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Welcome! “We are training our students to become effective, independent learners.” To accomplish that mission, Elementary Principal Gabe Guven is grateful to lead a staff of experienced educators. “From harps to hands-on science, we have high caliber teachers who put together quality classes to help our kids discover their talent and develop their skill set… Our students have unparalleled opportunities to unlock their passion.” But the educational opportunities are just one of the many qualities that make the Valley Christian campus stand apart, with Mr. Guven citing the community as the thing he appreciates the most about VCES both as a principal and a parent of four. “It’s exciting to hear how our parents, students, and teachers appreciate the community here…It touches my heart deeply because it’s a major focus for us. Our effort makes a difference, but I also attribute it to God’s presence. Community, joy, a sense of belonging—that’s God’s presence.”

CONTENTS Mission Academic Achievement Artistic Beauty Athletic Distinction Faith & Community After-School Programs


DEMOGRAPHICS VCES admits students with a wide range of academic abilities, prioritizing a diverse student body that represents many different talents.



Faculty & Staff

1960 Year School Founded

Valley Christian Schools’ mission is to provide a nurturing environment offering quality education supported by a strong foundation of Christian values in partnership with parents, equipping students to become leaders to serve God, to serve their families, and to positively impact their communities and the world.

3% 16% 38% 5% 38%

African American Asian Caucasian Hispanic Other

(including no response, Pacific Islander, Native American, and Blended Backgrounds)

25 450 18:1 20+ 63

Average Class Size Enrollment Student/Faculty Ratio Teachers with Masters Degrees Faculty & Staff

Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) Principal,
Mr. Gabe Guven Vice Principal, Mrs. Jan Delke

Academic Achievement At VCES, faculty and staff foster a caring learning environment that is patient, encouraging, and tailored to the unique needs of each and every student. Teachers challenge students at their individual levels of learning through differentiated instruction, project-based learning, and the most up-to-date and effective digital learning tools. Our core academic program includes Bible, reading, language, writing, math, science, and social studies, and is designed to meet and exceed California state standards in the various academic disciplines. An extensive offering of pullout-classes and after-school programs, created to identify and nurture each student’s God-given potential, enhances the general curriculum.

TERRANOVA SCORES Total battery means the total of all sub-tests.

Grade 1

Grade 2

Grade 3

Grade 4

Grade 5


























We believe in using the most effective digital learning tools which is why we use the iPad as an interactive, instructional tool in grades 2-5.


All students learn cursive beginning in Kindergarten using the Slingerland methodology. This approach allows students to become proficient writers as they move through the elementary years.



iPad Program Grades 2-5


Teachers with Masters Degrees

Partnering with Challenge Success, a national educational organization, VCS’ mission is to create more balanced workloads, raise student engagement, and actively support the students in their pursuit of the biblical definition of success. Part of the initiative has included revisiting the homework policy to eliminate busy work, allowing for much needed downtime in the evening and resulting in positive overall changes both emotionally and academically for the students and their families.


Century Learning Environment

ACADEMIC SPECIALIZED PROGRAMS The Applied Math, Science, and Engineering (AMSE) Institute & Academic Specialized Programs provide an opportunity for students to enrich their academic skills outside of the day-to-day classroom environment. Students benefit from instruction by teachers who are specialists in their given areas. Meeting times range from twice a week to twice a month depending on the program.



Life science, physical science, and earth science units come alive as K-5 students engage in hands-on experiences that reinforce the concepts they learn. This program excites students’ interest in the discipline of science by teaching a more complete understanding of science concepts and reinforcing their knowledge of God’s Truth as revealed in the physical world. All fifth grade students may select from five course offerings including AMSE, athletic leadership and performance, band (brass or woodwind), orchestra (strings), or drama/choir. Classes meet four times a week. Select fourth and fifth graders meet weekly to prep for the world-wide Math Olympiad. In lieu of traditional math class, selected fourth and fifth grade students meet with a math specialist to learn an accelerated math curriculum and to prepare for various math competitions. Students meet with the school librarian twice a month. The focus of Library class is to learn the basics of Library Science and make reading selections based on the students’ interests and reading levels.


Spanish is taught weekly to all students in 1st -5th grades and bi-weekly for Kindergarten. Instruction in colors, shapes, and numbers begins in Kindergarten. By fifth grade, students are forming short sentences and increasing their vocabulary to include places in the community, months of the year, and days of the week. There is also exposure to the Hispanic culture through various projects.


Computer science aims to teach basic computer skills to develop 21st Century learners. With the emergence of countless digital learning tools, students must be able to operate in an increasingly digital world.


