ST. GEORGE – The Utah Office of Education adopted Common Core curriculum in 2010, called the core curriculum standards in the state’s code, with effective implementation beginning this past school year. For parents who do not embrace Common Core, alternatives to public education are largely limited to home-schooling or private school, which can sometimes prove costly. But there are options for parents in choosing their children’s education, as well as ways to manage and meet tuition obligations.
One of those options in Washington County is Valor Hall Academy, a private nonprofit nondenominational Christian elementary school – pre-K through eighth grade, and extended-day pre-K and Kindergarden options. The school offers scholarship opportunities, discounts and installment payment programs, and options for parents to invest time into the school process to satisfy part of the tuition.
The thing parents need to know, Valor Hall Director Tena Raleigh said, is they have choices in their children’s education.
“We want to empower parents,” she said.
Although there is much debate over Common Core, there remain only seven states in the Union that have not adopted the curriculum. Utah not being among the holdouts, having adopted it in 2010, controversy over it is growing and, at least for some, resistance comes because they feel it is being forced upon them.
Further, there are parents and teachers who feel that the responsibility of teaching has been removed from the local classroom and replaced by a national system far removed from understanding the needs of individual students.
Then again the curriculum has its advocates. They say Common Core was designed to prepare students to compete for entry-level careers, freshman-level college courses and workforce training programs.
Whatever the case may be, Valor Hall provides an alternative to the mandated curriculum. As an independent private school, it is not limited to one curriculum over another, and is not beholden to any one organization, Raleigh said. She is always looking at curriculum options.
About Vaor Hall
Valor Hall was founded in 1996 by a group who believed in the need for a nondenominational Christian elementary school in the St. George area. The school is operated by a nonprofit corporation, Valor Hall, Inc., and answers to a board of directors.
It has received the Best of St. George Award in 2013 from the St. George Award Program, in which it was ranked No. 1 in Washington County. It has also ranked in the state’s top five schools for the past 10 years according to Iowa Test Scores results. The Iowa Testing included public, charter and private schools across the nation, Raleigh said, demonstrating that Valor Hall holds its own against any of the school options. Whereas the average school raking nationwide was 50 percent, Valor Hall ranked at 70 percent to 80 percent – 30 percent higher than the national average.
There are three things that make Valor Hall successful, Raleigh said: a positive, loving environment; a strong curriculum; and class size is limited to 16 students.
“We have a leveled approach to learning,” Raleigh said.
English, reading and math classes are all taught at the same time in the morning, allowing students to progress through levels at their own pace as they individually excel.
Valor Hall is a nondenominational Christian school in that they teach the positive attributes of assertiveness, caring, commitment, compassion, courtesy and loyalty, among many other positive attributes. Most of the curriculum they use comes from Bob Jones University.
There are no religious classes taught at the school, but each class is taught with those positive attributes as the backdrop. During daily devotions in the morning, one of the attributes is introduced as the attribute of the day. There are 50 positive attributes listed on the back of Raleigh’s business card.
Along with the required math, reading, science and English, Valor Hall offers Spanish, computers, music, art and physical education.
Options to manage tuition
Valor Hall offers a variety of scholarships including a scholarship for military families.
“We want a diverse student body,” Raleigh said. They also offer a trade-for-services option for parents to reduce their tuition costs.
Valor Hall also offers multiple child discounts. Tuition fees can be divided into 10 monthly payments, and there is a discount offered for tuition fees paid in full at the beginning of the school year.
For information on tuition fees click here.
“Parents have the option to give of their time and talents to decrease their student tuition,” Raleigh said. “We can use time and talents of parents.” There is always a need for help around the school.
Anyone interested in Valor Hall should contact Tena Raleigh to set up a meeting. She encourages anyone who would like to learn more about the school to call her and see what kind of scholarships or trade-for-fee agreements can be offered.
“We can’t offer a free education,” she said. “But we are willing to work with parents who are interested in choices for their children’s education.”
A D V E R T O R I A L
Valor Hall Academy
- Address: 631 S. 1100 E., St. George | Telephone 435-688-9311
- Webpage | Facebook
- Utah Code Section 53A-1-402.6 – core curriculum standards
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Email: [email protected]
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