Accreditation & Honors
Founded in 1984, Our Lady of the Valley Catholic School received accreditation within two years by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and has continuously maintained accreditation. SACS accreditation is important indicator of quality and a commitment to continued improvement to meet the educational needs of our school community.
During its more than 25-plus year history, OLV has had an extraordinary record of success. Among the most coveted honors received by OLV has been the United States Department of Education Blue Ribbon School of Excellence award. OLV in 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 school in the Diocese of Birmingham to have ever been awarded this prestigious honor. In 2011 OLV was the only private school in Alabama and one of only 49 private schools from across the United States to receive the award. 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. In addition, the school, its students and faculty are the recipients of many honors including:
- The OLV Science Olympiad Team has finished 2nd in the 2013 State finals and has finished in the top three at state competition in each of the past eleven 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.
- OLV was recognized in 2013 as "Fit Friendly" school by the American Heart Association
- In 2013 OLV received 3 superior and 9 excellent rating awards Junior Thespian Festival. The OLV Drama Club has been chartered as a Junior Troupe in the prestegious International Thespian Society, one of only six elementary schools in Alabama to earn such a distinction.
- 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 two students in 2011 and one student in 2012 receievd national recognition, scoring in the top 10% of students nationwide.
- OLV was the overall champion at the Diocesan Track & Field Event in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010 and 2012.
- OLV students have advanced to the statewide spelling bee for five of the past seven years and in 2013, an OLV student finished 3rd in the state.
- OLV Stock Market Team finished in the top 5% of the nation in 2010, finihsing 25th in a field of 600 teams in the United States.
- 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.
- Faculty are recipients of many honors inlcuding 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, and softball.
- The school experiences excellent ratings by parents. In an independent survey conducted in 2005, 99.2% agreed or strongly agreed that the school offers a quality instruction program, 100% of parents agreed or strongly agreed that the school provides sufficient opportunities for students to celebrate their faith. 99.2% agreed or strongly agreed that the school effectively teaches religion.
Most importantly, the graduates of OLV transition with ease to area high schools and continue to excel academically and receive accolades for their success.