My oldest child started in preschool at Rowland Hall and now is in first grade. This is our fifth year here. Rowland Hall is the perfect fit for our family, even though it requires financial sacrifices from us.
This is a fantastic school for teaching your kids to love learning, and that's my highest goal. I don't believe that attending Rowland Hall will necessarily get my kids into the finest Ivy League colleges, but if that's your goal for your children, I think you have misplaced priorities. My goal is for my kids to love learning, so that they continue to pursue and wonder long after they're done being rewarded with grades or other external rewards. At Rowland Hall, inquiry and excitement have the time and space to flourish.
I also want my kids to be good people, in an environment that fosters their emotional growth. To some, this sounds loosely goosey, but I think it yields important results. When kids get explicit social and emotional lessons about getting along and kindness, they become more adept at operating in the world. How many people have you worked with who are emotionally manulipulative, gossipy, bullying or otherwise hard to get along with? How did it affect your company? Rowland Hall has an explicit curriculum to help kids learn how not to be jerks, gossips, etc.
The faculty and administration at Rowland Hall are uniformly kind and wonderful. Everyone knows your name and greets you cheerfully, and of course that same courtesy and kindness extends to your kids. It just fosters a welcoming, happy environment—one that is optimal for teaching kids that school is a great place to be.
Finally, there are all the other things your kid gets here: specialty instruction from dedicated teachers in music, foreign language, chess and science, as well as plenty of PE and a well stocked library.
My family briefly tried the gifted and talented program at the public school this year, and after a couple of months there, we were fortunate enough to be able to return to Rowland Hall. So I've seen a little of what public school has to offer. I see that our teachers are undersupported, our classrooms are crowded, decisions often get made to fit adults' priorities rather than the kids', and your kid is frequently going to be baby sat by an iPod or a worksheet so the teacher can focus on other kids. It's just not a place I would want to be, if I were a kid.
The culture at the school revolves around money and what status symbols people are wearing, driving and living in. Gossip is pervasive and mean. Many kids and parents act very entitled and self absorbed. There are some excellent teachers and the facilities are nice. It is incredibly overpriced and there is much pressure to
give money in addition to tuition.
Our children spent 14 years at Rowland Hall. The school helped them develop into incredibly confident learners who are exceling in college because of their preparation at the school. Particularly notable is the close relationship the teachers have with students. The approach to learning is also progressive and cutting edge (I write as a college faculty member). Really the best game in town and the only independent school in Utah with a national reputation.
Having come from an independent school not in UT, by comparison, RH has fallen far short of our expectations. It's sub-par, over-rated and stands out as more of a club than high school. The administration does little to get to know families and students and are "holed up in their offices". There's a pervasive hearsay culture and lack of community feel. We found RH cold and stale and unfriendly. Count on hiring a tutor, especially in chem. Science is poor. English is amazing. There is more gossip by administrators than there is caring for students. Some teachers are all about "catching them with detentions" and they hire Prefects to spy and help slap down detentions. They talk about working with a student, developing a personal plan when a student needs help, and there is no process in place to help a student - and certainly no one follows up. We never knew or met with the counselor because she was teaching. Had we known more about RH, we would have passed it by and sent all our kids to West from the get-go. I can't recommend RH.
We have three children attending Rowland Hall (in the Lower School and Middle School). This is our ninth year at RH and we are extremely satisfied with the education our children are receiving. The academic program is excellent and continually evaluated for effectiveness and improvement. My children have had some truly exceptional, passionate and caring teachers at RH, who have inspired the best in each of them. There is also a focus beyond core academic subjects, including service learning, collaboration, emotional development, public speaking, community involvement, and personal integrity. These important areas are woven into the educational experience from an early age and help each child become a productive, caring, and responsible individual. I have had the opportunity to sit on several committees comprised of faculty, staff, parents, and administrators and can attest that decisions are made thoughtfully with the utmost care and consideration for the best interests of the children. When looking at schools, I searched for a place that would cultivate a lifelong love of learning. I am thrilled that we have found such a place at RH - my children love going to school every day!
I'm a parent of 3rd and 7th graders at RHSM. My first child started there in 2-preK and we have loved every moment of our participation in the RHSM community. I cannot say enough about the school, the faculty and the administration - sincere, attentive, caring, personal, and so on. I truly feel a part of a community that cares deeply for my children, their development as human beings, and their overall welfare. RHSM talks about developing the "whole child" and I have come to believe in that mantra hook, line and sinker. My kids also benefit from participation in RHSM s Rowmark Ski Academy program. This has enabled my kids to develop as ski racers and athletes along with their school friends. As a parent, I ve witnessed the philosophic integration of our kids' school day and one of their primary sports activities. When I see, first hand, the difference in the attitude and manners of the RHSM/Rowmark kids, compared to the majority of kids I see from other ski programs, the values they are being taught at RHSM and through the Rowmark program are immediately visible. I fully expect my kids to stay at Rowland Hall through High School and I couldn't be happier!
I have two children - one graduated from Rowland Hall least year and the other will graduate in 2020. I can tell you that my son's experience, he started at Rowland Hall at age 3, has been fantastic and full both academically and socially. While there are always bumps at all schools, the average size of the Rowland Hall classroom, the academic excellence pursued across all divisions, the college counseling and the caring community of families, are priceless. My son had friends who attended other private high schools and public schools and told me before he left for college that he felt he had the superior education due to the teachers. My daughter is thriving too - at times the school work can be rigorous but in the end, it pays off. While every child is different and academic environments for each student varies, I would highly recommend researching Rowland Hall before making any final decisions.
I have always been impressed with the caliber and creativity of the Rowland Hall faculty, and the fact that they invest the time to develop close relationships with their students. In carrying out their academic mission, Rowland Hall teachers make every effort to appeal to the unique learning capabilities of each child. As a consequence, they get to know each child quite well and provide exceptional academic attention to each student.
My oldest son graduated last year after being a "lifer" at the school and my youngest son is now in 9th grade after beginning in 2 Pre-K. It is a serious investment on the part of any family to commit to a private school education. In the opinion of my family, the investment our family has made with Rowland Hall has been worth every penny. While we could talk about many strengths the school has, the most important for us has been the outstanding faculty. Every year after Back to School Night I hear parent after parent standing in the halls and saying how they wish they had been able to have such intelligent, committed, and interesting teachers. Yes, the classes are difficult. Yes, the teachers can be demanding, but I can tell you that my son has gone off to an excellent university and is completely prepared because of the education that he received at Rowland Hall. Rowland Hall might not be the match for every student or family, but for families who prioritize an excellent education and for students who are willing to work hard and who are determined to make the very most of their opportunities, I cannot recommend Rowland Hall highly enough.
We have been part of the Rowland Hall community for 6 years. I am confident our children are receiving the best possible education available. Rowland Hall's faculty and staff are phenomenal. The teachers take a personal interest in our children and are engaged in their personal and intellectual development. The school offers an excellent and challenging academic program with enrichment programs and activities that students need to be successful in life. The school cares about the success of every student. The Rowland Hall community is warm and welcoming, it truly is our extended family. We couldn't be happier with the education our children are receiving. I highly recommend Rowland Hall for a quality education.