Frequently Asked Questions

Pella Christian High School’s founders wanted a strong 9-12 option for their children’s children. The merger makes Pella Christian High School stronger, more sustainable, and demonstrates stewardly use of the gift our grandparents gave to us. 

When the schools were founded they were essentially ministries of the Christian Reformed Church. The denomination’s beliefs were the school’s beliefs. Things have changed. South Central Iowa has a wider variety of broadly reformed churches who send students to Pella Christian. An updated Statement of Faith which is faithful to the reformed confessions but speaks more broadly into our current context will provide a broader and more secure foundation to guide the schools for future generations.

One board is adequate to serve both campuses. Prek-12 districts are the norm for most of the United States, including Christian schools. That is why Christian schools in DeMotte, Edgerton, Grand Rapids, and other places have merged. It just makes sense. The governance needs of the two schools are very similar. With the significant overlap in students, constituents, and shared programs, two boards makes less sense than one board.

Most education systems in the United States exist in a K-12 structure. Those school boards do a great job of making decisions for the best interest of the whole child in their journey from start to finish. High school activities sometimes take more of the spotlight, but they don’t require more of the board’s energy. 

It’s true that as schools increase in size, the nature of the school culture changes. However, the updated Statement of Faith  ensures our Reformed heritage is protected for future generations. Our Society-run structure is still in tact to ensure broad participation with volunteering, committees, and board governance. In regards to size, the schools will continue to grow because Pella is growing. The merger will not render the schools less tight knit.

Engagement with the Society can be measured in different ways, including attendance at the Annual Meeting, volunteering, and financial gifts. We believe the Society can still be very engaged in an affirmation process for selecting board members. Moreover, requiring a slate of candidates creates other problematic issues. Those that are nominated but lose an election are often less willing to stand again. An election also removes the Nominations Committee’s ability to match characteristics of prospective board members with the needs of the future board. Balancing the pros and cons, we feel an affirmation model meets the needs of the school both now and into the future. 

The proposed board nomination structure guarantees representation for sister schools – even more so than the current district system. If PCGS is linked to PCHS, it has a stronger incentive to support other sister schools because their strength will feed more students into a unified Pella Christian Schools. 

The schools will maintain separate endowments, which allow previous gifts to continue supporting each campus’ needs.
Designated gifts will be honored and used as specified. That is non-profit law.
Today’s accounting techniques use cost and revenue centers to allow for the two schools to maintain fair and separate ledgers while sharing administrative and other costs. 

The high school is committed to enrolling any student from an area Christian school that wants to attend and is aligned with our mission. Enrollment at PCHS for 2023-2024 is at 280 students. Capacity at the high school is between 350-400. Should enrollment increase, we will make room for students who desire to attend and plan for expansion should those numbers begin to be stretched. What a blessing this would be!

While there are some families that choose one K-8 school over another, the broader community should be working toward the same goal of expanding access to Christian education. Pella Christian Grade School will have members on the board Nominations Committee. Board members will be sought out who make decisions in the best interest of all students. Strong area schools benefit Christian education as a whole.

Families will continue to choose other K-8 schools because of their location and unique culture. Pella Christian Grade School will continue to grow, regardless of the merger. A merged Pella Christian Schools will partner with area schools in any way they can to bolster the cause of Christian education. It will be more equipped to do so because if its unified structure and streamlined governance. It will not force anything on any area Christian school.  

The student population and geography math do not make sense for a merger in Northwest Iowa. The largest K-8 sending school to Western Christian is Rock Valley Christian, which only comprises 40% of Western’s student body and is 15 miles away. Unity in Orange City also receives a much larger share of its students from outside of Orange City, meaning efficiencies from sharing staff and resources diminish significantly.
In places where the largest sending  K-8 school is in the same town as the 9-12 school, they have already merged. Edgerton Christian, DeMotte Christian, and Grandville/Calvin Christian have done so. 70% of Pella Christian High School’s students graduated from Pella Christian Grade School, and the two schools are less than two miles apart in the same town. In our case, the math makes enormous sense.