Student Life

Visual & Performing Arts

Lower School

Palm Valley School fosters a growing and innovative Visual Arts Department beginning in the Lower School with weekly Art lessons starting in Kindergarten through 5th grade. Students explore a variety of art mediums and styles as instruction is aligned with curriculum standards learning about The Elements of Art (line, color, shape, value, pattern, texture, and space). Art history, art styles, and artists from around the world are highlighted as inspiration to spark the imagination of student creativity and wonder.

4th and 5th grade students take a more focused Graphic Design art class which introduces taking initial ideas from paper to a digital format. Students are guided through a variety of graphic design projects focused on the Principles of Design. Students use digital tools to build skills in file format, typography, and combining imagery with text for a target audience in mind.
Our seasonal after school Art Discovery class gives students an opportunity to further their skill earned in Art and extend their time for creativity with more arts and crafts.

Ultimately, each Lower School grade compiles a collection of their artwork to create a portfolio of projects that highlight growth and learning during their school year. This instills a pride and practice in Palm Valley students to support portfolio habits and growth for years to come.

Middle and Upper School

In Middle and Upper School, Palm Valley School is proud to foster opportunities for students to expand their artistic talents with courses in the Fine Arts and Design. The Art Concepts elective is an introductory art class exploring both 2D & 3D formats. Students create dynamic artwork through drawing, painting, printmaking, collage, and sculpture while exploring the Elements of Art. Students maintain a sketchbook in this elective to further develop critical thinking and problem solving skills. Art history, art literacy, and creative career pathways is also a focus in Art at the Middle/Upper grade level.

Our Mixed Media & Design elective guides students in creating art compositions to communicate ideas and themes in new and exciting ways! Students practice the use of charcoal, sketching, painting, watercolor, and found materials in different combinations. This course also explores digital page layout, graphic design, typography, and character concept design, preparing artists for a continually evolving digital skill set.

The Palm Valley School Visual Arts department encourages students of all ages to participate in the larger desert community and to get involved in the various art contests and exhibits our desert offers. In doing so, we've had winners in both the Palm Springs Holiday Banner Contest and the Sunline Bus Transit Agency Student Art Contest.

Theatre Arts

Our Theatre Arts program begins in the Lower School with each 4th and 5th grader receiving an opportunity to have a performing arts class once a week for 45 minutes with our theatre arts teacher. Their program is based on a syllabus which introduces all aspects of the theatre arts and is presented via all forms of learning (videos, interaction, performance within the class, engaged discussion, and so much more). An after school theatre arts class may also be offered at this level as well as a summer program. For the middle and upper school grades, electives in Theatre-Performance and Theatre-Tech and Design are offered year round through hour-long classes. Within the Performance class, the syllabus includes the audition process, rehearsal process, character development, and all aspects of putting together a full-scale show, resulting in at least 3 productions per year (Fall: Shakespeare Festival; Spring: Musical and Art Show-Cabaret). Everyone in this class performs in the productions. The Tech and Design class focuses on supporting the fall and spring productions by researching, learning about, and implementing each student's chosen focus during the productions themselves. Everyone in this class is involved with the productions. For both classes, the only after school commitments required are the performance dates as well as Tech Rehearsals and also possibly a few extra rehearsals for the soloists (if needed) as everything else is done within class time.
Palm Valley Private School occupies 34 acres in Rancho Mirage with stunning mountain views. The campus features separate campuses and buildings for each of our four divisions – Preschool (ages 18 months to 5), Elementary (Grades K-5), Middle School (Grades 6-8), and High School (Grades 9-12), along with a full-size gymnasium, several separate recesses and athletic fields, a black box theater and smart lab.