Cadence Elementary Named Silver Valley

Cadence Elementary School to Be Named Silver Valley, Opens Fall 2019

It’s official!

Silver Valley Elementary School, serving preschool through sixth grade, is the name of Queen Creek Unified School District’s new elementary school in the Cadence at Gateway community.

QCUSD began the process in October by forming a committee composed of district representatives, teachers, parents and students. They held brainstorming and informational (30+ ideas shared) meetings for the next two months and submitted three potential name recommendations. Much thought went into the process, with a policy breakdown of landmarks, landscape and proper nouns. The committee took into consideration the following concepts:

  • Mesa/QC Connections
  • Names that would bring communities together
  • Meeting the goals of the policy: Significant landscape, animalia, formations of area
  • A focus on your “neighborhood school.”
  • Architectural design
  • There was a final meeting on Jan. 2 and names were presented to the board on Jan. 8. The final recommendations were Silver Valley Elementary, Desert Wells Elementary and Desert Valley Elementary.

    The inspiration for Silver Valley Elementary comes from the Silver Queen Mine which used to be part of the Mesa/Superstition area. Many people worked in the mine but lived in what is now Queen Creek. The bottom of the mountain where this mine is located was a creek named Pickett Post Creek – until it was later called Queen Creek. The committee also noted that they appreciated the fact that the schools sits in the valley between the Superstition and San Tan mountains.

    Under the leadership of Principal Allison Carmichael, the school will offer preschool, free all-day kindergarten, plus before- and after-school enrichment classes. The school will be open for the fall 2019 semester and feature technology-rich, collaborative learning spaces in the 89,000-square-foot school. Multiple buildings will frame a central courtyard, extending learning and gathering opportunities to the outdoors. Large garage doors open to make room for large group activities, dining, assemblies, and events in the courtyard. The top-rate facilities include:

  • Wet Lab Makerspace
  • Smart Lab, Library and Media Center
  • Cafeteria/Commons area
  • Gymnasium/Performance space
  • Music and Band rooms
  • Playground and Athletic Fields
  • Students will have daily exposure to STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics), which develops both problem-solving and critical-thinking skills. Administrators describe STEAM learning as sort of a 21-century do-it-yourself shop class, where students design, experiment, build and invent. The end results are individuals who take thoughtful risks, engage in experiential learning, persist in problem-solving, embrace collaboration, and work through the creative process. The process provides authentic preparation for the real world through simulating real-world challenges.

    QCUSD encompasses 46 square miles and extends north of Mesa Gateway to Warner and south to Empire Blvd. The district is one of the fastest growing school districts in the state because of the excellent education opportunities, community involvement, and wonderful quality of life.

    QCUSD also announced new grade configurations for Eastmark High School and Gateway Polytechnic Academy which were recently approved by the Governing Board. These new configurations will begin in July for the 2019-2020 school year.

    Eastmark High School, opening this July, will now enroll grades seven through ten (eventually EHS will enroll students in grades 7-12). This new configuration provides a middle school option in the northern end of the district boundaries and balances enrollment throughout the district. Silver Valley Elementary School (Elementary School #7) and Gateway Polytechnic Academy will enroll students in preschool through sixth grade.

    Much thought and planning created these new grade configurations, which put students first by providing the following benefits:

  • Provides more choices for parents
  • Better serves middle school students
  • Balances student enrollment across the district
  • Best use of bond dollars authorized by you, the voter
  • Fiscally responsible
  • QCUSC invites parents and residents to access their Frequently Asked Questions page here:, learn more about the school here,
    or email questions to and/or attend the QCUSD Open House on Wednesday, January 23, 2019, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the District Office.

    This is just the beginning. The road ahead for educational opportunities at Cadence at Gateway is an exciting one!

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