This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Posted August 26, 2014
- a parent
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.
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.