"Our School is best known for its community, strong academics, and ethics."
Students enrolled 356
Hours 8:15 AM - 3:15 PM
School leader Matt Culberson
Transportation options None
Before school Yes
After school Yes

Contact this school

668 South 1300 East
Salt Lake City, UT 84102

School website
(801) 583-0094
(801) 583-0720
Nearby homes for sale
Map of The McGillis School address.

4 stars
Based on 34 ratings

Let others know what you
think about this school

January 16, 2014
We've had two children attending this school for the past five years and both children are having an outstanding academic and social experience. The curriculum is broad, diverse and challenging. The school offers an amazing sense of community. We are so pleased that our children are having such an amazing K-8 experience.

- submitted by a parent
January 14, 2014
There are three specific reasons why I love The McGillis School. More importantly my two sons love The McGillis School. First, instilling a life long love of learning, second is a robust curriculum in ethics, and last a value is placed on community both internal and external to the school. The quality of the teachers is amazing. Most if not all of the teachers have advanced degrees and the Headmaster is an absolutely wonderful educator, mentor and visionary. Both of my sons are confident risk takers and are encouraged to discover and learn in creative and collaborative ways. McGillis is a school that will prepare your child to succeed because they will discover something wonderful about themselves that they can apply to the world in a meaningful way.

- submitted by a parent
January 14, 2014
Our daughter has been at The McGillis School for 5 years and we couldn't be more pleased. We truly believe that McGillis has given her the confidence, motivation, and passion to learn as well as preparing her for high school and beyond. The math program is especially relevant to her and I believe that no other math program out there gives children the real-life applications of math that Everyday Math does. The curriculum is comprehensive and rigorous, yet there is also appreciation for the whole child and developing their ethical selves. Community is at the heart of The McGillis School and this is evident in the wonderful parent and family relationships that develop along with the children's friendships. The sustainability ethos of the school is amazing and teaches children to be positive stewards of the environment. And, We'd be remiss if we didn't mention the fabulous school lunch program--all fresh, all homemade, and a wonderful salad bar to boot. Almost all of the children eat the school lunch. Overall, we couldn't be more pleased with our choice to send our daughter here.

- submitted by a parent
December 13, 2012
McGillis is a place that is warm, wonderful and caring. The administrators and teachers are professionals in every way. However, the school under pressure to change and not be true to what it says it is. Approach this school with caution. Spend time in the classroom to see what it is really like. Kindergarten in particular is a mess. Steer clear of kindergarten and find a NAEYC accredited kindergarten instead. Don't worry about getting in McGillis after kindergarten; they've been struggling to fill it.

- submitted by a parent
October 17, 2012
This is truly a great school. The level of care and concern for each child enrolled could not be higher. My son has some learning differences and he gets the level of support I have not had for him at other institutions. I could not be happier with our school choice.

- submitted by a parent
March 07, 2012
An outstanding preparatory school that builds confidence and a desire to learn. Many of the class projects are cross-curricular learning experiences that integrate math, literacy, history and science. Students that are highly motivated may take a project further & are encouraged to do so. From a young age, writing, verbal communication & presentations are encouraged, which builds tremendous confidence. Students that are ahead in a subject are given alternative assignments (such as in math & writing). Individualized instruction, in a small class environment, ensures the needs and interests of all children are met. The children are respectful and do not display overly competitive feelings of academic superiority. Teens that graduate from McGillis are well prepared to take on advanced coursework and extracurricular offerings available in high school. I do not feel McGillis is pushy, rather, the real goal is to provide a solid foundation and a well rounded educational experience. We know a number of teens that have demonstrated the value of this education. The teens we know are confident & not arrogant & score very high on standardized scores like the ACT.

- submitted by a parent
February 10, 2012
The McGillis School was an excellent choice for my children, one of whom is now ready to graduate high school. Given that the reviewer from January 2011 did not even edit his post for typos, I don't think his negative comments should be taken too seriously. Matt Culbertson and the administration at McGillis are very in-tune with the students and the day-to-day operation of the school. I am always impressed to hear the administrators refer to each student by name. The teachers are outstanding. Jocelyn G., in particular, is a 10 among math teachers. She goes the extra mile to make sure each student is learning atbhisor her own level. The homework load is balanced, and the school has increased their music, theatre, sports and extra curricular programs. I would urge any parent to consider the McGillis program.

