Frequently Asked Questions
When do kids go to preschool?
Children typically begin attending preschool at three or four years old, though some schools offer programs for children as young as two.
Should I send my kid to preschool?
Sending your child to preschool is one of the best ways to prepare them for success, not only in future years of school but also for life. Studies show that students who attend preschool are more likely to demonstrate high-functioning skills—such as strong emotional and social intelligence, curiosity, and discipline—later in life, and also more likely to report high rates of fulfilling relationships and fulfilling careers. Learn more about the benefits of early childhood education in our March 2022 Fine Print feature story, “Beginnings Matter: Introducing Students to Joyful Learning at the Beginning School,” or download Rowland Hall’s tips for choosing a top-tier early childhood education program for more information on the benefits of early childhood education.
At what age do kids start kindergarten?
In the state of Utah, kindergartners must be five years old before September 2 of the upcoming school year to enroll in kindergarten. At Rowland Hall, we use a September 1 birthday as a cutoff for entry to our Beginning School classes.
How do you prep your child for kindergarten?
If you’re able to enroll your child in preschool, consider doing so, as a high quality early childhood program helps prepare students to excel in kindergarten—academically, socially, and emotionally. And whether or not your child attends preschool, your family can also play a role in preparing them for kindergarten. There are many activities you can do at home to help ensure your child’s success, including reading together, doing art, counting, identifying shapes, cooking, and even discussing emotions. Check out the Utah State Board of Education’s pamphlet “Ready! Set! Go! Supporting Your Child’s Learning in Kindergarten” for more ways to support your child and to learn what schools expect them to be able to do when they enter kindergarten.
You may also want to check out Rowland Hall’s blog post on five things to look for when choosing an independent private kindergarten program for more information on picking the right school for your student.
Does my student need to be able to read prior to enrolling in the Beginning School?
Students do not need to know how to read to enroll in Rowland Hall’s Beginning School. Through our multi-layered literacy approach to reading and writing, students build on their abilities and strengths. Multi-sensory phonics, reading, and writing are integrated through a variety of materials, experiences, and activities.
Does my student need to be potty trained to enroll?
Yes, students need to be potty trained before enrollment in any of our Beginning School programs.
How will the teacher handle my student’s separation anxiety at morning drop-off?
Our teachers are experienced in dealing with separation anxiety. Once a student is dropped off, the teacher will work with the students to assure them that they are cared for and safe. We promise that your student will not be sad for long after class begins!
Will my student be exposed to diversity of thought?
Rowland Hall believes that diversity strengthens our community. Rowland Hall is committed to diversity and the promotion of an academic community in which each member feels connected, comfortable, respected, and included. Parents are invited to share their own faith traditions and cultural practices with our students at various times during the school year.
How do you keep the Beginning School students safe from intruders when there are low fences and open doors?
Rowland Hall has taken effective precautions to protect our community through live camera feed, locked main doors, and faculty and staff training to act upon a stranger entering the campus. Any visitors (including parents and caregivers) need to ring the camera doorbell for entrance to enter a main building. Our safety protocols were verified by a school security firm in a safety audit.
Do you practice lockdown procedures, and how often?
We follow Utah state law and practice fire, earthquake, and lockdown drills several times per year.
What is elementary school?
Elementary school is an exciting chapter of a child’s educational journey. During these years, students begin to build on the early learning established in preschool, developing key competencies in subject areas such as the language arts, social studies, science, math, and technology literacy, as well as building their communication, collaboration, creativity, and empathy skills.
How many grades are in elementary school?
In the United States, grade levels classified as elementary vary by region. Some elementary schools begin at kindergarten, while others start at first grade, and these schools provide instruction through fourth, fifth, or sixth grade. Rowland Hall’s Lower School, our elementary school, serves first- through fifth-grade students. (Rowland Hall kindergartners attend our Beginning School.)
What time does elementary school start?
Elementary school start times vary by region, but typically begin between 7:45 and 8:40 am. At Rowland Hall’s Lower School (elementary school), the bell rings at 8:15 am and instruction starts at 8:30 am.
How much is private elementary school? How do you pay for private elementary school?
Private elementary school tuition varies by institution, and private independent schools such as Rowland Hall offer need-based financial aid to make attendance possible for those families that can’t afford full tuition.
Rowland Hall provides over $2.8 million per year in scholarships and financial aid to students in kindergarten through twelfth grade. We encourage you to learn more about Rowland Hall’s financial aid and scholarships, and to contact our Admission Team to learn how our need-based financial aid program can be applied to your family’s unique circumstances.
Is academic support available should my student need it?
