Through a keynote lecture and panel discussions, students glean tips, tools, and insights from Visitation graduates and hear firsthand accounts of professions ranging from medicine to marketing, journalism to education.
Our Personal Counseling Office supports student well-being and healthy adolescent development through a comprehensive program that focuses on each grade level's specific needs. This program, which works in tandem with our College Counseling Program, includes group and individual meetings with students, as well as events and guest speakers.
Whether counseling a student one-on-one or working with freshman and sophomore counseling groups, our three counselors operate from a wellness model that addresses intellectual, spiritual, creative, physical, and social components of the whole person, using reflection, discussion, and activities. They work to involve all parts of the school community in fostering healthy development and emphasize a collaborative approach with families. Visitation parents may contact the office at any time, whether regarding day-to-day matters or more serious concerns. Our counselors provide confidential and continuing support for students and families exploring personal issues, challenges, and dilemmas.
The Counseling Program begins before students even enter Visitation—when incoming "Little Sisters" receive letters from their "Big Sisters" introducing them to school life, learning, and traditions—and continues working with girls as they advance through all four grades.
Each freshman participates in weekly counseling group sessions that focus on social and academic adjustment issues, friendships, healthy relationships, peer pressure, making responsible choices, identity, racial literacy, body imagine, and mindfulness among other relevant adolescent topics. Students also cover time management and study-skill strategies designed to enhance their academic performance. We emphasize self-advocacy and gaining a better understanding of self and relationships to others.
Sophomores meet in small groups every seven days to build on the skills and knowledge gained in freshman counseling groups and tackle other developmentally appropriate topics. Discussions include handling increased academic expectations, time management, identity development, coping strategies, standardized test strategies, and specific issues related to high school life. All sophomores take a three-day training using the Adolescent Depression Awareness Program (ADAP) curriculum developed by Johns Hopkins University. Students also begin to explore career choices, a task facilitated by personality inventories, which provides individual feedback about interests and preferences as girls prepare to explore college options the following year.
Junior & Senior Year
Juniors and seniors remain connected to their personal counselor on an individual basis as they continue to receive guidance and support with both academic and social matters. Students also benefit from school-wide Counseling Office programming, including guest speakers and educational sessions.
Each fall, the sophomore class comes together for an evening of fun and bonding, with activities like a scavenger hunt, karaoke, a moon bounce, and interactive games.
At this outdoor challenge and retreat day, students tackle a ropes course and field games that push them outside their comfort zones, invite them to make new friends, encourage teamwork and class bonding, and build self-confidence.