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Ancestors of the Washoe Tribe lived in this area between 3,000 and 5,000 years ago. The Washoe branch known as the Pau-Wa-Lu lived in the Carson Valley thousands of years before Europeans settled here. Pau-Wa-Lu, meaning "people of the valley," was the name selected for our school to reflect this heritage.

The German and Basque people who first began to migrate to the Carson Valley in the late 19th and early 20th centuries brought an eagerness and determination to escape poverty and strife and to find a home where they could work and prosper. These immigrant people found out what the Washoe have always known about the Carson Valley; that it is a good place to build a home and raise a family. Trading, agriculture, and mining dominated the early economic influences of the era. The diverse cultural influences comprise the Carson Valley spirit of independence, hard work, and family values.

At Pau-Wa-Lu Middle School, we reflect the values, which are woven throughout the history of Carson Valley. The mountains, the valley, the desert, and the beauty of the lake provide a source of inspiration and appreciation. The independence and hard work of the early immigrants are incorporated in our school expectations for you. We will provide an opportunity for you to learn skills that will enable you to continue and succeed in your educational journey. You will have the opportunity to learn from adults who want to teach you and peers who will work with you. Here you will transition from childhood to young adulthood. As with the ancestors of Carson Valley, you are responsible for making the opportunities offered here benefit you.