Picking the right middle school for your child is a significant decision that sets the stage for their academic and personal growth in early adolescence and beyond. Middle school is a time when students take on more responsibility for their own learning and begin to recognize and develop their strengths. It’s also a time of tremendous transition, as students bridge childhood and young adulthood. That’s why it’s essential to find a school that focuses both on academic excellence and on nurturing individuality through a holistic learning experience.
Rowland Hall, a top private middle school in Utah, shares the following four key factors to consider when searching for an ideal middle school—one that aligns with your student’s needs and aspirations.
1. Voice and Choice in Course Selection
A student-voice approach not only enhances engagement but also encourages deep learning, as each student takes ownership of their experience.
One crucial aspect of a high-quality middle school is an emphasis on student voice. A school that encourages student agency in their education understands that every child is unique, with distinct learning styles and interests, and so provides room for educational exploration. Furthermore, schools that incorporate authentic learning opportunities such as project-based learning (see below) allow students to explore subjects that resonate with their passions and give them a say in their educational journey. A student-voice approach not only enhances engagement but also encourages deep learning, as each student takes ownership of their experience.
2. Authentic Learning Opportunities
Authentic learning is an educational approach that emphasizes real-world, meaningful, and hands-on experiences to engage students in the learning process. It goes beyond traditional classroom activities and textbooks, aiming to add academic content to practical, relevant, and applicable real-world situations, many of which are designed to mirror or simulate tasks and challenges students may encounter in their personal or professional lives. Whether through field trips, community projects, or partnerships with local organizations, authentic learning fosters critical thinking and problem-solving skills. A school that values these real-world applications ensures that students are prepared for the challenges they’ll face outside the classroom.
3. Leadership Opportunities
Middle school is a pivotal time for students to develop leadership skills that will serve them well in the future. Look for schools that provide ample leadership opportunities, whether through student councils, clubs, or other extracurricular activities designed to promote connection with and responsibility for the school community. A school that fosters leadership not only helps students build confidence but also instills a sense of responsibility and teamwork, preparing young learners for challenges beyond the classroom.
4. Close Relationships with Teachers
Strong teacher-student connections make a significant difference in academic performance and emotional well-being.
A nurturing and supportive environment is especially crucial during the transitional middle school years. Pay attention to schools that prioritize building close relationships between students and teachers, as strong teacher-student connections make a significant difference in students’ academic performance and emotional well-being. Look for institutions that encourage open communication, mentorship programs, and a genuine interest in understanding each student’s unique strengths and challenges.
Choosing Rowland Hall Middle School, a Leading Utah Independent Private School
Rowland Hall’s private middle school, conveniently and centrally located in Salt Lake City, Utah, recognizes and honors the significant middle school years. Centered around deep and meaningful relationships, our Middle School holistically supports early adolescent students, with expert teachers guiding them toward academic success and positive personal growth.
If you are interested in exploring our independent middle school for your student, contact our Admission Team to arrange a campus visit. They can answer your questions and connect you with Rowland Hall students or alumni to help you get a sense of school culture, academic expectations, and extracurricular activities. Let us help you assess your student’s needs and determine whether our curriculum and program is the best fit for your family. Inquire here.