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Middle School Director's Notes

A message from Director of Middle School, Ilse Norris:

Dear Visitation Middle School families,

Caroline Little, Middle School science teacher, is spearheading an initiative called We Share Solar. This initiative empowers students to be global changemakers. By combining solar energy and engineering education with real-world applicability, trained teachers cultivate students' interest in STEM subjects and inspire them to meet an immediate need in the developing world. Visitation School can participate this year in We Share Solar through a generous grant from the WEM Foundation that provided training for Ms. Little and two solar suitcases. One suitcase will be deployed to help light a school in a refugee settlement in Uganda, and one suitcase will remain at Visitation middle school to help teach and learn about solar energy. The students will have their working solar suitcase mailed out to the Bidi Bidi Refugee settlement sometime next week! In Bidi Bidi, out of 42 schools, only 10% have access to solar light. Over 73,000 learners in primary schools and over 7,000 in secondary schools will benefit from the light and power provided by the Solar Suitcases. The majority of refugees in Bidi Bidi are displaced due to conflict or climate change. Out of the settlements in Uganda, Bidi Bidi is the largest. There are generally fewer services available compared to other settlements due to the size of the population and also the geographic location. Kudos to our students and Ms. Little for being changemakers in the world and providing much-needed solar energy to this refugee settlement!

On Thursday, May 11, the Visitation GRIT (Girls Re-Imagining Tomorrow) Girls, along with GRIT Girls from seven chapters around the nation, had a graduation celebration at 8 a.m. in Ain Karim. The young ladies prepared presentations and shared their reflections on the past year with family and friends. They received graduation certificates and the event concluded with a reception. We thank Kelsey Irizarry, our onsite GRIT coordinator, and Jackie Moran, our contact at ePlus, a network solutions group, for mentoring the inaugural GRIT graduating class through a successful year and a job well done! 

At the Middle School assembly, the seventh-grade Spanish students performed the song "Bajo el mismo sol" they learned in Señora’s Spanish class and practiced in Mr. Bell’s music class. What’s more, the eighth graders, who learned this same song last year, spontaneously joined them on stage for this entertaining presentation. Before long, the entire auditorium was singing and dancing! Not to be outdone, the sixth-grade Spanish students gained some culinary experience making quesadillas right in the classroom. Of course, the most delightful part of this experience was eating these tasty treats! Spring has sprung in the Middle School! 

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