Just at this point W. C. White had to leave for Battle Creek and the General Conference session. But he was back in time to attend a meeting of the school board in Healdsburg January 28 and 29, 1882. Five of the seven members, W. C. White, John Morrison, J. H. Waggoner, T. M. Chapman, and William Saunders, were present. Ellen was invited to meet with them. The minutes record:
At the first meeting, Mrs. E. G. White made appropriate remarks upon what should be the aims and ends of a denominational school, such as is purposed to be established in this State by Seventh-day Adventists, the gist of which was that "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom," and that it was necessary to have a school of our own in order to take the children away from the evil influences found in nearly all the common schools and colleges of the day (ST, Feb. 16, 1882).
To attain some of the objectives set forth by Ellen White called for some departures from the program at the Battle Creek school: (1) There must be regular classes in Bible study, not just chapel lectures; (2) there must be a school home, or dormitory; (3) there must be a program that would provide physical activity with studyóin other words, an industrial program. These were basic in the planning for Healdsburg Academy. It would take time to implement some of the elements, particularly the providing of a school home.
Some of the problems that the college at Battle Creek was having should be avoided:
- The college did not have dormitories.
- Students boarded with families in the community or on their own.
- This exacerbated problems of discipline. Hosts naturally were inclined to sympathize with and accredit the reports of the students.
- Disagreements among the faculty, board, and community were common regarding the school policies and goals.