This is just a response to everyone that complains about Valley being a stuck up school. Yes, it's a wealthy suburb. Yes, they're proud of their sports teams. But that doesnt make it any different than any other school. All schools are going to have cliques, and Valley is one of them. I graduated last year, and I was never part of a clique. I wasn't "popular," I wasn't in sports. I wasn't one of the most noticed or celebrated students, nor did I do drugs or get in trouble a lot. But I loved it there. I loved the atmosphere, and I loved the teachers. I can think of a ton of other schools in the area that have "drug problems," its high school. Thats how it is. But don't judge the school by some of the kids that go there, not everyone is stuck up, not everyone is super rich.
I have a response to the student that thinks Valley High School students are not judged. Either you are part of a popular clique, or have blinders on. I'm a former student that was not part of any cliques, and I was made to feel so badly by the other students, (and many members of staff) that I would often cry at the thought of going to school. I did not have a lot of money, and did not do any drugs, which is why I was treated in this manner. This school has always had one of the worst drug problems in the city, because the rich kids that go there can afford it.
I am a current Valley student and absolutely love the school. WDM is a wealthy suburb yes, but no one is judged by the dollar signs by their name. I participate in sports, clubs, and AP courses. Valley stresses academic excellence much more than they do sports. Its the students themselves who put on the athletic pressure to excel since they want to uphold the tradition of dominance in the state of Iowa. In order to be an athlete though you have to meet a number of academic requirements and have a good behavior record. Valley dominants not only in sports, but academically and in the arts. The school is multi-dimensional. The administration may not be what it used too, but it still works for the students and focuses on their success. Also the majority of teachers are excellent and overly qualified.
I'm concerned about VHS after reading all of these reviews. Check out all the mistakes in grammar and spelling! I hope my daughter graduates with better language skills than are on display in this forum!
Very unimpressed. Snobby and uncaring. If you don't fit into the clique, then forget it. The teachers turn a blind eye to bullying, and seem afraid of some of the 'alpha' pupils. I would not send my child to this school again. Principle is hopeless, and is a rich kid groupie. Anyone who is rich, preppy and spiteful will fit in like a dream here.
VHS is a great school with a wide variety of opportunities in the classroom and amazing extra-curricular choices. VHS is far superior to the private high school, Dowling Catholic, which is also located in West Des Moines. VHS offers excellent support to all students, unlike Dowling which does not accept students with special needs.
Former student here, and it really was a great school. Tons of extracurricular sports, clubs, scholastics, and even just-for-fun classes to take, whether it be Computer Programming, Wood Shop, Advanced Placement Calculus, or a choice of several languages (and not just the common ones). I also really connected with a couple teachers. The only bad thing was a time-waster activity they implemented when I was there called homeroom. Hope they got rid of that.
Excellent variety of course offerings. Latin being an impressive favorite. Some unfortunate liberal agenda pushing on the behalf of some of the teachers; however, the majority are dedicated professionals.
i go to valley and i think that the academic oppertunities are endless. But you must be involved if you want to get anything out of the high school. Sports and extracurriculers are a must, and you better be in a club. The parking situation is horrible there are like no spots and the hallways are really full.
My kids are recent graduates of Valley. They loved their experience there - great teachers, counselors, etc. As in any school, kids get out of it what they put into it. Nothing but positives to say about VHS.
I'm also a student at Valley and really enjoy the experience I have there. Although it's not perfect, over the past three years there I have had had many teachers that truely care about me. Valley has so many opprotunities to be involved, even if you are not into sports. The one negative I have is that there are too many students and the halls are unbareable to walk through!
I am a student at Valley and I would like to say that it has not been what everyone has said a high school experience should be like. The teachers at Valley do not like to help when academic assistence is needed. The administration are a bunch of people who act like they would rather not be there. Overall Valley has gotten to into the hype of their athletic program. In recent years Valley has been one of the elite programs, but many of the students are here for more then sports. Valley cares to much for beating rivals and winning state championships. They also spend to much time complaining about other schools and not fixing their own school. So my main point is Valley is a horrible school and if you really care about education and being treated nicely i'd advise sending your kids to another high school.
Good academic programs, good varied curriculum weak extracurricular availability, not nearly enough opportunity, too small of a campus setting for too many students
Although Valley has many great teachers and programs, the administration (mainly speaking about one certain person in specific) and the counselors (at least my own counselor) truly make for a terrible high school experience. These people do not care about any of their students who do not excel in athletics. As a current Valley student, I find myself frusterated beyond belief and far from 'guided' whenever I come into contact with these individuals. So unless your child is an amazing athlete or a glutton for punishment, I would not recommend sending them to Valley. This school has been the worst experience of my life.
