Accreditation and Honors

A National School of Excellence

Founded in 1984, OLV has had an extraordinary record of success.  Among the most coveted honors received by seal.jpgOLV has been the United States Department of Education Blue Ribbon School of Excellence award.  OLV is exceptional in that it is a two-time recipient of the honor having received it in 1998-1999 and most recently in 2011. It is the only private school in the Birmingham area to have  been awarded this prestigious honor.  The U.S. Dept. of Education Blue Ribbon School of Excellence is the department's highest accolade.  The award distinguishes OLV for its excellence in teaching, curriculum, student achievement, leadership, professional development, parental involvement, and community support. 


Our Lady of the Valley Catholic School has been continuously accredited  by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) since 1986. SACS accreditation is important indicator of quality and a commitment to continued improvement to meet the educational needs of our school community.

 In addition, the school, its students and faculty are the recipients of many honors including:

  • The OLV Science Olympiad Team has finished in the top three at state competition in each of the past thirteen years and advanced to nationals in 2004, 2007, 2009, 2010, and 2011.  In 2011, the OLV Science Olympiad Team placed 23rd in the nation, and was the highest ranked school from the state of Alabama.  
  • On 2014 OLV received 5 superior and 12 excellent rating awards at the Junior Thespian Festival. OLV is one of a handful of elementary schools in the state to have a charter as a Junior Thespian Troupe in the prestigious International Thespian Society.
  • OLV students have twice finished 3rd in the State Spelling Bee in 2006 and 2013. OLV students have advanced to the statewide spelling bee for seven of the past eight years.
  • OLV athtetic teams excel. OLV was crowned as the champion of the Diocesan Track and Field Meet in 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016. Basketball and volleyball teams are the recipients of awards as well.
  • OLV was recognized in 2013 as a "Fit Friendly" school by the American Heart Association
  • The OLV Math Team won 4th place in 2012 and 4th and 5th place trophies in  2011 area tournaments.
  • A high percentage of students qualify for the Duke Univ. Talent Identification Program. This program identifies and assesses 7th grade students performing at or above the 95th percentile on a particular subtest or composite of a national standardized test.  Over the past five years, OLV's 7th grade students qualifying for this program range from 47%-61% of the class.  Eligible students go on to take the college entrance ACT or SAT tests. Based upon results from the high school level ACT and SAT exams, in 2011 48% and in 2012 26% of OLV 7th graders taking the ACT or SAT  scored in the top 50% of  all students (including high schoolers) nationwide, and in 2011, 2012, and 2013 OLV student(s) have received national recognition, scoring in the top 10% of students nationwide.
  • OLV finished in the top 10 in the State Geography Bee in 2010.
  • OLV faculty and students are the recipients of many individual honors from language arts and the sciences to recognition for community service.
  • Our faculty are recipients of many honors including the 2007 NCEA Distinguished Teacher Award.
  • OLV students excel in athletics with opportunities to participate in team sports as early as 1st grade and are the recipients of numerous awards and honors in basketball, volleyball, and soccer. In grades 7 and 8 students are excelling in middle school athletics including cross country, football, volleyball, basketball, baseball, softball and soccer.  
  • The school experiences excellent ratings by parents. In an independent survey conducted in 2012, 98% agreed or strongly agreed that the school is a community that prays together, 97.6% agreed or strongly agreed that the school encourages students through all aspects of their school experience to develop a closer relationship with Jesus Christ, 89.2% of parents agreed or strongly agreed that the school upholds high standards of excellence in all it offers

Most importantly, the graduates of OLV are provided with a solid foundation built on faith and they transition with ease to area high schools where they continue to excel.

About the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program
The U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence program was founded in 1982 to recognize schools where students perform at very high levels.  In the Diocese of Birmingham, two schools have received the award: Our Lady of the Valley and Holy Spirit in Huntsville.  OLV is unique in that it is a two-time recipient of the coveted award and the only private school in the Birmingham area to do so.  The U.S. Dept. of Education National Blue Ribbon Schools program is the highest honor that can be bestowed on a school and should not be confused with other blue ribbon programs that are conducted by non-governmental entities.  The U.S. Dept. of Education National Blue Ribbon School program logo is the recognized mark of excellence among schools. For additional information about the programclick here