Statement of Philosophy
Visitation Academy, founded in 1855, reflects the mission of the Sisters of the Visitation. This mission centers around life itself through the development of key relationships with God, self, others, and creation. The heart of a Visitation education is rooted in the spirit of St. Francis de Sales. Respect for the individual through the virtues of gentleness and humility is imparted in an environment of love and tradition.
Visitation Academy provides a unique learning environment for the education of young girls. Visitation is located on 7.5 acres of monastery grounds in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. The Old World charm of our physical setting houses a dynamic educational program that prepares our girls to be responsible women of tomorrow. An integrated curriculum, infused with morals and religious values, empowers our students to meet the challenges and demands of the new millennium.
The unique value of Visitation Academy is that it is a girls’ school which enhances the spiritual, intellectual, personal, social, and physical development of each student. As a community of Christian educators, we recognize and address the many facets necessary for the growth of young women: a well-rounded program that develops student awareness of moral, religious, and educational values; a single-sex program that bolsters leadership and self-esteem; cultural and religious diversity that encourages attitudes of understanding and tolerance; small class sizes that promote an atmosphere of mutual support and a sense of community; teaching methodologies that acknowledge multiple intelligences.
Our Visitation community is built on the strength of the relationship of teacher, student, parent, school, and monastery. Our interaction with one another is rooted in the belief that we are made in the image and likeness of God. This is reflected in the following ways: the structure and style of the school creates a community atmosphere; our small faculty is conducive to mutual support and respect; teachers as role models encourage a positive self-concept in students; the high percentage of parental involvement in school functions affirms the mission of the school; the Academy is a vital part of the mission of the Sisters of the Visitation; faculty members take personal responsibility in living out the mission of the school; alumnae continue to support the vision of the school.
Collaboration is a significant part of the development of administrative, curriculum, teaching, and evaluative processes: the Principal, in consultation with the Board of Trustees, faculty and staff, develops and implements policy; educational policy and curriculum are formulated as a result of an on-going collaboration of professional study, communication, and evaluation; the strong Staff Development program at V.A. facilitates cutting-edge teaching strategies (i.e. articulation of methodology at meetings on and across grade levels; and implementation of diverse teaching/learning techniques with integration of NYS Learning Standards).
Dialogue is a necessary component of the school evaluation at V.A., enabling all members of the school to participate. It takes into account both formal and informal criteria, promoting a valid assessment for all.
As a community of believers and learners, we live the message proclaimed at the entrance to the Academy: Be it known to all who enter here that Christ is the reason for this school. He is the unseen but ever present teacher in its classes. He is the model of its faculty and the inspiration of its students.
- Admission Procedures and Re-Registration
Each year in February, V.A. conducts re-registration for the students already attending the school. Parents are required to pay a non-refundable deposit by the deadline or face the possibility of forfeiting the child’s seat. Families who are delinquent in tuition or other fees will not be considered for re-registration nor will a seat be held if applying to another school program.
- Tuition rates and payment systems
The Administration is responsible for setting tuition, fees, and a timetable of payments for the academic school year. If you are two or more months behind in payment, your child may not attend class until tuition becomes current.
School Rules and Procedures
Rules at Visitation are comparatively few and are for the greater good of all the school community. They are intended to help each girl grow in individual freedom, personal responsibility, and self-discipline while displaying good manners characteristic of a Catholic young woman. Enrollment of a student implies an approval of the philosophy of our school and an agreement on her part and on the part of her parents to observe these rules. The Administration reserves the right to discipline and/or dismiss a student whose conduct, attitude, or effort is considered unsatisfactory.
Code of Conduct:
As a community of learners, Visitation Academy has established certain standards and guidelines to aid in preserving the ideals of the school. Adherence to the Code of Conduct is an important part of being a member of the Visitation community. At the core of this code are the ideals of honesty, integrity, and maximum growth for the individual and the school. Thus, the following actions are deemed inappropriate and will result in administrative review:
- using cell phones on school grounds
- destroying or defacing school property
- being in a classroom at any time without a teacher present
- being out of class without permission
- causing disorder anywhere during school hours
- improper language or behavior
- eating or drinking on the school grounds other than at specified times
- chewing gum
- littering on the school grounds
- no iPods in school
Substance Abuse will not be tolerated under any condition and will result in immediate dismissal.
