Why Preschool-8?

Why choose a preschool through 8th grade school?

When you meet a Cliff Valley kid you’ll know it. We’re proud that our graduates get noticed for their academic strength and social and emotional maturity. We credit this in part to our preschool through grade 8 model – and research supports this.


We focus all of our energy and resources on the needs of students age 3-14. The developmental needs of this age range are complex, and our exclusive focus on those needs is an advantage for students.

Adolescent Development

Research on the needs of adolescent learners (ages 10-14) also supports this model. Here are some key findings:

  • Adolescents face emotional, physical, and social challenges and can benefit from not having a school transition at middle school.
  • K-8 students benefit from spending their middle grades as the “top dogs” in the school, building greater confidence, maturity, and leadership.
  • Middle grade students in K-8 schools behave differently than in a middle school. They take on the role of protector and role model as opposed to having to establish new reputations upon entering middle school.
  • Students who change schools at 6th and 9th experience greater achievement loss than students from K-8 schools.
  • Students and parents who remain in a K-8 school for nine years are more likely to build and maintain positive relationships with teachers over time and maintain higher levels of parent participation than in middle schools.
  • Early grade teachers know all students, and middle grade teachers can communicate with them regarding students’ histories and learning styles.
  • K-8 schools allow students to get to know classmates and teachers better. Smaller size is a factor in the stronger sense of community experienced by K-8 schools.
  • Smaller class and school size result in higher levels of student participation, increased sense of belonging, and more comfortable student-teacher relationships. It also allows students and teachers more opportunities to access community resources and learning opportunities outside of the school.
Transitioning to High School

As parents learn more about their child’s interests and needs, we work with them to find the best school for your child for grades 9-12, whether public or private. Our graduates go on to succeed at excellent independent public schools.