The School In Rose Valley

The School In Rose Valley title Page

The School In Rose Valley
20 School Ln, Rose Valley, PA 19063
website

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For all our photos from our visit check out our Flickr account.

My friend Erin from my days at Urban told me her kid’s school was amazing and she told me I had to check it out. Seeing that her and her husband are incredibly talented designers I was totally interested. Now visiting a school that I don’t know much about is something I like to do. Visiting a progressive school is something I love to do. You never know what you are going to encounter at progressive schools. Progressive schools do not follow a traditional curriculum as we know it today. The interesting thing is that these schools usually pull from the old hands-on ways that kids use to learn mixed with a lot more warm and fuzzy.

RV outside20 minutes from the city, just off 95 South and down in a hollow (yup, I used the word hollow) you will find The School In Rose Valley. The campus is its own world of play, livestock, and hands on learning. The buildings that make up the school surround a sprawling playground and a very opinionated sheep. Even though I went on a gloomy and rainy day I could see how amazing this tiny slice of heaven would be to city parents.

If there is anything that progressive schools in our area have taught me it is that they get the kids outside as much as possible. When I pulled up it was drizzling but kids were running around the playground playing. But then again they don’t have much of a choice with a greenhouse, chickens and sheep to look after.

RV Playground 1

The School in Rose Valley (RV) is a K-6 grade school with around 125 students. The school combines grades like The Waldorf School and The Philadelphia School. RV combines grades 1st and 2nd, 3rd and 4th, and 5th and 6th. The students have the same teacher for two years at a time and is very committed to an eight to one student to teacher ratio.

RV round table

My tour actually started in the wood shop where I crashed a go-kart making session. As I was talking to the kids a boy flipped down his protecting eyewear, switch on the lathe, and got to work like he had been doing it for years.

RV Lathe

Then we moved onto the classrooms. Each classroom has a living room vibe and look. There are tables and chairs but everything is much more communal then in a typical school layout. Every class no matter the grade, has a section of wooden blocks where you can see the creative progression as you move from room to room and from the young kids to the older kids. All of the students have responsibilities to their class as well as to the school. From helping with lunch to helping to care for the animals everyone is apart of the school. In comparison to other progressive schools technology does not dominate but it does have a presence.

RV upper school

Lunch is also made at the school for all the students and teachers in a gorgeous “real” kitchen by two cooks everyday. On the outside of the kitchen there is a simple sign that says Maria and when you step inside there are pots boiling on the stove, veggies being cut and salads being mixed.

RV Outside Kitchen RV KitchenIt is important to the school that their teachers can be nimble. The school deals with conflicts that arise as a class and a community. Teachers are able to adjust the curriculum based on the needs and interest of the class. It can be complex or as simple as the fact that one year an entire class was really into dogs. Sounds silly I know but the teacher was able to combine their interest with their lessons and I thought that was really cool.

RV classroom long table

The art studio, gym, and science lab is in a beautiful two-story building that is full of windows and natural light. The building is built into the side of the hill and makes you feel like you are up in the trees.

Rose VAlley Gym

RV Art Room

RV science

The School In Rose Valley is a sweet community where students work, learn, and play together. I try to be very descriptive in these reviews but to be honest they do an amazing job explaining their campus on their website. It is very accurate and capture the intimate setting perfectly.

For questions about admissions you can contact Kim Schmucki: kim@theschoolinrosevalley.org