Stewardship and Sustainability for the Next Generation

Pella Christian Schools Merger Announcements

Pella Christian Merger Approved by Societies

The Pella Christian Grade School and Pella Christian High School Boards of Trustees are pleased to announce the merger of the schools into a unified Pella Christian Schools district as voted on by concurrent society votes that concluded Tuesday evening, February 27, 2024.

A total of 2095 votes were cast between the two Societies. 95% of the Pella Christian Grade School ballots cast were in favor of the motion. 91% of the Pella Christian High School ballots cast were in favor of the motion. A 2/3rds majority was needed to complete the merger.

“We are grateful to God for guiding us through this process and helping us discern the most sustainable path forward to continue providing Christian Education in South Central Iowa,” shared Dan Zylstra, Pella Christian’s Head of Schools. “Thank you also to our society members for showing up and voting. We are thankful for the strong support displayed in this vote.”

On February 27, 2024, the respective societies of Pella Christian Grade School and Pella Christian High School voted to formally merge the two schools into one district.

Thank you on behalf of the Boards!

Thank you to all who attended merger information sessions, read communications, presented us with questions, and provided actionable feedback. Board and committee members invested countless hours of time to bring this to fruition. We are grateful to God for an involved constituency who engaged in the process and took part in the society vote.

What are the Next Steps in the Process?

The current boards (plural) will finish their terms in June. The new Board of Trustees (singular), comprised of current grade school and high school board members, will begin in July. The new Nominations Committee will also begin its work in earnest, seeking out and vetting mission-aligned individuals to present to the Society for board service in future years.

From an entity standpoint, paperwork will be filed with the Iowa Department of Education and the State of Iowa to legally unify the two schools into a single district as of July 1, 2024. 

Then the work continues to create consistent policy and practice throughout the district while maintaining distinct cultures on each campus. We’ll invest newly gained capacity in programs locally and support other Christian schools, especially those who attend the high school.

The Mission of Christian Education in South Central Iowa

The mission of our schools is to provide Christian education for our children from a reformed, biblical perspective. Our organizational structure is meant to serve that mission. The structure is not the mission itself. From time to time, structures must change to better serve the mission.

Change only comes with significant investment of time and energy, which was certainly the case here. But change is necessary for long-term sustainability. In the end, the merger better aligns the structure of Pella Christian to support the mission of Christian education in the 21st Century. It positions the schools to sustainably thrive to serve future generations of families.

Dan Zylstra, Head of Schools

Pre-Merger Information:

Pella Christian Grade School and Pella Christian High School are two separate schools with two distinct boards. In recent years they have more closely integrated their operations, sharing staff, and planning together to better meet the needs of students, families, and local communities.

Both school boards whole-heartedly agree the time is right to fully merge the two schools’ administration and governance. The operational savings, efficiencies, and organizational clarity are exciting and numerous. Thus, we are bringing this to a Society vote on Tuesday, February 27, 2024.

Who can vote? Society members of Pella Christian Grade School and Pella Christian High School can vote. Who is a society member? In short, if you are 18 years old or older, agree with the schools’ constitution and financially support the schools, you can vote. Many people will be society members of both schools and can vote in each.

How do I vote?
Vote at the school offices or call by February 12 for a mailed ballot.
Pella Christian High School – 300 Eagle Lane in Pella or 641-628-4440
Pella Christian Grade School – 216 Liberty Street in Pella or 641-628-2414
Vote on Tuesday, February 27 from 4:00 to 6:30pm at the Pella Christian High School commons (300 Eagle Lane in Pella) for your final opportunity to cast a vote.

Society Presentations for Special Meeting

The Boards will be holding presentations to share details of the proposed merger. They are at the following times/locations:

  • January 18 at 7:00pm at Newton Christian School
  • January 23 at 7:00pm at Sully Christian School
  • January 25 at 7:00pm at Peoria Christian School
  • January 29 at 7:00pm at Pella Christian High School
  • January 30 at 7:00pm at Pella Christian Grade School
  • February 1 at 7:00pm at Oskaloosa Christian School

Summary & Benefits of a Merged Pella Christian Schools

  • One PreK-12 Board with 7-11 members vetted and equipped to make sound decisions for Pella Christian and Christian education in South Central Iowa for future generations
  • Significant stewardship opportunities resulting from operational savings in terms of time, money, and effort.
  • Simplicity, streamlining, and coherence for families, supporters, staff members, and the board governance.
  • One unified Statement of Faith which is broadly reformed and aligned with the mission of Pella Christian
  • More clarity around Society Membership for future generations
  • A stronger Prek-8 campus and a stronger 9-12 campus to result in more benefits flowing to other area Christian schools

For more information, click on the links below:

Video: Why We’re Proposing The Merger

Integration Briefings