Choosing your child’s educational path can be a difficult decision further complicated by many options—from homeschooling, to online education, to public vs. charter schools, to private and independent schools.
Parents and caregivers must carefully consider their student’s individual needs and their goals for their child, and then balance those against their family’s time and resources.
As you weigh your options on where to enroll your child, use this guide to help you recognize when it’s worth considering private education. At Rowland Hall, a leading Utah independent private school, our friendly Admission Team can help answer any questions you may have as you consider your student’s future. To learn more about Utah’s leading independent private school, Rowland Hall, browse our website.
When Your Child Needs Academic Rigor and Accelerated Learning
Gifted and talented students may struggle in school if they aren’t academically challenged. An advantage of private school is that—due to small classes and the flexibility to teach the most meaningful, relevant curriculum possible—your child will be held to high academic standards, and consistently encouraged to take risks and strive for improvement.
Private education at an independent school is more comprehensive and holistic, catered toward caring for the whole child. Where public schools offer electives, private schools may require those electives as prerequisites for graduation, giving your child a more well-rounded school experience that includes arts, music, ethics, and community service.
According to a report by Gallup and the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), “NAIS graduates scored higher on the ACT and SAT, on average, and were more engaged as seniors in high school” than graduates from public and non-NAIS private high schools.
Higher academic rigor and a curriculum that promotes applied learning often produce better results. According to a report by Gallup and the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS)—of which Rowland Hall is a member—“NAIS graduates scored higher on the ACT and SAT, on average, and were more engaged as seniors in high school” than graduates from public and non-NAIS private high schools.
Rowland Hall sets the standard for teaching and learning excellence. Our teachers receive constant training and support to stay abreast of best practices and maximize outcomes for students. Our students, in turn, receive a strong knowledge base in math, science, world languages, English, and history. They’re offered electives in choral and instrumental music, theatre, dance, visual media, debate, physical fitness, and competitive sports. Plus, Rowland Hall students have unique access to experiential, hands-on, and inventive courses that include field studies and class trips.
As your student progresses, Rowland Hall’s Upper School offers over 20 advanced and honors courses to challenge and engage our high-performing students.
When Your Child Needs a Lower Student-to-Teacher Ratio
At Rowland Hall, the student-to-teacher ratio is 10:1.
Why is this important?
A lower student-to-teacher ratio allows more interaction and encourages your child to increase their participation level. Teachers will truly know your child, celebrate their individuality, and provide guidance, instruction, and feedback that’s appropriate for their learning style.
In public schools with large student-to-teacher ratios, educators may need to teach to the middle of the class, potentially neglecting students at the upper or lower end of the academic spectrum. Students who have different learning styles and would benefit from more personalized attention may fall through the cracks.
When College Is Your Goal
NAIS graduates progress through college more consistently—and are more likely to seek out key undergraduate opportunities associated with positive long-term outcomes—than public and non-NAIS private high school graduates.—NAIS-Gallup report
Rowland Hall offers a college-preparatory program that has helped thousands of students attend and excel at institutions for higher education. According to the NAIS-Gallup report, the college matriculation rate is nearly 100% for students who attend NAIS schools. Plus, "NAIS graduates progress through college more consistently—and are more likely to seek out key undergraduate opportunities associated with positive long-term outcomes—than public and non-NAIS private high school graduates."
In our Upper School, your student will work closely with our college counselors to find and gain admission to the institution that best fits their academic interests, career goals, and financial considerations. In a typical year, our seniors earn admission to over 100 colleges and universities across the world, and perhaps more importantly, about three-quarters of them receive at least one merit scholarship.
When You Want Your Personal Values to Align with the School’s Mission
At private and independent schools, there is an emphasis on values, ethics, and community service. Many of these schools hold students to high ethical standards, and teachers and coaches weave relevant life lessons into classes and extracurriculars alike. When compassion and empathy are part of a school’s culture, young learners are less distracted by disciplinary problems. Students who have experienced bullying or social anxiety in public schools often find the inclusive and welcoming culture of Rowland Hall to be a refreshing change.
Many independent schools don’t stop at a culture of kindness—they encourage students to take action outside the classroom. Community service opportunities instill a sense of civic duty and emphasize the importance of contributing to society. At Rowland Hall, we promote the pursuit of not only academic excellence, but personal excellence as well.
Our five core values are:
- Think Deeply
- Learn for Life
- Welcome Everyone
- Live with Purpose
- Relationships Matter
When You Want to Develop a Well-Rounded Person Who Will Positively Impact the World
Contrary to popular belief, accredited independent schools aren’t narrowly focused on academic rigor, high test scores, and ensuring all alumni attend elite colleges. Rather, many private programs help students understand how they fit into a large, diverse world.
When private schools prioritize caring for the whole child, students’ social-emotional health becomes paramount. Contrary to popular belief, accredited independent schools aren’t narrowly focused on academic rigor, high test scores, and ensuring all alumni attend elite colleges. Rather, many private programs help students understand how they fit into the larger world. Independent school teachers and mentors instill in students how the knowledge they acquire can be applied to help a diverse society, and not just used for material gain.
At Rowland Hall, social-emotional learning is central to the student experience. Our youngest learners practice identifying emotions and expressing themselves in constructive ways. As students grow, we focus on positive peer interactions, empathy, increased personal responsibility, and making good choices. Students interested in digging deeper and making a difference are encouraged to join related clubs and committees, from sustainability to social justice. And throughout our students’ journeys, our dedicated, expert counselors meet with students in groups and individually to ensure they feel supported.
When to Choose Rowland Hall, a Leading Utah Independent Private School
When choosing between types of schools in Utah—private vs. charter vs. public schools—parents need to do their due diligence. Due to low or no tuition, Utah’s charter schools seem like the perfect cross between public and private schools; however, in terms of academic performance, charter schools may not rank any higher than neighboring public schools. According to the think tank the Brookings Institution, "charter school students, in general, perform about the same as their matched peers in the traditional public schools." And here in Utah—as reported by The Salt Lake Tribune, KUTV, and other outlets—some charter schools are prompting questions around oversight, money management, and effectiveness.
Before making a decision on whether to send your child to a private school, a charter school, or a public school, consider attending one of our admission events or contacting our Admission Team to arrange an outdoor visit. They can also answer your specific questions or 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.
Our two campuses are conveniently and centrally located in Salt Lake City, Utah. We offer preschool through high school and a robust tuition-assistance program, and we’re committed to our value of welcoming everyone. We’ve found that the most meaningful learning occurs in a school community of people from various backgrounds, encompassing differences in the human experience—ethnicity, race, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and more.