After the initial few weeks of distance learning, Visitation switched to the schedule to a much more manageable one. The school sent out a survey (they 'asked' and they 'listened'!). The revised schedule was much better for my daughter, and gave her time 'off screen.'
Twenty-five years ago, when Visitation's beautiful main building - today Founders Hall - was completely gutted by fire, then President Sister Mary Berchmans Hannan, VHM '48 & '50 coined the phrase, “The Spirit Rebuilds the Place,” to underscore that it is our faith and strength of community, not the buildings, that define Visitation. Today, we face a new challenge that has separated us from our beloved campus and Sister’s wisdom remains as powerful and inspirational: trust in God and community will usher us through to a new day. As we are learning every day we are separated from each other, the spirit is the place. We are Visitation, whether together or apart.
This year I have been blessed to witness the incredible courage, strength, kindness, resilience, and generosity that is the spirit of Visitation. From our students to our faculty and staff to our parents to our alumnae to, of course, the Sisters, who lead the way each day for us, the Visitation community energizes and uplifts me each day. And never has that been more true than through this time of challenge.
Dr. Barbara McGraw Edmondson
Head of School
I had three kids in virtual learning and all three had very different experiences. I could hear them in their classrooms engaging or not with their teachers. Visitation, by far, outshined the others. I could hear my daughter engaging with her teachers and having discussions with her classmates like she was in a real classroom. The drum kept beating for our Visi girl without a missed step. We are so impressed with how Visi quickly set up a functional program that worked and that education continued. The whole experience was good for our daughter and for us because we knew she was in a competent situation where she could still learn and grow.
Distance learning with Visi allowed my daughter to finish out the year, continue to "see" her classmates and teachers, continue ACTUALLY learning, and, most importantly, stay safe. We are so grateful!
I first want to say thank you for all Visi has done to make things as smooth as possible for the girls. I have been really amazed at how thorough Visi has been and how quickly Visi made the transition to online learning. It was nothing short of remarkable and I will be forever grateful that [my daughter] was a student at Visi when we went into quarantine. She's been engaged, connected, interested and educated in a way that few schools seems to have done even half as well. My deepest thanks to you and your amazing faculty.
I wanted to extend my gratitude to you and all of the Visitation administration and teachers for your dedication and organization with online learning these past weeks.
I have talked to several parents with kids at other high schools in the area who have shared their frustration with programs that have not worked well during this time. And while I understand everyone is figuring it out as we go, I’m thankful you and your staff have devised a plan that is clearly working and exceeding our expectations.
I’m certain there have been many sacrifices made by staff with families and other obligations during this difficult time to keep things running. Please share my thankfulness and know I am keeping the Visitation community (and especially the graduates) in my prayers and looking forward to the day we can return to GV’s vibrant campus.
[We] want to thank you for how seamless you have made the transition to remote learning and how impressive it is that your staff and teachers have been able to keep up your rigorous learning philosophy. I feel like from an education perspective [our daughter] has not skipped a beat. Thank you for all of your efforts.
McKenzie Ennis '23 was looking forward to the spring performance of "Jesus Chris Superstar," when the school was closed due to social distancing. That is when older brother Justin Ennis stepped up to help.
Being at home hasn't stopped these Cubs from Christian service. Cubs for Compassion has raised nearly $4,000 to purchase gift cards from local restaurants to give to their area hospital heroes; VAMOS tutoring has moved online to help students in need.
Social distancing won’t stop these student tutors from working with children who need them. The VAMOS tutoring program - in which Visitation volunteers tutor Spanish-speaking students weekly at Our Lady Queen of the Americas, a Hispanic parish in Washington, DC - has continued online during COVID-19.
AP Government teacher Daniel Petri's students were among the first to take AP exams; in the two weeks that followed, his class got real-life perspectives on politics and government in action from special guest visitors.