All children deserve a school that they love.


To know and love our students,
support their natural enthusiasm for learning and play,
and inspire them to make a positive difference in their world.                                   


Educational Philosophy

Core Values

We honor every student’s childhood and natural development, and guide each to know themselves well as learners and social beings. 

At The School in Rose Valley we believe that diversity strengthens us as we work, learn, and play together. We strive to understand and value a diverse world while building a community of mutual respect.

Children’s perspectives and needs inform all aspects of our school. We recognize their necessity for direct engagement with the natural world, vigorous play, social interaction and quiet time in addition to classroom study. We believe that snow and mud should be played in, and rain is not an excuse to stay indoors.

At The School in Rose Valley, democracy encompasses freedom, responsibility, and participation. Our students become competent and active citizens by making meaningful decisions and fulfilling real responsibilities. Children develop a sense of ownership of the school as they care for their classrooms and campus and partner with other communities.


Education begins with a child’s natural curiosity.

We recognize that substantive learning occurs when children are actively engaged in making meaning from direct experiences. Our intimate, mixed-age classrooms and creekside campus are laboratories for the hands-on experimentation and authentic inquiry through which our students build knowledge.

At The School in Rose Valley, all learning has a context, a meaning, and a purpose. As a result, children are invested in their education and internally motivated to learn from genuine interest rather than for external rewards.

Teachers forge learning partnerships with children through relationships based on trust and respect. Collectively, teachers construct a comprehensive and nuanced picture of each student through ongoing dialogue and a variety of formal and informal assessments, rather than through the limitations of standardized tests. Detailed narrative reports, not letter grades, allow us to partner with parents in a shared understanding of how to best support each child’s development.

At The School in Rose Valley, teachers are supported as learners. Through regular staff meetings and participation in professional development, teachers examine emerging research and their own progressive practice.

Curricular Priorities

Our integrated curriculum connects heads, hearts, and hands, allowing students to approach concepts and content from multiple perspectives at developmentally appropriate points. Students are led to reflect regularly on their social-emotional and physical development as well as their academic learning.  

Students build higher-order thinking skills by questioning, investigating, evaluating, problem-solving, and communicating in their ongoing collaboration with peers and teachers. We support children in developing creativity and initiative. Opportunities are provided for student-directed classroom exploration and outdoor play. Children’s individual or collective interests play a role in shaping classroom curricula. 


The School in Rose Valley was built and is sustained today by the energy and commitment of children, parents and educators who embrace the school’s vision and mission. We honor diversity, appreciate difference, value respectful communication and promote sustainability.

We are an intentionally small school where children are known and loved. 

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.