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309 31st Avenue East
Seattle, WA 98112

(206) 328-4475
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Map of The Valley School address.
November 19, 2014
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
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
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.

- submitted by a community member
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
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.

- submitted by a community member
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
September 09, 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
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
July 01, 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
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
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.

- submitted by a community member
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
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
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
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
no rating March 09, 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
no rating 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
November 03, 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
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
September 03, 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
September 03, 2009
They seem to have a high teacher turnover and are very selective in the information to share.

- submitted by a parent
no rating August 25, 2008
My son loves school and learning at the Valley School. He comes home buzzing with new information from their units of study, gets the challenge he needs and feels like a contributing member of the small community. As parents we have easy access to the teachers and staff and really enjoy the interesting group of families.

- submitted by a parent
January 03, 2008
The Valley School has been the life changer for our daughter. We moved her to this wonderful little school in the middle of 3rd grade and absolutely made the right choice. Academics have been great, teachers are consistently excellent, and the children 'graduate' from 5th grade in a very strong position to take on middle school.

- submitted by a parent
October 25, 2007
What an amazing small school. This school is really a bastion of sanity in a world of pressurized schools. My child just loves coming to school each day. The teachers are smart and caring, the school grounds are beautiful and green, and the parent body is laid-back and inclusive. I couldn't say enough good things about Valley.

- submitted by a parent
December 02, 2004
My son has been at the Valley School for two years, pre-K and now currently in the Kindergarten. We have had a wonderful and very positive experience thus far. The teachers and staff are extremely nurturing and know all of the kids by name. It is truly a school that caters to each individual need. The outdoor space is amazing and often utilized for class projects and assignments. When it is nice out, I often see entire classes outside under trees doing their classwork. It is hard to get a sense of this school on one tour, but it is the kind of community where children grow into caring and respectful adolescents. They will learn the basics well and be supported emotionally and socially as well as academically.

- submitted by a parent

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Last modified: December 15, 2014

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The Valley School
309 31st Avenue East, Seattle, WA  98112
(206) 328-4475
Last modified The Valley School is a Private school that serves grades PK-5
The Valley School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 25 reviews. Top