Elaborate birthday celebrations are not allowed: With prior approval of the teacher, parents may send in cupcakes or candy bags in the Lower School only. Birthday parties are not allowed in the Middle School.
Lower School and Middle School
We venture to provide a variety of learning experiences for those enrolled at the Academy. Each student must fulfill all her class-requirements on time and in the manner prescribed by the teacher. Late and incomplete assignments will be graded accordingly.
Students are responsible for completing all homework assignments on time. Parents are required to help motivate their children to carry out this responsibility. Students who are absent are required to make up all classwork and homework assignments within the time prescribed by the teacher.
- Grading and Report Card Policies
Grades are based on classwork, homework, quizzes, tests, and individual and group projects. Midway between report cards, children are given a progress report to alert parents to any difficulties that may be occurring. Please review this report promptly. Feel free to request an interview. Report cards are distributed three times a year. The first and second report cards are distributed during parent-teacher conferences in December and March. The final report card is sent home on the last day of school.
- Promotion/Retention Policy
Any student who is failing two or more subjects will not be promoted.
Middle School Grades 5 – 8
Academics: All homework must be turned in the day it is due. It is the responsibility of the student who is absent to make up the work, usually within 1-2 days, at the discretion of the teacher. Please note: All students receive a mark for homework and this directly impacts their final report card mark.
- Before or After School Holidays/Vacations:Vacation plans should be made to avoid missing any school days. If any unusual circumstances arise, parents should notify the Principal in writing at least two weeks in advance. Any absence which is not approved will be considered an unexcused absence and the student will be given a zero for any work/test missed. If approval is given, it is the student’s responsibility to meet each of her teachers to arrange for the completion of all assignments, quizzes, tests, etc., missed during her absence.
- Making Up Assignments:When a student is absent from class, it is her responsibility to contact the teacher in order to make up any tests or work she has missed. It is the student’s responsibility to make arrangements with her teachers. Students arriving after the start of the day or who are scheduled to leave early are to contact the teacher of any class missed or to be missed to submit the assignment due in that class or to take the test scheduled for the missed class. Failure to contact the teacher the day of the absence may result in forfeiture of the privilege of making up the missed work/test. In the case of anticipated absences, i.e., doctor’s appointments, field trips, family trips, etc., all work including tests should be completed and submitted before the absence unless prior arrangements have been made with the teacher.
- Pattern of Absences:Regular attendance to class is essential to benefit from the educational process. Students who are absent miss instruction, discussion, and participatory activities that enrich and deepen their understanding of key concepts. A student who develops a pattern of absences on test days or periods (two or more absences) will be referred to the Principal for a conference with the teacher and parent. Additional absences on test days or class periods may result in the forfeiture of the privilege of making up a test and a grade of “0” on the forfeited test, and the student cannot make honors on their report card. Certain assignments or projects may carry the same weight as a test and will be treated as a test in terms of absence. Extended or excessive absences due to serious illness will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.
- Non-School Sponsored Events:Parents are requested to not take their daughters out of school for non-school sponsored activities or vacations except for 7th or 8th grade buddy-days at other high schools.
E. Consequences for Unexcused Absences: Students who incur unnecessary absences will suffer the natural consequences of their action: no tests, quizzes, or homework will be allowed to be made up, and students will receive a “0” for that work if an absence is not excused. Extended vacations are considered unexcused absences
F. Honor Roll:The Academy acknowledges academic excellence after each trimester for students in Grades 5 through 8.
Certificates of Achievement will be given with report cards.
Eligibility for honors is contingent upon the student’s upholding the Code of Conduct. No student with a Progress Code grade of 1 in Conduct will be eligible for Honors.
- Principal’s List: Grades of 95 or above in ELA, French, Math, Science, Social Studies
- First Honors:All grades 90 – 94
- Second Honors:All grades 85 – 89
- Graduation:Valedictorian and Salutatorian Guidelines:
- A student must be in the top 5% of the class for grades 6, 7 and 8
- A student must be a model of Salesian values including but not limited to: kindness, gentleness and respect for one another. The core of a Visitation education is the Salesian charism.
Religion classes are mandatory for all students. Whether a child is Catholic or not, she is required to remain in the room while religion is taught and to attend liturgical and paraliturgical services.
