Over ten years ago, my wife and I scoured the Coachella valley looking for the best Pre-k program for our then four-year-old son. Having a B.A. in Child Development with an emphasis in Early Childhood Education, I quickly discovered Palm Valley School had no equal in the valley. Every component of the program from play and pretend to read alouds and community outings were exactly what children in a Pre-Kindergarten program needed.
The research started again before Kindergarten only to discover that Palm Valley School’s emphasis on the whole child as a learner far outweighed the basic reading and mathematics as a focused approach taken by every other elementary school in the Coachella Valley. Palm Valley School understands the value of art, music, technology, and languages beyond English. Add to that, the close-knit community in the Lower School. To this day, we still greet our son’s Lower School teachers with a warm embrace and questions about one another’s families.
Being a middle school teacher of almost twenty years allowed for our family’s full confidence in keeping our son at Palm Valley School. The ease in making the decision was not in any way because other middle schools are less than competent, but rather because Palm Valley students learn in middle school what most high school students don’t learn until their Junior or Senior years. With a challenging curriculum as such, how could we not select Palm Valley?
Here we are, ten years later, with the choice of a big, traditional high school experience for our son, or a Palm Valley experience. After ten years of attending Palm Valley School commencement ceremonies, we are convinced. We have witnessed students who would never in their lives have had the confidence to perform on stage, or play a varsity sport, or take numerous AP exams all while challenging themselves academically. Here at Palm Valley School, students do that every single year.
Palm Valley graduates move forward confident and strong. Each graduating class proud of their number of college acceptances, their nationally recognized monologue competitors, their Eagle Scout representatives and their strong bonds with one another.
Four years from now, we look forward to the day our son Elijah walks down from that stage and embraces us as he takes his very last recess during his commencement ceremony in 2022.
-Mayra Rodriguez, Rufino & Elijah Cuevas
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Palm Valley has been a wonderful experience for my family. My daughter, a happy and bright little girl in her fourth year at Palm Valley, loves the school. I also love PVS for a number of reasons.
The first reason is the teachers. They are caring, capable, and committed. Most, if not all, have advanced degrees, bring rich experiences to the classrooms, and pay attention to the details. Each of my daughter's teachers has been caring, empowering, and made sure each and every student receives what he or she needs. For example, during the last two school years, both of my daughter's teachers, without being prompted, volunteered to stay late a few afternoons a week to tutor my daughter through some tough spots.
A second reason I am a fan of PVS is the administration. The administration team is made up of well-educated, and caring professionals. They take time to address issues, provide updates, and ensure each of the kids receive what that individual student needs to thrive. In my case, the staff has been especially patient with my family situation and has kept a loving eye out over my daughter. I can't tell you how much this means. The administration's care has truly been a blessing. They each interact with my daughter in a way that shows they are good-hearted, ethical individuals who take pride in what they do. They are great influences.
Small class sizes and the quality of resources available to my daughter brings me to reason number three. There are a total of nine students in my daughter's classroom. She can't help but get one-on-one time and attention. This would not be possible if she were attending a school with 30 or 40 students per classroom. There are many enrichment programs such as technology, robotics, music, physical education, language, and a robust arts program. PVS also values critical thinking and reasoning. They begin to introduce the rigors of college-level education as the students advance in their PVS education. I watch the graduating seniors each year and each year, they are accepted into a number of the nation's top universities with significant scholarship offers. I want this for my daughter.
Fourth is the other parents. The majority of the parents I've met are accomplished professionals from a variety of fields who care about their children's education. Please know I have a number of friends who are similarly impressive people and professionals. These friends care deeply about their child and chose to send their kids to public school. That works for them, and I am confident their kids are going to do incredible in life. That being said, I like knowing that when my daughter makes friends at school and spends time with these friends outside of school, there is a high likelihood that the parents of the other kids similarly value academics, achievement, and integrity.
Lastly, my daughter has made a number of great friends. The kids in her classes are bright, good-hearted, and come from an ethnically diverse background. Great kids, great parents, and enriching experiences - all good things. We could not be happier with all Palm Valley has provided to us so far and I am excited to see my daughter continue to learn, grow, and make new accomplishments during her time here.
-Stone, Laura and Sierra James
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