- submitted by a parent
May 16, 2011
I have three students at McGillis and although it is painful in the pocketbook, it is worth it when your children enjoy going to school everyday! The most important thing a a school can instill in our students is a love for learning, that does not mean sending them home with lots of homework, it means building a strong foundation and an appetitie and curiosity for more. It is not all about the scores, and at McGillis my children thrive with a close knit, caring community both faculty and parent.

- submitted by a parent
January 04, 2011
I am surprised and saddened that so many people are unhappy with this school. I have been a student at this school and found it has been amazing for me, going to a new school this year has highlighted how lucky I was to have gone to this school. I consider myself an advanced learner and McGillis has helped me every step of the way. The teachers are amazing, the curriculum is great, and, even though it is a Jewish Value based school, everybody is accepted and welcome into the community.

- submitted by a community member
January 02, 2011
MY CHILD IS AT MCGILLIS AND I HAVE BEEN HEART BROKEN THIS YEAR. THE MATH THAT MY CHILD IS DOING IN THE CLASS IS 1 WHOLE GRADE LEVEL BEHIDE KIDS THE SAME GRADE IN MY HOME AREA. I HAVE FOUND FROM MY CHILD THAT THE TWO TEACHERS IN THE CLASS DOESN'T READ WITH ANY OF THE CHILDREN. MY CHILD I REALIZE IS BEHIDE AND WILL HAVE TO SPEND HIS SUMMER MONTHS CATCHING HIM UP. I WISH MY HUSBAND AND I WOULD HAVE MADE DIFFERENT PLANS THIS YEAR FOR OUR CHILD . I LIKE THAT THE SCHOOL IS FRIENDLY BUT VERY LACKING IN HELPING CHILDREN TO DO WELL IN LEARNING. I SAY THAT IT WAS A TOTAL WASTE OF MONEY THIS YEAR!!!! WISH I WOULD HAVE WENT SOMEWHERE ELSE.

- submitted by a parent
July 19, 2010
My granddaughter has been a student at McGillis for several years, and thrives there. But more important, she has a friend at the school with a learning disability who thrives there, and to me this is important, each child is taught as best possible.Caring + educational quality = 5 stars from my point of view.

- submitted by a parent
January 29, 2010
My child is a middle school student at McGillis and I could not be happier. As a professional in the field of education, I investigated every public, independent, private and charter school in the region. I know without doubt that we are all fortunate to be part of this learning community. This school recognizes the essence and value of education and imparts on its students a deep sense of personal responsibility for themsleves and others. My son can learn anywhere but he cannot learn anywhere what McGillis teaches him. They work openly, respectfully and transparently with families. As they now grow in size and programming, it is clear that they are enhancing excellence within their educational programs in all ways. Our family has had to make adjustments to be able to send our child to an independent school and at McGillis, we have no regrets whatsoever.

- submitted by a parent
January 06, 2010
This year The McGillis School is consumed with paying for its new building. They have lost focus on educating children. We got a letter that indicates that our tuition will be raised by over 15% for 2010-2011! I don't feel that my child is getting any increase in education value. When we enrolled in The McGillis School there was an emphasis on 'the child' and 'the community.' Gradually the emphasis has morphed into 'we want to be Rowland Hall.' There is no support for special education. You get to talk to the school psychologist who refers you to outside sources. Come to McGillis if you are smart (not too smart) and compliant and if your family has a whole bunch of money. Don't expect an actual 'education', my kid is supplemented with homeschool websites and curriculum.

- submitted by a parent
September 10, 2009
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
July 28, 2009
As an experienced educator, I have worked in several quality independent schools in the U.S. The McGIllis School is an excellent place to work and for children to learn. The faculty is professional, caring, and cohesive. The Administration challenges us to perform at our best, and they support the work that we do. Continuing education is expected and we work together to provide a quality, holistic education for our students. I have not worked in a school that has accomplished so much in such a short amount of time. I love being a part of the McGillis community and would not work anywhere else in SLC. McGIllis is not just a school to me, it is family.

- submitted by a teacher
June 16, 2009
such a step up from any school my children have attended. A miracle i found it. the teachers are above and beyond excellent.