Discover AMSE is the elementary branch of the Applied Math, Science, and Engineering (AMSE) Institute, which provides Valley Christian students with a K-12 pipeline of inspiration, instruction, and experience so that they might become successful innovators and world changers. In addition to offering engaging curriculum, and individualized web-based math programs, Discover AMSE provides a variety of exciting, during the school day, and after-school offerings, which allow students to pursue their areas of interest after school, and lay the foundation for future success in these disciplines in junior high, high school, and beyond. o Engaging K-5th grade hands-on science curriculum with experiments on sound waves, anatomy, and molecules o Individualized web-based math programs including IXL Math, Dreambox Learning, ALEKS, and Khan Academy o Exciting after-school offerings such as Coding class and Robotics o SOAR Mathematics: A unique, accelerated math course for qualifying fourth and fifth grade students, which also prepares them to compete in the Math Olympiad competition



Academic Specialized Programs


Students involved in SOAR Math

o First Place team (and First Place individual) in Western Region for Continental Math League Computer Coding Challenge o Two students awarded gold pins (top 99%) for the Mathematical Olympiads for Elementary and Middle Schools (MOEMS) awards: National ranking (eleven students were in the top 25%) o First Lego League (FLL) Project Award (research project demonstrating FLL Core Values) o Robotics Team earned spot at Northern California Regional Tournament (due to overall performance and FLL Project Award) o Second Place Programming Award for performance during Robot Design interview

Artistic Beauty The Kidservatory program introduces elementary students to the exciting world of creative arts, with school-day pull-out classes, after-school offerings, and private lessons.

KIDSERVATORY o Integrated curriculum with classes in art, music, and choir for all grade levels o K-12 faculty from some of the finest conservatories in the world including The Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, and the Peabody Institute o All students graduate learning to play an instrument o Multiple performances in theatre, dance, and music throughout the year o Exciting after-school offerings such as Fun with Drums, Adventures in Art, Heavenly Harps, and Dance Express

ARTISTIC SPECIALIZED PROGRAMS Artistic instruction is an integral part of the day-to-day school program at VCES. Each class meets with a music teacher for weekly general lessons, and by fourth grade, each student participates in the “Fourth Grade Wheel.� Instrumental instruction is part of the artistic specialized program during the regular school day, and different vocal and instrumental groups perform several times a year at events throughout the community, such as Christmas at the California and the VCS Festival of the Arts.


All K-5 students receive a foundation in visual art. Students showcase their work via portfolios and the annual Festival of the Arts show.


All K-3 students meet weekly for vocal/music instruction. The first half of the year prepares students for the festive Christmas concert at the California Theatre. The second half of the year readies students for the end of the year performance at the Festival of the Arts. Through the Orff method of learning, Valley Christian students learn rhythm, beat, melody, and play in parts with xylophones, conga drums, and various small, unpitched rhythm instruments. All students have an instrument in their hands at all times.



Kidservatory Specialized Programs


(5th grade)Theatre Performances Each Year

Students participate in a yearlong rotation (every eight weeks) of offerings in music including orchestra, choir, band, and woodwinds. After a year of exploring instruments/performing arts in their fourth grade rotation, fifth grade students select an instrument of their choice. They can choose from orchestra (strings), band (brass or woodwind), or piano. In addition to fifth grade music, students can choose an additional elective in orchestra (strings), band, or drama/choir. Classes meet for 40 minutes four times a week. Fourth and fifth graders may audition for this special pull-out class. Selected students practice once a week in preparation for fall and spring performances. Participants are introduced to techniques unique to hand chimes and are exposed to basic music reading, performance skills, and learn to count on each other to produce beautiful music.

Athletic Distinction PHYSICAL EDUCATION

We strive to teach wellness concepts and physical skills that will inspire students to embrace a proactive and healthy lifestyle. Elementary students participate in PE twice a week, with a special motor lab for kindergarteners to further develop their motor skills. Some of the units of study include jump rope, bowling, tennis, foursquare, basketball, volleyball, softball, and physical fitness. All students are encouraged to participate and increase their skills.



President’s Physical Fitness Awards (3-5)


Sports Instruction Units

VCES is committed to creating a classroom environment that speaks to the needs of active young learners – especially the need to move. All classrooms have a kidsized fitness bike that is in constant use throughout the day. Several teachers are currently piloting standing desks and core strengthening sitting options. Teachers have also begun integrating several ways to give students ample time to take “body breaks” and time to move throughout the school day.

Faith & Community Students thrive in a Christ-centered learning environment where they are able to learn from the personal examples of their dedicated teachers.


