This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
The Valley School5
Posted November 19, 2014
- a parent
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.