Education and Sabbath School


Providing Adventist Christian education for all Arizona constituents has been our goal during the past quadrennium. To help accomplish this, two new elementary schools have opened their doors. The Mesa Palms Church opened Red Rock Adventist School and our Litchfield Park Church opened West Valley Adventist School. Glenview has also enlarged; it is now our Adventist high school providing grades 9-12 for constituent families living on the central/west side of Phoenix. Thunderbird Adventist Academy on the east side is also growing; its enrollment has reached 165 students and continues to climb.

Providing Adventist education to as many Adventist families as possible has not been our only focus. Pursuing quality Adventist education by empowering our teachers with additional training in specific content areas has increased grade equivalences in several core academic areas. Teacher in-services have provided for our staff the latest research and information on the “Brain and Learning,” and education specialists have presented workshop topics addressing mathematics, reading, and writing. Improving the academics in our schools has always been, and will continue to be, an ongoing process.

Keeping current with curriculum needs is another area of focus. The North American Division has revised and prescribed curriculum adoptions that have brought textbook changes in Grades 1-6 Science, Grades 5/6 Bible, and the newest integrated language arts program, our Pathways Reading Program. This new reading program has the same spiritual connection the Life Series had. Pathways provides an across-the-curriculum approach in phonics, reading, writing, spelling, and literature. It will begin with Grades 1/2 in the 2007-2008 school year; materials for two additional grades will be added each succeeding year.

Thunderbird Adventist Academy is making its mark. Not only has Thunderbird Academy held accreditation with the AAA (North American Division Seventh-day Adventist Accrediting Association) and the NCA (North Central Accrediting Association of Colleges and Schools, a nationally recognized public accrediting association), but it has now also earned accreditation from WASC (the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, another prestigious, nationally recognized public accrediting association). Administration, teachers, students, parents, and school board have worked hard to achieve this goal. Well done, TAA! 

Our Arizona Conference schools have no greater goal than to present a loving Savior to our students, and provide learning opportunities for them to know Jesus and build a personal relationship with Him. Organized outreach programs within our schools have provided hundreds of students with the opportunity to grow spiritually as they have presented evangelistic meetings and worked on community projects, locally and abroad. 

Rising tuition costs still draw attention to the need to create innovative ways of making Adventist schools affordable to all our constituents. Constant thought is given to how to reduce the cost of Adventist education. During this coming quadrennium, the best financial assistance available to parents in Arizona is the Arizona Tax Credit Scholarship.

Trends in Numbers

                                                                                                        Student to

School          Number of     K-12 Opening        Arizona                  Member              Student

Year              Schools          Enrollment            Adventists              Percent               Baptisms

1999-00              16                   648                      12,490                        5.1                       38

2000-01              13                   577                      13,046                        4.4                       40

2001-02              14                   599                      13,239                        4.5                       35

2002-03              16                   698                      13,616                        5.1                       42

2003-04              16                   633                      14,501                        4.4                       40

2004-05              15                   623                      15,129                        4.1                       54

2005-06              17                   642                      15,697                        4.1                       43

2006-07              17                   650                      15,905 (6/30/07)        4.1                       16


School          Number of              Monthly                       Arizona Tax            Teacher/

Year              K-12 Teachers         Teacher Cost               Scholarship             Student Ratio                   

1999-00               47                    $           3,350                   $   74,395                   1:13.8   

2000-01               42                        3,375-3,725                     188,840                    1:13.7

2001-02               43                        3,375-3,380                     161,999                    1:13.8

2002-03               45                        4,000-3,500                     319,123                    1:15.3

2003-04               42                        4,050-3,650                     292,124                    1:15.1

2004-05               47                        4,050-3,745                     297,297                    1:13.3

2005-06               56                        4,300-3,900                     379,955                    1:11.5

2006-07               54                        4,936-4,446                     445,449                    1:12.0


School                  Conference                           Total Tithe                        Subsidy

Year                     Subsidy to Education           in Arizona                          Tithe %

1999-00                  $ 1,469,984                           $ 6,472,111                             22.7

2000-01                     1,974.750                              7,108,698                             27.7

2001-02                     2,093,370                              7,290,630                             28.7

2002-03                     1,872,139                              7,641,766                             24.5

2003-04                     2,215,142                              7,963,457                             27.8

2004-05                     2,295,933                              9,337,447                             24.6

2005-06                     2,697,557                            10,366,035                             26.0

2006-07                     2,969,079                            11,254,928                             26.3

 Sabbath School

The Arizona Conference Sabbath School Department provides assistance in the areas of Mission Spotlight, Investment, Vacation Bible Schools, and Children’s Ministries. Workshops are held to assist members leading out in our adult and children’s Sabbath Schools. During the last quadrennium, eight adult Sabbath School workshops were presented, five in English and three in Spanish. Ten workshops for Children’s Ministries were presented.

Ivan Weiss, Superintendent of Schools

Sabbath School Director