Distance Learning

From the Head of School: March 24, 2020

 

Dear Visitation Families,

While our school community tries to acclimate to the new normal, we want to continue to support our parents and students as much as we can. As we prepare for our first remote classes tomorrow, I wanted to share some tips for setting up your school environment at home. Click here for a video message from me regarding online learning.

We hope you also find these links useful:

While we miss seeing our students’ smiling faces in person, we look forward to seeing how they adapt to this new way of learning in the weeks ahead! Please feel free to reply to this email and share photos of your students while they are engaged in digital learning and other activities from home with us.

 

Yours in Christ,

David


March 20, 2020

Remote Learning Community – Upper School

 

Dear Upper School Parents,

I hope that everyone is safe and doing well during this very unusual spring break. All of us are getting used to our new, daily life and trying to keep some sense of normalcy for ourselves and, most importantly, our children. This is new territory, so it is essential that we continue to be positive and patient. There will be a lot of questions over the next few weeks. Please know that the Visitation community is here and working hard to create a productive and thoughtful learning environment. I am so proud of our faculty and staff for the preparation that they have already done to make our remote learning community feel like home.

As you heard from David Colón, we have extended spring break through Monday and Tuesday of next week (March 23 and 24). These extra two days will be used as professional time for faculty to prepare for their classes. We will begin our remote learning curriculum on Wednesday, March 25.

The plan is for students to follow their regular schedule which is both in the planner and on their Viz Portal homepage. Teachers will communicate to each class during their scheduled time each day regarding what students should be doing, whether it is to participate in a live video conference or discussion chat through Microsoft Teams, listen to a pre-recorded lesson from the teacher, or work independently based on instructions in OneNote. Each teacher will be reaching out to their students before Wednesday to share how their class will be conducted. All teachers will be posting their class lessons and assignments on their Viz Portal bulletin board (class home page). These lessons will remain on their class page by date so that both parents and students can see what has been assigned. As always, feel free to contact your daughter’s teacher with any questions. One of the goals with this format is to create a structure that the students are familiar with and an environment that feels like their classroom.

Attendance will be taken through the completion of assignments and daily check-in with teachers. We will evaluate this process during the first week to determine the best way to account for our students.

All events currently on the calendar between now and April 6 have been postponed until we have more information regarding our return to school and our ability to gather in larger groups. This includes Junior Ring and Prom. The spring events of the school year, especially senior events, are very important to our community. We will do everything in our power to reschedule and celebrate our students.

The wellness of our students is first and foremost on our minds. Please continue to be supportive of our faculty and our students as they work through this new teaching environment. There will be challenges and stumbles that we have not anticipated, but we will be nimble in our approaches and solutions. Our entire community is investing in the success of your daughters, which includes our counseling department. They will be reaching out in the next week to share their availability to continue to support the girls in this unusual time. Additionally, advisors will be checking each week with their students.

The girls will have daily contact from their teachers, and the administrative team will provide regular updates and messages to keep you all informed. Please know that we are here to support your child and family through this challenging event. If you have questions, always feel free to reach out to Katie Wilson or me.

Enjoy the remainder of the break. Be safe, be well, and know that we will continue to pray for all our families.

Sincerely,

Terry Murray

Upper School Principal


March 20, 2020

Remote Learning Community – Middle School

Dear Middle School Parents,

First and foremost, I hope you are all healthy and safe. We are going through a unique time. I realize that everyone’s daily life has been turned upside down and moving to remote learning for school will add to the disarray. I cannot guarantee that everything will run smoothly, but please remember that we are all in this together; be patient with your children, this new learning experience, and yourselves. There will be bumps along the way and glitches that we will work through together.

Our main concern is for our Viz girls. We realize they are going through a lot right now and are confused by what is going on in the world. Children find security in structure and boundaries. Although schoolwork should not be a priority right now, the schedule and predictability of it will give them some sense of security and purpose. Our teachers have been planning for how to move forward with the curriculum so our students can continue to progress educationally.

The plan is for students to follow their regular schedule which is both in the planner and on their Viz Portal homepage. Teachers will communicate to each class during their scheduled time each day regarding what students should be doing, whether it is to participate in a live video conference or discussion chat through Microsoft Teams, listen to a pre-recorded lesson from the teacher, or work independently based on instructions in OneNote. Each teacher will be reaching out to their students before Wednesday to share how their class will be conducted. All teachers will be posting their class lessons and assignments on their Viz Portal bulletin board (class home page). These lessons will remain on their class page by date so that both parents and students can see what has been assigned. As always, feel free to contact your daughter’s teacher with any questions.

Attendance will be taken through the completion of assignments and daily check-in with teachers. We will evaluate this process during the first week to determine the best way to account for our students.

To simplify all that is going on, we have decided to cancel (instead of rescheduling) the student-led conferences. We encourage you to have your daughter share with you the goal that she has been working toward this semester. She has been recording her progress and preparing a presentation for you. Our upcoming field trips (Grade 6 Challenger Center and Model UN) and class trips (Grade 8 to Washington, D.C. and Grade 7 to the Tremont Institute) have all been canceled. Information regarding the cancellation process and reimbursement will be shared with those grade-level parents when details have been finalized.

Please know that I continue to pray for our students and families. This is a new situation for all of us, so please show grace and patience to your daughters and her teachers as we navigate through this remote learning experience. Feel free to contact me with any questions, concerns, or feedback to help us make the most of this unfortunate situation.

 

Live+Jesus,

 

Angie Jung


March 20, 20202

Preparing for Distance Learning – Lower School

Dear Montessori and Lower School Parents,

Good Morning! I hope this email finds you enjoying Spring Break and finding some time for calm and peace among the constantly changing news regarding COVID19.

As you already know, Visitation has extended spring break through Monday and Tuesday. The teachers have already spent time over the last few weeks preparing for the possibility of distance learning. Monday and Tuesday will give them the professional time needed to finalize these plans.

Classes will officially begin on Wednesday. How this looks will be new to all of us and take some time and flexibility to make work.   Be assured that the teachers and I will be here as a team in partnership with you to get through these unchartered waters.

Montessori and Lower School families should expect the following:

  • You will receive an email from your homeroom teacher with general guidelines for how distance learning looks for each age/grade level on Tuesday.
  • Starting Wednesday, assignments will be posted by 8:00 each day (using the platform listed in Tuesday’s email) and are due by 4:00 that same day.
    • Math and Language Arts will be assigned daily.
    • Religion, Social Studies, Science, etc. will be assigned on a rotating basis. The frequency of assignments will depend on age/grade level in order to follow Lower School Curriculum.
    • Specials teachers will also be sending out assignments. This will be done through homeroom teachers.
    • In order to guide you in setting up the day, teachers will include AVERAGE amounts of time this work should take a student at each age/grade level to complete. Just as with daily homework, the work will take some students more time and some students less time. It is Lower School’s recommendation that you make this process as formal as possible, having students follow a schedule with specific work periods and breaks each day.
    • Attendance will be taken. Students will be marked as present once assignments are submitted.

We know that this procedure will come as second nature to some and bring others some apprehension. I cannot stress enough that we are here to support you and help you with any needs that arise. You can expect regular communication from the teachers, myself, and the Visitation community over the next few weeks, but you do not need to wait for it if help or more information is needed on your end!

You are all in our thoughts and prayers.

L+J,

Dr. Albert