Why Carden


Our unique phonetically-based reading program, developed by Mae Carden, helps students discover the joy of books early on. By reading aloud daily, children gain fluency and rhythm and become confident, capable readers. By learning from the best in classical literature, they learn important values and life-long lessons.

In addition to our reading program and strong emphasis in math, our curriculum also includes science, history, geography, art, music, computers, PE, and Latin. Carden is a non-denominational Christian school, with small class sizes, and a highly-trained staff.

Our calm classrooms allow the teacher to work in small groups around a teaching table, giving individualized math and language arts lessons based on the needs of the student. This eye-level teaching holds the students’ attention, and allows the teacher to immediately help each student make corrections in his or her work. We believe students learn best when they correct their own errors and work at their own level. We don’t ascribe to the “assign and condemn” method of grading. Instead, our goal is for each child to master every subject and become independent thinkers.

Mae Carden

A Typical Carden Day

On a typical day at Carden, you will find a peaceful, busy atmosphere in the classrooms with each teacher working with a group at the teaching table. Throughout the day you’ll see the groups reading aloud, working with math manipulatives, or working on a science experiment. Later the class will be singing, working on an art project, or reciting poetry. As you walk down the hall, you’ll notice the immense collection of fine art hung on the walls, part of our effort to help students experience the best the world has to offer. On the stage you will discover a grade working on an upcoming play or music concert, and on the playground you’ll see a physical education class playing lacrosse, basketball or soccer. In the upper grades, you’ll find students studying Latin or mastering algebra.

Extra Curricular Activities

Every fall, parents, students, teachers and alumni enjoy socializing at our Fall 5K. After the race, we gather to enjoy a picnic dinner and mingle with each other. It is a great way to kick off the new year and get to know other Carden families. In the spring, we gather together again at Sugarhouse Park to enjoy good music, food and company.

Some of our students’ favorite extra-curricular activities include the skiing and snowboarding programs for our 6th through 8th grades. In the summer, they can also enjoy backpacking through Yellowstone National Park to observe grizzly bears, wolves, and bison or hike throughout Utah’s three major geographical regions, discovering the unique natural history and our state boasts.

One of the most anticipated events at Carden is our American History Tour, which is taken by our eighth-grade students in the spring. This 10-day excursion exposes students to our country’s roots, taking them through Jamestown, Williamsburg, Yorktown, and Washington DC. This is not an ordinary American History tour. Students have the opportunity to see and do things, rarely afforded most people. They recite the Gettysburg Address near the very spot Abraham Lincoln delivered it. They look over Surrender Field, where the Revolutionary war finally came to a poignant end, and they visit Berkley Plantation where the first Thanksgiving took place. One of the highlights of the trip takes place in Philadelphia where the students perform the Preamble to the Constitution in Independence Hall where our Founding Fathers authored it.

Most importantly, they gain a deep love and appreciation for their country, its heritage and its founders.