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The Valley School

Private | PK-5 | 110 students

 

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Living in Seattle

Situated in an urban neighborhood. The median home value is $585,000. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $1,180.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
 
Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 6 ratings
2013:
Based on 1 rating
2012:
Based on 2 ratings
2011:
Based on 3 ratings

Teacher quality

Principal leadership

Parent involvement

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25 reviews of this school


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Posted yesterday

The Valley School is a truly amazing place. Our family relocated from the east coast to Seattle last year and our kids started Valley in PreK and 1st grade. The Valley School has been the MOST warm, loving and supportive environment for our whole family. Our kids both love school, absolutely adore their teachers and have made fabulous friends. They say every weekend, "I wish we had school today". Both of my kids are truly jazzed about learning and I love that they get deep into their work, especially when it means that they come home covered head to toe in dirt! I can't recommend Valley highly enough.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted Tuesday, November 18, 2014

My daughter began at Valley in Pre-k and is now in 3rd. She has adored each and every day she "gets" to go to school. The teachers are fabulous and really watch out for each and every child. Fairness, kindness and sweetness prevail all the while great learning is being had by all. The new head of school was a huge and fabulous change for Valley and he has the full support of the community. He is a great listener and leader and Valley is benefiting greatly from his expertise. We will have a new 3/4/5 classroom next year which is exciting and will support the goals of Valley while retaining the charm, charisma and sweetness of this great school. Can't recommend enough.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted Monday, November 17, 2014

Valley is a unique and fantastic school! It manages to stay grounded and rooted in its thoughtful child-centered philosophy and has hired a new head who both respects and understands Pat Ovary's (its founder) vision. Kids love going to Valley because they feel respected, academically challenged and where creativity and individual differences are celebrated. It is a no-frills and joyful institution and community that cherishes its staff and families.


Posted Sunday, November 16, 2014

I have two children at Valley and, as an early-learning professional I believe this school is a rare and refreshing find amongst a sea of homogeneous options. There are few schools that pull off what research suggests is the ideal mix of strong academics, social-emotional focus, and educational play in a nurturing environment. Valley does it beautifully. The school did have a bumpy road transitioning from its founder to the new Head of School this year (14-15). Now Valley's hit its stride with a leader who has the right educational philosophy, management expertise, and passion; an active and vibrant parent community; and excellent educators in every grade. The school will complete a new building for 3-5th grades this summer (2015), as well. Valley is an inspiring place and my children are thriving there.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 26, 2014

Oh my!! The parent that posted yesterday is spot on. Would love to have coffee and share stories!! Interesting to hear the "Director" is leaving. He is not part of the solution and the culture that Valley speaks of.


Posted February 25, 2014

Valley is an interesting place. Some of the teachers are great, some are not. The kids adore it & the playground is fantastic for PK-2nd grade. The teachers are like high school gossips and if you cross them, expect to be talked about. The head of school is leaving at the end of the year & that will be a welcomed change. If you have a middle of the road kid that gets picked up by the nanny, this is a great place for you -- but as soon as you get involved in the school or start asking questions about your kid, you aren't keeping with "the valley way". If you need attention as a parent,or a warm fuzzy greeting in PK I would strongly recommend looking at other schools.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 9, 2013

The Valley School teaches children to love learning. Their child-directed program allows teachers to use the strengths and interests of the students to explore all kinds of topics and to integrate math, science, language arts and history into the study of those topics. My children have blossomed there. We were afraid my eldest child would never have the nerve to raise his hand and offer an answer that could possibly be wrong. In this highly supportive and nurturing environment the students learn to collaborate, inquire, respond and share. The teachers are so creative, intelligent and totally devoted. It is a wonderful school and the students move to not only get into the schools of their choice, but to thrive there as well. Worth EVERY PENNY! The school also has be best playground around for younger students. 3rd, 4th and 5th grade playground is adequate, but they have plenty of space to run around and usually organize inclusive soccer or tag games.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 23, 2012

Correction to the previous post-the school has been board-run for nearly a decade. As is the case for the great majority of independent schools, the board is responsible for the long-term health of the school and the head of school is responsible for day to day operations. The current head is the second since the founder retired.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 1, 2012

Reportedly, this school is moving from a founder-run private school to a board-run school. The upshot of this change has meant the release of a key administrator and many questions regarding the board and the new administration's ability to work together sincerely as a team for the sake of the children and families at Valley. Frankly, I'd rather see Valley work harder on increasing its academic expectations for the children rather than focus on administrative policy changes.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 11, 2011

Wow! Based on the this year's graduates and this year's preschool children, this is an absolutely fantastic school. As we looked at middle schools this past year, we repeatedly heard that they loved Valley kids. They're bring everyone together, and the administrators see them as academic leaders. I feel so lucky to be a parent in this great school. Our kids love learning. The teachers are outstanding.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 12, 2011

The "emergent curriculum" of this school sounds good in theory but in practice it means that the instruction and curriculum is not well organized and consistent throughout the grades. You only have to compare the writing samples of the upper school children of this school against those of other private schools to clearly see the evidence. Use your discernment and look deeply before accepting the administration s sales pitch. This school understandably takes pride in its beautiful campus and quality teachers. The children are engaged in wholesome activities such as gathering chicken eggs or digging mud puddles. However, on the other side of the coin this school is not invested in modern technology. At other private and public schools, your child will have the opportunity to learn to use technology in creative and comprehensive ways that will clearly benefit them in today's society. The former leadership of this school was awful and the school suffered for it. Perhaps under the steady hand the new director, this school can become the school it claims to be. Overall though, this school does not make the grade when compared to other private schools in the area.


