HOW WE'RE UNIQUE


Great Valley Academy is a diverse school campus where children are appreciated.  Our program is designed to offer a safe, nurturing environment where students love to learn.  By combining proven knowledge of human development, best practices in education and strong character education, we will help each child discover their inherent gifts.

In addition to the core curriculum which is common core-based in compliance with all California and federal regulations.  GVA offers our students enriched curriculum and school culture with the following components:  

Academic Excellence - We expect mastery from all our students, not just the top percentage.  We work with our students to learn each topic well and earn at least a "B."  If the quality is less than that, we continue to help the student until mastery occurs.  This may initially limit the breadth of topics of study, but ultimately it accelerates progress.  When students discover their abilities to do quality work, they are more motivated and realize they don't have to spend meaningless time on a topic if they can demonstrate mastery; this allows them to move forward at a more rapid and meaningful pace.

Longer School Day/More School Days - It's simple, by having more time available, we are able to create a more relaxed environment and still teach to a greater depth.

Less Homework -You send your kids to school to learn and that is where we will teach them.  Compulsory homework has proven ineffective and even detrimental to quality education.  We will expect our students to read at home, but the teaching occurs at school.

Same Teacher for Two Years - Students are with the same teacher for at least two years allowing better continuity in the learning environment.  This environment is highly effective as GVA teachers work with the individual learning skills of each student to maximize their potential.

Uniforms - Research clearly indicates that students who wear uniforms are more productive and successful.  Teachers and students alike wear uniforms fostering a sense of community and unity.

Music - Music instruction is provided for all students in k-6. Music instruction is optional for our junior high students. Choir and orchestra add vitality to our campus and instill artistic appreciation in our students.

Teachers Eat With Students - The students eat family-style with their teachers, allowing for deeper relationship and a healthier eating environment.  Students are expected to use good manners and eat healthier lunches.  It also helps to avoid many of the conflicts that often occur during the institutional environment of a cafeteria, fostering a safer, more nurturing place of learning.

Businesses - Third and fourth grade students earn salaries, have jobs to do, pay bills and develop their own businesses.  Students have teacher support while learning responsibility, creativity and the satisfaction of building a business.  Fifth and six graders have "market day" where they set up shop and sell or re-sell items to other students.

Physical Education - Students receive physical education from a specialist.  This ensures that the children have developmentally appropriate activities that help them mature both physically and intellectually.

Spanish - All students receive Spanish instruction, starting in kindergarten. We teach our students Spanish the same way the learned their primary language, through experience and immersion.  They first learn to speak and to listen in Spanish and later are asked to write and read it.

Nutritious Snacks - Students are encouraged to eat snacks during the day to help maintain energy levels required for quality work.  Parents are expected to send healthy food items.

Child Care - GVA offers before and after school child care.