Return to Headlines

Principal's Welcome Letter 2019-20

Dear Valley Oaks Families,

Welcome to the 2019-2020 school year.  As I start my fifth year at Valley Oaks, I look forward to continuing with the work we began last year and watching the students thrive at this amazing school.  I am incredibly proud of our outstanding faculty, the challenging and rigorous curriculum we provide, and the unique opportunities available to our students. Valley Oaks has again received top ratings from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and our students are accepted into colleges and postsecondary programs all over the country.

We have experienced some staffing changes for the coming year.  Our long-time senior secretary, Trisha Shew, has moved on to an elementary school site.  She was a tremendous asset to our Valley Oaks family and while we wish her well, we will truly miss her!  The new face in the office belongs to Susan Cook, our new secretary and records clerk. She brings a wide variety of experience, is a longtime community member, and we are very happy to have her join us.   Additionally, Ms. Bender has moved to our new 7th-8th grade school, RISE Academy. I know that our students will miss working with her, but she will still be around campus to say hi.

Finally, Ms. Abelli-Amen will be out for the duration of the fall semester as she works through some health issues.  I know that you will all miss her and send her your best wishes. Mr. Anderson will step in as our long-term substitute and he is ready and anxious to get started! 

The staff continues to work on a variety of options designed to support our students as they think about their post-high school life.  Increased familiarity with the use of technology as students pursue their education will be critical to their success in the future. Following the tremendous success of our Digital Portfolio Night, we will again be helping your students create a portfolio of their work to share with you at our Back to School Night in May.  We also recognize the importance of collaboration as integral to student growth and continue to develop opportunities for students to work together in many of the subject areas. However, the regular student-teacher meetings are at the heart of the learning we design for students of Valley Oaks. Our experience supports the growing amount of research that shows a blended approach is most effective, with online opportunities and collaboration supporting the learning that takes place during teacher-student interactions.

Currently, we have about 40 students enrolled at Valley Oaks, representing grades 7 - 12.  Our expectation is that each student coming to Valley Oaks is serious about graduating from high school and that many will continue their education after graduation.  Valley Oaks offers an opportunity for our students to reach this objective in a uniquely personalized manner. As a staff, we work hard to ensure that courses are appropriate to meet the goals of the student and that all requirements for graduation and post high school education are met.  To accomplish this, we expect each student to understand his/her academic responsibilities. These include consistent attendance, meeting a commitment to complete work on schedule, high standards for the work completed, and completion of the required community service hours each semester. Students are expected to be active and conscientious participants in their learning.  Our small size fosters close connections between teachers and students, and our goal is to help every student to be successful!

Parent involvement is a critical component for student success at Valley Oaks.  Providing an environment that is conducive to daily studying is essential. We would also invite all parents and guardians to become actively involved in the school community.  There are numerous opportunities for parents to contribute to our school including membership in our site council and attendance at district committee meetings. Feel free to contact staff when you have questions or concerns related to your child.  Working together, I believe that we can foster real success for all of our students. I look forward to a wonderful school year and getting to know each of you.



Rebecca Lofton

Principal, Valley Oaks School