A message from your Superintendent
The entire staff of the Valley School District has co-created and committed to a set of Ethical
Principles that guide our decision making and problem solving. One of these Principles, perhaps the
most important, is our commitment to be Student Centered.
"Focusing on the unique needs, interests and aspirations of each student."
Of course, in a school setting it should go without saying that we would center everything we do on
our students. Unfortunately, we are at times distracted or overwhelmed by all the laws, curriculum
maps, standards, tests, budgets, etc. that get in between the adults and the kids. It is essential
that we constantly remind ourselves that the most important people in the school are the students.
How Do We Keep Students Front and Center in Valley?
In all our learning programs; Valley School, Paideia High School, Valley Early Learning Center, and
Columbia Virtual Academy, I see all our staff take an authentic interest in each individual student.
That said, we know we can always improve and do an even better job. Here are some areas where we all
can continue to learn and improve.
Start with Strengths
Rather than focusing on fixing weaknesses and gaps, our work with all students must always begin with
identifying student strengths and talents and growing from there. Constant focus on weaknesses damages
students’ confidence and sense of self-worth. When we look for and acknowledge strengths, we grow
Connect with Interests
For learning to be deep and meaningful to students, it has to connect with what interests them.
The very act of the teacher or other staff member asking students about their interests elevates the
quality of the learning relationship. Anytime students’ learning is directly connected to their
passions and interests, the students will be more motivated and engaged.
One of the most important purposes of school is to connect students with their hopes for the future.
We should always be cultivating our students’ passions and possibilities for achieving great things
in their lives. Valley School District will continue to expand opportunities for students to learn
about real world careers and vocations. We want all students to feel empowered to pursue their dreams.