Valley Catholic Elementary School Overview
Welcome to Valley Catholic Elementary School! We encourage you to explore our site and to learn about all the things that make our school community the special place that it is.
Valley Catholic Elementary School has a long history of providing an excellent Catholic values-based education in the Beaverton, Oregon community. The school, originally called St. Mary’s Academy (not to be confused with the Holy Names Sisters’ St. Mary’s Academy in downtown Portland), opened its doors as a ministry of the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon, in January of 1903. It contained grades 1 through 12, and was configured as a co-educational, residential institution. Because of overcrowding, it evolved into an all-girls’ school after two years in operation and was renamed St. Mary’s Institute.
The original school was situated across modern-day Tualatin Valley Highway from its present location. It moved to its present site in the west wing of the newly constructed convent building in 1930, and became known as St. Mary of the Valley School. A new high school was built in 1969, and the school was divided into two divisions. Grades 1 through 8 remained in the west wing of the convent building, and the high school contained grades 9 through 12 in the new building. As a result of taking over the former high school space and facilities in the convent, the elementary school boasted a gym, a swimming pool, a science lab, and a library for its students.
The residency program was closed in 1979. A school council was created in 1983, allowing for direction specifically for the grade school. In 1984 boys were allowed to enroll again, beginning with grades 1 and 2. A morning kindergarten program was initiated in 1985, and expanded to two classes in 1986. Logically, a second classroom of 1st grade was opened to accommodate the growing number of families in our community. The following years required great changes as interest in our school increased. The 7th and 8th grades were moved to portable buildings next to the high school. This allowed us to expand to our present configuration of two classes in each grade, in kindergarten through grade 6. When our high school went co-ed in 1991, they changed their name to Valley Catholic School, while we retained the St. Mary of the Valley School name.
In order to build upon our present program of excellence, a technology plan was initiated in the spring of 2000. This aspect of our campus-wide strategic plan involved placing computers in each classroom for teachers, providing intensive training sessions for staff, and establishing a computer lab for the students. All of the entities on campus are networked with each other and with the Internet. In our century plus of existence, we continue to keep pace with the technology of the times!
However, one thing that had not kept pace with the times was our beautiful, but overcrowded and outdated elementary school building. A major capital campaign was launched in the fall of 2003 to raise funds for a two-phased building project: (1) the construction of a new athletic facility at the high school, allowing us to take over the “old” high school gym; and (2) the construction of a new K-8 school building just to the east of the Early Learning School. The first phase was brought to completion with the dedication of the new high school athletic facility and the rededication of the “Eagle Gym” for our use in May of 2006. In anticipation of the construction of our new K-8 school building, and to unify the campus schools under one name, our school officially changed names from St. Mary of the Valley School to Valley Catholic Elementary School in the summer of 2008. We joyfully broke ground for our new school on May 5, 2010. The new school building was finished in time to welcome our Elementary and Middle School students on September 6, 2011.
Beaverton continues to grow, along with the entire suburban West Portland area. Valley Catholic Elementary School serves a unique niche in the community. Large international companies have located in the area, bringing families from many different parts of the world. Children of those families have enrolled in our school, enriching and diversifying our school community.
Valley Catholic Elementary School is also unique in that we are not a parish school. We continue to carry out the mission and vision of the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon, and we are governed by the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon (SSMO) Campus Schools Corporation, under the umbrella of our parent corporation, the SSMO Ministries Corporation.
We appreciate and honor the legacy of the Sisters, and we’re looking forward to continuing to provide quality Catholic education for the greater Beaverton community!
CALLED BY A MISSION
Valley Catholic School, sharing in the mission of the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon, fosters a faith-filled community of lifelong learners and compassionate leaders committed to living out Catholic values and following Jesus’ example through prayer, service, and love.
INSPIRED BY A PHILOSOPHY
Valley Catholic Elementary School provides an academically rich faith-filled learning environment, creating a Catholic values-based education. We are a joyous faith community in which students, staff, and parents respect, affirm, and support one another. The Valley Catholic Elementary School community models and nurtures the development of a personal relationship with God through various forms of prayer and worship. We encourage our students to develop a sense of justice, peace, compassion, and respect for all people.
Valley Catholic Elementary School supports our families in their role as primary educators of their children. Together we educate the whole child – spiritually, intellectually, culturally, socially, emotionally, and physically. We honor the dignity and diversity of our students by fostering their ability to recognize and develop individual strengths and talents. We maintain high academic and social standards, preparing our students for lifelong learning, leadership, and service in the community, country, and world.
PREPARING STUDENTS FOR THE FUTURE
Throughout their time with us, our students learn to be productive, responsible, and caring citizens of our world. We guide our students, day in and day out, to achieve our schoolwide learning expectations. When they leave our school, our students will be:
Faith Witnesses who:
- Participate in a faith community through prayer and school liturgies
- Know scripture and Catholic social teaching
- Show respect for all of God’s creation
- Serve our school and local communities
Lifelong Learners who:
- Demonstrate a strong foundation in all subject areas
- Use critical-thinking and problem-solving skills
- Exhibit knowledge of the fine arts
- Display self motivation and advocacy
Responsible Citizens who:
- Make positive choices and accept responsibility for their actions
- Demonstrate positive interactions with others
- Contribute positively to the community
- Respect human differences
Effective Communicators who:
- Express ideas clearly and respectfully
- Work together to achieve a common goal
- Listen actively
- Use technology to share knowledge and ideas
PROVIDING OPPORTUNITIES FOR EACH CHILD TO LEARN & GROW
Guided by our school’s mission and philosophy, our caring faculty and staff work to ensure that our students grow both spiritually and intellectually. Our curriculum, built upon a foundation of Catholic values, challenges our students, sets them up for success, and lays the groundwork for the college-prep classes at Valley Catholic Middle and High School.
- These are just a few of the offerings that set our school apart:
- Stand-alone science program for 4th and 5th grades taught in our brand-new science facilities
- Advanced math classes for accelerated 4th and 5th grade students
- Violin instruction for all 4th graders
- Full-day kindergarten
- Projectors and document cameras in all of our classrooms to support and enhance our curriculum
- Three computer labs to provide students the opportunity to develop technology skills and do research
- A social skills and conflict resolution program coordinated by our school counselor
- Academic support provided by our learning specialist
- Access to private music lessons through Valley Catholic Music School
- Opportunity to participate in a variety of music ensembles: choir, orchestra, and handbells
- A buddy program that builds school community by partnering our older students with our younger students
- Opportunity to continue, on the same campus, into our Middle and High School
Students also have the chance to broaden their interests and challenge themselves in activities outside the classroom. Some of our students choose to serve our community through our active Student Council, while others find passion through our many after-school offerings. Others are attracted to and enjoy our CYO sports program, which includes a variety of team sports.