Academics
Middle School

Academic Approach

Challenging and Empowering

Following an in-depth study of current research, Visitation Academy formally defined our Middle School program to best meet the needs of girls in Grades 6-8. The program builds a bridge from childhood to young adulthood, with high yet achievable academic expectations as its cornerstone. Viz Middle School faculty members work closely with students to supplement classroom learning with real-world skills not found in a textbook. Students are guided in making choices and are fully engaged in the learning process. We teach that there is true strength in the critical thinking, communications, and collaboration our students show at school and that these competences have endless applications.

Our unique educational philosophy and supportive, faith-based learning environment sparks curiosity and imparts lifelong learning skills. Middle School classrooms are active, hands-on centers of learning that utilize a combination of experiments, demonstrations, simulations, and projects.

Program of Studies

List of 9 items.

  • Science

    As students delve into our hands-on science program, study and process skills are emphasized, helping them manage and analyze scientific information.

    In addition to designing and building robots, a breadth of life, earth, and physical science topics are covered. In our dedicated Middle School Makerspace, students are immersed in STEM concepts as they tinker, create, and invent solutions to challenges.
  • Mathematics

    Visitation Academy’s accelerated Middle School math program starts in Grade 6 with understanding rates and proportional relationships, the number system, and moving from arithmetic to algebraic expressions and equations. 
     
    This foundation prepares students for an accelerated pre-algebra program in Grade 7 which allows all students to complete a high school-level algebra 1 course in Grade 8.
  • English

    Comprehension and application of essential concepts in grammar, literature, composition, and research are developed through the English curriculum.

    Students work with a variety of written forms including literary analysis and persuasive, narrative, expository, and descriptive writing and have access to nearly 9,000 reference materials, monographs, audiobooks, movies and more in the Francis de Sales Library to further their studies.
  • Experiential Learning

    Experiential learning opportunities and curriculum-focused field trips tie directly to classroom studies for enhanced learning.

    Annual trips are offered at each grade level and include outdoor team building at Trout Lodge in Grade 6, earth science in action at Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Grade 7, and an up-close civics lesson in Washington, D.C. in Grade 8.
  • Computer Science

    A fully-integrated computer science curriculum allows students to attain academic goals with technology enhanced instruction.

    Our one-to-one technology program for Grades 6 through 8 ensures digital literacy is attained through knowledge, concepts, and skills interwoven into curriculum-related lessons. Our commitment to 21st century learning gives students an outlet to engage with their schoolwork and with each other in interactive, creative, and collaborative ways.
  • Theology

    As a Catholic Salesian school, creating a faith-based learning environment is central to our educational philosophy.

    Theology classes at each grade level support the faith and spiritual formation of students, helping them to embrace and apply gospel values to their own lives to be catalysts for positive change.
  • Modern and Classical Languages

    Introduction to Modern Languages, including French, Spanish, and Latin, begins in Grade 6. Students explore of each of these three languages before choosing one language to study in Grades 7 and 8, completing their eighth-grade year with a high school language credit.


    Students advance their understanding and use of these languages while developing a world view and an appreciation of cultural diversity. The program fully prepares students for advanced language study in our Upper School.
  • Visual and Performing Arts

    Essential to the development of a well-rounded student, the arts empower girls to foster their creativity through expression.

    Our sweeping approach gives students a chance to explore different forms of expression - from art to music to dance to drama – and discover their talents and passions. The application of STEM in many production areas from set design and construction, to lighting design and lighting board programming, to technical direction and equipment troubleshooting, to sound effect and special effect coordination also provides reinforcement and creative use of science, technology, engineering, and math concepts.
     
    To learn more about Visual and Performing Arts, click here.
  • Health and Wellness

    Active bodies support active minds.

    Class activities are designed with the goal of educating, enhancing, and individualizing students’ health and wellness and preparing them to continue healthy practices throughout their life.

Advising

Middle School students also meet with their grade-level advisor every day. The advisory period is structured to include one-on-one interaction with the advisor, academically-focused time for students to work on homework or group projects, study, or meet with teachers, and time for interactive play either inside or outside the classroom.
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