Dear Upper School Parents,
In anticipation of the arrival of Upper School students on Monday, September 14, my letter this week is focused on important information related to the return to in-person learning. I am so grateful for the work of the Visitation community in making this return possible. Faculty, parents, students, and staff all play a part in the success of opening a school in this unique and challenging time.
Next week, we will transition to our regular schedule listed inside the front cover of the student planner. Every Monday is a Late Start Monday, with classes beginning at 9:00 a.m. (No arrivals prior to 8:30 a.m.) The remainder of the week (Tuesday through Friday) classes begin at 8:00 a.m. (No arrivals prior to 7:30 a.m.)
Please read and discuss with your daughter the following safety guidelines and daily procedures for the start of school on campus:
The Family COVID-19 Health & Safety Checklist must be submitted via the Viz Portal every Monday by 7:00 a.m. This form will appear every weekend on your Viz Portal homepage in the yellow banner stating you have a form to review. For families with students in other divisions, only one form is required per family and will cover all three divisions. For questions related to COVID-19 health and safety protocols, please contact our school nurse at VizNurse@visitationacademy.org or 314-625-9129.
Each student must wear their own mask while they are in the building. They will be allowed to take off their masks for lunch as they will be distanced six feet apart while they eat. Students should have extra masks available if needed throughout the day.
Arrival Procedures – Students will not be permitted to enter the building more than 30 minutes prior to the start of classes – 8:30 a.m. on late start Mondays, 7:30 a.m. Tuesday-Friday.
Entrance locations –
- Students being dropped off will enter at Door 6.
- Student drivers and passengers will enter at the Buder Gym entrance and stay on the first floor until they are in Cass Commons.
After going to lockers, students should proceed directly to their first period classroom. (There will be no congregating in the hallways or other shared spaces.) If seniors have first period free, they may arrive late but will need to check in to the main office at least 10 minutes prior to the start of the second period.
Dismissal will be at the driveway outside Door 6 (Door facing I-64/40). There will be multiple exits for dismissal (Door 5, Door 6, and Jesus Circle). Students will walk to their car along the driveway and in the Jesus Circle. If their ride has not arrived, they will wait socially distant along the sidewalk. Students attending our Extended Day program will report to the assigned classroom after their last period class. Parents should pick up their daughter(s) from the main entrance (Door 4) after calling the receptionist at 314-625-9100 when they arrive.
- Grade 9 and 10 – Exit at Door 6.
- Grade 11 and 12 drivers and passengers – Exit at the Buder Gym door in the Jesus Circle at 3:15 p.m.
- Grade 11 and 12 non-drivers – Exit at Door 5. (Theatre lobby)
- Seniors may leave campus early after signing out in the main office if they have a free during their last period or last two periods.
- Juniors may leave campus early after signing out in the main office only if they have last period free.
Students should wear their school uniform each day and are encouraged to carry a backpack in addition to their laptop bag. This will help reduce the frequency of locker visits between classes.
A lunch and drink(s) should be brought each day. Water fountains will not be available for use, so students should make sure to bring enough water for the day. We are an allergy-aware school and no nuts are allowed. Multiple microwave ovens are available for student use. Students will receive their swipe card for the vending machines when they return. Purchases should be treated as a supplement to their lunch. We will orientate the girls on lunchroom procedures when they return. All tables will be sanitized by our maintenance department between lunch periods and multiple hand-sanitizing stations are available.
Students may bring a snack for advisory, but since we cannot guarantee six feet within classrooms, students will need to keep their masks on between sips of their drink and bites of their snack. In the lunchrooms, students may take their masks off when seated at their table since they are all six feet apart. Students may purchase items with the swipe card that they will be given when they return to school (details on how to register and add money to the card will be inside the envelope), a bank debit or credit card, cash, or an app can be used to purchase these items. These food options are stocked daily by Cardinal Vending and will be stocked/replaced based on supply and demand. We do not have a list of items or want students to rely on these options since there is no way for us to know what will be in stock on a daily basis. We also ask that students bring their own utensils, but if they forget, we do have individually wrapped plastic utensils for them to use.
If students did not come in this week to set up their lockers with shelves, books, supplies, etc., they will be able to do so when they are back in the building next week.
We have been very busy planning and preparing to ensure we provide the safest environment possible. Due to the required usage of masks and elimination of large gatherings, we realize school will look and feel different for our students. Our goal is to have our school open for in-person learning, but it will take everyone’s compliance with our safety procedures to keep our building open. Please refer to the COVID-19 Response page and FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page on the Viz website for more information.
Thank you for a great start to the year. I am excited to return to in-person learning.
Upper School Principal