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The McGillis School

Private | K-8 | 356 students

Our School is best known for its community, strong academics, and ethics.

 

Living in Salt Lake City

Situated in an inner city neighborhood. The median home value is $217,800. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $630.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
 
Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 3 ratings
2013:
No new ratings
2012:
Based on 4 ratings
2011:
Based on 3 ratings

Teacher quality

Principal leadership

Parent involvement

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32 reviews of this school


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Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted March 7, 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


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted January 4, 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.


Posted January 2, 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


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted January 6, 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


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted March 2, 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


Posted 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


Posted 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


Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

We currently do not have any test score information for this school. Unlike public schools, private schools are not always required to report data about their schools or not required to take the same tests as public schools. Many private schools take different standardized tests; however, that information is often made available only to families of enrolled students. We strive to acquire additional private school data whenever available.

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 83% 77%
Two or more races 9% 1%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 4% 2%
Hispanic 4% 15%
Black 1% 1%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 1%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 2%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students Assistant principal(s)
Art teacher(s)
Computer specialist(s)
Gardening teacher(s)
Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
Librarian/media specialist(s)
Math specialist(s)
Music teacher(s)
PE instructor(s)
Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
Reading specialist(s)
Robotics/Technology specialist(s)
School psychologist
Speech and language therapist(s)
Teacher aid/assistant teacher
Tutor(s)
Foreign languages spoken by school staff French
Spanish
Hebrew
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by a school official.

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Special education / special needs

Level of special education programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Extra learning resources offered
  • Differentiated learning programs
Staff resources available to students
  • Speech and language therapist(s)

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

Staff resources available to students
  • Computer specialist(s)
  • Gardening teacher(s)
  • Math specialist(s)
  • Robotics/Technology specialist(s)
School facilities
  • Computer lab
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Science lab
Clubs
  • Gardening

Arts & music

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
School facilities
  • Art room
  • Music room
  • Performance stage
Visual arts
  • Ceramics
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Printmaking
Music
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Rock band
  • Theory
Performing and written arts
  • Drama
Media arts
  • Computer animation
  • Video / Film production

Language learning

Foreign languages taught
  • Hebrew
  • Spanish
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Staff resources available to students
  • Speech and language therapist(s)
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • French
  • Hebrew
  • Spanish

Health & athletics

Staff resources available to students
  • Gardening teacher(s)
  • Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • School psychologist
School facilities
  • Access to sports fields
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Gym
  • Kitchen
  • Multi-purpose room ("cafegymatorium")
Clubs
  • Gardening
School leaders can update this information here.

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School basics

School start time
  • 8:15 am
School end time
  • 3:15 pm
Before school or after school care / program onsite
  • Before school: starts at 7:30 a.m.
  • After school: ends at 6:00 p.m.
School Leader's name
  • Matt Culberson
Best ways for parents to contact the school
  • Email
  • Phone
Gender
  • Coed
Boarding options
  • Day school
Is there an application process?
  • Yes
Affiliation
  • Independent
Associations
  • NAIS
Fax number
  • (801) 583-0720

Programs

Instructional and/or curriculum models used

Don't understand these terms?
  • Hybrid
  • Individually guided instruction
  • Project-based
  • Standards-based
Bi-lingual or language immersion programs offered

Don't understand these terms?
  • No
Level of special education programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Foreign languages taught
  • Hebrew
  • Spanish
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students

Resources

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Assistant principal(s)
  • Computer specialist(s)
  • Gardening teacher(s)
  • Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
  • Librarian/media specialist(s)
  • Math specialist(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
  • Reading specialist(s)
  • Robotics/Technology specialist(s)
  • School psychologist
  • Speech and language therapist(s)
  • Teacher aid/assistant teacher
  • Tutor(s)
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • French
  • Hebrew
  • Spanish
Extra learning resources offered
  • Counseling
  • Differentiated learning programs
  • High School counseling
Transportation options
  • None
School facilities
  • Access to sports fields
  • Art room
  • Audiovisual aids
  • Auditorium
  • Cafeteria
  • Computer lab
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Gym
  • Internet access
  • Kitchen
  • Library
  • Multi-purpose room ("cafegymatorium")
  • Music room
  • Performance stage
  • Playground
  • Science lab
School leaders can update this information here.

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School leaders: Help your school shine on GreatSchools
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Sports

Boys sports
  • Basketball
  • Cross country
  • Fencing
  • Ice hockey
  • Kickball
  • Skiing
  • Soccer
Girls sports
  • Basketball
  • Cross country
  • Fencing
  • Kickball
  • Skiing
  • Soccer
  • Volleyball

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Ceramics
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Printmaking
Music
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Rock band
  • Theory
Performing arts
  • Drama
Media arts
  • Computer animation
  • Video / Film production

Student clubs

Clubs (distinct from courses)
  • First Lego League
  • Gardening
School leaders can update this information here.

Upcoming Events

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School culture

Dress Code
  • Dress code
Bullying policy
  • This school has a bullying and/or cyber bullying policy in place.
Parent involvement
  • Attend parent nights
  • Chaperone school trips
  • Join PTO/PTA
  • Organize fundraising events (school auction, bake sales, etc.)
  • Present special topics during curricular units
  • Serve on school improvement team or governance council
  • Volunteer in the classroom
  • Volunteer time after school
School leaders can update this information here.

Apply

 

TIP: Don't forget to ask about documents required for enrollment, such as your child's birth certificate, proof of address, or a record of immunizations.

 
Apply now
 

What are your chances?


6 out of 10students were accepted for the 2012-2013 school year.


Students accepted for the 2012-2013 school year
74
Applications received for the 2012-2013 school year
116
Students typically come from these schools
Bright Horizons Preschool
JCC
Community Cooperative PreSchool

What does it cost?

Tuition range for the 2012-2013 school year
$11000 - $12000
Vouchers accepted
Yes
Financial aid offered
Yes.
School-based aid
Carson Smith Scholarship monies

Planning ahead

Students typically attend these schools after graduating
Judge Memorial Catholic High School
West IB
Rowland Hall
Notice an inaccuracy? Let us know!

668 South 1300 East
Salt Lake City, UT 84102
Website: Click here
Phone: (801) 583-0094

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