Mission & Philosophy

SRV’s Mission

The School in Rose Valley is a progressive school for children in preschool through sixth grade. In our classrooms and our wooded campus, teachers and students create experiences that arouse curiosity, stretch muscles, strengthen initiative, and stimulate questions. We guide children to know themselves, to delight in learning, and to understand their opportunities and responsibilities in our community and the world.

SRV’s Educational Philosophy

Core Values

The School in Rose Valley respects childhood and values democracy, diversity, and sustainability.

Children’s perspectives and needs inform all aspects of our school. We believe that children should develop balance in body and mind through intensive classroom study, quiet time, vigorous play, experiences of the natural world, and reflection on our role as its stewards.

At The School in Rose Valley, democracy encompasses freedom, responsibility, and participation. Our students become competent and active citizens by fulfilling real responsibilities, from tending our campus to partnering with other communities in learning and service.

We honor diversity, appreciate difference, and value respectful communication. We explore the complexity of natural and social ecosystems, advancing sustainability as a personal, campus, local, and global practice.

Curricular Priorities

Our curriculum connects heads, hands, and hearts. Literacy, math, science, social studies, languages, technology, service and partnership, art, music, wood shop, and unstructured play are interwoven in a challenging core of study and experience.

Students build higher-order skills–investigating, evaluating, problem-solving, and communicating–in their ongoing collaboration with peers and teachers. We honor children’s creativity and initiative, and nurture their integrity and well-being.

We believe snow and mud should be played in, rain is not an excuse to stay indoors, and classrooms and campus should house animals for children to tend.


At The School in Rose Valley all learning has a context, a meaning, and a purpose. Our intimate, mixed-age classrooms and creek-side campus are laboratories for the hands-on experimentation and authentic inquiry through which students create knowledge.

An integrated curriculum allows students to approach concepts and content from multiple perspectives at developmentally appropriate points, deepening conceptual understanding. Students reflect frequently on their learning and follow their own questions, gradually fitting knowledge into a meaningful whole.

Teachers construct a comprehensive and nuanced picture of each student through a variety of formal and informal assessments, not standardized tests.


The School in Rose Valley was built and is sustained today by the energy and commitment of children, parents and educators. We are an intentionally small school where children are known and loved. Children of different ages work and play together; and adults and children interact with trust and respect. We value partnership and we strive for inclusion.

Our community gathers to celebrate seasonal and cultural traditions unique to the school. As family life evolves, responsibilities multiply, and schedules tighten, The School in Rose Valley offers a haven for families and teachers who value childhood.

A Short History of SRV

Since 1929, The School in Rose Valley has been an integral part of the borough of Rose Valley.

Founded in part by families who originally came to the area at the turn of the century to be part of the Arts and Crafts community, the School has deep historical ties the area.

Looking for a place to educate their children that was different from the then “factory model” of schooling, those Rose Valley parents, after consulting with Swarthmore College, created a progressive school based on the practices of renowned educator, John Dewey.