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 National Association for Independent Schools (NAIS), and the California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS). 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. Each one of them possesses the drive and the skills to earn the best education that the Valley can offer. We are so proud that we have a 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 are very proud of 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. One has only to walk our halls, meet our students, or step into a classroom to see and experience how talented 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 . With small student to teacher ratios in our classes (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 focused on rigor and service to our Global Society, we also have many programs that make our school a great place to educate other aspects of student development.  From our award-winning drama program to the variety of athletic opportunities we offer, each student can find programs, both co- and extra-curricular, to engage their artistic and athletic gifts and 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. Additionally, we have a rich Advisory program in 6-12 that assists with teaching those same issues, but also about the dangers of drugs and alcohol, relationships, health and wellness, and more.

Whether it’s high-level academic curricula, incredible student outcomes, 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