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Middle School Director's Notes

A message from Director of Middle School, Ilse Norris:

Dear Visitation Middle School families,

Steve Wick, Project Manager for Lakes Landscape, came to talk with the seventh and eighth-grade girls last week about the Sisters Courtyard project. The seventh and eighth graders learned about his job as a project manager and he shared his design and landscape ideas for the courtyard which was used by the Sisters. The girls had many creative ideas which will be included in this ongoing design project. We hope this space, which we have named The Legacy Garden, will be used by all students in the future. 

The 7th grade Soirée took place on Friday, May 19. This wonderful tradition exclusively for the 7th graders included outdoor activities such as capture the flag, pizza, and arts and crafts in the Middle School wing. My favorite moment of the evening happened when the girls came in for pizza dinner. They spontaneously pushed the tables together in the Middle School commons so everyone had a seat at the table and enjoyed each other's company in a great big circle. Heartwarming moments like these demonstrate that our students live the Salesian virtues of generosity, hospitality and gratitude.

On Monday, May 22, the Middle School enjoyed a special barbecue picnic luncheon in the courtyard. Chef Tyler prepared BBQ fare exclusively for the Middle School. Students, faculty and staff had an opportunity to spend time together and sign yearbooks. The weather cooperated for this wonderful Middle School tradition and we were happy to offer some fun-in-the-sun for our students. I couldn’t help but think what a wonderful way this was to celebrate the end of a great school year as a community! 

On May 23, the Music faculty hosted the Middle School music and orchestra concert entitled “Vis in Bloom”. The students had been rehearsing for weeks and arrived full of anticipation. Ms. Meghan McGuire, the Orchestra teacher, single-handedly grew the orchestra over the years from a handful of students - five, to be exact - to an orchestra of 23 members strong. And what a strong performance they gave, with a repertoire that included classical pieces, such as Allegro from Xerxes by G.F. Handel, as well as the contemporary favorite Here Comes the Sun by George Harrison. After the orchestra’s flawless performance, it was time for our 6th, 7th and 8th-grade choir and pops choir to take the stage. I know that singing and performing is not everyone's "thing," but the students were so inspired by Mr. Bell and Mrs. Rexroth that, on Tuesday night, it was everybody's thing! I want to thank Ross Bell, Meghan McGuire and Randi Rexroth for their efforts, hard work, and countless hours of practice, dedication and love for our students. Everybody in attendance agreed that the concert was a great success!

Looking ahead: 

On Thursday, June 1, we will celebrate our eighth graders as they graduate from Visitation Middle School. The schedule for the day is as follows: 

  • 8:15 - 9:15 a.m.-- 8th-grade breakfast (students and Middle School faculty only), planned by the 7th grade and Parents' Association
  • 9:30 - 10:30 a.m. - Middle School Award Ceremony in DeSales auditorium
  • 10:30 - 11:30 a.m. - 8th-grade Graduation practice
  • 12:00 p.m. - 8th grade dismissed (except for the Decorating Committee; dismissed at 12:30 p.m.)
  • 6:00 p.m. - Graduation Mass in the Chapel (park in the Main Lot and enter through the Heart, Door 5)
  • 6:45 p.m. - Class photo on the steps in the Heart
  • 7:00 p.m. - Graduation Ceremony in the DeSales auditorium 

Please submit an RSVP with the number of attendees for mass and ceremony as soon as possible.

On Friday, June 2, the 6th and 7th graders are going bowling at Cedarvale Lanes. There is no cost to students, but concessions will be available for purchase at the bowling alley. Please complete this Permission and Release form by Wednesday, May 31. Attire is out-of-uniform. Students will be back in the Middle School Circle by 10:45 a.m., in time for dismissal. Have a wonderful summer!

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