If you’re considering moving to St George, Utah a common question among buyers is “what is the best school in St George?”. For families with school-aged children, schools are critical. There are school rating websites available, such as "Great Schools School Rating St George" and some buyers make decisions specifically based on these ratings. The purpose of this article is not to tell you “which school in St George is the best” but more of an informational guide to the different schools around the area. We have lived out here since 2006, and we have school-aged children. I’ve personally been involved with (and children enrolled in) several schools around the area (private, charter, and public) so I do feel like I can speak from experience.
Our public schools are all under one district: Washington County School District. We have Elementary, which is K-5th grade. Intermediate, which is 6th & 7th grades. Middle School, which is 8th and 9th grades (however the 9th grade counts as “high school” academics, but the student remains at the middle school building). And High School, which is home to the 10th, 11th, and 12th grades. These are all separate facilities but are in somewhat close proximity to each other. Each school will have a principal and individual faculty for that school. Because they fall under the same district, the rules, calendars, and overall “master plan” for education is the same. Some schools offer classes and sports that other schools may not, such as a Chinese immersion program, which is offered at a few elementary schools and High School offers Concurrent Enrollment—but each High School will have their specific classes based on the adjunct professor they have employed. There are different programs that the school principal may initiate, where other schools may differ slightly.
I do appreciate the separate building which houses the different levels. It’s common for people new to the area to wonder why we have an Intermediate AND a Middle School, but I love it. I appreciate having students in similar age ranges grouped together. We do have a lot of students, so the schools are large. St George is continuing to build new schools to the districts to accommodate the growing population to achieve smaller sized classes.
We have a decent amount of Charter Schools in the area. Each Charter tends to have some sort of core curriculum or specialty they offer. For instance, Vista School in Ivins was modeled after Tuachan High School (also a charter, down the street) which is a performing arts school. They still offer traditional education (math, sciences etc….) but they also have a more enhanced art program. Keep in mind, however, they are only as good as their instructors and instructors change over the years. My kids attended Vista at its inception—Vista was going very strong towards a music and fine arts program, yet the irony was that most kids were not able to get into piano class or ballet simply due to the need for more instructors to accommodate the numbers (at that time). Over the years, both schools have shifted and adjusted as the faculty positions have been filled. Other Charter schools are George Washington and St George Academy. Typically, charters in the area try to focus on the student, higher level of education, and smaller class sizes. This is not to imply that they are all of these things, or actually achieve each of these things (or that it's altogether different). Some families are devoted entirely to these school and their vision, but like anything, it wont work for everyone. We attended George Washington for a year and it didn’t work for us. My opinion is that it’s an excellent school for a student who is more of self starter and motivated. It’s also better to start from the beginning. They like to run “ahead” of the academics in the area—a full year. Which is great for those who started from the beginning, or who are naturally ahead and/or gifted, but for my student, we essentially “skipped” a whole grade of education and began teaching a year ahead of where we were. There wasn’t any class to get us caught up, so it became an unfair struggle. Their solution was to hold my student back a year, which wasn’t acceptable to me, so we went into the public system. I have friends and neighbors who attend this school and they would not dream of going anyplace else. I love the fact that these school are here, while it may not have worked for us, they do work for many and the fact that we have options is genuinely amazing.
There are a few private schools in the area. We attended one Private school, for a little over a year, however, it has since closed. Private schools are wonderful simply due to the smaller class sizes. We enjoyed our time at our Private school, and we had opportunities that other schools didn’t, simply due to the smaller size. Again, they are not for everyone, but they are options if a traditional school is not working for your student.
Public school are boundary guided. It’s difficult to purchase a home specifically because you want to live in the boundary of your school of choice. This is because the boundary can change over time, and you may have to switch schools. Many schools in the district will allow you to choose which school you want to go to, so even if you’re not within the boundary you may still be able to attend. However, you’ll be on your own for transportation. I like our public school system. While it’s not perfect (what is?), they do have a lot to offer. Sports are popular, wood shop, ceramics, and a variety of other career-related classes (such as sports medicine). Concurrent Enrollment allows your student to take courses in high school, while simultaneously earning college credits. Graduating high school with a college degree is possible.
Here is a link for test scores within our Washington County Utah School district test scores.
With all of the opportunities in St George, it’s no wonder we’ve become such a destination for so many to want to call "home". Aside from our beautiful area, filled with amazing people, we have some fantastic education options too. If you’re ready to make a move….I’m prepared to make it happen. Contact Paula Smith today.
I am Paula Smith, Associate Broker with RealtyPath of St George. I have been a licensed, full time, real estate agent in Southern Utah since 2006. I have been selling residential real estate during all of the changes in the market as well as witnessing our St George area grow to become one of the fastest growing cities in America. I keep my finger on the pulse and not only pay attention to what is going on, but I've also been able to predict what's to come accurately.
Allow me to be of assistance and earn your business. If you’ve got a home in Southern Utah that you’re thinking of selling and you’d like a property market report, I can send that to you. If you're ready to buy or sell, I'm prepared to make it happen.