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K-12
Public
Van Nuys, CA
Students enrolled: 602

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6701 Balboa Boulevard
Van Nuys, CA 91406

School website
(818) 342-6133
(818) 342-8645
Nearby homes for sale
Map of Valley Alternative Magnet address.

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November 01, 2014
Valley Alternative is a gem in the valley! The campus offers Kindergarten through 12th grade. The school is small and intimate. Teachers are called by their first names and know the students on a first name basis as well. This year brings a new Principal who is amazing! She is very involved with the students and truly cares about their best interest. Yes, the school lacks a gym and auditorium, but it's a trade off. This is a safe, friendly environment for students to get a good education. The staff is great!

- submitted by a parent
September 24, 2014
This school is a terrible school. It is kindergarten to 12 grade and they all call their teachers by their first names. Most of the teachers are rude and don't really care for their the lunch area is very small, students. They don't have a gym, PE lockers or an auditorium. The students have to do PE in their regular clothes, sweat, then go to class with those sweaty clothes. There is no gym, so rainy days weren't fun. Also there is no auditorium but they have a farm which is behind the cafeteria. They have no sports teams or bands or anything fun like that but they have a farm (what?). The staff doesn't take bullying, fights, or dress code seriously. There were students who came to school pracitcally naked and there were fights happening in and out of class and nothing was done to stop them. Overall, the school needs to be rebuilt with a better administration and staff along with the gym, PE lockers, etc. Regular hall lockers are really tiny and have to be shared because there arent enough. They don't have a class set of books and they have to carry all the books back and forth. If your are a parent thinking about taking your child there, reconsider it.

- submitted by a parent
June 09, 2014
(continued) Also, at this school I have the advantage of my teachers really caring about me, my future, and guiding me towards success. So regardless of the lack of sports, or the cafeteria food, or other irrelevant nonsense, when it comes down to what really matters, which is the education, the genuine care teachers have for their students, and preparation for college and the real world, VAS is where you should want to send your child. To wrap it up, the people who wrote all the negative and unimportant comments are probably the ones who did not put any effort into their education or in the parents' cases, their children's educations. As cheesy as it may sound, at VAS we really are a family. Although no family is perfect, we still are pretty great and we overcome our challenges just fine without a large faculty or a lot of money, because like I said that is not what really matters.

- submitted by a community member
June 09, 2014
Hi my name is Meri and I will soon be a sophomore at VAS. I have been attending this school since sixth grade, and without a doubt it is great! Some might argue that we lack AP classes and sports teams, but sports are always available at any given time outside of school. But when can you go to a community college 8 hours a week during school time and get credits for highschool and college at the same time? At VAS. That is definitely more beneficial than an AP class, because your child has the opportunity to go straight into university with a lot of college units already completed, specifically the IGETC.

- submitted by a community member
June 02, 2014
This school is good at a certain level, but some of the students that go here can be very immature and disrespectful to peers and faculty. What's good about this school is LAVC and job site, that's about it. In my opinion, they really should get rid of the farm, it only brings flies into the classrooms, which gets really annoying. Some teachers' grading systems are ridiculous and should be altered to become more reasonable for students that are having a hard time in the class. And it is somewhat true that teachers only focus on kids who are already doing well.

- submitted by a community member
May 13, 2014
This is a AWESOME school and I love going to school every day because the teachers know how to make learning fun and interesting. I do agree that the coffee cake is disgusting but, who cares about the food, school is for learning not eating. The teachers know their stuff and are smart but a few teachers rise above the rest (Jennelle Stewart, Albert Estrada, and David Santamaria). I give my school five stars because I like it .

- submitted by a community member
May 10, 2014
This school is great in academics but when a person is failing ,zero help is brought to them. The teachers only focus on students that are already doing good and don't help the other students at all the teat hers are very rude for example the bio teacher , although he know what he is teaching and does a good job at it ,he insults you and embarrass you if you make a little mistake. The school does not have extra curricular activities to entertain them and a lot of students are focused in drugs you may not see it but as a student that interacts with other secrecy i have seen that many students are under the influence. This school cares of nothing except how good a person's grade can be. The school money is very poor due to the farm animals they need to spend the little money we have on the food and other animal needs so they are not capable of spending money on educational programs for the students. The schools lunches are dreadful and its the reason many students starve themselves the breakfast is nothing but cold bread and disgusting coffee cake EVERY SINGLE DAY. I personally DO NOT recommend this school.

- submitted by a community member
May 04, 2014
There is a lot of bullying at this school and the administration doesn't do anything about it. Do not send your child here. If I could, I would give it zero stars.

- submitted by a community member
August 20, 2013
I'm a former student at Valley Alternative Magnet School, i would like to say that this school is amazing. The staff, teachers, and students will try their best to make you feel comfortably. The teachers don't have favorites which is good because most schools do. If the a teacher see's that you are falling behind or failing a class he/she will try to help in any way they can to bring your grades up.We might not have sports but, when you hit the tenth grade you are able to go to Valley College for free or Job Site. Those 2 thing make up for not having sporst because that will help you get in to a better college. I recommend this school if you want your child to be successful in life.

