Get To Know Rowland Hall
- Rowland Hall is an independent, coeducational day school offering a college-preparatory program to students in 2PreK through twelfth grade.
- In 1867, Daniel Sylvester Tuttle—bishop of the Episcopal Church’s Utah and Idaho Territories—established St. Mark’s Grammar School in Salt Lake City. In 1880, the mother-in-law of a priest associated with the Episcopal Diocese donated funds to establish a girls boarding school named after her husband, Benjamin Rowland. St. Mark’s School closed in 1896 in support of the public school system of the newly designated state of Utah, but it reopened as a boys school in 1964, and shortly thereafter it merged with Rowland Hall. Rowland Hall-St. Mark’s is still the school’s official name, although today we’re colloquially known as Rowland Hall.
- Rowland Hall has been an independent school since 1948.
- Rowland Hall occupies two urban campuses in Salt Lake City and serves 940 students from preschool (age 2) through twelfth grade.
- Our student-teacher ratio is 10:1; the average class size is 16 students.
- Four divisions make up our school: Beginning School (2PreK to kindergarten), Lower School (grades one through five), Middle School (grades six through eight), and Upper School (grades nine through twelve).
- Rowland Hall is the only Utah school with an internationally recognized ski academy. Rowmark Ski Academy student-athletes consistently win at the local, regional, and national level, and Rowmark has an impressive number of alumni skiing for the U.S. Ski Team. We are the only school in Utah to offer professional ski training and competition at the junior level.
- Rowland Hall is a nonprofit organization governed by a Board of Trustees consisting of 26 school parents and alumni.
- All parents are members of the school’s parent-teacher association, known as Home and School, which provides a vital volunteer and communication link between the school and its parent body.
- Rowland Hall’s per-pupil expenditures are three times that of Utah public schools, based on 2015 data from the US Census Bureau.
- Rowland Hall’s full-time tuition is, on average $4,000 less than tuition at other schools in the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS, 2012, comparable schools in comparably-sized cities).
- Our school offers over $2.5 million in financial aid each year. Approximately 20% of our students receive financial aid. Rowland Hall also offers opportunities for prospective students to qualify for merit and need-based scholarships each year.
Curriculum and Scholarship
- Our curriculum offers a broad knowledge base in math, science, world languages, English, and history. It is enriched by electives in choral and instrumental music, theater, dance, visual media, debate, physical fitness, and competitive sports.
- Experiential, hands-on, and inventive courses and electives include extended field studies, class trips, robotics, and maker spaces.
- Rowland Hall’s Upper School currently offers 16 Advanced Placement courses, six Advanced Topics courses, and six honors courses.
- In May 2017, 184 students took 470 AP exams. Of those 184 students, 86% scored 3 or higher, 31% scored 4 or higher, and 31% scored 5.
- The middle 50% college-entrance ACT test-score range for students in the classes of 2015 through 2017 was 25-32 (composite). The College Board revised the SAT in spring 2016, so three-year data comparison is not yet available.
- On the 2013 ERB test, our fifth graders scored at the 92nd percentile in mathematics, six percentage points higher than their national independent school peers; at the 92nd percentile in quantitative reasoning, three percentage points higher than their national independent school peers; and at the 91st percentile in writing, on par with our peer schools.
- Technology at Rowland Hall is intentionally integrated into our first- through twelfth-grade classrooms and curriculum to enhance teaching and learning. We believe technology offers platforms for research, communication, and expression to complement other more traditional methods. Our vision is to enhance education by making it more engaging and immersive. We also view technology as a means of reaching all learners at a level, pace, and method best suited to each student’s needs. As we integrate technology more fully, we strive to make technology blend seamlessly into the fabric of our classroom cultures.
State and National Profile
- Rowland Hall was selected in the spring of 2011 by the Malone Family Foundation as the only school in Utah, and one of only 50 schools nationally, to receive a $2 million endowment for the funding of educational opportunities for students who show enthusiasm and motivation for academic excellence and whose family demonstrates financial need.
- Rowland Hall has the best policy debate team in Utah and one of the top teams in the country. We're the only Utah school to be designated by the National Speech and Debate Association as a Debate School of Excellence. Rowland Hall has qualified 28 national debaters in the last five years and has won the overall district sweepstakes award six years running. In 2015-2016, our debaters earned more bids to the Tournament of Champions than any team in the country, and they won awards at every national tournament in which they competed. No Utah debate team has ever had multiple teams in elimination rounds as often as Rowland Hall. Their success has earned them the reputation of one of the best policy programs in the West.
- We have one of the strongest Jazz Band programs in the state and our musicians consistently win local and regional jazz competitions, including the Peaks competition in 2015.
- Our literary magazine, Tesserae, consistently wins national awards for high school literary magazines.
