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Middle School Director's Notes

A message from Director of Middle School, Ilse Norris:

Dear Visitation Middle School families,

The eighth graders returned safely from their capstone trip to Washington DC. Anyone who followed along through the Instagram Takeover could witness in real time that they had the time of their lives. They visited numerous sites such as the various Smithsonian Museums, the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, an excursion to Mount Vernon and Arlington National Cemetery, and a guided evening tour of the Washington Monuments. They even got a private tour of the White House, a rare treat, compliments of the offices of Angie Craig, Minnesota Congresswoman. The highlight of the trip was certainly the Georgetown Visitation visit on Thursday, May 4. Our students, along with the eighth graders from St. Louis Visitation, were welcomed with open arms. The archivist highlighted the history of Georgetown Visitation, founded in 1799. The students met the Visitation Sisters and got treated to a guided campus tour, facilitated by the Admissions Ambassadors, with a visit to the Bookstore where they picked up some Georgetown Visitation swag. They also had an opportunity to sing their school song for one another and were treated to a catered luncheon. This is the first time that students from the three Visitation schools got to meet one another and spend time together. Our students were inspired by the fact that they are a part of an entire consortium of Visitation schools, bound by a common mission. 

My favorite part was the kudos I received on behalf of the students about the way they carried themselves on the trip. The tour director, Elizabeth Young, couldn’t say enough good about our students’ knowledge and positive attitude. Olivia Wills Kane, Salesian Studies Director of Georgetown Visitation, was very impressed that our students came in full uniform and represented the Visitation spirit so well. On the last day, we requested that the students be dressed in their “Sunday best” for the White House tour and the visit to the Holocaust Museum. Both places commented that our students were exemplary and showed respect and reverence for the experience at hand. To top it all off, I received a card from the flight crew, thanking the students for being outstanding passengers on the plane; they got treated to free snacks, compliments from Delta Airlines! I shared all of the kudos with the eighth graders at Middle School assembly on Tuesday, impressing upon them that they are a very special group of students and that I am honored to be their director.

On Thursday, May 11, the Visitation GRIT Girls, along with GRIT Girls from seven chapters around the nation, will have a graduation celebration at 8 a.m. in Ain Karim. The young ladies prepared presentations and will share their reflections on the past year with family and friends. The awarding of the graduation certificates and medals will be followed by a reception. We thank Kelsey Irizarry, our onsite GRIT coordinator, and congratulate this inaugural GRIT group on a successful year and a job well done! 

On Friday, May 12, the entire school will gather for an aerial photo-op on the soccer lot. Instead of spirit wear attire, as stated in the planner, the students are asked to wear their everyday uniform. A separate communication will go out to all Middle School families, informing them of the change.

Looking ahead: 
The 7th-grade Soirée will take place on Friday, May 19, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. This wonderful tradition exclusively for the seventh grade will include outdoor activities, pizza, and arts and crafts in the Middle School wing. If you would like your daughter to participate in this event, please sign the attached permission form and return it to the school no later than Wednesday, May 17. We will also have hard copies at hand in the Middle School Commons.
On Monday, May 22, the Middle School will enjoy a special barbecue picnic luncheon on the grassy knoll in the Middle School circle. Chef Tyler will prepare boxed lunches with BBQ fare exclusively for the Middle School. Students, faculty and staff will have an opportunity to spend time together and sign yearbooks. We always look forward to this wonderful Middle School tradition.
Please mark your calendars: on Tuesday, May 23, we will host our annual Middle School Spring Concert and Art Show. Students need to be in formal uniform for this event. They need to arrive by 6:15 p.m. and proceed immediately to the DeChantal Hall. The concert will start promptly at 7 p.m. and will last about an hour. A reception will follow the concert. Hope to see you there!
As always, it is a privilege to partner with you and to work with your daughter in this wonderful school.
With gratitude,
Ilse Norris
Director of Middle School