Posted January 24, 2011

Both of my children attended The Valley School from Kindergarten through 5th grade. They were excited to go to school every single day. Not only did Valley provide a nurturing environment for them to develop confidence and interpersonal skills, it also provided an academic foundation that is allowing them to perform at high levels in a college prep school. Thank you Valley School!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 27, 2010

My son is a couple months into his third year at the Valley School and we are really happy with how things are going. Our older child went through Valley School too and loved his experience too. The new director is doing a great job - he's providing strong leadership for the teachers and parents, is always visible and accessible, is building great relationships with the kids, and is bringing some good new energy to the school. Outstanding academic program, delightful kids, excellent teachers, unique campus, and a day full of engaging learning for the students. Lots of hands-on, experiential learning balanced with research-based academic techniques. We love this school! Only downside - if you don't get in at pre-k, it can be hard to get in later.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 25, 2010

The school is quite unorganized and does not communicate well at all. They do a reasonable job in the lower school, but the upper school is not engaging for the kids and they get bored with the small classes and poorly organized curriculum. Hopefully the new director will turn things around.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 26, 2010

Everyday, I am amazed by the teachers at The Valley School. They are talented and dedicated. It is a wonderful school and a delightful parent community.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 9, 2010

I have one child at the Valley School and one child who went through the Valley School and is now in middle school. This school strikes a perfect balance between rigorous academics and creating a joyful atmosphere. Both of my children learned to love school and have developed wonderful relationships with peers and teachers. Probably the best measure of academic rigor for us was that all the children in our older son's class have been admitted to and successful in selective private schools or the public schools' hi-cap program. The school has recently hired a new director who will be on board next year and he looks terrific - very promising.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 27, 2009

The Valley School is the best thing that happened to our children. It was a reasonably priced private school, and it offers pure enlightenment. Our kids are very well-adjusted and have a profound desire to learn and to contribute to their world due to their education at Valley. With a final daughter graduating in May, we will miss it greatly! Were they also to offer a Middle School we would be sending our kids there.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 3, 2009

Our 2 children have thrived at The Valley School. They love learning and love school. Both of them are working above grade level and they get the challenge they crave in an environment that is both energizing and nurturing. Smart, creative and committed staff. Happy kids, happy families.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 18, 2009

The Valley School has been the perfect fit for my son since day one. It offers a terrific learning environment with caring and involved teachers. It is a place that builds self-confidence and a healthy attitude towards learning.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 3, 2009

There is a high teacher turnover and a great deal of secrecy. It went from a gentle school to one of underlying hostility and backbiting. So sad to happen to such a charming school. Two of my children went there; my third is attending a different one.
—Submitted by a parent


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.

About these ratings

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.

We currently do not have any test score information for this school. Unlike public schools, private schools are not always required to report data about their schools or not required to take the same tests as public schools. Many private schools take different standardized tests; however, that information is often made available only to families of enrolled students. We strive to acquire additional private school data whenever available.

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 70% 60%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 18% 7%
Two or more races 6% 6%
Black 3% 5%
Hispanic 3% 20%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 2%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 1%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students Dance teacher(s)
Librarian/media specialist(s)
Math specialist(s)
Music teacher(s)
PE instructor(s)
Reading specialist(s)
Speech and language therapist(s)
Teacher aid/assistant teacher
Tutor(s)
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by school officials and community members.

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Special education / special needs

Staff resources available to students
  • Speech and language therapist(s)

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

Staff resources available to students
  • Math specialist(s)
School facilities
  • Computer lab

Arts & music

Staff resources available to students
  • Dance teacher(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
School facilities
  • Art room
Visual arts
  • Ceramics
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
  • Textile design
Music
  • Instrumental music lessons
Performing and written arts
  • Creative writing
  • Drama
  • Poetry

Language learning

Foreign languages taught
  • Spanish
Staff resources available to students
  • Speech and language therapist(s)

Health & athletics

Staff resources available to students
  • Dance teacher(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
School facilities
  • Multi-purpose room ("cafegymatorium")
Note: Data provided by school administrators and community.
School leaders, update and verify information here.

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School basics

Before school or after school care / program onsite
  • Before school
  • After school
Gender
  • Coed
Affiliation
  • Nonsectarian

Programs

Foreign languages taught
  • Spanish

Resources

Staff resources available to students
  • Dance teacher(s)
  • Librarian/media specialist(s)
  • Math specialist(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • Reading specialist(s)
  • Speech and language therapist(s)
  • Teacher aid/assistant teacher
  • Tutor(s)
School facilities
  • Art room
  • Computer lab
  • Library
  • Multi-purpose room ("cafegymatorium")
  • Playground
Note: Data provided by school administrators and community.
School leaders, update and verify information here.

Let your school shine!

School leaders: Help your school shine on GreatSchools
by verifying community responses, adding program highlights
and more! Get started »

Sports

Boys sports
  • Cross country
Girls sports
  • Cross country

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Ceramics
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
  • Textile design
Music
  • Instrumental music lessons
Performing arts
  • Creative writing
  • Drama
  • Poetry
Note: Data provided by school administrators and community.
School leaders, update and verify information here.

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309 31st Avenue East
Seattle, WA 98112
Phone: (206) 328-4475

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