My child is entering the 7th grade this year. We have been parents in this school for 8 years overall. An outstanding environment that still manages to provide a catholic platform with an academy feel for academics. 15:1 student teacher ratios, differentiation for math and reading, consistently strong terra nova scores, and successful integration of technology into the environment. All students, pre-K through 8th attend specials classes and science is handled as an individual subject from the very beginning. A pool for swim class, a private chapel for weekly mass, 2 robotics rooms, a computer room, a music program, a regulation sized gym, and this year they launch an accelerated reader program with a designated teacher. This school is value for money every time. My son is the very best version of himself in this environment. I don't have to check his planner, prompt or push him to get work done, or set expectations. He is already preparing for PJAS and school hasn't even started yet! His Terra Nova scores and independent assessments place him ahead in all areas. I encourage you to weigh the adult posts on this site against the student posts on this site and check the school out.
To be completely honest, this school is a major misconception. All of the parents love it because of the class size and religious approach, but as a former student, this school nearly ruined my life. For one, the social environment is second to none awful. The small class size may be nice, but it really does not make that much of a difference. Instead, this size forces a student to have all of his/her classes with the same group of students. There is also an attitude that goes along with the students there. I noticed in school that about 95% of the students in my grade had an arrogance and annoyance that by 7th grade year, I couldn't stand anymore. Now that I attend a public school, I love it. There are so many more options. Now to the academics. The math program is a year behind. All of the children take pre-algebra in 7th grade and algebra 1 in 8th. Some may say this is a good thing, but I am one of the few students in my grade who could not take algebra 2 freshman year, because geometry comes first. The English program is strong, however. The middle school teachers are Mr. Tambellini and Mr. Beacham. Both are excellent. Mrs. Cessar is an amazing science teacher. I am very well prepared for my Honors Biology course. Now this is where it gets bad. The Spanish program is declining rapidly, the technology is sub-par, social studies is notoriously bad, and the gym teacher is not liked by most students and parents. The religion program is a mess. The classes are absolutely pointless and the religious approach on behavior has really become a point to laugh at. The Principal and administration are extremely weak and trigger happy. As soon as one minor issue occurs, major changes are made in discipline and procedures. If ten parents or more complain about a certain thing, it is certain to change. That's just how Alpha does it. The Principal is embarrassing also. She put the "5 P Words" in place to help with behavior issues in the school when there were none, she treats the upperclassmen like they are toddlers, and she has no respect for anyone's time or beliefs. Nobody likes her either. Here's a statistic: one summer, 9 teachers left the school and 2 resigned midway through the next school year. For a school with about 180 total students and 25 total teachers, that is almost 2/5 of the staff. This school has issues.
There are obvious faults in the system, but also some positives. The "5 P Words" are simply hilarious to look at. They teach nothing. I still can't remember them and I went to school there for 8 years.
Alpha is truly a gem. We have been thrilled with the education and love of learning our daughter has received from the dedicated faculty and staff, and the friendships that she has developed. It is a small school with a warm, caring, friendly atmosphere. Our daughter tells us that her school is like a family.
The small class size enables personalized attention. However, it has all the benefits of a big school - and more. Spanish, Robotics and Swimming begin in kindergarten. Beginning in first grade, students are put in flexible ability groupings for language arts and math, and go to a special Science class with a dedicated Science teacher. The science and technology curriculum is top notch - as is the art and music.
The after school program is incredibly convenient. We don't need it for regular childcare, but have taken advantage of some of the programs, such as golf, piano, tae kwon do and book club, and have used it for child care on an as needed basis.
Finally, the Catholic character of the school environment emphasizes development of young women and men who are positive, helpful and purposeful. It is a wonderfully diverse school that can be a happy place for children of any faith to grow and develop.
The importance of being a provident person - a polite, purposeful and prayerful - is strongly emphasized and openly discussed. There is a good anti-bullying program that is also actively discussed and a strong emphasis on helping others, the community and world.
Prepares children to excel. I am a 17-year-old alumni of this school, and my friends who also graduated from Alpha and I have some of the top 10 GPAs of my grade at my current high school. The Spanish and science programs were especially excellent
We have been delighted with our experience at Providence Heights Alpha School over the past 7 years. The school offers a rigorous and innovative curriculum. Small class sizes (12-15) mean that all students are active participants in their learning environment. The faculty truly care for each child. Spanish, Chinese, robotics, swimming, dedicated science teachers (even in Kindergarten!), an incredible arts program, musicals, athletics for all abilities. Mass celebreated every Friday in the beautiful chapel, children of all faiths are welcomed. Current leadership is strong and respected.
The decision to send our daughter to Alpha was one of the best decisions we have ever made. She loves the school and so do we. Not only is the education excellent but the care our children receive as a result of the small class sizes and the dedicated teachers and staff is more than one could ask for. I see my daughter growing not only academically but also as a caring and responsible individual. The teachings do not stop in the classroom as they offer a variety of after school and extra curricular activities that complete the learning experience for the children. Soon our second daughter will be attending and we can't wait to see her become part of the wonderful Alpha family.
I can honestly say that Providence Heights Alpha School was the best investment we made in our daughter's education. The excellent academic environment, along with the safe and beautiful campus, began a foundation for academic success. She went on to graduate with highest honors from Oakland Catholic High School and received a full academic scholarship in chemistry from Duquesne University. She credits Alpha School with instilling in her that love of science. You cannot go wrong with an Alpha Education!