A letter from Valley Catholic Middle School Principal Dr. Jennifer Gfroerer

Jen with students

Dear VCMS Families,

Welcome to the 2023-24 school year.

The middle school staff and I are very excited to see all of our work come to fruition this school year as we prepare for our STEM accreditation during the week of October 23-27 and our campus-wide accreditation review in the spring.

One program enhancement you will see this year in the middle school is a revamped advisory program called Community Groups, which is based on the model described in Chris Balme’s work Finding the Magic in Middle School: Tapping into the Power and Potential of the Middle School Years. Mr. Balme is an educator who is recognized for re-imagining middle schools that are designed around innovation and effective learning. His programs focus on promoting apprenticeship-based learning opportunities – specifically created for middle schoolers – that promote innovative learning and environmental stewardship.

It is a privilege to work with a staff that values spending part of their free time, including their summers, diving into examples of internationally recognized programs and purposely choosing components of these programs that support the educational goals we set for the current middle school program. This is the excitement of the accreditation cycle. We have been afforded the opportunity to audit every component of the middle school program – to identify our current strengths, areas for growth, and areas that need improvement. 

Thank you for being part of this journey with us. We look forward to continuing to share our work with you as we move through the accreditation process.