- Category: Area Learning Center
River Valley Academy (RVA) is a state approved alternative high school that offers students a "second chance" at earning a high school diploma. Our mission is to promote an education that advocates respect for individuals, allows for modifications to accommodate individual needs, and encourages participation in the home, school and community.
RVA is one of hundreds of alternative schools in Minnesota. Some are located right inside a regular school building, some are in commercial buildings, but ours is in a former elementary school in Kellogg. While the school building is located within the Wabasha-Kellogg school district, it is operated by Hiawatha Valley Education District, which is headquartered in Winona. RVA serves all students in Wabasha County. Students come from three districts: Elgin-Millville, Plainview, and Wabasha-Kellogg.
In the late 80's, the state recognized the need to establish alternatives to traditional schools. Research showed that people learn differently, and legislators and educators had good ideas on how to reach those students who were not so successful in traditional schools. One of the new options established by the state was open enrollment. Another was post-secondary education. And one option- our personal favorite - was alternative learning centers.
Later, charter schools were added to the list. Prior to November 2000, there were three small learning centers in Wabasha County, one in Lake City, one in Wabasha, and one in Plainview, as well as a county day treatment program located in Wabasha. Future-oriented school and county representatives, while brain-storming ideas on how to maximize resources, decided to combine the existing learning centers onto one site - one that could include the day treatment center as well as a new daycare center meant to serve both teen parents and community families.
RVA opened its doors on November 14, 2000. There are currently about 60 students enrolled during the day, but more than 200 are served in a year's time. RVA programs include day school, dual-enrolled students (who come after spending the day in their home school), and summer school students.
Enrollment takes place any time there is a need and there is room. Students and their families can refer themselves to the alternative school, but they are encouraged to work through their home school.