- Rowland Hall’s commitment to meaningful community engagement is second to none. Rowland Hall students dedicate thousands of hours of their time to nonprofit organizations every year. Our students’ service is often honored by the Crossroads Urban Center, the Salvation Army, the Utah Food Bank, the Volunteers of America, the Rotary Club, and the Salt Lake Exchange Club.
- Two-thirds of our Middle School and Upper School students participate in at least one of the 16 sports offered through the school’s athletic program.
- Our athletic teams have won 25 state championships and 56 region titles since 2007 under the coaching of our national and state award-winning coaches and athletic director. Each year, dozens of our individual athletes receive awards and accolades.
NOTICE OF NONDISCRIMINATION
Rowland Hall does not discriminate on the basis of physical ability, race, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national or ethnic origin in its admission, financial aid, or employment policies or in the administration of educational, athletic, or other school programs.
Rowland Hall-St. Mark’s School (known colloquially as Rowland Hall) is Utah’s oldest independent coeducational college-preparatory day school. Since 1867, when the Episcopal Church founded our school, our roots have grown deep into a community where academic achievement, service to others, appreciation for the arts, and ethical development are highly valued.
St. Mark’s Grammar School for boys was established in 1867 as Utah’s first educational institution; then in 1880, Rowland Hall, an all-girls boarding school, was founded to educate the daughters of miners and ranchers in the Intermountain West. The Episcopal Church continued to sponsor both schools until 1948 when the school became independent. While Rowland Hall is no longer an Episcopal school, our school today proudly honors its historic relationship with the Episcopal Church.
In 1964, St. Mark’s and Rowland Hall merged and committed to jointly continuing both institutions’ traditions of academic excellence. To this day, the mission of our founders remains the same: to “inspire students to lead productive lives through a college-preparatory program that promotes the pursuit of academic and personal excellence.”
For over a century, Rowland Hall occupied a historic campus on one city block in Salt Lake City’s Avenues neighborhood. Increased interest in quality education and small class size caused a surge of growth during the 1980s, so Middle School and Upper School students were moved to a renovated public school building on Lincoln Street in 1984. A new Middle School facility was completed in the summer of 1994 and is connected to the Upper School where the students share access to the Larimer Center for the Performing Arts, the library and media center, the gymnasium, the cafeteria, and other educational resources.
As the school’s program and student body continued to outgrow the beloved Avenues Campus, trustees purchased nine acres of land on Guardsman Way and a capital campaign was launched in 1999 to raise funds to build a new home for the school’s youngest students. As a result, the Philip G. McCarthey Campus opened its doors on December 2, 2002. In addition to its spacious classrooms and outdoor play areas, the McCarthey Campus features a computer lab, a science lab with indoor and outdoor exploration areas, the Steiner Library, St. Margaret’s Chapel, light-filled art and music studios, and a dining hall. The Beginning School is housed in its own “little red schoolhouse” adjoined by a large motor-skills gymnasium just for our youngest students. The McCarthey Campus field house and soccer field are used by Lower School students for physical education and by many of the school’s sports teams for practices and games.
In 2013 the school broke ground for a new campus that will one day unite all divisions of the school—the Richard R. Steiner Campus. Athletic fields for Winged Lions soccer teams were finished in the spring of 2013, and fundraising continues for the future phases of the project. The 13.2-acre property that will house the new campus for the middle and upper schools is immediately adjacent to the western edge of the McCarthey Campus.
Rowland Hall is proud of past accomplishments, and administrators, faculty, and trustees continue to plan and implement improvements to ensure ongoing academic excellence. This could not be accomplished without the generosity and loyalty of current and past parents and alumni. For their support—past, present, and future—we are extremely grateful.
Read about Rowland Hall's cherished traditions.
Rowland Hall is accredited by the following organizations:
- Northwest Association of Independent Schools (NWAIS)
- National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
- The Northwest Accreditation Commission
- Utah Department of Education
NWAIS accreditation requires adherence to the highest standards of operation and best practices, and a commitment to their mission. The following core values guide the association’s interactions, services, and accreditation standards. These core values are essential to assisting schools in providing high-quality education for children.
- Free and Open Inquiry
- Commitment to Diversity
- Ongoing School Improvement
- Collegial Relationships and Ethical Leadership
Read more about NWAIS accreditation requirements.
All NAEYC-accredited programs, and all programs seeking NAEYC accreditation, are required to meet the 10 NAEYC Early Learning Program Standards and Criteria.
Read more about NAEYC accreditation requirements.
The school is a member of the following organizations:
- National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS)
- Joint Research and Planning Office (JRPO)
- Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE)
- Malone Family Foundation Scholars Program
- The Heads Network
- The College Board
- Collegial Relationships and Ethical Leadership
Please see our tuition and financial aid page for details.