After careful evaluation through classwork and assessments, should a student need additional assistance, our director of learning services is consulted and will meet with the student and parents/caregivers for an evaluation and to map out a plan of action for student success.
What math program do you use in the curriculum?
Rowland Hall uses Bridges for our math curriculum, which focuses on deep understanding of mathematical concepts and proficiency of skills, while building on the ability to solve complex problems.
How much homework can a student expect in the Lower School?
Rowland Hall believes homework establishes patterns of responsibility and successful study habits. The amount of work varies by grade level and by project, but the general rule of thumb is 10 minutes of homework in first grade, increasing by 10 minutes with each grade level (with no more than 50 to 60 minutes of homework in fifth grade).
Does my student need previous Spanish experience to be successful in the Spanish program?
Rowland Hall's Spanish program is rooted in storytelling as a community and learning together with the use of visual aids, songs, games, and more. Because of all of those supports, students hear and see Spanish that is comprehensible—easy to understand but not necessary to translate. Students new to learning Spanish should expect to watch and listen closely, and pretty soon they will feel ready to start responding and creating Spanish on their own.
How much recess do students get in a typical day?
Rowland Hall believes recess is a valuable time for students to play productively, clear their minds, and get their wiggles out. Lower School students enjoy two to three recesses each day.
What extracurricular activities are available to students?
Lower schoolers who participate in Rowland Hall's Extended Day program can choose from a variety of private music lessons, weekly enrichment classes, games, crafts, and activities.
Can my student enroll in skiing?
Rowland Hall is home to the internationally acclaimed Rowmark Ski Academy, whose Junior Program offers an All-Mountain Rippers option for students in third through fifth grades. This program is geared toward confident skiers who are comfortable with basic ski terrain; it is not a learn-to-ski program. We are happy to connect you with the head coach of the Junior Program if you would like more information.
When do team sports begin?
Rowland Hall team sports begin in the Middle School; however, various sport options are offered as after-school extracurricular activities in the Lower School.
Is there a school bus from Park City to Rowland Hall?
Transportation is available to families living in Park City as well as Snyderville, and transportation services are available to students in grades 1–12. Families may choose from several options: round-trip, one-way (morning or afternoon), or a split-ride option (five rides per week, morning or afternoon). View transportation offerings for our current school year.
At what age do children start middle school?
The age at which children start middle school depends on region and school structure. Some middle schools encompass grades 5–8 or grades 6–8, while others encompass grades 7–8. Generally, students begin middle school at 11 or 12 years of age. Rowland Hall’s Middle School serves students in grades 6–8.
What time does middle school start?
Middle school start times vary by region, but typically begin between 7:30 and 9 am. At Rowland Hall’s Middle School, the first-hour class begins at 8:30 am.
What electives are offered in middle school?
Middle school is an exciting time in which students begin to choose from an assortment of elective courses that interest them. These offerings vary by school. At Rowland Hall, middle schoolers can choose from a variety of courses in art, music, debate, theatre, and technology. Learn more about Rowland Hall's Middle School electives; you may also enjoy this October 2023 Fine Print story about the topic: Not Even the Sky’s the Limit in Middle School Elective Courses.
Do middle school grades matter?
While middle school grades are not reviewed by colleges and universities, the academic skills, habits, and attitudes students gain during middle school provide a solid foundation for high school courses.
At Rowland Hall’s Middle School, we utilize a unique grading paradigm, Mission-Based Grading, rather than traditional letter or percentile grades, which allows us to focus on student productivity and contributions, and to help maturing learners develop skills and mindsets that promote learning, self-reliance, and empathy, while also assessing our high academic standards.
How much homework can a student expect at Rowland Hall's Middle School?
We believe that adolescents need to develop and maintain a healthy balance of their personal lives, academic pursuits, extracurricular and leisure activities, and quality time with their families. Therefore, the grade-level teaching teams work together to ensure that homework is purposeful while allowing students to develop content knowledge, study habits, and effective time management.
Generally, sixth-grade students will have one hour or less of nightly homework, and seventh- and eighth-grade students can expect 90 minutes or less of nightly homework. Occasionally there may be exceptions to these time limits, but if students follow the long-term assignment guidelines that teachers recommend, they should maintain a manageable homework schedule. Students may be given a day’s homework over weekends, including long weekends, and students might use weekends to complete projects and long-term assignments. No homework is given over our five breaks: fall, Thanksgiving, winter, February, and April.
Policies for accepting late work vary by teacher; however, students whose absences are excused will be given extra time to make up work.
What extracurricular activities are available at Rowland Hall?