I graduated from valley in 1981 and thought it was a great school. But i failed to listen to people when it came time for my children to go there. Dumb mistake!! the students are great but the faculty cares only about the students who are in sports and whose parents have money. Teachers don't think twice before they humiliate a student in front of the entire class if their test scores are lower than others. Valley stresses parents be involved with thier childs education. I left a message with one of my childs teacher about grades and attendance and he thought it would be cool to play my message to the entire class! not cool! this is just another way the teacher's at valley like to humiliate students. If you're not in sports or a club you can't even park at the school. Valley gets a big 'f' from me.
I am currently attending Valley. I've been in the West Des Moines school district my entire life and up until sophomore year it was great. Valley is now trying to hard to change, for no purpose. The money goes to stadiums and coffee shops yet we're taking funding out of school clubs, art department and the newspaper was almost shut down. The administration does not listen to their students. If there is a rule it can never be broken even under special circumstances, the admin. continues to ignore, and continues to have no concern. I think Valley has great acedemic courses but, that can only go so far. As a student growing one needs consistancy, one needs to feel safe in their environment, emotionally secure and at Valley i feel that's becoming a growing epidemic.
I graduated from Valley in 1999. I can honestly say that it was one if the worst experiences of my life. I was a gifted student and took many of the excellerated courses the school had to offer, which I think helped develope higher thinking in my case. I will say, though, that students get lost in the shuffle which can make you lose interest. Also, the curriculum was boring and not as focused on as the athletic dept. I felt there was no drive for talented kids like myself. I also found that if you don't come from the perfect family, situation, or even question the instition they are driving, the staff almost forces you out of the system as a 'problem'. The staff members that I found most inspiring aren't even on the staff anymore, and from what I understand never were supposed to be.
This school shows great leadership and is still one of the best schools in the state, and soon to be country.
our experience with valley spans 18 years.....the overall quality, integrity, and ensuing student/community support have deteriorated over the course of the past few years. A weak adminsitration and a less than exemplary athletic staff which unfortunately run the school have combined for a confused double-standard environment at valley The priority at valley is football...nothing less....nothing more. check out the 9 million dollar stadium which the 'former' superintendent referred to as 'our largest classrroom'.
I graduated from Valley in 2003, and it's an awesome schoool to go to! It definetlly challenges students and it most definetly prepared me for college (U of Iowa Biomedical Engineering and Pre-Medicine). Also, Valley has one of the best ACT scores in the nation. There is definite competition between students, but this competition will prepare students for getting into college, doing well in college, and the real world. Valley is an wesome school, everone should check it out!
Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.
The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
Thank you! You will begin to receive newsletters from us shortly.
Great work! Only one more step. Now we just need you to verify your email address. Please click on the link in the email we just sent you to complete your registration.
Great work! Only one more step. Now we just need you to verify your email address. Please click on the link in the email we just sent you to submit your review.
Please click on the link in the verification email we just sent you to complete your change of email address.
Whoops! It looks like we still need to verify your email. To do so, please click on the link in the email we sent you. Can't find the e-mail? Click the button below and we'll send you a new one.
Thanks for registering. Welcome to GreatSchools, the largest online community committed to improving educational outcomes through parental involvement.
Thanks for verifying your updated email address.
Oops! You haven't verified your email address yet. To do so, please click on the link in the email we sent you. Can't find the email? Click the button below to receive a new one.
Oops! That email verification link has expired. Please click the button below to receive a new one.
Join GreatSchools to participate in the parent community and other discussions on our site.
Your review has been posted to GreatSchools.
Share with friends! Post your opinion of Valley High School on Facebook.
Welcome to GreatSchools!
For principals and school officials, we offer a special Enhanced School Profile (ESP) which allows you to update and add information about your school, as well as respond to reviews. If you are a school official, click Continue to start.
Please note that it can take up to 48 hours for your comment to be posted to our site. While you're here, we'd like to invite you to fill out a survey on your school's programs, activities, and extracurriculars. It only takes a few minutes and will help parents get a full picture of your school.
Get started now! You have successfully registered and can now start updating your Official School Profile. The information you provide is extremely valuable in helping parents and students learn more about your school, so thanks for taking the time!
Thank you for registering as a school leader. We just need to verify your email address. We've sent you an email - please click on the link in that message to get started editing your school's information!