The Valley School

The Valley School is a Reggio-inspired child development center located on a beautiful two acre site in Park Ridge, New Jersey, a quiet northern Bergen County community.  The school has nine classrooms and a secure 14,000 sq. ft. playground area which is nestled along a babbling stream and surrounded by school athletic fields.  The playground serves as an extension of the classrooms where children participate in outdoor art projects, gardening, and explorations in nature. The Valley School is unique in that it offers a Reggio-inspired school day curriculum for infants, toddlers and pre-kindergarten children as well as offering full day before and after care.  The Valley School is open 12 months a year from 7:00AM to 6:00PM.  The normal school day is from 8:30AM to 3:30PM.

The Valley School takes as its influences the best practices, theories and current research in early childhood education to create a developmentally appropriate curriculum, experiences and care for young children. This approach to early childhood education is inspired by the Reggio Emilia Philosophy.  At the heart of all that we do is a deep respect for young children as individuals and active learners. We believe that children are curious and active learners from birth. Therefore, the early childhood environment and facilitated experiences are designed to encourage exploration and hands-on learning. We engage your child in meaningful investigations that come after careful observation, conversation, and planning. Investigations arise directly from the interests of your child. Within the framework of investigations, your child will develop the skills needed to become a successful learner.

Young children learn best when they are provided with authentic, hands-on, interactive activities that meet developmental needs as well as incorporating interests. We believe knowledge is constructed from experiences, exploration, and interactions. Children, Teachers and Parents come together to function as co-learners within the classroom and playground environment.  We understand and appreciate the uniqueness of children and encourage each child to reach his or her full potential. We respect individual differences and learning styles and provide a variety of experiences to meet diverse needs. Learning is constructed and scaffolded through daily experiences and interactions. As skills are mastered and knowledge is attained, children are able to move on to the next level at the pace that is right for them. We partner with parents to create a strong team and we acknowledge parents as their child’s first teacher and the authority on their child. We respect and celebrate the diversity of each family and highly encourage families to share their culture within the school community.

As a Reggio-inspired school, The Valley School utilizes the Creative Curriculum which balances teacher-planned and child-initiated learning. The Creative Curriculum emphasizes responsiveness to children’s strengths, interests, needs and learning styles. It generates content-rich, developmentally appropriate programs that support active learning and promote your child’s progress in all areas. The Creative Curriculum is based on the research of a number of world-renowned philosophers and theorists whose contributions have revolutionized the modern field of education.

Each day teachers see themselves as researchers, guiding and supporting the children by listening, observing, documenting and displaying their work. Through collaboration, they offer experiences and provocations to further enhance the children’s work, helping them go deeper in their understanding of themselves and the world around them. Teachers ask open-ended questions, encouraging children to consider different perspectives, and allowing them to be risk takers. In this way, children learn that there is no right or wrong answer and that no one fails. Consequently, this creates a safe learning atmosphere where children are free to be inventive and creative.

As children express themselves through these languages, they develop a wide spectrum of skills; for instance, the block center offers opportunities for your child to develop math, language, social, listening, gross motor, fine motor, and a multitude of artistic skills. Our Content areas include Literacy, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, The Arts and Technology.  The Interest areas include: Blocks, Discovery, Dramatic Play, Sand and Water, Toys and Games, Music and Movement, Art, Library, and Computers. Sensory Tables and Light Tables are included to support the children in these areas.  At The Valley School teachers support and guide the children as they use the Hundred Languages of Children through play and inquiry, and through their experiences offered during large and small group interactions.

The Valley School
24 Wampum Road
Park Ridge, New Jersey 07656
Contact Us:
Phone: (201) 505-9100 Ext 202 for Directors Office
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