Message from the Head of School

Susan Rice, Head of School

Dear Families,

The Palm Valley School has a long history of educational excellence in the Coachella Valley. Established in 1952, we are the only Independent School accredited by the California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS).  Palm Valley School serves students from Palm Springs, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Indio, La Quinta and more - we value diversity and that is reflected in the students we serve and the faculty and staff we hire. I am honored, humbled, and thrilled to be serving this community as the Head of School.

When you visit the Palm Valley School, the aspect of our community that you will notice first are our students. Our students are diverse and bring a plethora of gifts, talents, and aspirations. We are proud of our 100% graduation and college acceptance rate and that all of our graduates go on to top choice schools and colleges in the country. While we love to share that statistic, we also know that our students are much more than a number.  They are also gifted artists, performers, makers, engineers, public speakers, writers, athletes, and more. They are diverse in their ideas, their family composition, their racial and cultural heritages, and more. One has only to walk our halls, meet our students, or step into a classroom to see and experience how happy, articulate, and engaging our student body is.

If you dig a little deeper, you will find that we have also have a highly qualified faculty at Palm Valley School. Our teachers come from diverse backgrounds ranging from long careers in education or former careers in the private sector as working professionals, bringing experiences, knowledge, innovation, and passion to their classrooms. Over half of our Faculty hold graduate level degrees and many other awards and certifications. We believe in providing students with "windows and mirrors" here, and that our Faculty and Staff are as diverse as our student body and families. With small student to teacher ratios (approx. 1:12), and a focus on hands-on learning; the individualized attention and support that our faculty members give to our students is second to none.

While our academic curriculum is rigorous and places a strong emphasis on service within and to a Global Society, we are also proud of of our program that promote positive student development. Our Advisory curriculum in grades 6-12 is both academic and social-emotional and helps to build strong relationships between students and their advisors, but also to develop the whole child in some of the most difficult years. Our award-winning drama and chorus programs, the variety of athletic opportunities we offer, service clubs and other academic programs ensure that all students have an opportunity to explore their diverse interests. Our College Counseling program helps students and families find the best path to collegiate success for them. Our faculty, P-12, are trained in the No Bully program ( to help students learn to manage conflicts in healthy ways and to gain social and emotional skills for success in life.

Whether it’s high-level academic curricula, diversity and inclusion, small class sizes, social emotional development, service learning, the arts, or athletics you are looking for; The Palm Valley School is a great place to consider. Our families, our faculty, and most importantly, our students, love it here. We hope that as you look through the pages of our web site, you will learn more about us, who we are, and what we have to offer your family.

We hope to see you soon!


Susan Rice, Head of School