We offer an extensive and ever-growing list of extracurricular activities to our Middle School students. Some current offerings include:
- A robust array of highly competitive athletic programs
- The Rowmark Junior Program, for alpine ski racers
- Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Committee
- Student council
- Robotics and STEM opportunities
- An array of performing arts programs, including theatre, music, and dance
- The Middle School elective and extension programs offer an exceptional variety of electives during the school day, not just as after-school programs
How does the lunch program work?
Rowland Hall partners with Sage Dining Services to provide various healthy and delicious lunch choices for first through twelfth grades. Daily features include freshly prepared soups and entrees, along with sandwiches, a build-your-own specialty salad bar, and freshly made dressings. House-roasted and hand-sliced deli meats, a variety of locally baked breads, a minimum of two fresh vegetables, and fresh-cut fruit are also served daily. In addition, Middle School and Upper School students have a variety of à la carte and snack items to choose from in our Lincoln Street Campus cafeteria. Learn more about our lunch program.
What is Rowland Hall's Middle School dress code? Do Middle School students wear uniforms?
Middle School students wear a Rowland Hall logo shirt or sweatshirt paired with any color or patterned bottoms. Review the Middle School's dress standards.
Our philosophy is grounded in school being an academic environment before it is a social space. The dress standards present the opportunity for creating a balance between an environment of individual expression, physical activity, and academic rigor, which respects all religious, political, and personal freedoms.
What is the Rowmark Junior Program?
The Rowmark Junior Program is an alpine ski racing program. The program develops versatile skiers who understand ski-racing basics and have a strong technical foundation in the sport. As they grow through our program, skiers become more self-reliant—coaches increase their level of competition, racing focus, and number of days on snow in order to prepare them for our Academy program, if they wish to apply. At every level, we encourage young skiers to have fun and love the sport.
Does Rowland Hall offer social and emotional support?
Full-time social-emotional support counselors are available to students and families on both Rowland Hall campuses to assist with family, peer, and personal issues as they affect a child’s school life. In addition to collaborating with grade-level teams to identify issues and develop support plans for students, counselors provide:
- Emotional support for students and/or families in the form of individual meetings and/or support groups
- Resources for parents and students seeking emotional and mental health services outside the school realm
- Services and support for the entire school community in times of crises
- Maturation support
- Second Step curriculum instruction, which teaches skills for social and academic success (beginning and lower schools)
- Developmentally appropriate alcohol, drug, and sexual health education (middle and upper schools)
Does Rowland Hall offer transportation?
Yes, Rowland Hall offers transportation services to students in the Lower School, Middle School, and Upper School (grades 1–12). Families may choose from several options: round-trip, one-way (morning or afternoon), or a split-ride option (five rides per week, morning or afternoon). View transportation offerings for our current school year.
How do you enroll in a private high school?
Private independent high schools, such as Rowland Hall, require families to submit applications to be considered for admission. For Rowland Hall’s Upper School (high school), we recommend that families first connect with our Admission Team to determine if our school is the right fit for your student. Families wishing to pursue admission will then apply online (you can also apply for financial aid at this time).
Once application materials are received and the applicant has been assessed, the applicant's file is reviewed by the admission committee. Rowland Hall notifies families of admission, and financial aid decisions, for the upcoming school year via our Application Portal by early March.
How do you apply for financial aid for a private high school? Are scholarships available?
Families can apply for financial aid online when filling out their applications. Rowland Hall is proud to provide more than $2.8 million in financial aid and scholarships each year, making an independent education within reach of more families. (Financial aid and scholarship funds are available to students in kindergarten through twelfth grade.) Learn about Rowland Hall’s scholarships and financial aid.
How many credits do students need to graduate high school?
In the state of Utah, students in grades 9–12 are required to earn a minimum of 24 units of credit to graduate.
Rowland Hall’s Upper School requires a minimum of 21.5 total credits to graduate. A diploma from Rowland Hall indicates the successful completion of four years of a planned high school experience. This includes the minimum requirements in each core discipline. A credit is equal to one yearlong course, two semester-long courses, or three trimester-long courses. Some disciplines may require a yearlong course in order to fulfill a graduation requirement.
Rowland Hall’s graduation requirements include: English (4 credits), history/social science (3 credits), lab sciences (3 credits), mathematics (3 credits), world language (2 credits in the same language; three years recommended), fine and performing art (1.5 credits), ethics (0.5 credit), health (1 credit), physical education (1.5 credits; 0.5 required in 9th grade; credits applied to participation in athletics and/or dance), and elective (2 credits minimum). Learn more about the Upper School curriculum.
