VCS Traditions

Consistent traditions keep children connected and secure. They give the students milestones and memories. Visitation has many traditions based on Our Faith, Our Families and Our Future” -- Karen Duyck

Some of the traditions that are faith centered are the sacraments of First Reconciliation, First Communion, and The Blessing of the Animals on the Feast of St Francis of Assisi.

The May crowning of Mary is a tradition that the Eighth grade girls look forward to. The girls all write essays to compete for the honor of crowning Mary. The student and her two assistants are chosen based on her essay as well as how she lives her faith.

Weekly Mass is an important faith connector. Each class is responsible for the Mass. They participate in the music, the readings as well as being altar servers.

Family traditions include the annual sausage dinner. The school and parish children look forward to being old enough to work their shift. In fourth grade you start by taking a shift wrapping silverware. Moving up the chain of command in fifth and sixth grade you wash dishes. In Seventh and eighth grade the boys serve coffee and other beverages. The girls serve the dinner and dessert. This tradition continues through adulthood. Many college students come home the first Saturday of November just to help out. They know they will get a chance to see former classmates and friends.

Catholic Schools Week in January is an important week at VCS. Everyday has a different focus. It is also when we invite our grandparents or a special friend to celebrate our community of Catholic schools.

Field trips are an important part of our School's curriculum. Field trips include: Pete Jansen’s dairy farm, Art Vanderzanden’s pumpkin patch and Oregon Zoo, Rice’s Rock Museum, OMSI, The Beehive, The End of the Oregon Trail Museum, Bonneville dam and the fish hatchery. Youth Philharmonic concert in Portland, and our yearly trip in the fall to Valley Catholic to see their musical play.

Our children have many opportunities to get up in front of people and speak. The all school annual Christmas program is one opportunity that students, parents, grandparents and parishioners always look forward to. We have had monthly assemblies that have a different focus each month. Focuses such as poetry, geography, spelling, religious skits and music showcase what they have learned in the classroom. The all School Science Fair, Mass and many student council opportunities give the children a chance to show they are the leaders of tomorrow.

Outdoor school is another tradition the children really look forward to. When the sixth graders get back the whole school knows it, they are always singing the camp songs and have bonded in a way that is really special. That kind of bonding is repeated when they go on their eighth grade graduation retreat at the beach. We often hear how much that retreat means to the students as they prepare to culminate their years at Visitation.

Another tradition that encourages leadership is the ever popular buddy program. This starts for the students in kindergarten; they are partnered with the fourth graders. This helps the older children see the importance of setting a good example and helps the younger kids connect with the “big kids”. They sit together at Mass every Thursday. Then every other Friday they get together for art projects, reading and an occasional recess.

Book Adventure is a recent addition that is a great reading incentive for the students. They take quizzes on books they read to accumulate points that they then turn in for prizes.