- submitted by a parent
May 29, 2009
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
March 21, 2009
This school is a wonderfully nurturing environment for children. It is a school where service projects and ethics are integrated into everything they do.It is a school where children learn to love learning for its own sake so they are not burned out by 6th grade or motivated only by grades. Kids who are academically more advanced than others are not put into higher grades or given totally different projects. Rather, they are asked to dive more deeply into the subjects at hand both at school and as home projects. This is not the school for you if you want your 1st grader doing 4th grade spelling just because he can.This is the school for you if you want your 1st grader to enjoy learning, to learn to love education, to be self-motivated to learn rather than motivated soley by grades. Parents are very involved, and the headmaster Matt is EXCELLENT.

- submitted by a parent
March 21, 2009
I think the discontent from some with children who are 'ahead' is that they do not share the same educational philosophy as the school. As the last poster said, this school is very focused on creating a love of learning in the children. They go on to high level high school programs and high level colleges, so it certainly is not lacking there. But it is not a 'traditional' prep school. Your child won't be loaded down with homework so he can be 'ahead', even if capable. Rather, the advanced children are not singled out but are given more in-depth projects. It's all about creating a child who loves to learn so he can take that with him for life, rather than a child who has completed work ahead of his grade but feels no connection to the process of learning itself. Also, there is a HUGE emphasis on community service.

- submitted by a parent
March 02, 2009
The McGillis School has many extra classes to offer, but overall it is average. If your child is ahead in an area, they cannot challenge them with harder work or have them work with the older grades, like public school can. Their response is 'sorry, we don't have the resources for that' which seems wrong after paying the tuition they charge. We have been in public school for two years now and have not been happier. Our daughter is challenged and when they recognized that she needed harder vocabulary, they put her with the grade above. No meetings, no complaining that she wasn't challenged, they saw the need and filled it. I wish McGillis could do the same for the students.

- submitted by a parent
February 10, 2009
The McGillis School has proven to be the best possible school for our child. He has developed a strong sense of values and ethics, along with a strong desire to learn and grow as a person. His academic development in this environment has been excellent. This nurturing of personal and academic growth occurs at a level I have not seen in the public schools. The teachers and staff are dedicated to the children first and foremost. In our visits to the public schools, teachers and staff seemed overwhelmed and were unable to convince us that our child would viewed as a valuable member of the school community. There is no doubt about that at the McGillis School.

- submitted by a parent
January 31, 2009
My child is not academically challenged here. I am getting supplemental academic support through outside sources. The parents are very involved in fund-raising and I don't see as much involvement in holding the school accountable to its stated academic excellence. Because the tuition is also rising to the level of some excellent schools in Salt Lake I would recommend another school. Not only has my child not improved here, his hand writing is sloppy, his focus has diminished, and because there is rarely homework in second grade, he really does'nt have study skills. This is disappointing because he tested into a gifted program last year.

- submitted by a parent
January 29, 2009
My child has had an excellent experience at the McGillis school. The quality of teachers is top notch, and the teachers really like teaching there. They could earn more in the Public School system, but stay at McGillis because of the kids and the support they receive from the administration. The whole concept of 'learning to learn' has worked very well for my son, and this has been a great fit for both him and us (his parents.) Can't say enough good things about the school!

- submitted by a parent
no rating January 28, 2009
We have been affiliated with the McGillis School since 1998. I have an 11th grader and a 9th grader who attended McGillis since 1st grade. They are all A students in the rigorous and academically challenging International Baccaureate program at West High. I firmly believe that their years at the McGillis School gave them a strong foundation upon which to build. McGillis' innovative curriculum, small class size, and fabulous speciality classes (language, arts, music, PE, service learning) allowed my two oldest to thrive and excel. In addition to my teenagers, I have a 4th grader at McGillis. He loves going to school, loves learning and loves his teachers and friends. The warmth and caring of the administrative staff, the incredible teaching professionals, and the fabulous families at the school all harmonize to provide an environment of learning, love and laughter.

- submitted by a parent
January 28, 2009
I have 2 children who currently attend the McGillis School. The school has been a wonderful experience for our family. The teachers are the main reason we return each year--they are committed, experienced, and fabulous role models for the students. The administration is supportive and dedicated to the success of the school. My children have thrived in this environment since first grade and continue to thrive every day. It is a great school!

- submitted by a parent
January 27, 2009
My children thrive at McGillis. The teachers are top-notch. The student-teacher ratio is great (11 to 1). The administration is visionary and committed. Most of all, the school is a community -- a caring, dynamic, intellectual, connected group of famlies, youth, and professionals coming together for the good of the children. I highly recommend the school!

