Developing Strengths

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Middle School: Grades 6–8

Welcome to Rowland Hall's independent private middle school. Our teachers recognize the years of growth and discovery that happen here. It's a unique transitional period from the creativity and imagination of childhood to the abstract thinking and global perspectives of young adulthood.

We provide an educational program that holistically supports early adolescent students in achieving academic success and positive personal growth. Rowland Hall's dedicated faculty create a supportive, caring environment that motivates and challenges students. The teachers are as knowledgeable in their subject matter as they are in understanding students’ unique needs, whether cognitive, emotional, or physical.

Our curriculum is relevant, challenging, and exploratory. Teachers use a variety of instructional and assessment methods grounded in research and best practices. We empower our students to be well-rounded, inspired, and compassionate individuals.

Sincerely, 

Pam Smith 
Middle School Principal

Middle school student smiles in class at Rowland Hall, an independent private school in Salt Lake City.
Middle School science student at Rowland Hall, an independent private school in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Middle school student with teacher in art class at Rowland Hall, an independent private school in Salt Lake City, Utah.
A group of Rowland Hall Middle School students sit on a rocky Utah mountainside during a hiking field trip.
Sixth-grade math and science teacher Molly Lewis leads her class down a hallway in Rowland Hall's Middle School.
Independent Private Middle School Principal - Pam Smith - Salt Lake City, Utah

Pam Smith
Middle School Principalget to know Pam

Contact the Middle School

970 East 800 South
Salt Lake City, Utah 84102
801-355-0272

Middle School Stories in Fine Print Magazine

High school students wave to the camera on the first day of school

Rowland Hall is excited to welcome students back to our two campuses for the 2022–2023 school year.

The first days of school are always exciting, and this year was no exception. As students and families arrived on Wednesday, August 24, they were greeted by an enthusiastic team of faculty and staff, and had the chance to say hello to friends, old and new. Some of our youngest learners also got to meet Roary, our school mascot, who was ready to give high-fives and pose for pictures as students made their way to class. Students also had the chance to come together this week at events like the Lower School's first community gathering of the year and the all-school Convocation.

Below, please enjoy some of the images captured over the first few days of school.

Back to School

Community

2022 Rowland Hall valedictorian Charles Topoleski.

At this year's twelfth-, eighth-, and fifth-grade graduation ceremonies, student speakers shared reflective and inspiring stories about their experiences at Rowland Hall.

The group included senior speakers Samantha Lehman, student body president, and Charles Topoleski (pictured above), Bishop's Award recipient; Senior Celebration speaker Ella Houden; Senior Chapel speakers Sophie Ayers-Harris, Daniel McNally, and Irenka Saffarian; eighth-grade graduation speakers Noa Fukushima and Leo Pickron; and several fifth-grade graders.

We have posted their speeches for you to enjoy.

Student Voices

Rowland Hall Middle School dancers perform an original piece in the Platform dance concert.

The middle school years can be tough. Emotions can be sweeping and relationships can be tentative. It’s a time when students are feeling more grown up, but also are still firmly in childhood. Finding a place of refuge can be difficult. At Rowland Hall, many students are finding that island of confidence in the dance program.

“Middle schoolers are looking for a way to express themselves and to learn more about their own identities,” said Middle School Social-Emotional Counselor Leslie Czerwinski. “Dance is a space where you can show up, be yourself, and process thoughts through movement.” 

Students are not only learning how to move, but how to find their voice through movement.

Dance is the largest Arts & Ensembles class in the Middle School. Some students take more than one section of dance each semester because the program is unique and the community is so important to them. While most dance programs start with a foundation in ballet and other Eurocentric traditions, students coming into the Rowland Hall dance program begin with break dancing. Instead of focusing on a straight spine or the proper turnout, students learn how to use gravity and shift their weight. They are not only learning how to move, but how to find their voice through movement. And once students find their voice, explained Co-Director of Dance Sofia Gorder, training becomes fun.

“They are using rhythm and music. It’s a language they understand,” said Sofia. “Then, later, they can go on and learn ballet and other techniques so that they have their voice but also the training to support that voice.” 

Students take part in every aspect of creating dance pieces: they help in picking the music and costumes, they choreograph the movements, and they work together to compose the message and mood they want to convey. “Sofia gives us a lot of freedom with choreography,” said dance student Gabrielle H. “For Platform [the 2022 dance concert] we did an ocean dance as a group and we all got to contribute in some way.”

Rowland Hall Middle School dancers perform an ocean-inspired original dance.

 

Collaboration helps build a strong interpersonal community among the dancers. The studio becomes a place where they can express themselves without fear of judgment and know their ideas will be taken seriously.

That collaboration helps build a strong interpersonal community among the dancers. The studio becomes a place where they can express themselves without fear of judgment and know their ideas will be taken seriously. “It’s a time to not really worry about things and just do what I love,” said dancer Meg H. “I like how everyone has their own style and has different movements that they like to do depending on their personalities.”

Discovering these differences and how to make them work together is another important aspect of the program. Sofia explained that part of the process is discovering how the same movement looks different when done by different people, and that can change the meaning. “Dance is just the platform we use to do the important work of understanding ourselves and the people around us,” she said. 

While the artistic and personal discoveries are essential, some students enjoy the dance program simply for its physicality—and because it’s fun. It’s a time to move and share energy with others in a welcoming environment. “It’s a strong physical space to express yourself,” said dancer Jack G. “You feel amazing when you finally master something and when you finish a show you feel relief.” 

No matter what they are seeking, Middle School students appear to be finding it in dance. “Regardless of one’s background, everyone can find joy in moving to music,” said Middle School Principal Pam Smith. “Our program can help students find joy, build their self-confidence, and connect with other members of our community.”

Dance

Photo Gallery: Grandparents Day 2022
Grandparents Day Photo Gallery

 

On March 18, Rowland Hall was thrilled to welcome grandparents and other special friends to our campuses for our first Grandparents Day since November 2019.

A cherished school event, Grandparents Day provides students’ most beloved adults the opportunity to enjoy short programs and tour the school. This year’s event kicked off on the McCarthey Campus, home to students in 3PreK through fifth grade. Grandparents enjoyed a performance featuring music, singing, and dancing by ​kindergartners and fifth graders, followed by classroom visits. Visitors were then welcomed to the Lincoln Street Campus, home to students in sixth through 12th grades, where they were treated to a performance by members of the chamber orchestra and a student-led tour of campus.

Thank you to everyone who joined us for this year’s Grandparents Day. We look forward to welcoming you back next year.

Community

You Belong at Rowland Hall