Uniforms may be purchased from Flynn & O’Hara or Land’s End.
Flynn & O’Hara
Phone: Call 800-441-4122
Preferred School Number 900078916
(Worn from beginning of school year to Columbus Day and May 1st until close of school – unless otherwise notified.)
Grades Nursery – Grade 4
- Summer Jumper – Blue Pinfeather jumper
- Blouse – white short sleeve shirt/blouse
- Socks – white knee socks
- Shoes – navy shoes
Grades 5 through 8
- Summer skirt – khaki kilt with pleats
- Blouse – white short sleeve golf shirt/blouse
- Socks – white knee socks
- Sweater – navy with enblem
- Shoes – navy shoes
Coats – Solid Navy Coats and Jackets
(Tuesday after Columbus Day – April 30th – unless otherwise notified.)
Nursery – 4
- Jumper – navy with emblem
- Blouse – white, peter-pan collar
- Sweater – navy with emblem
- Socks – navy knee socks or tights
- Shoes – navy
Grades 5- 8
- Skirt – navy kilt with pleats
- Blouse – white shirt/blouse
- Opaque navy pantyhose or tights
- Socks – navy knee socks
- Sweater – navy with emblem
- Shoes – navy
Grades K through 8
- Visitation Navy t-shirt
- Visitation Navy sweatshirt
- Navy sweatpants
- Navy shorts
- Athletic white sneakers
Note: The Gym uniform is worn to school only on Gym days.
Shorts are worn under uniform skirt and may not be worn to school as a school uniform.
- Girls are not allowed to wear makeup, long nails, nail
tips, wraps, or extensions.
- Only small stud earrings, watches, and religious medals are
No cartilage or double piercing is allowed.
- Only solid navy jackets or coats are allowed. (No Sports Team Logos)
- Book Bags:Traditional backpacks may be any color.
Luggage-type bags, including those on wheels are dangerous.
- Gum, candy, toys, purses, pocketbooks and glass bottles are not allowed.
School Hours:Students must be in attendance between the hours of:
- 8:20 AM – 2:20 PM Nursery
- 8:20 AM to 2:30 PM – PreK – 4
- 8:20 AM to 2:45 PM – Grades 5, 6, 7, and 8
- Arrival:Students must not arrive at school before 8:00 AM (unless you have spoken to the Principal for a special accommodation), as there is no teacher supervision before that time. Teachers are on morning yard duty from 7:55 AM to 8:05 AM. The bell rings at 8:05 AM, at which time classes begin to enter the school building.
- Arrival Procedures for Pre-K:
- Arrival time for Pre-K is 8:20 AM
- Parents and children are to wait outside the building
- Parents and students are not to come to the classroom before 8:05 AM
- Lateness:A student arriving after 8:35 AM will be marked late.
- Absences: Parents must notify the school (718-680-9452) by 10:00 AM if their daughter is absent. An absence note, signed by a parent/guardian, must be presented on the day of the child’s return to school, as mandated by New York State Law.
- Excused:An excused absence includes (1) illness or (2) family emergency. It is the responsibility of the student to make up missed homework assignments, as well as classroom work. When a student becomes ill during the day, the parent/guardian must pick up the student at the office and sign the student out. The student will be marked absent for the day.
- Unexcused:Vacations should be scheduled according to our school calendar. Taking a student out of school for additional holidays affects student progress on all levels. Assignments are not given in advance since written work never fully compensates for class time missed. The student has one day for each day absent to make up missed work.
- Inclement Weather Day Procedures:When rain or snow is forecast, parents are requested to send their child to school dressed appropriately for the expected weather. Raincoats with hoods are suggested, as are ponchos which fold up and can be kept in the backpack. Please label raincoats, ponchos, and boots with your daughter’s name. No boots are to be worn to school, and no umbrellas are to be brought to school.
ON INCLEMENT WEATHER DAYS ONLY:
Pre-K and K – Arrival and Dismissal: Pre-K and Kindergarten parents should proceed directly to the Alumnae Room. At dismissal, parents are permitted to wait outside the Alumnae Room door to meet their daughter. If you have children in the Middle School, please proceed to the gate on 91st Street to meet your older children.
