VALTS Southern Expansion
VALTS Southern Expansion
Since 1998, Educational Service Unit 13 (ESU 13) has provided an alternative education opportunity for high school students in the panhandle through the Valley Alternative Learning Transitioning School, more commonly known as VALTS. The alternative education school in Scottsbluff is located on the Western Nebraska Community College Scottsbluff Campus in the HARMS Center and has recently extended services into ESU 13’s Southern Satellite Site in Western Nebraska Community College’s Sidney Satellite Campus, located at 361 College Drive, Sidney, NE 69162.
ESU 13’s Alternative Education Department expanded services into Sidney this fall, allowing students in the southern Panhandle to participate in VALTS. Through a distance-learning format, students in Sidney, Leyton, and Creek Valley School Districts are able to join VALTS to earn credits in English, Social Sciences, Math, and Science courses required for their high school graduation.
“VALTS tailors to individual needs of each student and provides an alternative setting for students who struggle to succeed in a public school setting. VALTS gives students an opportunity to have a smaller setting, more one-on-one time with teachers, and half-day school sessions,” ESU 13 Alternative Education Director, Tom Peacock, explains. “When ESU 13 added on the addition in Sidney, we reached out to Sidney School District to partner with us to expand our services there, as we felt there was a need for smaller schools in that area. Sidney School District is using a hybrid format, so students attend Sidney High School in either the morning or afternoon, then come to VALTS during the opposite timeframe. Creek Valley and Leyton also have a couple of students who attend VALTS classes via Zoom Video Communications.”
“The benefits of VALTS expanding to Sidney is that our students now have another option for their education past the traditional classroom. Students are able to work directly with certified teachers and continue their learning in a structured environment,” shares Sidney High School Principal, Chris Arent. “The impact to Sidney and its students has been immediate. We had students who were very motivated to graduate with the VALTS program, and we had a couple of five and six year cohorts also finish up which has been excellent. Being able to have an option such as VALTS has provided students additional opportunities to work towards their graduation.”