For the most part the teachers are WONDERFUL. I am speaking on a purely academic point and how these teachers are able to teach and not on personality. They work to inspire and encourage students in all aspects of school and life. There are some bad apples and unfortunately these bad apples are usually some of the worst teachers I have had. They have had to go through the same regime changes and corruption as the students and for those who stuck through it all I am very grateful and that was a reason I stayed despite many problems, is knowing and having hope in good teachers that might not be found elsewhere.
You may find that many complain about this school giving too much or not enough. In my experience, it was a fair amount of homework given the context. This is a college preparatory school so homework is a given and most of the time on a daily basis. The majority of the teachers really believe in the kids and are amazing: they will work with the student as much as they, and the student, can and if that doesn't work student tutors are commonly provided by NHS students (if you opt for a free/ low-fee option; many parents, due to the upper-socioeconomic nature of the school, will find an outside source for professional tutoring). The homework is proportional to the level of work; AP has the most HW whereas college-prep (normal classes) have the least. In my opinion, AP has less paper work and more thinking work and college-prep has more paper/practice work; Honors is a mix which means it can either be harder or easier depending on the subject.
Spirituality: Like some others have said, Providence aims is to establish a modest non-denominal christian atmosphere. Like many other schools they have daily bible classes which are usually hit or miss. I personally found my whole high school career of bible curriculum sub-par; my dad has a masters in theology (christian doctrine), my brother is a pastor, and my other siblings are heavily involved in global evangelism (missions work) so many times I would find the curriculum, combined with poor teachers and their less-than-adequate training and experience in teaching and the biblical field, astounding as the curriculum, set by the board, is heavily influenced by the affiliated church. Many times has the school disconnected then reconnected with the affiliated charismatic church and that can be reflected by the teachings.
Chapel, which is serviced on a weekly basis is rather bland and I personally do not believe it is professionally planned to be appropriate (such as topics discussed, and the nature of how chapel is executed) in a manner for students. For a long time high schoolers were grouped with middle schoolers making topics inappropriate, and rightly so, as certain topics might be too mature for middle schoolers or irrelevant for high schoolers.
Environment: Overall this is a textbook private school with a small community and many middle school cliques. Usually for the most part students will grow out of it by upper high school but of course there are a few exceptions. Bullying is an issue at this school. I was bullied for well over 3 years and administration did little, other than a simple slap-on-the-back-of-the-hand response to my bully. Those years were easily the worst in my life. The teachers are pretty much either really great or really terrible, teaching wise; so be warned about that. Also, you will find it common that many wealthy families as well as friends of the board members (many of the administration is 'in-league' with the board as 'yes' people should they risk being fired) rule the school so unless you have friends with the board you will have little voice other than the power to withdraw your student, obviously, so take that as you will. Nepotism was a common issue which still happened in my high school experience.
Character development overall I would give a 6/10, and that's being generous in most cases.
I was a student at Providence for 9 years beginning my 4th year. Over the pst 5 years there have been 4-5 administrative changes which has really undone much of the work Providence has succeeded at.
Academics: I'll be brief, the academics are above-average compared to Duval county in general. After attending for a few years, academics were about the only main reason I remained at the school; compared to other private schools in the area, however, it is only average so certainly consider that if you want to attend for academics of a private education.
Arts: The arts department has certainly risen from the dead in the past few years, but it still has a way to go. The school plays are pretty good (8/10) and the choral and band has improved greatly with wonderful teachers. Dance and art are relatively good given the funds and context of being a small private school.
Sports: This is what the school is primarily known for. For a while, and even questionably to this day, recruitment was an issue at the school. You will find it common that athletes get away with lower standards, academically speaking, but overall the athletics have some very capable coaches and teams. Most of the popular and common sports are provided at Providence through athletics department or clubs.
Our child came from a local Charter School to Providence. NIGHT AND DAY difference. We brought our child to Providence with our eyes wide open knowing there is no Panacea or Camelot. One thing is for sure, there are no smoke and mirrors! They do what they promise and suffice it to say, they under promise and over deliver. Our child feels at home at Providence. Bottom line, you get what you pay for. Only at Providence, you get more! Make the investment. It's worth the sacrifice.
We tried it for two years. My child had only gone to public school for the previous 7 years before moving to this area of the country. I was initially thrilled with the idea of her being in a Christ centered environment. That all fizzled about three weeks into her time at the school. Imagine seeing your baby running to the car with tears streaming down her face, and she's jus asking the same question over and over again...."Mom, why are the kids so mean? This is a Christian school!" My heart broke right then and there. The rest of that year didn't get much better, but I registered her for a second year with lots of prayer and hope that it would just get better. Well, it didn't. I've seen more hateful behavior and cliques at Providence than I ever saw at public school in our previous states. I talked to staff several times, I questioned other parents, and boy did I pray! Needless to say, she will not be returning for a third year.
Prior to enrolling our child in school we had an opportunity to view a book which contained the avg. SAT scores for schools within Florida. Providence students had the 4th highest SAT scores in Duval County. Providence students' SAT scores ranked in the top 10 in the entire State. The publication included all schools both public and private. The top 5 schools in Duval County were: 1. Stanton, 2. Episcopal, 3. Bolles, 4. Providence, 5. Paxon. The differential in the score among the top 4 schools was small enough to be statistically insignificant. There was more of a drop down to Paxon but still all these schools produced excellent SAT scores among their students.
First let me say that my children attended this school for 9 years, but when one of my children begged me not to put them back in that's when a change had to come about. This school has been having some issues and the change in staff/management continues to go on. Though this school is termed a "Christian" school it is not without it's own issues. The time that my children left last school year, there was bullying going on and lots of cliques. Since leaving this school both my children have excelled. Going from C's and D's to all A's in their new school. It had nothing to do with the teachers, but it did have everything to do with how the school was being run. No Christian principles here :(
My daughter LOVES this school! Since she started attending Providence she was SO impressed at how nice and kind the teachers and the students are compared to her previous school. She looks forward to going to school every single day! Happy parent over here!
Love this school. This is my son's second year at Providence and we couldn't be happier. And for the individual who wrote (Read the REAL reviews), well this IS a real review. My son is student at Providence - A COLLEGE PREP school and is thriving. I have two nephews, and three other family members that have gone to this school -- have absolutely excelled. My nephew is a senior in college, and the other three girls have Masters Degree. Please don't follow the negative reviews. This is an amazing school and we are blessed!!