Grades 1 through 8 – Arrival: Students in Grades 1 through 8 are requested to meet in the Alumnae Room. If your child is physically handicapped and requires assistance negotiating the stairs, you are welcome to assist.
Grades 1 through 4 – Dismissal: Dismissal is at the Chapel Gate.
Grades 5 through 8 – Dismissal: Dismissal is at the 91st Street Gate
When parents congregate at the school door on rainy or snowy days, it is hazardous and difficult for the classes to be dismissed in an orderly and safe fashion.
Perfect Attendance Awards
Awards are issues to students in Grades 5 through 8 who have never been late or absent in the trimester. (Excused absences exclude students from receiving Perfect Attendance Certificates.)
Three late arrivals in a semester forfeits eligibility for perfect attendance. Any student leaving early for illness or appointments will be marked absent and will not qualify for perfect attendance.
Visitation Academy provides our students with the opportunity to access the Internet and will provide instruction in its use as a valuable learning tool. We will make every effort to supervise the use of on-line services and to block undesirable areas. Students may not use these facilities except in the presence of an adult supervisor, and they are not permitted to enter chat rooms or knowingly undesirable sites. We cannot accept responsibility if your daughter intentionally enters an area of the Internet that is offensive. In such a case, future access by that student will be denied. If an unapproved site is accessed, our supervisors will disconnect from that area as quickly as possible. If a parent does not want his or her daughter to use online services, it is the parent/guardian’s responsibility to inform the school in writing of such decision.
Middle School students are allowed to bring their own laptops, iPads, Kindles, or Nooks to school for classwork.
Cell phones must be turned off and in the student’s backpack. Any child using a cell phone on school grounds will have the phone confiscated and will be suspended from school.
- Requirements for Admission: New York City Health Department regulations require that all new students and every student under six years of age submit a medical form, dated within 90 days prior to the start of school. No child will be allowed to enter the classroom on the first day of school without a completed medical form.
- Personal Student Information:
- Medication:In accordance with New York State Education Law, the school cannot assume the responsibility of administering medication to any student. In those cases where a student must receive medication during school hours, Visitation must be provided with a doctor’s note stating that fact. In addition, the child must be able to self-administer the medication. If the child is unable to self-administer, a parent must come to school to give the medication.
- Safety Regulation Regarding Cars:Parents are prohibited from using or blocking the driveway at any time, regardless of weather conditions. Also, in recognition of the tragic consequences that can result from the hazardous practice of double-parking, parents must not double-park in front of the Academy on Ridge Boulevard.
- Emergency Contact:Each child must return an emergency card during the first week of school. It is the responsibility of the parent to complete this form accurately and see that the information stated is kept up to date.
- Sickness:Please do not send your child to school if she is sick. Children who become ill in the school will be sent to the school office. A parent will be notified of the condition of the child. When a child is forced to leave school because of illness, only the parents, or adult designated by the parent, may pick up the child
- Dental Requirements:All students are expected to visit the dentist annually and provide the school with a completion note.
- Medical Excuses:When a student experiences an injury or illness that affects her ability to perform at her maximum level, it is imperative that the school be provided with written notification and medical documentation. Students with special orthopedic support appliances also must submit medical documentation.
Parents must alert the school in writing as to any court papers regarding custody of children and the status of the non-custodial parent. Copies of any official court papers must be provided to the school.
- Appointment Procedures:Parents are encouraged to communicate with their child’s teacher. However, a written request for a conference is necessary. The teacher will respond within a day.
- Parent Associations:The Mothers’ Club and The Fathers’ Club are organizations available to all parents/guardians whose children are currently enrolled in the Academy
- Emergency School Closing:School closings caused by inclement weather conditions are generally determined by the school. You will be notified by a parent phone chain system in the event of a school closing (e.g. boiler malfunction, lack of water).
- School Telephone:(718) 680-9452
- Phone Calls:Students are not allowed to call home for homework, supplies, or concerning after school activities. This policy encourages responsibility.
Dining Hall and Playground Regulations
- Glass bottles or cans that require openers are not permitted in the Dining Hall
- No lunch is to be brought in from outside restaurants. ALL lunches must be brought in with the student. No one is to leave lunches at the school office.
- Each class sits at their designated table and does not sit at another grade’s table
- Whenever the bell is rung or the lights are turned off during lunchtime, immediate silence is expected and attention is paid to the teacher on Lunch Duty.
