About Valley High School
A Message from Principal Maxwell
Valley High School (VHS) is located in West Des Moines, a suburb of Des Moines with approximately 69,000 residents. VHS is a three-year comprehensive high school with approximately 2,100 students. It emphasizes the Four A’s of education: Academics, Activities, Arts, and Athletics. The four A’s system is designed to give students a wide range of experiences and knowledge while in high school. Valley strives to provide students with a high-quality education that includes exciting and unique opportunities and challenges that will stretch their minds and abilities. A Parent-Teacher Organization and active athletic, music, debate, theater, and drama booster clubs support our students.
David Maxwell, principal
Valley High School Important Contacts
4 A's Overview
Valley has a long tradition of excellence in the 4 A’s—academics, activities, arts, and athletics. This comes from a strong work ethic of students with the support and encouragement of their families.
Academics are the foundation of Valley’s vibrant tradition of success. Valley High School students consistently outpace their peers nationwide on qualitative and quantitative assessments. Twelve curricular departments offer more than 200 courses, 35 of which are dual credit courses (offered for both high school and college credit). Math, science, social studies, and language arts form the core of Valley’s rigorous academic program. These, in conjunction with five world languages and strong programs in computer science, business education, technology education, visual and performing arts, family and consumer science, and physical education, round out the academic experience at Valley High School.Twenty-one Advanced Placement courses further challenge Valley’s students and give them another opportunity to earn college credit while still in high school.
Activities are the heart of Valley’s tradition of success. A majority of the student body participates in activities outside the classroom. Our students have access to a wide variety of activities, including speech and debate, mock trial, student government, world language clubs, literary magazine, newspaper, yearbook, radio, and much more.
Arts both performing and visual, reflect the soul of Valley’s strong tradition of success. The study of Art History, Art Criticism, Art Production and Aesthetics guides the curriculum in the Visual Arts Department. Many student artists receive both recognition and scholarships when they submit portfolios to colleges and art schools across the nation. The Valley Music Department was honored with the first GRAMMY® Signature School award in 1999. The 240 member Valley Marchmasters were selected to perform in the 2004 Tournament of Roses Parade. The Valley Orchestra has completed concert tours in Austria and Italy. Our vocal groups and jazz ensembles have performed in several national and international festivals from Carnegie Hall to Disney World. Drama participants have been selected as Iowa High School Speech Association All-State performers and have received the All-State Sweepstakes Trophy, as well as the Critic’s Choice Award.
Athletics are the muscle of Valley’s robust tradition of success. Having the opportunity to participate in 20 different sports brings out the best in student-athletes. Students learn the importance of training, discipline, dedication, and teamwork. Appearances at state tournaments are a common occurrence for Valley athletic teams, despite stiff competition in the Central Iowa Metropolitan League.
Valley Contact Information
3650 Woodland Ave.
West Des Moines, IA 50266-2053
MAIN OFFICE: 515-633-4000
HOURS: 8:20 a.m.-3:20 p.m..
COLLABORATION SCHEDULE: Wednesday 8:20 a.m.-2:35 p.m.
David Maxwell, principal
Shannon Campbell, associate principal
Joshua Griffith, associate principal
Chris Novak, associate principal
Megan Thomsen, associate principal