Alternative Education

Jenna Balthazor, Staff Reporter

In Scottsbluff County we have many different ways to get an education other than public schools. One of the choices is VALTS, which is an acronym for Valley Alternative Learning Transitioning School.

VALTS is a school located in Scottsbluff, Ne across from our community college, WNCC. This school consists of students from Scottsbluff, Gering, Mitchell, Kimball, Mitchell, Bridgeport, Bayard, Minatare, Banner County, and Morril. Each school purchases a certain amount of spots for their district to send certain students to attend VALTS.

VALTS was founded in 1998. This school was founded because of how many students were not able to graduate high school due to family related problems and non school related problems. Students that attend VALTS go for half a day either in the morning or in the afternoon, they can go and work after school or like some other kids, go take care of their child or of their siblings.

A lot of the kids that are attending VALTS are very grateful that they are getting the help and the opportunity to get a high school diploma. Over 500 students have graduated from VALTS since it was founded.

George Schlothauer is the principal at VALTS. He oversees all of the activity’s there and spends a lot of his time with these kids. For the past couple of years, the program has chosen a topic in which they base all of their projects off of. The one that they are doing this semester is guitars. They will build a guitar, learn the history of the guitar, right poems, and learn the science behind a guitar in all of their core classes.

A junior that has just had her child says that VALTS is one of the best things to happen for her. “I came here to VALTS just to get into a better environment because I was pregnant. It’s a great school and has a great learning process. Everyone helps you to do amazing things and it is just super nice,” she said. Her school had a spot open so in March of 2017 she came to here and has almost been there a year.

Another student who would be a senior, but has three more semesters left has also had a tremendous impact made on his life because of this school. “I wasn’t able to keep up with work, bills, and school so we made the decision to come here to VALTS. The teachers here are amazing and help me with everything and anything I need help with and it is truly great,” he said. He will be attending WNCC when he gets his high school diploma and will be studying to become a mechanic.

VALTS has positively impacted many students and their lives and will continue to do so in the many years to come.