Award Year: 2018

Valley Heights Elementary School

508 Chestnut Street
Blue Rapids, KS, 66411-1515

(785) 363-7693

Mr. Robert Eugene Green, Principal at time of Nomination

Title I School

Valley Heights Unified School District 498

School Website

School Twitter


All stakeholders at Valley Heights Elementary will prepare students to become lifelong learners and productive citizens by meeting individual needs in a safe and positive atmosphere.

Student Demographics
  • Black/African American: 4%
  • White: 92%
  • Hispanic: 2%
  • Native American: 2%
  • Economically Disadvantaged: 56%
Sixth grade students enjoying STEM activities.

Sixth grade students enjoying STEM activities.

Valley Heights Elementary school is a 3rd-6th grade building located in Northeast Kansas. Valley Heights Elementary serves the two communities of Blue Rapids and Waterville. Valley Heights Elementary struggles with rural poverty issues with over 50% of the students coming from homes with low social economic status. Most parents are very supportive of the school and students are eager to learn.

Valley Heights Elementary was presented a challenge in 2014 when the school was placed "On Watch", a designation given by the Kansas State Department of Education, due to three consecutive years of low state assessment scores. New protocols were established over the next two years that resulted in the successful turnaround Valley Heights has made in student achievement. First, a new School Improvement Plan was developed. Administration and staff set priorities and goals that were centered on student success. Next, a new English Language Arts curriculum was adopted. The curriculum emphasized the five major parts of reading. A more rigorous approach was taken in delivery of all academic subjects with reading being the main emphasis. The Multi-Tiered System of Support model was introduced. This model emphasizes specific strategies and supplements to the core curriculum. Enrichment opportunities are also available that challenges students on a daily basis. The MTSS framework is used for reading, math and social emotional. In addition, a one-to-one iPad initiative was extended to include Valley Heights Elementary. Greater emphasis on professional development for teachers along with family engagement activities were also scheduled throughout the year.