- submitted by a community member
July 25, 2013
VAS is a warm, friendly environment and a nice place for kids to learn and make friends.

- submitted by a parent
April 07, 2013
My son was at this school for one semester of 7th grade. It was an awful experience for both us. He got bullied relentlessly. The administration was open about communicating but nothing really got resolved. It is unfortunate that bullies get to stay there while our kids have to be removed for their own safety. My son is now doing great at his current school. I wish I would've moved him sooner.

- submitted by a parent
April 05, 2013
This school is not for students who are struggling in academics. The teachers only care and give attention to the students who are already doing good. They don't want to bother to give help to those who really need it. The teachers are rude to the students during class. I have been there long enough to know that what I am telling you is the whole truth. Oh, I almost forgot they are constantly asking for money all the time, they say to pay for field trips, which they hardly ever go on, and when they do they still ask for you pay.

- submitted by a parent
March 20, 2013
My school expirience in this school was depressing so far I'm a seventh grader. I dont like the seventh grade math class. Sixth grade was horrible I was bullied with words and it took a while to get the problem resolved I enjoy the english and history class with Steve also Stephany's pe class most kids are mean at point but sometimes kind it was very confusing. I want to switch for high school because there aren' any sports and I want to play football. I think it's fine to send your student here but it isn't always a friendly enviorment.

- submitted by a community member
March 13, 2013
I like the school, but find that some teachers are better than others are. I can say that because I have twins. Overall, I love the school, the teachers, and staff. I know that my children are safe when they are in school. I find that younger teachers tend to be more aggressive with their teaching technics then the veteran ones, who seam burned out.

- submitted by a parent
February 05, 2013
This school is not what it used to be I do not recommend you enroll your child in this school some of the students are mean. The teachers are kind but you do not learn anything. Problems do not get solved. The budget is extremely horrible there are no sports.

- submitted by a community member
October 02, 2011
I have had all three of my children attend this school. VAS provides a warm, caring atmosphere in the whole school community. Students are taught to think, and reflect about their own decisions. VAS has unique experiences like the annual Peace Day event. Students learn to be engaged and look towards their future. The high school students have an opportunity to work at a job site, or attend community college. It provides life experiences, and prepares them for when they graduate. VAS has a limited sports education program. Electives are varied also. The small school environment is wonderful!

- submitted by a parent
February 11, 2011
Horribe school. Teachers don't care much about the student/parent relationship. Teacher's assistants are rude and don't give a good example to the children. If I could go back in time I would NEVER enroll my child in this school.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 14, 2010
I love Valley Alt magnet school, my child has been there since kindergarten & is now graduating 8th grade... the one on one the kids get is amazing, the teachers really care & I could not think of a better school, with all the LAUSD mess, Valley ALT magnet school is the only high School I can see my child at where he will succeed in the real world when he graduates!

- submitted by a parent
February 12, 2010
Many people think this school is great, it isn't. This school doesn't provide a good program for high school students. It has no extracurricular activities like sports or clubs, and pathetically only has one A.P. Class. Have your child here for elemntary studies but take them out as soon as they hit middle school.

- submitted by a parent
September 16, 2009
It's great because its so small, with a very careing staff, and I mean the entire staff. We have a farm, no auditorium or gym but we are able to pull off everything at the site. Oh I would love to be in a brand new state of the art facility but I am sure the atmosphere would be difference so we opt for the small environmnet and also did I mention its a no trasition school its a k-12, how beatiful is that. Like a country school,. We just love it.

- submitted by a parent
no rating August 25, 2009
The teachers don't teach much they don't explain enough for my kid to get the math

- submitted by a parent
May 16, 2009
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
November 18, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
October 03, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
September 09, 2008
My son is just starting first grade and loving it! VAS is a school where all the teachers interact with the kids, the kids feel safe, happy and proud! VAS has an enrichment program taught by professionals who volunteer their time. The PTA and all the parents are very involved. Plus they just scored 802! That's school wide! Compare that to other high schools.

- submitted by a parent
no rating March 13, 2008
As a former teacher at Valley Alternative Magnet I often communicate with adults who graduated from the school. One thing they always mention is that the school taught them how to think. As a small school, students are allowed to make decisions about appropriate actions and to express their opinions. These are important life skills because as an adult you need to decide your own course of action and be willing to accept the consequences of your decisions. VAS is a small family-oriented school. I loved working at VAS! Retired Educator

- submitted by a community member
February 08, 2008
I love this school. The principal, staff, teachers, students and parents are great. They have set a warm and open door policy in practice not just 'words'. Most of the staff even know most of the students by first name, if not all of them. They do stress a family atmosphere. They also have what I believe is a higher standard for academics then most schools. I also believe the teachers as a whole take an active role when there is some sort of problem. I have 2 children here and hope my 3rd gets in...we haven't even considered another school yet for this September. The parent involvement has brought about many extra curriculum activities...such as chess,arts & crafts,museum trips, dance, music just to name some.

