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Educational Service Unit 13

Alternative Education


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Mission Statement

The mission of Valley Alternative Learning Transitioning School is to empower students to meet the challenges of our changing world. Our setting will create engaging and empowering learning opportunities. 



The philosophy is based upon the belief that students have a right to a free, appropriate education; and students, when offered the appropriate environment, can experience educational success. The traditional educational model, effective as it may be for the majority of students, does not provide the right environment for some students. The Valley Alternative Learning Transitioning School will be student, rather than department centered. Its curriculum will be built upon state and district mandated standards. 


Program Description 

Our alternative school is one that offers the same basic curriculum as the "traditional" school but uses alternative delivery methods. While the structure of the alternative program may vary from site to site, the following common effective characteristics have been identified:

  • Choice to attend, not a final option
  • Small class size
  • Sense of community among staff and students
  • Individual educational planning
  • Choices for delivery of instruction
  • Autonomy and democratic structure
  • Broad participation of family and community
  • Well defined standards and expectations
  • Focus on personal, social, emotional, and academic development
  • Accountability and constant evaluation 
  • Support of school districts
  • School environment which is safe, disciplined, and drug free
  • Opportunities for community involvement

Effective alternative schools serve a segment of the population whose needs differ from others. We are not exclusively a remediation or behavior center. 



The academic program offers standards-based programs and career-oriented programs in Science, Social Studies, Math, English, and communication skills. Socialization skills, job skills training, and problem solving skills are also emphasized. 

Because the staff is small, we work together to help each student achieve the necessary requirements for grade level advancement and graduation. Each student's experience is individualized to meet graduation requirements. 

Listed below are characteristics of at-risk students whose needs can be met through our alternative program:

  • Students at risk of dropping out and/or not meeting cohort graduation date
  • Students who have exhausted the educational opportunities in their resident school 
  • Students with a demonstrated need for consistency in instructional staff, curriculum, and/or scheduling
  • Students whose individual instructional pacing needs do not fit the traditional means of instructional delivery
  • Students whose educational success is, in part, dependent on non-academic support, E.g.: flex scheduling, intensive counseling, child care, and health counseling
  • Students whose talents significantly exceed their performance 
  • Students with deficiencies in basic skills
  • Students wanting to have a better chance of completing their education


Criteria for Admission

  • Referred by the student's home district
  • Expressed desire to be a part of the program (self-referral)
  • Expressed desire to achieve graduation
  • Referred by the home high school's counseling team and principal
  • If student has qualified for special education services, they must demonstrate one year of success in the regular education program of their resident district before qualifying to enroll in the VALTS program
  • Reasonable student expectation to complete the program within one year of graduation class. At a minimum, students should have completed at least 40% of their home district's graduation requirements prior to entering the VALTS program
  • Agrees to abide by conditions and rules established for the program
  • Completion of a successful intake interview