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Open Hearts & Open Minds

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Ethical Education in the Upper School

We prepare our graduates to depart Rowland Hall as good people, fueled by passion, guided by values, and dedicated to making the world a better place.

Upper schoolers are expected to behave with self-discipline, drive, and grit, as well as consistently live the principles of fairness, empathy, integrity, and altruism. Recognition of good character occurs daily at school, whether celebrating students' acts of kindness, engaging with guest speakers, or talking about the values we embrace as a community.


Through the entirety of the Upper School's curriculum, students broaden their understanding of the historical arc of ethical paradigms in order to internalize thoughtful decision making. A required world religions/ethics class explores the history and traditions of faith.

Service Learning

Active participation in the larger community is a major focus in the Upper School. Students lead and participate in all-school efforts as well as service-learning units related to classroom curricula, and volunteer their service to nonprofit organizations as members of our extracurricular service clubs. Service learning, which includes a reflection component, is designed to supplement and enrich their academic studies.

Community Engagement

Recent service activities include the Upper School’s annual Half Day/Whole Heart, October food drive, Thanksgiving and Christmas food giveaways with Crossroads Urban Center, and tree planting with the Utah Conservancy.

Project Action

Through Project Action—a graduation requirement—students engage, reflect, respond, and build on the mission-centered concept of community engagement. In short, they embrace being community builders. The project culminates with an essay that allows students to reflect on their experience and the difference they made in the community. Exemplary projects make a student eligible to receive a Community Builder distinction at graduation. View a list of organizations students often choose to work with.


Student-led service clubs such as Amnesty International, the Environs Club, Interact, and world-language clubs constantly seek and sponsor service-oriented projects that are open to all Upper School students.


The Upper School gathers once a month for chapel, broadening understanding of the practices and philosophies of many world religions. Monthly chapels celebrate World Food Day, Dr. Martin Luther King Junior Day, the Jewish High Holy Days, Christmas, St. Mark’s Day, and Ramadan. Rowland Hall is an independent school that offers a universal and inclusive message about many of the world's faiths and beliefs.


Students gain cross-cultural competency through learning to be an ally: they’re taught to interrupt discriminatory speech or acts whether or not they’re a member of the targeted group.

Guest Speakers

A variety of guest speakers visit Rowland Hall annually to engage students with personal and professional stories of how one lives an ethical life.


Upper School athletics provide a platform for developing not just the skills to play competitively, but also the values of fair play and responsibility.

The Upper School Experience

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