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Open Hearts & Open Minds

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Beginning School Ethical Education

Our preschoolers learn to be self-directed and interact respectfully with others. We equip them with age-appropriate tools to make good choices.


Students learn to be self-directed. They learn, care, and gain respect for self, family, classroom, community, and environment. They develop positive self-images, which promote successful interactions with peers and adults in both large and small groups; take initiative; complete tasks in a manner which instills pride in one’s accomplishments; and develop independence and responsibility for making appropriate choices.

Interaction with Others

Beginning School students learn about respect and empathy for others while developing cooperation, collaboration, and sharing skills. They begin to express and understand feelings of self and others, strengthen cooperation, and work on collaboration skills. The faculty and students work together to create classrooms with a sense of community, while emphasizing friendship building and cooperative learning.


Students develop interpersonal skills to help them problem solve. Faculty and staff introduce the Second Step, a research-based social skills curriculum. Students become acquainted with developing empathy, self-control, and strategies for managing intense feelings.

Being Responsible

The Beginning School has two community-building goals for its classrooms: “I belong to a community,” and “I contribute to a community.” Students identify the diverse communities to which they belong and begin to practice being a responsible, contributing community member. They learn, for example, what it means to take care of one’s own belongings, cubby space, and classrooms.

Being a Buddy

Beginning schoolers learn to support each other through respectful behavior and benefit from the seasoned advice and special friendship of a Lower School “buddy.”

Service Learning

In the Beginning School, our youngest students experience being a valued member of a community and contributing to the classroom. They learn to take care of the people and things they value in the classroom and the school. They discuss and identify needs of the school community and act on those needs with special projects.

Community-Engagement Project

Each year, students identify, plan and participate in a service project in our Salt Lake community. The projects are chosen based on the interest of the classroom community. 

Cross-Cultural Competence

Students start to understand cross-cultural competence as they celebrate the array of families, structures, histories, and cultures they represent by bringing photos from home. Parents come into classrooms to share their own faith traditions and cultural practices. Holiday teachings and festivities feature African-American spirituals, Diwali celebrations of light, the rituals of Hannukah, Christian traditions, and Muslim prayers. Even the Flat Stanley Project encourages social connections that foster early awareness of shared values. Students read the Flat Stanley books, then send notes and a paper doll of the main character to students in other parts of the nation and world.


The Beginning School’s service-learning activities that focus on responsibility and community membership are supported and supplemented by the chapel program. Each trimester, our director of ethical education and support counselors visit 4PreK students in their classrooms. Kindergarteners learn about diverse faiths and celebrations in Saint Margaret’s Chapel, the spiritual heart of the McCarthey Campus.

Ethical Education

Rowland Hall strives to graduate good citizens, not just students well-prepared for college. Concepts such as character, service, ethics, and community matter here. From the earliest grades through senior year, we stress the need to lead by example and have a positive influence on the lives of others.

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You Belong at Rowland Hall