Visitation Academy has recently been accepted as an International Baccalaureate Candidate School for their Middle School. This program enhances the already strong academics by providing additional methodology and resources for faculty and students alike, reinforcing an already strong focus on STEM. My daughters have flourished academically and grown into young women I am honored to know. The balance that is achieved between academia and citizenship is truly remarkable to see. Whether it's in a classroom or on a sports field, these girls have a strong sense of self and work well as a team. If you are looking for a school that educates the whole child, this is it. The Faculty and Staff have truly dedicated themselves to helping each student reach their full potential. The Board of Directors meets with parents in order to maintain open lines of communication. This policy extends to the Principal and Executive Director who also meet with the parents regularly and both maintain an open door policy.
The truth is the academics are very weak. The math and science programs are not on par with state standards. Given the amount of tuition that we pay, I believe my daughter is being short-changed. The new middle school math/science teach is horrible. It's as if she has not taken a single education course let alone science/math course. Very disappointed and aggravated. My daughters time has been wasted at the Visitation Academy. I understand that the school is attempting to improve their academics --but I fear it is too late for the older girls. Unless administration is planning on offering summer school and after school courses to ensure the girls are prepared for high school they will certainly be behind. Friends that have left Visitation and attended area public/private schools have all been behind in math.
This school came highly recommended but we're considering sending not sending our daughter back in the fall. Visitation ensures that the girls receive what I feel is good religious instruction, however, the academic side of things seems condensed and rushed. The language classes (Spanish and Chinese) are timely and very important, but the school should end the tap classes. The dancing skill doesn't really seem to improve much from grade to grade. I'd rather my child use that time for more language, math or science study. A hot lunch program is in place but the girls have to gulp their food down in 15-20 minutes. I'm sure a lot of the little kids must not get to finish. The half-days are maddening as is the jumbled together aftercare bill. I don't understand why the bill is not itemized. Speaking of aftercare, I'm not thrilled with the set-up and activities. We may have to find an alternate program. What we've paid toward the 2013-14 may end up being a donation. The jury is out for now. We have a lot to think about.
As a parent I have not been pleased with the school administration and board of directors. The school is very vague on their finances and how monies are distributed. They are always asking for money and tuition continues to rise, yet.t textbooks are difficult to obtain. . The teacher's credentials are not available to parents.. I know some teachers do not even hold a bachelors degree. While the campus is beautiful my daughter's education and experience has been a disappointment .
I am very disappointed in this school. The school claims that students of all religions are accepted but they do disclose the required Catholic practices that will involve your child. Students are forced to pray the rosary and recite Catholic prayers. They require off-site field trips that force students to participate in Catholic Mass. They even encourage non-Catholics to go to confession. These requirements do not show respect or acceptance of other religions.
I have spent the greater portion of our time as this school trying to figure out what the administration is thinking when they make decisions. I am beyond tired of 11:30 half days...for so called teacher development. Just give the girls the day off. It makes no sense that you receive a bill. for child care fees..that is not itemized. After Care Fees need to be spelled out EXACTLY. The day the service was used and what times. Due to the less than transparent financial practices, it is no wonder the school has no money. Although, I am sure the school has the best of intentions...forcing the girls to participate in the science fair is not a way to encourage the girls to pursue the sciences. I believe another parent suggested the Lego's programs, robotics and a science club. Do away with the Tap program. That one day of Tap could be devoted to an extra lesson in math or science. I really wish the administration would venture out into the area and visit other schools for ideas for how to better structure their school day. As I search for other options I am amazed at the many viable options Viz is overlooking.
The current state of this school is disappointing at best. The schools governing board demonstrates no interest in parent feedback, issue resolution, ethics or academics. The administration burdens parents for food, money and time to support social related activities and fundraising. The administration spends little time ensuring academic excellence in core subjects such as Math, Technology and Science.
What a gift this school is to educate young girls in character and academics. Where else can you find a Catholic school that their students attend daily Mass!
The school claims to be strong academically especially in Science and Math. I do not see it. Yes, the girls are required to participate in the Sciene Fair. But that is a parent assisted project. There should be more science and math opportunites available at the school. A science club, Lego Robotics competition team, Destination Imagination team, a math club, and a chess class. Many of these clubs/teams could be head by a qualifying parent. A bit disappointed that the school is happy with staying stagnant.
We are so happy with this school for our daughters and cannot recommend highly enough. The focus on science and math and small class sizes as well as Spanish, Mandarin and Tap for all levels is fantastic. Very affordable for a private school with great teachers and a real sense of community among the parents.
