A Message from the Head of School
As experts in early childhood education, we know that the root of student success lies within a strong foundation of purposeful exploration, creation, play, and connection. We nurture our young learners to participate in, learn about, and actively make sense of the world around them, and we do so by prioritizing structured and unstructured indoor and outdoor play, developing relationships, and celebrating curiosity. Our highly qualified educators engage with students through adaptive, inquiry-based and hands-on learning experiences; laying the groundwork for future success in elementary school and beyond.
River Valley School is an private school offering an exceptional, one-of-a-kind early childhood and elementary school experience from Pre-JK (Age 3) to Grade 6. We are a growing school of approximately 270 students situated in a beautiful riverside campus on the banks of the Bow River, in the heart of northwest Calgary. Our school community deeply values the benefits of relationship-based and cross-curricular opportunities to learn.
Student achievement and student engagement is carried out through varied learning opportunities, hands-on exploration, collaboration, developing independence and differentiation in our instruction. We provide for the intellectual, social/emotional, and physical development of each student. Beyond the enriched core subjects, River Valley School also offers a robust offering of specialist programs including Art, Drama, Music, French Language, Outdoor Education, Physical Education and Library, starting as early as age 3.
As a community, we learn and grow together respecting the values, opinions and beliefs of all students, teachers, administrators, and our parents. We work together in close partnerships to create a school where learners feel known, safe, confident, and free to appreciate each other, make good ethical decisions, and take age- and stage- appropriate risks, leading to enhanced understanding and broadened inquiry. Within our supportive climate, students become joyful, passionate learners and know they are safe to try new things, make mistakes, discover new approaches, and explore innovative ways of seeing, contributing to and changing the world. We invite you to visit our campus to learn about our outstanding programs.
Head of School
Meet Carolyn Breland
Carolyn Breland joined River Valley School (RVS) in July 2019, after completing her twenty-eighth successful year as a school administrator and teacher in Alberta and British Columbia.
Earning a Baccalauréat en éducation from the Faculté St Jean, University of Alberta, a Master of Arts in Leadership and Training, from Royal Roads University in Victoria, BC, and a Masters Certificate in Marketing and Communications Leadership from the Schulich School of Business, York University, Carolyn is a devoted educator, who is passionate about education and learning. As a key member of the senior leadership teams in four independent schools, Carolyn has been instrumental in a variety of areas of the schools’ development.
Since joining River Valley School in 2019, Carolyn has displayed strong leadership skills and immense expertise as an administrator which was best demonstrated, of course, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Carolyn’s poise, hard work and determination also proved to be essential factors in procuring a school-owned campus, and in 2021, with Carolyn at the helm, River Valley School successfully completed the purchase of the 3127 Bowwood Drive Campus.
Carolyn has contributed to putting River Valley School on the map as one of the top Pre-Junior Kindergarten to Grade Six school in Calgary. She serves as a mentor and a leader for the school’s dynamic and passionate staff, as well as a friend and partner to all River Valley School parents and alumni.