- submitted by a parent
January 27, 2009
What I like about the McGillis School is its focus on the love of learning. I choose to send my children to McGillis because it is the right fit for not only my children, but our family. The whole school community -students, teachers, administration, parents- is engaged in the process of learning. Because of the small class sizes, the teachers get to know my children and their learning styles. They individualize the curriculum to meet their needs. I have one child who struggles with reading - the teacher and I meet regularly about our plan to meet her needs. Children who excel academically are challenged to explore concepts in depth rather than just do more work or 'move up.' The teachers stress critical thinking skills and develop hands-on learning activities. My children are happy and they love to go to school every day. McGillis is a great school!

- submitted by a parent
November 25, 2008
I've had a great experience with The McGillis School. My kids have grown academically and socially, and have been engaged and loving school even when they're ahead of their academic grade level. My graduate was well prepared for honors and AP classes in high school. Classes are small and include teacher aides in the elementary school. Most important, the kids are learning how to be great citizens, through service projects from raking leaves for shut ins to making brownie mix to raise money for the Food Bank. I hope the families who have made some of these posts have discussed their concerns with their teachers and administration - every time I have brought a concern forward, it has been addressed in a positive and professional way.

- submitted by a parent
October 08, 2008
We went there for one year and were not very happy. They cater mostly to the parents who donate lots of money and don't require students to do much beyond the grade-level work, which is disappointing. There is also not much diversity. Pretty much wealthy parents who don't want to participate much in their child's education. My suggestion: save the tuition money, send your kids to public school and take the money you saved and go travel - D.C., Grand Canyon, Oregon - they will learn much more that way.

- submitted by a parent
September 24, 2008
I have my son going here, and this year am upset. I may look else where next year. They have no set reading books for the kids! and i cant see how the kids are learning to read most by sight. It has been a month into the year and my son has not brought home one math paper are read one time to his teacher. I think they care more about asking parents all the time for money then teaching are kids! i paid for the year already and feel a little stuck. I have had to have him go to another school in the eveing just to get some edcation. So sad!

- submitted by a parent
September 12, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
July 23, 2008
As a parent of one of the older children, I would have to say that the McGillis middle school is academically weak. It is simply not worth the money spent on tuition. I didn't feel that the environment was nurturing either. My child as well as other children were ostracized throughout the past year by their peers. Nothing was ever done to discipline the guilty party, since their parents either donated large sums of money to school or belonged to the main religious community of the school. There was also problems with thefts of school mateials and student belongings. I will say however, that the lower school was run a bit more efficiently than the middle school, but not by much. My suggestion is to look somewhere else to send your children.

- submitted by a parent
May 13, 2008
McGillis has low teacher - student ratios. They have lots of offerings for kids - art, language, PE, and recently added music. The teachers are good. But they cannot accommodate kids who are above their grade level. Their answer was to give them more work that was purely review or too easy for them. They ask for a lot of money - on top of tuition, which is annoying. We've found that for the money it is not worth it. We'll take the 8k+, go to public school and do fun extra trips, activities, projects, etc. I have found that for kids who are struggling socially or are below their grade level in reading and math it is a great place because of the support and small class size.

- submitted by a parent
February 10, 2008
McGillis School is a good private school. The teachers are good and there is a low ratio of students to teachers. Each class has a teacher and an assistant. There are lots of specialty classes - art, ethics and cultures, language, PE - but no music, which is disappointing. They also don't have much in the way of supporting kids who are above their classmates in math or spelling. My daughter wanted to figure out the square root of 167. She was often bored and asked why she needs to learn math that she learned at 5 in a montessori preschool. So I supplement at home, but disappointing that we spend the money and they can't accommodate. There are other kids in the same situation and I hope that they fix it soon, otherwise, we'll have to find another place for my first grader.

- submitted by a parent
November 04, 2007
The McGillis School is a wonderful school with nurturing teachers and a stimulating learning environment. Students participate in service learning as part of the curriculum, which involves giving back to the community. Spanish and Hebrew are offered to students at each grade level. The teachers are very supportive and the parents are for the most part, very involved in the school. The only criticism I have is that the school has no extracurricular sports, clubs, or music program.

- submitted by a parent
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February 01, 2013

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The McGillis School
668 South 1300 East, Salt Lake City, UT  84102
(801) 583-0094
Last modified The McGillis School is a Private school that serves grades K-8
The McGillis School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 35 reviews. Top