Note that the average four-year Upper School student takes courses beyond the requirement. Students are required to carry a minimum of five credits per year to maintain good academic standing. Students are strongly encouraged to take coursework beyond the minimum required. Students take a balance of core courses and electives each year.
What electives are offered in high school?
Electives vary by school. At Rowland Hall, upper schoolers can choose from an array of electives designed to enrich their learning and help them explore their passions. These electives include, but are not limited to, courses in psychology, history, political science, mathematics, personal finance, creative writing (literary magazine), publishing (yearbook), and the sciences. Note that beginning in the 2023–2024 school year, laboratory science electives will expand to include biotechnology, integrated engineering, climate science, vertebrate physiology, and earth science. A variety of Advanced Topics and Advanced Placement courses are also available to students. Explore the Upper School’s current course catalog.
How much homework can a student expect in the Upper School?
The amount of homework each student receives varies by the classes they choose. Upper schoolers in regular classes average two to two and a half hours of homework per week, per class, while students in advanced courses might average four to five hours per week, per class. The process of choosing classes is collaborative–students generally work with their advisors, current teachers, parents, and counselors to create a schedule that will be challenging but not overwhelming.
Rowland Hall believes in meaningful homework that extends the in-class learning process. We do not believe in homework for the sake of homework. We routinely check in with students about their stress levels and anxiety, and take steps to make sure work is manageable. Additionally, no homework is given over the school's five breaks: fall, Thanksgiving, winter, February, and April.
What are the STEM opportunities? Does Rowland Hall have a robotics program?
Indeed, we do! Learn more about our ever-expanding STEM program and computer science program (including our robotics teams).
What extracurricular activities are available?
We offer an extensive and ever-growing list of extracurricular activities to our Upper School students. Some current offerings include:
- A robust array of highly competitive athletic programs
- A nationally recognized debate program
- A sought-after internship program
- JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) student committee
- Robotics team and STEM opportunities
- Student council
- Performing arts productions that include dance, advanced chamber ensemble, jazz band, orchestra, theatre, and musical theatre (more information)
What are the community service and engagement opportunities?
At Rowland Hall, we believe no education is complete without a commitment to a worthy purpose and passion for making the world a better place. Therefore, Rowland Hall students are taught in a thoughtful, age-appropriate, sequential thread from preschool through high school to identify ethical themes, recognize actions that build community, practice decision making, and live a meaningful, ethical life. All students learn that character includes the development of self-discipline, drive, and grit, as well as the universal values embodied by the ethical principles of fairness, empathy, integrity, and altruism.
Our ethical education program is robust and dates back to the founding of our school. Students are encouraged to find an issue or a cause and use their time, talents, passion, and educational advantages to get involved and positively impact the greater community.
What is the dress code?
Upper School students do not wear a uniform and are instead asked to uphold a standard of dress. A student's appearance and choice of clothing must balance respectful awareness to the values of others in the community with self-expression. Students are expected to dress for an academic atmosphere of purposeful learning and responsible participation during the school day. Students are encouraged to dress for success, make mature decisions as young adults, and make choices that are consistent with our school's mission and the learning environment that the school strives to provide. Students must wear footwear at all times. Clothing cannot include logos pertaining to alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and profanities, or that are otherwise offensive or hurtful to others.
What advanced courses are available? What are Advanced Topics classes?
Rowland Hall offers a full range of Advanced Placement (often known as AP), Advanced Topics, Advanced Research, and honors courses. Admission to these courses is made based on departmental recommendations and what teachers and parents/caregivers believe is the appropriate course load for the student. A grade threshold and/or a placement test may also apply, depending on the discipline. Every student completes a course-load planning form, reviewed by the academic support counselor, the principals, and current teachers. To learn more, check out our course catalog.
What is Rowmark Ski Academy?
Rowmark Ski Academy is a year-round competitive alpine ski racing program for elite student-athletes. Students who are interested in competing for Rowmark must apply independently of their application to the school.
Rowmark Ski Academy was founded in 1982 as a division of Rowland Hall. Just over three decades later, in 2014, Rowmark proudly became one of the first clubs designated for the US Ski and Snowboard Association's (USSA) highest Gold Certification level. Rowmark skiers are full-time ninth through twelfth graders at Rowland Hall. This is a rigorous, year-round racing program, coupled with our extraordinary academic high school.
Does Rowland Hall offer transportation?
Yes, Rowland Hall offers transportation services to students in the Lower School, Middle School, and Upper School (grades 1–12). Families may choose between several options: round-trip, one-way (morning or afternoon), or a split-ride option (five rides per week, morning or afternoon). View transportation offerings for our current school year.