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Lower School Director's Notes

A message from Director of Lower School, Jessica Hallin:

Happy June Lower School Families,

The sunshine from the weekend has carried over into the Lower School this week, and we are grateful for the joy the wonderful weather brings. I hope you all had a lovely Memorial Day Weekend and could gather with loved ones and friends.

Last week was full of joy and excitement, as the Lower School continues to be lively and vibrant. Our fifth graders enjoyed a bike field trip, taking in the great weather, social time, and a picnic lunch together. This group has come together and formed positive connections and relationships this year. We know that these friendships will continue to grow and blossom as they prepare to head to Middle School in the fall.

Our campus was very busy last week. Visitation hosted an athletic recognition celebration that included the inaugural Hall of Fame, the Wollan Sports Performance Center dedication, and the unveiling of the swim and dive championship banner. I had the honor of attending this event and hearing these brilliant, strong women sharing their love for Visitation and pride as alumnae was truly beautiful. This pride for Visitation continued that evening with our Board of Trustees Emeriti event. Again, it was an opportunity to join in the love and commitment many amazing people have for this beautiful school community.

Our kindergarten class held a very special ceremony last week as well. Through their Tree Campus project, they have been learning about the trees on our Visitation campus. Last week, the Kindergarten class planted one of the first “Legacy Trees," along with Sister Katherine Mullin. She shared with us that the Sisters planted over 1000 trees on the Visitation Campus by hand. We thank the Visitation Sisters for our beautiful school. Their legacy leads the way!

Last week, I had the honor to join an energetic group of first graders for a special lunch. Merrie Market auction winner Vanessa L. and three of her friends enjoyed a special lunch outside with me in our Courtyard. When given the chance to pick any restaurant she wanted, Vanessa quickly chose McDonald’s!  We laughed and had a blast together outside in the sunshine. 

On Friday, our fifth graders attended a special field trip to the Minneapolis Institute of Art and were in collaboration with our Art Adventure program. The students had a wonderful time on campus and appreciated seeing the art they had studied and many other creative pieces. We are grateful for this partnership with Art Adventure and for the time from our amazing Parents’ Association volunteers. When the fifth graders returned, they also enjoyed a special French Cafe, hosted by Mrs. McDaniel and Upper School French students. The fifth graders were able to order and enjoy special French treats while putting their French skills to the test.

The Lower School celebrated our final assembly together last Friday. We recognized our final Salesian Stars for this year, and while a handful of students were celebrated, truly every student is honored as stars, as we know they are feeling known and loved here at Visitation, and carry our Salesian Spirituality in their hearts and minds each day.  After our assembly, we joined the Visitation community for an all-school prayer service in honor of the Feast of the Visitation. Students from all divisions spoke and shared their gratitude for the year.

As we roll into our final days for this school year, we are eager to love, support and bless our fifth graders as they prepare for Middle School. Our Lower School with join together for the fifth-grade graduation and blessing on Thursday. We will then celebrate the end of the year with all classes on Friday, with an early release day, with school ending at 11 a.m.

I thank you all for your partnership and support of our Lower School community. We are a family here in the Lower School, and each of us brings love, talent, gifts, and joy to our family. I am grateful for the opportunity to grow and learn, as well as to lead and support. My role here is a blessing to myself and one I am grateful for daily. The joy your children bring to my world is a gift. I hope they feel the love in return.  

I wish you each a lovely summer break. May your days be filled with sunshine and joy, and may your children continue to feel loved and known.

With gratitude,

Jessica Hallin
Director of Lower School