Award Year: 2015

W.L. Valentine Elementary School

1650 Huntington Drive
San Marino, CA, 91108-2503

(626) 299-7090

Mrs. Colleen Farrell Shields, Principal at time of Nomination

San Marino School District

School Website


Our mission is to promote individual student excellence, invite collaboration and discovery, and challenge students to take responsibility as members of a diverse, global community.

Student Demographics
  • White: 29%
  • Hispanic: 11%
  • Asian: 48%
  • Two or more races: 12%
  • ELL: 17%
  • Economically Disadvantaged: %
Valentine Elementary School students listening and reading together

Valentine Elementary School students listening and reading together

“Every child is the heart of Valentine” is the key to the Valentine Elementary School vision. From planning to implementation, from guiding the development of our school culture to researching innovative programs, this theme is our hallmark. This single-mindedness is intertwined with several highlights unique to our school.

We believe that our students develop a healthy and strong self-esteem when they have the opportunity to experience how hard work and perseverance can lead to success. We strive to ensure that all of our students should experience daily “joyful rigor” in our classrooms. We believe that every student should have the opportunity throughout the school day to be actively engaged in academic activities that are personally challenging, require them to solve problems, to collaborate effectively with their peers and to use higher-order thinking skills. Our students spend 90 minutes a day in mathematics learning math concepts through problem solving and applying skills to real-life problems. They spend two hours each day reading, discussing, and writing in response to literature and informational text in science, social studies, and current events. Technology has become an integral part of our learning experience. We have a 1:1 ratio for student devices. Our children collaborate daily with their peers using Googledocs and classroom blogs.

Our community of students, parents, and staff equally support arts and academics as integral components of our educational program. Specialists in art, science, and music provide our students with regular enrichment opportunities that are aligned with our classroom instruction.