Academics and Student Life

Otselic Valley is a PreK-12 school in which all grades are taught under one roof in a busy, beautiful building.

Our school environment supports the whole student by offering academic opportunities, enrichment experiences, and in-school supports intended to meet students where they are. A 14:1 student-teacher ratio ensures students are known and get the individualized attention they need. The 90% graduation rate reflects our students’ growth and our teachers’ commitment to their success.


Curricula reflect the New York State Learning Standards, and teachers develop their own lesson plans from a variety of resources such as Into Reading, BOCES 4 Science, PNW BOCES Social Studies, and more. High School students have opportunities to take college level courses, Career and Technical Education programs at DCMO BOCES, and business, agriculture, and food science courses.  New classes include Introduction to Forensics and more. Students may choose art, chorus, and band,, as well as Spanish. All K-3 students take physical education daily, while older students have PE every other day to encourage a lifetime of healthy physical activity.


OV uses technology to prepare students for 21st century life and careers, and all are assigned devices that allow student access to vetted content and projects. Technology is also central to our multi-use library. Turn the corner in a hallway and you just might see an ankle-high robot that was programmed by elementary students. 


Vikings benefit from student supports including an array of available mental health services, speech, occupational and physical therapy, English Language Learner assistance, and special education. We also have WIN (What I Need), for 6th-8th graders to help them adjust to Middle School, and a Viking Flex time to support all learners who may need some extra help in any subject area.


All students are encouraged to stretch through an abundance of enrichment opportunities. Arts in Education provides balanced, robust arts experiences for everyone throughout the year. There are always performances to see, but Vikings also go deeper through workshops by the REV Theatre Co., creative writing guidance and submissions, visits by published authors and recording artists, and visiting artists who equip students with new tools for making their own creations. Students also have opportunities to participate in all aspects of theater through both elementary and High School Drama Clubs, and an annual High School fall play.


Students can participate in Modified, JV and Varsity athletics, including some sports shares with neighboring districts. Banners in our gym salute student athlete record-breakers, student athletes are celebrated each season, and scholar athletes are recognized. 


Those interested in governance and advocacy can participate in Student Council or the newly formed Superintendent Liaison Group. Recently the 3rd grade also established their own student government so they can grow into later leadership opportunities.


Clubs of all kinds, from FFA to CYOA (Create Your Own Adventure) to the National Honor Society to Envirothon to Ski Club and more, give Vikings a chance to develop their interests and skills.


Community service is encouraged and opportunities to serve are coordinated with our Dean of Students. Seniors whose community service has been significant may graduate with a Diploma of Distinction.


Parents' connections include frequent communication from teachers, parents' ability to monitor school progress through their access to Schoology, participation in public events throughout the school year, encouraging their students' school attendance (important!) unless they're sick, and joining our PTO group. It's fun to start with the annual Back to School Blast, an awesome open house that gets all students and families ready for the school year. Parents of students in Pre-K through 4th grade are now welcome to sign in on Monday mornings to attend Morning Program.


The surrounding community has close ties to our school, as we saw recently when members of the community helped ag students reopen the long-closed sap house for maple sugaring. They helped by offering more trees to tap, and by helping get the new evaporator running. Our school library opened to the public with a monthly schedule of special events for all, and has now become a public library through the Four County Library System so that access and resources are expanded for all. Our FFA chapter also hosts an annual Veterans Day event combining solemn remembrance and appreciation for the many veterans in our community, all of whom are invited to attend.


All Vikings come together throughout the year for shared events and celebration, cross-grade support, and collaboration. These connections vary throughout the year: from older students reading to younger students in the course of a normal school day, to classes pairing up during the all-school literary celebration of “The Wish Tree,” to older students and staff responding to special projects by elementary students, to many helping with Field Day, to older “jurors” making decisions in a mock trial conducted by younger readers enacting a short story by Edgar Allen Poe, to young voices cheering for seniors as they walk through the hallways for the last time. Otselic Valley often feels like a family. 


Mrs. Shelly Richards
Director of Curriculum and Technology

Mrs. Elizabeth Barber-Breese
PreK-12 Building Principal


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