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SVS is Back and United

Dear Friends and Families of Spring Valley,

“E pluribus unum - Out of many, one." This motto sits on the Great Seal of the United States, and it is a motto that has resonated with me over the past months as a fitting descriptor for Spring Valley. Last year, Spring Valley School celebrated its twentieth anniversary; twenty years of diverse parties - teachers, parents, staff, board members, and community partners - coming together to build a place where students can come and have their educational needs met as whole people, a safe place where they can find community and develop the tools they need to realize their vast and unique potentials.

This is not the work of one person, or even of a small handful of individuals, rather the Spring Valley experience is the product of many people uniting around a common passion and sharing their talents, their gifts, their dreams, and their resources to create this unique experience.

For the 2021-22 school year, I have chosen “Unity” as our word of the year. With hope, trust, engagement, and mutual respect, we will continue to promote unity in our SVS community, drawing together so that we can pursue even greater excellence. At the beginning of this new school year, I wanted to share just a few of the highlights from the past few months, products of our united effort to pursue educational excellence for our students.”

- Dr. Laura Fiveash, Executive Director

As we begin this new school year, we acknowledge all of the recent milestones made possible by our Spring Valley Family and community at-large.

The summer of 2021 marked Spring Valley's largest summer camp enrollment to date, with 65 exceptional campers from across Central Alabama. Additionally, SVS students completed ACT testing, and results showed that students enrolled for four or more years at Spring Valley secured ACT scores of 27 and higher! Finally, in mid-July, we hosted our most significant Serve Day to date, with over 75 volunteers giving their time to better the school grounds and facilities!

The 2021-22 school year commenced with welcoming many new faces to our dedicated team of faculty. In addition, we have several new positions specifically focused on providing a more comprehensive response to our students' needs - including the Executive Functioning Program, Speech/ Language Pathology, Talent Initiative (Twice-exceptional) Program, College and Career Transition Program, and a dedicated faculty member to serve Spring Valley's outreach and dyslexia therapy center, The Hettie Johnson Institute.

Welcoming our families back to campus was extra special as, this summer, many significant renovations of the school building took place. The kitchen was converted to an additional science lab. The front and back offices were converted to a classroom. An executive office and a bathroom specific to the lower school were added to the main hallways. These renovations have allowed us to add more interactive learning spaces and serve more students in the years to come.

Furthermore, the new carpet squares throughout the main school building provide a pop of color and a clean look. Looking ahead, when the outdoor overhang is rebuilt, we will have over 1,700 square feet of outdoor covered space! Outdoor learning has always been a unique and treasured aspect of the SVS experience. With the added wellness benefits it provides our students, we have prioritized this to accommodate at greater lengths.

SVS is also excited to announce that we have three emerging professional partnerships! The Dyslexia Foundation will allow us to further network within the dyslexia community and gain greater access to the latest research. The physical education department has also partnered with H.E.A.L. (Healthy Living Active Living) United to further develop our P.E. program and provide our students with even more comprehensive wellness education.

Last year, Dr. Paul Riccomini and our fifth-grade teachers researched the impact of explicit writing strategies to support mathematical learning. The findings will be presented by Dr. Riccomini and representatives from Spring Valley at the national IDA (International Dyslexia Association) conference in October 2021. Furthermore, the intervention was so successful that we will expand this intervention to other grades in the fall!

SVS students, parents, and faculty have all pulled together to make this year the best one yet. During morning carpool on the first day of school, volunteer students organized a "welcome back" rally to greet their classmates in their cars! With the help of our PAWS team (Parents Active with SVS), parents were able to meet for brunch at Ruby Sunshine upon seeing their students off for a great first day! We are so thankful for our Spring Valley families, who go above and beyond to support one another and move forward with our collective mission of giving hope of a brighter future to our avid learners.



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