Throughout the year, VCES hosts a number of exciting events to continually bring our community together for fellowship and fun. ● New Family Meet and Greet ● Pancake Breakfast ● High School Sports Nights ● Outdoor Movie Nights ● Family Fun Night ● Third Grade Grandparents’ Day ● Family Camp ● Knight of Passage/Night to Shine (Junior High Transition Celebration)

SPIRITUAL LIFE ● Biblical perspective integrated into every subject ● Bible classes focused on teaching stories, thematic

concepts, and Bible verse memorization chapels with student-led prayer, a time of praise and worship, and inspirational messages ● Service opportunities including writing letters to members of our military, participating in the fire department’s toy drive, donating bug nets, and fundraising for Grace Public Schools in New Delhi ● Student participation in Young Peacemakers, a powerful system that teaches children how to prevent and resolve conflict in a constructive and biblically faithful manner ● Weekly


Community Building Activities


Service Projects Available per Year

After-school Opportunities EXTENDED CARE Knowing your child is safe and cared for is of the utmost importance for every parent. At VCES you can rest assured your child is in good hands in our extended care program. Our nurturing extended care staff provide morning and after-school care available on all school days and most holidays (7-7:45am & 3-6pm).

AFTER-SCHOOL ENRICHMENT VCES consistently strives to meet the diverse needs of the growing Silicon Valley families through our wide range of after-school programs. Developing young minds have so many interests and at VCES we offer a wide variety specialized enrichment classes for students to discover and develop their passions in academics, arts, and athletics.


ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT Chess King, Coding, Kid Lead, Homework Hub, Lego Club, Robotics, Schmahl Science

ARTISTIC BEAUTY A Stitch of Mine, Adventures in Art, Glee Choir, Dance Express, Fun with Drums, Guitar for Fun, Heavenly Harps, Kids on Keyboards, Kids on Strings, Musical Theatre

ATHLETIC DISTINCTION Golf, Junior Cheer, Little Warrior Nation, Tennis


In addition to our regular, specialized PE Classes, Little Warrior Nation is an exciting extracurricular opportunity for VCES students to learn the fundamentals of a wide variety of sports, and learn to facilitate the necessary physical, social, emotional, moral, and spiritual development important to becoming a successful Christian athlete from some of the best coaches and high school athletes in California. VCHS coaches and student-athletes travel to the elementary to share devotions, testimonies, and lessons on effort, teamwork, and sportsmanship. Little Warriors’ big buddies in the high school oftentimes pray for them and send notes of encouragement. Our “Inside Look” special event allows fourth and fifth grade Little Warriors to sit on the bench with high school athletes at a game of their choice. Most importantly, elementary students learn firsthand what it means to be a Valley Christian Warrior.



Academic After-School Opportunites

Students Participating in LWN


Kidservatory After-School Opportunites

VCS Board of Directors Ms. Vera Shantz


Mr. Michael Sprauve

Vice Chair

Mr. Daniel Burford


Mrs. Susan Bagley


Mr. Jerry Merza


Dr. Eric Phelps


Mr. Robert Rubino


Dr. Rick Watson


Executive Team Dr. Clifford Daugherty



Mr. John Cooley

Chief Legal Counsel


Dr. Stephen McMinn

Chief Operating Officer


Mr. Kenneth Shilling

Chief Financial Officer


Senior Leadership Team Mr. Gabe Guven

Elementary School Principal


Mrs. Lisa Arnett

Junior High School Principal


Mr. Mark Lodewyk

High School Principal


Mr. Michael Annab

Technology K-12


Mrs. Kimberly Ellefsen

Marketing & Publications K-12


Mr. Troy Gunter

Conservatory of the Arts K-12


Miss Shirley Hitchcock

Accreditation & Curriculum K-12


Mr. Mike LaBarbera

Extend the Gift Development Chair


Mr. Eric Scharrenberg

Physical Education & Athletics K-12


Mr. Werner Vavken

Applied Math, Science, & Engineering K-12


Chaplains Rev. Ed Silvoso

VCS Board Chaplain

Mr. (Rev.) Werner Vavken

VCS Faculty/Staff Chaplain

Mr. Nathan Smith

HS Chaplain

Mr. Brian Clemons

JH Chaplain

Mission Statement

Valley Christian Schools’ mission is to provide a nurturing environment offering quality education supported by a strong foundation of Christian values in partnership with parents, equipping students to become leaders to serve God, to serve their families, and to positively impact their communities and the world. To support VCS, please call the Extend the Gift Development Office at 408-362-7642.

Valley Christian Elementary Viewbook  
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