Visitation claims to be gentle and humble but I found the opposite to be true. When I had specific questions about my daughter, the teacher never had time to speak with me. The teacher was even annoyed that I asked her anything. As soon as I would begin to speak, she would cut me off immediately. This happened on several occasions. I also found that there was a lot of favoritism. When another parent, apparently from the in crowd , asked the same teacher a question, she would patiently listen to her and answer her questions. When I brought this situation to the assistant principal s attention, I got the same, don t bother me attitude from her. She told me that the principal would give me a call to discuss the matter, but the principal never called. The school also seems to be in a deep financial crisis because they would ask for money every week. The money, according to them, was to pay for the heating bills. Now if the school needs money just to pay for basic necessities, how could it invest in the tools necessary to prepare the girls for the 21st century?
amazing school!!!!! amazing experience!!! I know my daughter has made great friends and the teachers not only teach them school subjects but life lessons all around great school
I do not understand how a parent in Pre-K 3 can pass judgment on a 140 year old school being in "fast decline" or "headed in the wrong direction". Based on what prior experience? During the years my daughters have been at Visitation, the school and its volunteer board have admirably accepted responsibility for, financed and steered the school through a significant transition in administration due to the retirement of the nuns. From where things stood just 2 years ago (not withstanding the economic crisis), the school is undeniably on more solid footing and strives to raise the bar. Given the change, the previously mentioned lapses in communication are understandable, forgivable and easily fixed. It does little to diminish the fact that over the last few years the students and teachers have been recognized for outstanding performance in regional and statewide competitions in the sciences, maths, spelling, athletics . . . you name it. I get one shot at setting the bar for my daughters' educational experience. The rich tradition, special history, campus, strong academics and school pride are priceless. Great school, aiming for even better!
My daughter has been a Viz student for four years. Each year we become more and more convinced that choosing Visitation was the best possible decision for us. Though the school has been in transition administratively since the sisters left, the academic tradition of the school has endured and blossomed. The girls thrive academically, socially and spiritually--the faculty is really first rate and every teacher knows every student's name! The school recently won a technology grant and now each classroom has an interactive "smart" promethian board. I am looking forward to seeing how this new tool will enhance the presentation of the school's already challenging curriculum, particularly in science and math--subjects in which the girls regularly win county and state competitions. I believe the new principal is a great asset to the school, and that she and the board are taking the school in the right direction. I would invite anyone interested in a first rate education for their daughters to take a tour and decide for themselves whether Viz would be right for them.
Wait a minute . . . I am a parent, and I know the school is going through very disruptive changes at this time. Yes, the VA has provided an exceptional education to our young ladies, our daughters. However, the current administration, the principal, and the board of directors are taking the school in the wrong direction. Our daughter is upset with recent changes in the classroom -- mainly PreK3 -- what happened? Very poor leadership and a lack of clear communication. We are finishing the year and taking our daughter to the regional Catholic school next year.
This school is a sparkling gem among the choices that Frederick County offers for young women! My daughters have attended for the last few years and they are happy and thriving. I couldn't disagree more with the previous post regarding the Admin and the Board of Directors. The school has a new Principal who is challenging the teachers to bring more to the classroom. There is a Promethean (Smart) Board in each classroom which promotes more interactive learning, and the middle school girls have just won several awards in the Math/Engineering and Science areas. This school meets each young lady where they learn and optimizes their potential while instilling in them the virtues of self respect, honesty, integrity, love for self and neighbor and giving to those less fortunate. The price is a bargain compared to others and offers a full day program for both PreK3 and PreK4, not just day care! I know my daughters are well cared for in an environment that is fair and challenging academically. Great school and I recommend it highly! Visit for a tour and see for yourself!
Visitation has an enriching program with sound academics that has surpassed our expectations. The teachers are nurturing and competent. The girls develop bonds and a sense of community . There is so much enrichment in their everyday school experience. The faculty and administrators know the girls by name. My daughter learns strong basics plus tap dance, Chinese, Spanish, Library, public speaking and much more. All of this was taught at a very appropriate developmental level with lots of fun in small class sizes. Values and manners are taught. Our experience has been exceptional. There is not enough space to describe all the special experiences that go on at this school. Some special activities are Father/Daughter dance, Mother/Daughter tea, Apple Dumpling Day, Tap and Christmas recitals, May Procession. I believe Visitation is an undiscovered gem in Downtown Frederick. Excellent education.
My daughter started Visitation in their pre-k 3 program and it has been a wonderful experience. And as it turns out, it was less expensive than Kindercare! She is currently in pre-k 4 and loving it. She takes tap dance, chinese, gym, and chorus in addition to the more traditional curriculum. There is a wonderful play area both inside and out and they often go for walks in downtown Frederick to local parks or to the public library. The teachers have been excellent: nurturing and educating the students and communicating with the parents. I cannot say enought wonderful things. I only wish they had a school like this for my son in downtown Frederick.
Visitation has a strong math program which has benefited my daughters in preparation for high school. Specifically, the older of my two daughters tested into geometry as a freshman. The exposure to courses not ordinarily offered to public school students, i.e. tap, public speaking and religion. The emphasis on small class sizes and single sex education was a benefit to our daughters.
The academics of this school are wonderful. The teachers are caring and provide a loving environment which in turn makes the girls excel at their studies. My daughter is starting her 6th year and we couldn't be happier with her education.
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