One-Room School Offers Best of Both Worlds

Mention the words “one-room school,” and most people think of pioneer days, slate boards and a pot-belly stove keeping the room warm—far from the picture of modern schools with high-tech equipment and tall buildings. But today’s one-room school can have the best of both worlds.

Nestled in the Kittitas Valley near Ellensburg, Wash., is Valley Christian School (VCS), one of the few remaining one-room schools in the North Pacific Union. With the pressures of today’s hustle-and-bustle society, the quiet peacefulness of this school’s country setting—picturesque mountains in view beyond a wide expanse of hayfields and rolling foothills—opens before students a blank canvas on which to paint their educational foundation.

Gifted and dedicated teachers Jeff and Melissia Wallen daily guide students in the tasks of not only the basics—reading, writing and arithmetic—but developing a relationship with their Creator and skills to last them a lifetime.

The school boasts one main classroom and another room with a kitchen that is used for lunch, group activities and small group study, a library, an office, a small computer lab, an ample gymnasium and a sprawling playground in which to spread out. The school houses grades one through eight and kindergarten level when enrollment warrants.

Each year the student body quickly becomes a “family” and cross-peer/cross-grade tutoring—sought after in large schools—a norm.

Located 13 miles west of Ellensburg just off Interstate 90, the school is within easy reach of modern learning environments in the nearby towns, as well as the great outdoors with hills and canyons behind the school and a seasonal elk-feeding station within walking distance.

Above and beyond book learning, each year students can participate in outreach projects, hands-on science experiments, field trips to large museums and factories, as well as simple walks down the road to investigate the tadpoles and bugs growing in a nearby irrigation ditch while learning about ecosystems and the vast wonders of nature our Savior created for us.

The families in the Kittitas Valley are indeed blessed to have VCS and the support of its churches so that students attending can enjoy “the best of both worlds."