Frequently Asked Questions

What is a charter school?

A charter school is an independent public school authorized by a school district or the state charter school board.   Charter schools are tuition-free, are open to all students, and are operated using state and federal funds.  The purpose of charter schools is to give parents and students an alternative to their local, district-operated school.Utah International is chartered by Granite School District, but run by a volunteer board of trustees.

Who can attend Utah International?

There are no entrance requirements and no school boundaries for Utah International.  Any Utah student in grades 7 to 10 is eligible to attend in 2013-14, and any student in grades 7 to 12 is eligible to attend beginning in 2014-15.

For our opening year (2013-14) we have about 110 students from all over the world.  Languages spoken by our students include Arabic, Burmese, Dinka, Farsi, French, Karen, Karenni,  Kinyarwandi, Massalet, Nepali, Russian, Swahili, Somali, Spanish, and of course, English!

How do students get to school?

We provide UTA bus and TRAX pass to students who live more than a mile from school.    The school is a short walk from bus lines on State Street, 5th East, 33rd South, and 39th South, and a reasonable walk from the TRAX stations at 33rd South and 39th South.  Students should be able to get to the school from every direction on public transportation.  Click here for directions and bus information.

 What about school lunch?

We serve breakfast, lunch, and even dinner. Breakfast and lunch are provided through Granite District’s Food Services.  We will help your family apply for free or reduced-price meals.  Students not eligible for free meals can bring food from home  or pay for cafeteria meals.  Dinner is served during the after school program and is free to all students.  Click here for information about school meals.

How much does it cost?

As a public charter school, Utah International provides a FREE education.  Unlike most secondary public and charter schools, we do not charge any fees.  We gratefully accept donations from families who can afford to pay for their student’s bus pass or other items.

Is Utah International only for refugee, immigrant, and other English-learning students?

No.   Our student-centered, project-based curriculum will engage and challenge all students, and the multicultural environment will prepare every student to succeed in college and a global economy.

Does Utah International have sports and activities?

Yes.  Right now we offer soccer, Spanish, yoga, guitar, piano, yearbook, peer leadership, recreational basketball, volleyball, and soccer, homework support, and open computer time after school.  We will expand our offerings as we grow.  We hope that every student will participate in at least one after-school activity.  As a small school we will probably not compete with other schools in sports, at least for our first few years.

How do you teach students with such a wide range of first languages and English ability?

Our approach is to provide students with academic support and scaffolding to engage with challenging ideas.  English learners will need extra support, but their cognitive and academic goals will be the same.  All students will have the opportunity to develop high level critical thinking and problem solving skills through group projects and other student-centered methods.

How will Utah International help my child learn English?

Every math, science, language arts, and social studies teacher at Utah International will understand the process of language development and be trained in the instructional practices of the Internationals Network for Public Schools.  Teachers will use a variety of strategies to teach reading, writing, listening and speaking associated with their content area.  Small classes and sheltered English instructional strategies will ensure that every student participates and practices English speaking and writing every day.

What if my child already knows English?

All students will benefit from the interdisciplinary, group projects that will more closely mimic real world problems and 21st century work.  As students work collaboratively with young people from all over the world, they’ll gain an international perspective and understand how to apply solutions globally.

What is a project-based, interdisciplinary curriculum?

An interdisciplinary curriculum allows students to look at an essential question or problem through mathematical, scientific, linguistic, and historical lenses.   Students address multiple aspects of the same question in several disciplines  at the same time.

How will this prepare my student for college?

Students will learn analytical reading skills to study and research complex issues. They’ll learn the writing skills to describe, explain, compare, and synthesize the issues they research. This rigorous curriculum will challenge students to develop the necessary critical thinking, problem solving, and study skills to succeed in college and a 21st century workforce.

Is Utah International accountable for student achievement?

Yes.  Utah International will be held to the same federal and state standards  and administer the same statewide tests as district public schools.

How is Utah International funded?

Utah International receives state and federal funds available to all public schools. While we always accept private donations, there are no tuition costs associated with enrollment.

How can I enroll my child?

Enrollment for the 2013-14 school year is open now and will remain open until all classes are filled.  Call us at 385 290-1306 or visit the school at 350 East Baird Circle (3605 South) to complete registration paperwork or arrange for your student to visit classes.  We are accepting applications for the 2014-15 school year for grades 7 to 12.  Click here for enrollment information.



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