- submitted by a parent
September 09, 2007
i am a current student at VAS and i will recomend Valley Alternative to any parent who wants thier child to be succsesful and achive great things in the future. Vally Alt. is a great school with wonderful staff and students. We are like a big family! mary gasparyan,9th grade

- submitted by a student
April 26, 2007
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
March 14, 2007
The quality of academic programs is fairly high. Because we are K-12 many of the students are here for 8 or more years! Besides the high test scores, the students work with a very involved and caring faculty. Starting in the 10th grade all students have access to classes at Valley College. Our senior class college placement is always around 95%. Many of our seniors graduate with their Freshman college class requirements finished. There is a very strong sense of family between all of the campus stakeholders. The graduations are very personal and emotionally heartfelt. They have the kick of a wedding watching cherished sons and daughters move on to bigger and better things. The faculty has long had the ability to make a lasting impression on their students. Visitors from past graduating classes are a common occurrence on campus. The school is also spectacularly safe.

- submitted by a teacher
no rating May 11, 2006
Our child and our neighbor's children all enjoy this school because of its hands on approach to learning. The staff and teachers are very warm, caring and love their jobs. It shows on the faces of the kids and in the test scores, which seem to get better every year.

- submitted by a parent
October 28, 2005
My unmedicated son with ADD has attended VAS since 6th grade. He thinks he wants a bigger school, but if he went to one-he would hate it and not be able to get back in at VAS. They aren't the strongest in their curriculum, but that is not the most important thing in education. They learn tolerance, patience and are treated respectfully. I believe the kids who grow up and leave there will turn out to be respectful because of the behavior modeled to them. Real life skills. This school understands that even if a child were capable of getting straight A's, it might take so much effort and this school 'gets it' that the kids with the straight A's aren't always the ones that get the best jobs later in life. They are allowed to become their own quirkly personalities and are encouraged to question authority. Excellent outlook and environment. Poor extracurricular activities.

- submitted by a parent
October 12, 2005
This school has higher tests scores than my son's last school. But I wish they did more extracurricular activites, and focused more on science, computer technology, and math....like they say that they do. And they have no sports activites that I know of, or music.

- submitted by a parent
October 06, 2005
Very disappointing experience. The school seemed so proud of its 'family atmosphere' but the family part seemed to exclude many kids and their parents. Teachers/admin. very slow to respond to bullying and other problems--it was as if they couldn't believe that anything bad could happen at VAS, so unable to deal with it. Apart from a few excellent teachers (gr. 1 & 3), academically unchallenging and didn't prepare my daughter for an excellent middle school--vast holes in her knowledge that should have been filled in lower grades. Nevertheless, my daughter got straight A's on moving to a new school--big surprise to her, as teachers at VAS had considered her not very bright. School seemed a little inbred (teacher's kid hired as teacher there, teachers' kids in classes there, teacher's best friend hired there, etc. No objectivity meant no reform. Main advice to parents: keep your eyes open for signs of bullying!

- submitted by a parent
September 22, 2005
This school is great to foster cerativity but it is missing the essential curriculum to properly prepare students for college.

- submitted by a former student
February 08, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
July 14, 2004
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
June 14, 2004
I've been attending Valley Alternative since third grade. From the beginning, VAS was different in that the teachers as well as the students said 'please and thank you' to one another whereas my other school didn't. The teachers do their absolute best so that the students can receive the ultimate and well-rounded education. For example, our history teacher would always print out primary source documents of the time we were studying. It helped me understand whatever we were talking about, whether it was slavery, WWII, or any other topic. The teacher-student relationship is very different from other schools. We as students can talk to our teachers not only as friends but older and experienced confidants. Later, in the classroom, we obtain a completley professional and unbiased education. As a student I feel teachers must leave a lasting impression on their students to last throughout educational and personal lessons.

- submitted by a student
June 14, 2004
I have been attending Valley Alternative since kindergarten, and for me personally it has been a great experience. The teachers have always been there for me when I needed help with anything. We all have respect for one another, teachers and students together. The small school environment gives teachers one on one time with a student that might need help. The friends I had in elementary are still my close friends to this day, and I'm in eleventh grade. Usually in big high schools students and teachers very rarely have a student-teacher relationship, but at my school students and teachers can talk to each other not only as our teachers but also as our friends. Being at my school is like having another family with people I can confide in and talk to.

- submitted by a student
August 22, 2003
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a community member
August 22, 2003
As a former student I will tell you that I hated attending this school. However, if extremly hands-on education is what your looking for, then you might like this school. Personally I hated the hands-on, busy-body attitute of the teachers and faculty. They felt that they had the right to intrude on every aspect of my life including what I did on my own time at home. I did not need the extra help and I, therefore, found it frustrating and annoying.

- submitted by a former student
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Valley Alternative Magnet
6701 Balboa Boulevard, Van Nuys, CA  91406
(818) 342-6133
Last modified Valley Alternative Magnet is a Public school that serves grades K-12. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 7 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Valley Alternative Magnet Rating: 3 out of 5 based on 41 reviews. Top