OUR GUIDING PRINCIPLES
Verde Valley School educates students for college and for life by encouraging them to become intellectually curious, academically accomplished and creatively expressive. The program fosters intercultural understanding and world citizenship, environmental stewardship, the value of physical labor, and service to humanity with a willing spirit.
Verde Valley School is committed to providing the best possible academic program, giving students the opportunities to excel academically, while learning to become independent, thoughtful and responsible members of a community.
As part of our ongoing commitment to provide our students with the best possible academic program, VVS is an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School, and offers the IB curriculum to all our juniors and seniors. Freshmen and sophomores are enrolled in our pre-IB curriculum, the underclassmen collaboration.
Our hands-on, project-based, student-centered approach to the IB ensures that students become directors of their learning process, guided and mentored by skilled teachers. Our IB diploma pass rate is consistent.
Our graduates have been accepted into universities and colleges large and small, liberal arts schools, art colleges, research universities and more. They find the school that best fits their educational and life goals.
From its beginning, VVS has been a school devoted to global values. Founded in 1948 by Hamilton Warren, a Harvard alumnus, and his wife, Barbara, the school has enjoyed an outstanding reputation as one of America’s first truly international independent schools. VVS is still grounded upon Mr. Warren’s statement of 1948:
“The nation, indeed the world, needs a school that will bring together children from many nations, many cultures, all races and religions, not simply to study and tolerate one another, but to learn from and celebrate their differences.”
– Hamilton Warren
Verde Valley School graduates are ethical individuals, possessed of a strong sense of personal and social responsibility, skilled in ways that will enable them to participate effectively in community building and decision making, appreciative of the necessity and value of physical work, open to the discovery and enduring satisfactions of artistic creation, knowledgeable about the depth and range of our shared cultural heritage, generous in spirit, mindful of the importance of world citizenship and ready to practice its privileges and obligations.
Students and faculty work in a number of ways to make our community a greener place to live and learn – to put the verde in Verde Valley School – by respecting the environment and being proactive in preserving it.
In our residential program, we focus on using less, and recycling and composting what we do use.
Academically, VVS provides students with a solid foundation in the traditional sciences with an emphasis on the environment and the anthropogenic factors that affect our environment. In addition, we integrate long-term environmental research projects into the standard curriculum, and often they inform our sustainability strategy.
Our school garden is organic and ethically farmed, using compost harvested by students and incorporating 100% of our kitchen waste. An approved food source for our school dining hall, our garden program helps students understand the cycle of food waste, composting, growing and harvesting.
Service to Others
Hamilton Warren founded Verde Valley School to teach “…the great responsibility for your fellow man. Respect his views; have concern for others.” Today students log thousands of hours supporting communities from Arizona to Mexico to Malawi. The principle is deeply rooted in our fabric and a part of our every day.
The critical skills and concrete tools of planning, funding, executing and assessing projects, in conjunction with a relationship-centered, empathetic world view enables our students to serve more effectively, to create a new paradigm for giving, and to continue to positively shape the world of tomorrow. Service to the school, the local community and the world is woven throughout most aspects of school life.
The Value of Physical Labor
Valuing physical labor has been an integral part of VVS from its inception. The school’s founders understood that involving students in building and maintaining their school not only empowers them, but also gives them a greater appreciation for the campus they helped to build and care for.
Many parts of the school were conceived, designed and built with the help of students throughout the years. Through the Work Jobs program the daily chores are completed by students as well, under the supervision of faculty members. Each summer alumni return to the school to work alongside students and faculty to improve buildings, build walkways, and more.