- After 20 minutes, weather permitting, students will be dismissed to go outside. Before leaving, students must leave their places clean and push in their chairs.
- No food is to be brought from the lunchroom to the playground.
- No child is allowed back to her classroom at any time for any reason. If a student leaves the Dining Hall, she must inform the teacher on Lunch Duty.
- Weather permitting, every student is expected to go outside after she has been dismissed from the Dining Hall. Permission to stay indoors during lunch period for health reasons requires a written request from a doctor.
- Only volunteer adults and teachers on Lunch Duty are allowed in the Dining Hall. Siblings who are not students are not permitted in the Dining Hall or other areas of the school during school hours.
- If a child is a behavior problem, the parent/guardian will be contacted and appropriate measures will be taken.
- When outside, no student is allowed in the woods or in the boathouse.
- If there is adequate adult supervision, students are allowed in the field.
- Grades 1 and 2 are not allowed on the cement path around the lake unescorted. Grades 5 through 8, when supervision is available, are allowed to walk around the lake using the cement path.
- Only Pre-K and Kindergarten students use the Pre-K and Kindergarten playground during lunch.
- Students on the swings may only swing back and forth, not side to side. Students may not push another student on the swings. Students may stand on the cement area when waiting for a swing.
- Students are to come down the slide in a feet-first sitting position.
- Any equipment used during lunchtime must be put away.
When the first bell rings, students are to line up. When the second bell rings, students are to stand on line in silence while waiting to enter the building. When the second bell rings, students are to stand on line in silence while waiting to enter the building.
Visitation Academy aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.
Visitation’s policies and expectations aid each student’s growth in individual freedom (the ability to choose the better thing), personal responsibility, self-discipline, and the gracious manner characteristic of a young, Christian woman. A Visitation student is expected to be completely honest in all her dealings, including class assignments and tests. She is expected not to plagiarize material, fabricate or falsify information. Enrollment in the school implies an approval of its standards and a willingness to cooperate with them.
Cheating or academic dishonesty includes:
- Plagiarism – using the ideas or work of another person as your own, such as copying language from a book or website and not citing origin.
- Misconduct – refusing to follow directions, such as taking test materials from a classroom or using prohibited electronic devices.
- Forgery – forging the signature of a Parent/Guardian on a letter, progress report, permission slip or any other document.
RESPONSIBILITY FOR SCHOOL POLICIES
The Head of School, faculty, staff and students share in the responsibility to promote and uphold the Academic Honesty Policy. Visitation values its partnership with parents and seeks parental support and respect for school policies and regulations.
Teachers reinforce academic honesty:
At the opening of the school year, each subject area teacher is responsible for teaching students how to use other people’s work, referencing and citation as it pertains to a particular subject area. A workshop will also be conducted in ELA to guide students in referencing other people’s work including citations, work cited, Bibliography and quality of sources used.
- help students understand what academic honesty is and why it is important.
- help students learn definitions of cheating, plagiarism, collusion, and misconduct and how to avoid those practices. Teachers will also stress the concept of intellectual property – defined as ideas or work of another person, including professionals and students, and how to avoid the misuse of intellectual property.
- model good practices of academic honesty.
- encourage students to develop their own voice and ideas.
- help students develop responsible use of IT, library resources, and citation which includes photographs, websites, music, and literature.
- clearly state expectations for collaborative and individual work.
- teach students how to reflect on what they have read and take appropriate notes by paraphrasing and writing down general statements from texts.
Below is a list of free citation sources to help students accurately acknowledge the intellectual property of others using MLA format.
Citation Machine http://citationmachine.net
Easy Bib http://www.easybib.com/
- be honest in presenting all of their work.
- acknowledge help from parents, other students, and friends.
- know what constitutes cheating and how to abide by the rules of academic honesty.
- say “no” to students who want to copy their work.
- understand and use technology and library resources properly.
- acknowledge resources in appropriately cited bibliographies, using MLA or another approved source when citing sources.
- when collaborating with other students, share ideas and not allow someone to copy their work.
- keep the content of a test to themselves and after taking a test not tell other students the questions or answers.
- not buy, find, or receive a paper that they turn in as their own work.
