Several of the valley’s top performing and nationally ranked private schools are in Summerlin, a 22,500-acre master-planned community along with western rim of the Las Vegas Valley.
According to Kevin Orrock, president of Summerlin and executive vice president of master-planned communities for The Howard Hughes Corp., developer of Summerlin, this isn’t surprising given the community’s focus on schools as the heart of community.
“During the community’s initial planning stages in the late 1980s, having abundant and high-caliber educational offerings was a top priority – so much so that The Howard Hughes Corp. donated 40 acres of land to Summerlin’s first school, The Meadows School, in 1986,” he said. “That was three years before the first family moved into the community. But we understood then what we understand now: Great schools attract residents. More than 35,000 students now attend school in Summerlin at our many public and private schools. Our educational vision for Summerlin is now a reality.”
The Meadows School is a college preparatory school with 100 percent four-year college placement. Boasting an 11-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio, Meadows has nearly 1,000 enrolled students who enjoy a wide variety of advanced placement courses, general education courses and a long list of cultural and athletic programs. Meadows has five Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association awards that recognize academics, athletics and citizenship; more than a dozen academic state championships; and more than 45 athletic championships in various sports including basketball, football, golf, cheer, volleyball and track and field.
The Adelson Educational Campus, Nevada’s only Jewish school offering prekindergarten to grade 12, has a consecutive 100 percent college graduation and college placement rate since its first graduating class in 2009. Many students have gained admission to some of the nation’s most prestigious universities, including Harvard, John Hopkins, New York and others. The school, which currently has more than 500 enrolled students, has a 7-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio.
Faith Lutheran Junior/Senior High School is a nonprofit parochial school with an emphasis on Christian education that offers two educational tracks: college preparatory and general education. The school is the largest private school in the state and the largest Lutheran school in the United States. Nearly 1,500 students are currently enrolled at Faith Lutheran. Last year, 97 percent of its graduates enrolled in college, including several at some of the nation’s finest colleges and universities.
The Alexander Dawson School at Rainbow Mountain is a nonsectarian, coeducational school offering a rigorous liberal arts program. It’s the only independent school in Nevada with a Confucius Classroom. Dawson’s national test scores consistently rank in the 90 percentile or higher in all areas and the school frequently coordinates a variety of philanthropic activities for its students. Last year, the school raised more than $150,000 for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, an organization that funds research to cure childhood cancers. This year, the school will be dedicating a wide variety of services and resources to a local Title 1 elementary school.
The Shenker Academy is a private preschool that is nationally accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children – an accolade awarded to only 1 percent of country’s preschools. The school focuses on multiple intelligences to understand and enhance each child’s learning environment.
“From high schools to preschools, Summerlin’s private schools have a long list of accomplishments and legitimate bragging rights,” Orrock said. “We’re grateful for the vibrancy and foundational values they create in our community, and we look forward to another great school year.”
Other private schools in Summerlin include Bishop Gorman High School, a coed Catholic college preparatory school originally founded in 1954; Faith Lutheran Academy; Faith Lutheran Preschool; Lit’l Scholar Academy; The Merryhill School; St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic School; and Sholom Schechter Day School of Las Vegas.