Life at Valley

A Renewed Campus

On Tuesday, September 8th, Valley School hosted their annual back to school Ice Cream Social. This year it also included a ribbon cutting to officially open up the new Upper School classroom building. Alan Braun, Head of School, recognized the many individuals that made this dream come true. More photos of the new upper school building and the remodeled administration building, as well as the history of our building project can be found on the building project tab under news and events.

The Trip of a Lifetime

That's how Kindergarten teacher Lindsay describes her 11 days of cruising the Svalbard Islands, north of mainland Norway, in the high Arctic (81 degrees latitude). Lindsay reports of not being prepared for the breathtaking scenery and the amazing wildlife. She saw polar bears feasting on a whale carcass, arctic foxes scaling high cliffs looking for bird eggs, puffins in flight, reindeer grazing on the tundra, beluga whales breaching in perfectly flat seas, walruses hauling out on sandy beaches and countless birds. She spent time hiking the rocky, mossy, Arctic terrain, exploring the flora and even swam in the frigid arctic water! She heard massive glaciers calving, saw icebergs that were bright blue in color and made friends with people from all over the globe! Lindsay is looking forward to sharing her new knowledge and experience with us all, but especially with her Kindergarten class.

Preparing for the Start of School

There are many types of approvals you need to secure before occupying a new building. Yesterday, Valley School founder, Pat Overy provided her own stamp of approval after touring both our new upper school building (grades three through five) as well as the renovated building which will house administration. In both buildings, natural light filled rooms and clean use of color and form promise an educational environment that will spark creativity, encourage collaboration and inspire both students and faculty alike. Construction equipment has begun to move out, a new blanket of wood chips makes the playground inviting again and classroom pets are beginning to find their way back to their Valley School classroom homes.

Medieval Revelry

Third Grade went back in time to 1276 visiting the village of Camlann in Carnation. They saw typical village buildings and learned about the daily life of a medieval villager. They saw the Forge and learned how a blacksmith heated and shaped iron to make pots, pans, and arrow heads. They ate a ploughmans lunch on a 'trencher' (a piece of bread used as a plate) while Roger, the tour guide, played the lute to them. They also got to meet Murial the sheep, who provides the wool for the village spinner and weavers.

Growing into our Potential

Maintaining the intimate setting and the close-knit community that are the hallmarks of Valley, 2015 brings a campus expansion that bolsters innovation in teaching and enrichment activities for the entire school. The campus refurbishing project will establish newer, larger classrooms; create a library learning center to enrich the student experience; improve effectiveness with a fully-functional administrative hub; and provide a cohesive master plan for Valley’s future.

Dissection Investigation

Students dissected pig hearts in 2nd grade this week! Children used their senses to explore the hearts while they learned what it does for a body. Currently 2nd graders at Valley School are studying the human body. Three amazing parent volunteers brought in the pig hearts to dissect in small groups with the children in this exciting hands on experience.

Artists' Exhibition

The Second Annual Valley School Art Show was a great success! Each student at The Valley School exhibited a favorite work of art. It was a sight to see all the artwork thoughtfully presented together! There were drawings, prints, paintings and sculptures. Artworks inspired by Matisse, Dubuffet, Op Art, atmospheric perspective and artist’s books, color mixing, Eric Carle, portraiture, contrasting line and color, and more were all represented. There were even some sculptures inspired by the building project at Valley. It was an awesome display of the creativity and talent at The Valley School!

Snails on Show

Our first graders shared their wealth of knowledge on snails this week with older students around school. They showed off their science learning with live displays of snail weight, diet, habitat, reproduction, and speed. In addition to the science that fills first grade, the class has also worked on snail inspired art, literature and writing.

Valley Alumni Spotlight: Petra Thompson

One of class of 1996 alum Petra Thompson’s fondest memories of The Valley School was of the quiet time she got to enjoy in aftercare with Roanna. Growing up in Madison Valley, Petra walked to and from school every day and because both of her parents worked she was lucky enough to spend extra time in what she describes as her “home away from home.” Her relationship with Valley endures today not just in the friendships she made but also in her current role as Valley School Board member.

We talked with Petra during a rare break in her busy schedule working for Fitmob, a fitness technology startup company that launched in Seattle five months ago. Prior to fitmob, Petra spent 9 years at lululemon athletica in leadership and organizational development. We were curious to learn about the path that Petra took from the Valley School to where she is now and to hear about her perspective on and vision for the Valley School today.

4th Graders Interview New Head of The Valley School, Alan Braun

He is a universal blood donor (O+ type). He does not drive a Ferrari (and probably never will). And when he was in fourth grade, he dreamed of becoming a fire fighter.

These were just a few of the fascinating insights our current Valley School fourth graders drew from the new head of school, Alan Braun, when they recently sat down to interview him for this profile piece. The following is a window into that conversation:
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