Did you know there are a total of 42 high schools in Salt Lake City? Of those, 14 are private schools and 28 are part of the public school district. If you’re moving to Salt Lake City for the first time with your kids, schools are a big part of determining what neighborhood you live in, and the experiences of your children. It’s a huge decision and not one you should take lightly. At the same time, we understand how overwhelming it can be to learn about all the schools in your area. So, to help, we’ve put together this guide to the best schools in Salt Lake City, which you can rely on to give your child the education they deserve.
Choosing the Right Salt Lake City High School
Finding the right school for your child comes down to two things: what you want, and what they need. For example, a big school with tons of extracurriculars may sound great to you, but your child might benefit from small class sizes and individualized learning. Before looking at homes and neighborhoods in Salt Lake City, talk to your children about their education preferences, and see how they compare with your perspective.
You’ll definitely want to take into account:
- Class sizes
- Academic offering
- Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate Programs
- Arts and STEM learning
- Extracurriculars and sports teams, if your child is interested
- Location and surrounding neighborhood
- College acceptance rates
And remember, where you live isn’t the ultimate determining factor for your child’s schooling. Some children end up transferring to private schools, be it for religious reasons, unforeseen bullying or a plethora of other causes. You may even start out in one district, and end up sending your child to a magnet or specialized school based on their talents and life plans.
Salt Lake City’s Top High Schools (Our List)
Skyline High School
This Salt Lake City public high school is known for its outstanding curriculum and dedication to bringing up well-rounded students. Skyline serves more than 2,000 students per year and regularly outperforms national averages for SAT and ACT exams. Specialized programs include:
- The Community of Caring Program: Encourages student participation in community service activities
- International Baccalaureate: Offers IB diplomas and courses for grades 9-12.
- Concurrent Enrollment: Allows students to take college courses in addition to high school studies. High achieving students may graduate from high school with an Associate’s Degree.
- Website: https://schools.graniteschools.org/skylinehigh/
- Phone Number: 385-646-5420
- Address: 3251 E 3760 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84109
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Rowland Hall is more than a Salt Lake City high school; it serves just under 1,000 students ranging from pre-school to 12th grade. The independent school has been part of the SLC community since 1948. One huge benefit of this school is the individualized attention your child will receive; Rowland has a student to teacher ratio of just 10:1, compared with Brighton High’s 26:1!
Special Programs at Rowland include:
- Ski Academy: An internationally recognized ski academy, which has trained numerous Olympic Athletes.
- The Interim program, a week-long experience in the spring semester where students get the opportunity to travel internationally and participate in hands-on learning experiences and better understand global cultures.
- Project Action: Requires students to go beyond the classroom and engage with the community, either at the school itself, in the local SLC community or globally.
- Website: http://www.rowlandhall.org/
- Phone Number: (801) 355-7485
- Address: 720 Guardsman Way, Salt Lake City, UT 84108
Academy for Math, Science and Engineering (AMES)
AMES provides a specialized learning environment with a focus on STEM studies. It’s partnered with the University of Utah as an Early College School! At its core AMES provides a solid base in literature and the arts, but that education is supplemented by programs in engineering, technology, computer science, math, and other technical studies.
AMES is a by-admissions public charter high school, located in the same building as Cottonwood High School. The admissions process works by blind lottery; academic scores are not taken into account, allowing any student the opportunity to join the school. Students may also take some courses offered by Cottonwood in addition to their studies at AMES, such as foreign languages.
- Website: https://www.ames-slc.org/
- Phone Number: (801) 278-9460
- Address: 5715 1300 E, Murray, UT 84121
Brighton High School
Recognized by U.S. News as the #12 High School in all of Utah, Brighton High School is well known for its highly involved local community. Parents of Brighton students love the school and are very supportive of the school’s programs. BHS has been a stapel of the community since 1969, and serves more than 2,000 students each year. The teacher to student ratio is about 1:26.
In addition to a standard courseload and AP class opportunities, BHS also runs a program called Positive Alternatives Within School (PAWS) to help at-risk students succeed. Additionally, BHS offers career and technical education courses including auto mechanics, computer science and business and marketing.
- Website: http://brightonhigh.canyonsdistrict.org/
- Phone Number: 801-826-5800
- Address: 2220 Bengal Blvd, Cottonwood Heights, UT 84121
Salt Lake Center for Science Education
SLCSE is a “lab” charter school that serves students from grades 6-12, as part of a partnership between the Salt Lake City School District and the University of Utah. While the school has a special focus on science studies, there are also programs in the arts, such as sculpture and music theory, and creative writing. Courses such as Financial Literacy give students a solid foundation for post-graduate life, while AP classes help students earn college credits before they graduate.
Admissions to SLCSE is by lottery, similar to AMES.
- Website: http://slcse.weebly.com/
- Phone Number: (801) 578-8226
- Address: 1400 Goodwin Ave, Salt Lake City, UT 84116
Salt Lake School for the Performing Arts
Commonly known as SPA, this school frequently wins awards in the theater and music spaces in Utah and beyond. Since opening in 2006, SPA has seen massive success and was voted the best charter school in Utah three consecutive times. Education at SPA begins with a strong core curriculum, including opportunities for Advanced Placement courses and concurrent enrollment through the University of Utah.
One fantastic benefit of SPA is that it’s free, and your student won’t have to audition. As an open enrollment school, SPA takes all interested students; if the enrollment cap is reached, remaining slots are determined via a blind lottery. All the arts teachers at SPA are professional artists themselves, and their goal is to inspire their students to take their talents to the next level.
- Website: http://www.saltlakespa.org/
- Phone Number: (801) 466-6700
- Address: 2291 S 2000 E, Salt Lake City, UT 84106
Innovations Early College High School
Another public charter school in Salt Lake City, Innovations is partnered with Salt Lake City Community College to offer students a plethora of studies at the high school and collegiate level. In addition to their core curriculum, students can take AP courses, or use concurrent enrollment to earn college credits during their high school years.
- Website: http://innovationshigh.org/
- Phone Number: (801) 481-4947
- Address: 1633 Edison St, Salt Lake City, UT 84115
Tips for Finding the Perfect High School in Salt Lake City
These may be some of the best schools in Salt Lake City, and indeed in Utah overall, but they aren’t the only ones. As we said in the beginning, choosing a school is a big deal, both for you and your student. That’s why we highly recommend going to each school’s website, reading about their programs in-depth, and even visiting your top 3-5 schools and meeting with teachers, guidance counselors or the principal, before making your final decision.
If you are moving to the Salt Lake City area with your family, your children are sure to get an amazing education no matter where they go. And if you need help with your transition, you can rest easy knowing that the moving experts at Wasatch Moving Company are here for you. If you have more questions or want to discuss your relocation, give us a call today at (801) 758-0030!