New & Returning Students - Your Guide to 2018-19


We are excited to have our new students joining us next fall and we will look forward to welcoming back our returning students. To ensure you get your registration completed on time and accomplish any summer assignments you have, read this section of the website thoroughly and download our e-book, "Your Guide to Success in 2018-19: Registration, Summer Assignments & Orientation,"  to the right. Also review the information in the maroon box. Just click through each link and complete the new student survey to about matching you with a compatible roommate..

Additional important information—like esssential forms you must complete and your student medical health record—will be found through our password-protected web portal (simply LOGIN at the top right of this website).

Finally, please find all the summer assignments below that are relevant to you—the all-school reading, any grade-level information and specific class assignments. Review all the details and due dates!

Please let us know if you need anything! We want to make your registration and preparation for the VES school year as easy as possible.

All the best!

World Language Placement - New Students


Please forward this link
to your current French or Spanish teacher. Ask him/her to fill out the brief survey as soon as possible. 


Please take the Spanish Placement Test by July 15. Set aside 60 minutes to complete the test. Please do not reference notes, computers, or any other help during this test. Copy and paste this link into your web browser: The password is bishops.

Required All-School Summer Reading

VES students, faculty and staff will all read Walking to Listen by Andrew Forsthoefel. We will discuss the book during the first week of school.

In addition to the all-school reading assignment, please review your grade-level / senior elective reading and writing assignments below.

Required Assignments for Rising Seniors


All seniors must have a completed rough draft of an essay addressing one of the Common App essay prompts. You must share your essay with your senior English teacher and college counselor on the first day of classes. To prepare your rough draft, please read this assignment sheet.

If You Are Enrolled in BOOK DESIGN

Students need to purchase and read Go: A Kidd's Guide to Graphic Design by Chip Kidd.

Dr. Nealis encourages you to read any one of the following for fun:
  • Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John Le Carré (fiction)
  • The Nuclear Age by Tim O’Brien (fiction)
  • The Cold War: A World History by Odd Arne Westad (non-fiction)
  • Essence of Decision: Explaining the Cuban Missile Crisis by Graham T. Allison (non-fiction)

AP Classes: Summer Requirements

Courses with summer assignments are listed below. Please review this information carefully and plan ahead to meet deadlines.



Students are required to read these two books and complete the three assignments below:

  • How to Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas C. Foster
  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Writing assignment on Frankenstein due by July 16 via OnCampus (no extensions, no exceptions): Write a 720-1200 word paper showing a careful reading of Frankenstein. The paper will address the following prompt:

In literary works, cruelty often functions as a crucial motivation or a major social or political factor. Consider how acts of cruelty are important to a theme in Frankenstein. Then write a well-developed essay analyzing how cruelty functions in the work as a whole and what the cruelty reveals about the perpetrator and/or a victim. MLA format, please.

Summary cards for How to Read Literature Like a Professor due on the first day of class.

First read and annotate the book. Underline / respond to important ideas and take notes in the margin. After reading the book, make a summary card for each of the 26 main chapters. You do not need to make review cards for the Interludes or the Test Case chapter; however, you should read and annotate those sections. Review cards must be on 5x8 index cards and you must fill the front and at least half the back of the card. Put your name, the chapter number and title on the top of the lined side of the card. We will use these all year with every work we read, so work carefully and it will pay off later.


Students planning to enroll or stay enrolled in Mr. Knebel's AP Composition class must read the unabridged (or grown-up) versions of the following three books: 

  • Peter Pan (sometimes published as Peter and Wendy) by James Barrie
  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
Students will be required to handwrite (not type) 10 passages from each book. The passages should be at least 100 words long apiece and continuous. Students will select their own passages based on a particular fondness or based on some other personal resonance. The two books by Carroll count as one book for this purpose. So for clarity, 10 Peter passages and 10 Alice passages for a total of 2,000+ words.   



Please complete the tutorials and practice exercises in the “Reading Music” unit on website prior to the first day of class. 

 2-D - Ms. Thompson

Please read the detailed description of your assignments hereDue date: on or before August 17. If you have questions, please contact

AP STUDIO ART 3-D - Ms. Thompson

Please read the detailed description of your assignments here. Due date: on or before August 17. If you have questions, please contact


AP US HISTORY - Dr. Wakefield

Students are required to read Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your High School History Textbook Got Wrong by James W. Loewen, New York: The New Press, 2005. ISBN: 1-56584-100-X

Please prepare the required writing due the first day of class:
  • At least one FULL page of notes for each chapter in the book. These notes should be single-spaced, typed in 12pt Times New Roman font. The notes should be in bullet point format and should include page numbers where information was obtained, where quotes were found, etc.
  • Each chapter also should have roughly eight (8) sentences of accompanying annotation that synthesizes the notes. In essence, these paragraphs should be summaries of each chapter, its major arguments, major themes, and an overview of the examples the author used to make his points. These paragraphs should be single-spaced, typed in 12pt Times New Roman font.
  • Examples/directions can be found in OnCampus.

AP WORLD HISTORY - Mr. Button and Dr. Nealis

Read Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond



The following work is due on the first day of class:
Select and read six (6) Francophones newspapers articles from the newspapers below. For each article, copy and paste the link to the article in your document, then write a summary of approximately 200 words per article in which you compare and contrast the event in the article with what is going on in the United States. These comparisons will be graded and counted as an assessment grade.

AP SPANISH - Mrs. Rhem

Begin by reading this introductory letter from Mrs. Rhem, then complete the work in this Summer Packet

Begin by printing out or copying the material on Google Drive and then fill it out. Please place the two audio files in google docs and share with Mrs. Rhem. Please name the files according to the directions in the introductory letter. You must turn in your work on the first day of class. This is worth a test grade. ALL WORK MUST BE YOUR OWN. DO NOT USE ONLINE TRANSLATORS!

Email Mrs. Rhem at with any questions concerning the packet.


AB CALCULUS - Mr. Greene

Students must complete these worksheets—print the sheets and put your answers on the paper, which you will return to Mr. Greene by Monday, August 13. Students may drop their work off at school, mail it, or scan and email it to Mr. Greene at


Be sure to arrive at school with a TI-84+ calculator.


AP BIOLOGY - Dr. Knebel

Please click here for details of Dr. Knebel’s work assignments, due dates and expectations.

AP CHEMISTRY - Mr. Hanning

Mr. Hanning’s assignment may be accessed here. During June and July, relax and have fun! Do not begin this assignment before August 1; it is intended as a warm-up for the year. The assignment should not take long to complete and is due Monday, August 13.




  • Brief reflection/reaction to each piece, totaling one page of writing. Your work must be turned in, via OnCampus, on August 1.

AP PHYSICS - Dr. Pollock

Please read this letter from Dr. Pollock with details about and links to your summer assignments.

Download Your Guide to Success: 2018-19

Walking to Listen
All-School Book

A memoir of one young man’s coming of age on a cross-country trek–told through the stories of the people of all ages, races, and inclinations he meets along the highways of America.

Enjoy the website, blog and podcasts at

A College Preparatory, Independent Boarding and Day School for Students in Grades 9-12
400 VES Road, Lynchburg, VA 24503 • 434.385.3600