The Willowstone Academy private Christian school in Kelowna may be under new ownership at the end of the year.
First Lutheran Church (FLC) has announced it has entered into an agreement in principle with Kelowna Christian School to sell the Lakeshore Road property containing the campus where FLC worships and where Willowstone Academy has operated its school since 2004.
The signing of the agreement in principle now triggers a “period of consideration” amongst the members of FLC and the members of Kelowna Christian School. If both groups approve, the sale will close in December.
Willowstone Academy will continue to operate as usual for the current school year prior to ending operations in June. A joint news release issued by both parties says there will be “opportunities” given to Willowstone students and staff who want to become a part of Kelowna Christian School for the school year starting in September 2023.
In a separate message to parents, Willowstone Academy board chair Ross Langford said the last 10 months have “revealed an unsustainable and grim financial position.”
“Despite sincere efforts to mitigate the situation, it is clear that the current financial shortfalls cannot sustain the school’s operations beyond the current academic year,” Langford said.
The agreement will enable FLC to continue to operate as a church on the property in perpetuity while having Kelowna Christian School “assume the mantle of independent Christian education” in the city to ensure sustainability going forward, Langford said.
FLC has operated in Kelowna for 90 years while Kelowna Christian School, the largest of its kind in the Okanagan, has been offering Christian-based education for children from kindergarten through Grade 12 since 1979.
“Kelowna Christian School is a community dedicated to educating, equipping, and inspiring our school community to love and serve Jesus and others,” said head of school Mike Campbell.
“Our vision is that we seek to be a Christ-like community passionately transforming our world. We are excited about the potential partnership with First Lutheran Church, enabling us to further our mission, vision, and core values at three centrally located campuses. Having three campuses enables us to expand our ability to partner with more homes and churches to help all children find profound belonging and an understanding of the big plans that God has for them.”