Consequences of Academic Dishonesty
Infractions of school policy show a lack of respect for the school, teachers, and fellow classmates and are not consistent with the student’s personal growth.
- In a case of plagiarism, the teacher will review how to reference sources with student/class. The student will resubmit the assignment.
Parents will be contacted by teacher and made aware of infraction.
- A second violation will result in a failure for the project/paper.
- Any continued violation will be referred to the principal.
- In a case of on-line safety dishonesty, a student will lose the privilege of using her personal tablets, computers or any electronic device at school.
As a school community, we understand that students need support and guidance when it comes to being academically honest. Our end goal in dealing with academic dishonesty is behavioral change.
ACADEMIC INTEGRITY AND THE HONOR CODE
The Honor Code at Visitation shapes a learning environment based on honesty, fairness, responsibility, and mutual respect. All members of the community are called to uphold the Honor Code in thought and deed. “Be who you are and be that well,” advised St. Francis de Sales.
Each student is responsible for maintaining her own honor and for the integrity of the entire community and her fellow students. Each student affirms this commitment by signing the pledge:
I, _______________, agree to the conditions of the Academic Honesty Policy and understand that the following are violations of the Honesty Policy. Examples include but are not limited to:
- Lying – not telling the truth to any member of the Visitation community.
- Plagiarism – using the ideas or work of another person as my own, such as copying language from a primary or secondary source without giving the proper credit to the source. Words, images, audio, and videos that are used in posters, slideshows, oral reports, papers, or other projects also must be cited.
- Misconduct – refusing to follow directions, such as taking test materials from a classroom or using prohibited electronic devices.
- Forgery – Forging the signature of a Parent/Guardian on a letter, progress report permission slip or any other document.
- Cheating – giving or receiving answers for an examination test, quiz, recitation, homework, or assignment of any type. This policy applies to both internal and external assessment(Terra Nova, NYS Testing, NYS Regents)
I understand and agree to the conditions in the Academic Honor Policy and in the above contract.
Student’s Signature__________________________________ Date:____________________
Parent’s Signature___________________________________ Date: ____________________
STUDENT GUIDELINES FOR ON-LINE SAFETY
The Internet provides access to computer systems located all over the world. We need guidelines in order to use the Internet safely and productively. Please read the guide lines below with your parents and sign the bottom. Once you have agreed with these guidelines, you will be able to participate in Internet projects in school. If any of these guidelines are broken, you will not be allowed to use the Internet in school.
- I will demonstrate honesty and respect for others at all times.
- I will not post language or pictures that are offensive.
- I will not invade the privacy of another user nor will I willfully break into another’s account.
- I will tell my teachers/parents right away if I come across any information that is racist, sexist, hateful or obscene.
- I will not go to any website that is not approved by my teacher. I will only go to websites that are needed for my research or schoolwork.
- I will be logged out of any personal media sites if I am using my own tablet/computer in school. I understand that the Internet is being used for research and school work and that I can-\not check Facebook, Instagram or any personal media account while at school.
- I will ask permission to use materials that belong to someone else. Some information on website sites is copyrighted.
- I will not send mean or hateful e-mails to anyone. I will report any e-mail that is offensive to me to my parents and teachers.
- I will take care of software, equipment and data.
- I understand that I am not to use my personal cell/smart phone during school hours. My cell phone must be off and in my backpack during the school day.
- I will not engage in any form of harassment or cyber bullying.
- I will not access, transmit, copy or create material that violates Visitation’s Handbook. Violations include but are not limited to material, language, images and messages that are illegal, sexually-explicit (including nudity), threatening, rude, discriminatory, harassing or disruptive to the educational process.
I understand, if I break any of the rules and guidelines for on-line safety, I will not be allowed use the Internet in school and disciplinary action might be taken, depending on the severity of the behavior.
I understand, I cannot take classroom pictures of students or teachers and post pictures on Instagram or any other internet site.
Any information related to the school on any web site, Instagram, bulletin board, chat room, e-mail or to other messaging system that is deemed threatening or impugning to the character of another person is subject to disciplinary action.
Visitation reserves the right to review any and all data, information, communications, logs, and all other material stored on school devices or on student personal devices that I use on campus.
Parents: please do not try to reach your child on her cell phone during school hours. It will result in suspension.
Student’s Signature__________________________________ Date:____________________