Last year, the combined constituencies of Rogers Adventist School and Walla Walla Valley Academy voted to merge into the K–12 school system of Walla Walla Valley Adventist Schools.
“After many years of conversation around the benefits of a K–12 collaboration, both the RAS and WWVA boards voted separately in May 2022 to give study to the details, benefits and logistics of a combined school system,” shared Holley Bryant, head of schools.
The boards assigned a task force made up of individuals from both boards, Upper Columbia Conference, Walla Walla University, RAS and WWVA faculty. This task force was assigned one year to research and present a recommendation back to the boards.
“The task force evaluated church subsidy and approval, school subsidy from UCC, board governance and branding and naming,” explained Bryant. “The task force met with seven different focus groups, these focus groups helped inform the future direction of the task force.”
The task force then presented their findings separately to both school boards, along with their recommendation to pursue the K–12 collaboration, named Walla Walla Valley Adventist Schools. Both boards unanimously accepted that recommendation and voted to send the final decision to the joint constituencies of both schools.
In April 2023, members of the joint constituency met and heard the report and recommendation from the boards. All constituent churches were represented including College Place Spanish Church, City Church, Eastgate Church, Milton Church, Stateline Church, Touchet/Umapine Church, University Church, Village Church and Walla Walla Spanish Church.
The constituency voted with a 90% positive rate to formally merge RAS and WWVA into the K–12 system named Walla Walla Valley Adventist Schools, effective July 1, 2023.
The doors opened on Aug. 21, 2023 to 474 students in this new, shared school system, quickly shortened to Valley Adventist Schools.
Students maintain their current strong academic programs but with options for collaborations in music, athletics, math, drama and more.
One combined spiritual plan strategically engages all students in age-appropriate worship, service, study and connection.
“From one consistent application and registration process to joint calendars and schedules, officially working together with one shared goal is a better experience for the student, parent and teacher,” said Bryant.
“The new logo is a nod to both campuses with an emphasis on our Adventist heritage,” she added. “The shield also represents strength and truth as we put on the full armor of God, teaching Christian courage and bravery.”