By Greg Smith
Providence High School recently held a Back to School Night for students’ parents to walk through their daily schedule. “Nearly every parent I spoke with said the same thing afterward,” says Head of School Joe Sciuto. “They wished their own high school experience was like this.”
That’s not surprising. Founded in 1955 by the Sisters of Providence, Providence High School is a private, co-educational, independent, college preparatory Catholic high school. Students enjoy a full college prep curriculum as well as three Focus Programs: Media, Medical, and Technology.
As part of the Media Program, two films were recently screened at the Burbank International Film Festival. Also, Providence held a Media Showcase at Disney Studios’ Main Theatre, located right across the street from the school.
With Providence St. Joseph Medical Center adjacent to the school as well, their motto of “All Roads Lead to Providence” is true in both the literal and figurative sense. Medical Program courses feature on-site lectures from the staff at PSJMC and access to the hospital. This hands-on approach is rare, and an excellent introduction for students interested in a medical career.
Unsurprisingly, their Technology Program is top-notch too. Popular courses have students developing mobile apps for handheld devices, working with 3D technology and robotics, and a solar boat project that’ll set students sailing.
Performing Arts has reached new heights at Providence. The Theater Department is gearing up for the fall production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Then, in the spring, the Choir will travel to New York to perform at Carnegie Hall.
Over in the Athletics department, Boys’ Volleyball, Girls’ Basketball, Golf, and Boys’ Soccer were all League Champions last season. The Girls’ Basketball team, in particular, has been a League Champion five years in a row. Providence also offers Cross Country, Baseball, Softball, and Track.
Faith is a vital component of the curriculum. With a focus on Catholicism, students from all religious backgrounds are welcome. Religion classes are mandatory, and students perform community service as part of a campus ministry program.
A new development this year is Providence’s block scheduling. Instead of eight periods a day, there are now four with alternate “A” and “B” days. This better prepares students for college, with teachers able to delve deeper into subject matter and students able to concentrate on doing quality work.
Academics come first at Providence. Sixteen AP classes are offered, and the average class size is around 15 students. Ninety-eight percent of the graduating seniors pursue a college education. The Class of 2013 went on to prestigious universities across the country and abroad.
“There doesn’t seem to be cliques here,” Sciuto says. “It’s not unusual for someone to have a well-rounded schedule including Arts, Athletics, and AP Classes. In fact, there’s almost a redefinition of ‘cool’ going on. And we like that.”
Upcoming Admissions Events include: “Providence in Focus” on Thursday, Oct. 3, 5—8:45 p.m., where 6-8th grade students are invited to participate in “hands on” workshops. An Open House will be held on Sunday, Nov. 3, 1—4 p.m. Then throughout the year there’ll be Shadow Days, where Providence students host prospective ones as they experience actual morning classes on campus. Shadow Days will take place on Sept. 26, Dec. 11, and Feb. 11, 8a—12:15p.
“Our students are our best salespeople,” Sciuto says. “I can’t sell Providence to anyone. The talents, the hearts, the minds of our students are incomparable. In my opinion, that’s the best pitch there is.”
Providence High School is located at 511 S. Buena Vista St. in Burbank. For information on upcoming events and more, visit providencehigh.org. If you have any questions contact Judy Umeck at (818) 846-8141 ext. 14501 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.