Rift Valley Academy (RVA) exists to provide the quality education that would be difficult for parents to either afford or provide in the setting where they work in Africa. RVA provides a comprehensive high school and elementary school program following an American curriculum. It is very similar to any other American school and we offer quite an impressive list of classes for our size of school. We also offer an IGCSE program that works better for some of our non-North American students. We typically have up to 20 to 40 nationalities represented in our school body each year.
Of our nearly 500 students, about 350-400 of them are boarding students who live in dorms because their parents live and work far from the school. The remaining 100-150 students are “station kids” who live at home because their parents live and work quite close; whether at the school; the main mission hospital, the crippled children’s hospital, the nursing college, or Moffat Bible College. Most of the boarding students are in high school, but we do have space for about 80 junior high students and around 30 spaces for students in elementary school. There is always a long list of families wanting to get their chidlren into the school.
Our dorms have up to 20 students in comfortable rooms with two or four students each. Most of the dorms have a husband-wife “dorm parent” team who live in an apartment attached to the dorm. Some of the high school girls’ dorms have a single dorm mom.
Meals are primarily eaten in a school cafeteria, but each week there are entertainment and activities that take place in staff homes and in larger facilities. All of the staff live on the campus.
RVA is far from perfect, but it is pretty amazing! We have nine different high school interscholastic sports teams as well as intramural programs, a traveling band and choir program, two or three dramas performed each year, opportunities for outreach in the community, and lots of special, fun activities and projects – many of which are unique to our setting. Worship opportunites include a church service and Sunday School progrmas that are geared to and often planned by students. We also participate as a school once a month with the local African Inland Church.
In order to maximize time that students can be with their parents, RVA operates year-round with three school terms that are about twelve weeks each and a vacation of about four weeks between terms. A typical school year is: Term 1 (end of August to the end of November), Term 2 (Early January to the end of March), and Term 3 (end of April to the middle of July).