as well as aural skills training.

Physical Education & Wellness

PHILOSOPHY

The philosophy and goals of the Physical Education and Athletic Department remain in conjunction with the school philosophy emphasizing holistic health and wellness—the moral, social, religious, physical, psychological, and emotional well-being of each student. Physical Education and Personal Development classes expose the students to a variety of ways to attain a balanced level of physical fitness and health in their lives so as to instill in our students the desire to and value of maintaining one’s physical fitness in their lifestyles - today, tomorrow, and into their adult lives.

A graduate of Georgetown Visitation will believe in her own self-worth and will respect the dignity of all persons. Through instruction in physical education, she will be able to:

  1. Recognize and apply principles of proper nutrition and exercise as she faces an ever-changing world and competing lifestyle;
  2. Develop skills and positive attitude towards maintaining a healthy lifestyle today, tomorrow, and for the rest of her life;
  3. Work together with others while participating in team activities, demonstrating respect for each person’s role;
  4. Help others understand the importance of a healthy lifestyle and also share her skills with her fellow classmates;
  5. Attain the knowledge and skills associated with personal fitness and sports-related activities and be capable of sharing this with friends, family, and community;
  6. Express appreciation for the range and variety of skills and individual differences of athletes of many cultures, and acknowledge their impact on the world.

WELLNESS I                                                                                                                   

Wellness I is a program designed to enable the student to develop an understanding of how health relates to her physical, mental, social, spiritual and intellectual well-being. She will increase her understanding and knowledge of nutrition, wellness and body systems. The student will also be able to describe how eating disorders affect ones total wellness. By the conclusion of the course, each student will have demonstrated and applied the data presented in the course outline to everyday life.

PHYSICAL EDUCATION I                                                                        

This course is designed to develop the student’s understanding of the basic skills needed to participate in various activities, sports and lifetime fitness. The student will demonstrate a proficiency of skills in relation to the class activities and have an understanding of the rules and strategies for each of the activity components. As well, she will have an opportunity to apply different skills to design new games and activities that can be pursued on her own or with others.

WELLNESS II                                                                                                                 

Personal Development II is a program designed to enable the student to continue her understanding of how health relates to her everyday life. She will have an in depth look at the immediate and long-term effects of alcohol, tobacco and drugs on the mind and body. The student will also develop a basic understanding of the male and female reproductive systems, sexually transmitted infections, and fetal growth and development.

 

PHYSICAL EDUCATION II                                                                      

The second phase of physical education is designed to guide each student towards attaining a balanced level of physical fitness and health. She will be able to identify ways to maintain life-long fitness through individual activities and cardiovascular conditioning. With an emphasis on lifetime fitness, the student will learn a variety of individual sports and activities to help maintain a level of fitness after high school. They will develop an understanding that wellness is more than being physically fit. In addition, students will receive instruction on responding to emergencies and emergency preparedness.

Student Support

The counseling program begins during Freshman Orientation, which provides activities designed to initiate them into the traditions and expectations of the school. The freshmen participate in group counseling sessions, once every seven day cycle throughout their first year. The groups focus on issues pertaining to social and academic adjustment, friendships, peer pressure and making responsible choices. In the freshman year, particular emphasis is given to transitioning to high school and navigating the sometimes rocky terrain of adolescence.

Students meet once every seven day cycle in small counseling groups to focus on the needs of increased academic expectations, time management and strategies for taking standardized tests. Students begin initial career exploration facilitated by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. The Inventory provides feedback regarding interests and preferences which can be helpful in choosing a college major and future career. The counselor scores the inventory and gives each student their individual results. Other topics specific to sophomores concern driving safety, decision making in all aspects of their lives, and healthy relationships.

This course is designed to assist freshman and sophomore students in meeting the demands of their curriculum. Students learn to assess how they learn best and to develop effective strategies for success. Topics of the course include: time management, organizational techniques, study skills, outlining, note-taking, efficient study methods, reading for comprehension and mastery, text annotation, test preparation, lengthening concentration, strengthening memory, and self-advocacy. Students also learn how to use technology responsibly to support their academic performance. The instructor presents and the students practice each skill or strategy in the context of the student’s curriculum.

College Counseling groups begin in the spring of junior year. Juniors participate in small group meetings which orient them to the process of researching and eventually applying to college. These groups focus on teaching students how to search for a college match that best suits her needs – academic, personal, and social. Topics include self-assessment, creating a resume, standardized tests, research tools, careers, interviewing, and the application process.

Technology

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.

Special Program

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.

Library

Our library media program prepares students with the research skills necessary for a successful high school and college career. From the freshman to senior year students will:

  1. Identify and know how to use a variety of print and electronic sources;
  2. Demonstrate how to search for and locate information in the Visitation and Georgetown University libraries;
  3. Evaluate the quality and appropriateness of print and electronic sources;
  4. Properly document their research using the MLA style;
  5. Demonstrate ethical use of information and resources;
  6. Have opportunities to read for pleasure and enjoy the full scope of the library collection.