RAES Enrollment Booms Despite Turbulence

To say the 2020–2021 school year was anything but a wild roller coaster would be doing a disservice to the dedication it took to keep the proverbial cart on the rails at Rivergate Adventist Elementary School in Gladstone, Oregon.

To best serve students and families, Rivergate had to be creative. Following pandemic guidelines to meet in person, the elementary school had to open as a childcare facility. After measuring classrooms for proper pandemic desk spacing, splitting students into small groups, and so much more, the school successfully opened.

Teachers know education is more than academics. Daily interactions have a tremendously important role in development. While Rivergate could have switched to learning online, concern for students emotional, social and spiritual health motivated creativity. 

While the elementary school legally operated as a childcare, pandemic regulations kept seventh and eighth grade students learning online at home. By God's grade, they were welcomed back in January when the school was officially allowed to fully reopen.

But COVID-19 was not the only challenge of the school year. Record-breaking forest fires in September engulfed the state of Oregon. Smoke blotted out the sun, thousands of people lost their homes, and even lives were lost. While fire came dangerously close to reaching Rivergate itself, that horrifying possibility remained just that — a possibility. 

February brought a record breaking snow storm. Inches of thick ice severely damaged homes and businesses. While loss of power forced Rivergate to close for a week, their property was remarkably spared.

Despite the incredible challenges, God blessed. Enrollment rose by 49%, giving Rivergate the privilege to lead children to Jesus.

The Rivergate staff believes none of these miracles could have happened without God's guidance. Through faith and trust in Him, Rivergate has been able to show God's love to more students. For that, they are truly in awe.

Featured in: July/August 2021


James Hall

Rivergate Adventist Elementary School volunteer