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Classical High School

Public | 9-12


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42 reviews of this school

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Posted April 3, 2014

We went to the Classical open house and orientation. We were very disappointed in what was presented by the Principal and Guidance Counselors. It came across as all about them. The worst presenter was the guidance counselor who made it sound like the students received $10 million dollars in scholarships when in reality a few students received numerous scholarships to various schools. If this is the best public school in Rhode Island, the people of Providence and Rhode Island have a very low regard for their kids education. The only department that impressed me was the science department, yet the students at Classical do very poorly in science. It appears more emphasis is placed on the humanities than on subjects such as math and science.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted April 1, 2014

Excellent academic program with amazingly caring teachers foe an urban high school. A real tradition of excellence.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted September 1, 2013

It's a great school, the best public school in the state. But all of students wish that it were renovated. We don't even have air conditioners in many of the classrooms and the lockers are getting old. If we are the best, don't we deserve the best? If Central, that does poorer than us, have a beautiful school, can't we have one in return for our hard work?

Posted July 13, 2013

This school is great. It offers many APs, as well as honor courses. Most teachers are pretty understanding, and look for different ways to make sure each student understands what he/she is doing. This school also has nothing against gay people. It has a Gay Straight Alliance. It's a great example for all of the other public schools in Rhode Island. During the school year,(2012-2013), our sports teams got many recognition. This just shows that we, as students from CHS, aren't only smart but are also very athletic.
—Submitted by a student

Posted August 20, 2012

Great all around school. Teachers and faculty challenge students both academically and also in the community. Great extracurricular activities. The most diverse school that I have attended.
—Submitted by a student

Posted May 2, 2012

My son loves Classical. It has been a wondeful place for him. The students, staff, and teachers are great. Everyone seems happy to be there.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted November 9, 2010

This is the best school ever. The person behind me has to let their child expand and grow themselves; they cannot always be under someone's guidance. I love the freedom. Great academics too, they let me take AP calculus BC in freshman :)
—Submitted by a student

Posted October 31, 2010

I regret ever listening to the middle school Principal and teachers that said Classical is the only place my child would continue to excel. My child was a wonderful student until setting foot in there. I went to orientations, asked about parent involvement, left my name number and email and never a single call or communication. I was told " we have too many students and can't keep up with all their issues". I do agree there are many students but when you have a parent in your face expressing concern and frustration it's a sign that there is a problem. I believe parents and teachers should have the same goal in mind. That goal should be to provide the best education to prepare them to be successful. Academics have gone out the door it seems and the teachers do not seem to be truly invested in our children.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted October 12, 2010

excellent learning environment, diverse and culturally rich!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted September 17, 2009

This public school stands for academic integrity and excellence. It prepares students for a venture to enter the realms of aspiring Universities. It is the best public high-school in Rhode Island, bar none.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted August 6, 2009

I graduated Classical in 1971. Our older son in 2006. My father and uncle back in the 1940's. I support the belief that Classical remains the best college preparatory public high school in Providence, perharps, Rhode Island. However, when our older son attended, I was unimpressed with the lack of academic excellence, basic skills in writing, and critical thinking. This could be attributed to his need for resource intervention. However, our younger son will be a senior this year. I like the research and portfolio concept and the re-inclusion of Latin. He doesn't take this language. However, I am still a believer that it ought to be a 2 year requirement for every student!!!! I wasn't a great student in Latin, but it continued to serve me well in English. Lastly, the cut back of funds makes me very unhappy. The inclusion of sports and more arts limits the foundation of all students.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted August 5, 2009

Classical is what it is, a college prep school. I do agreed with many of the comments regarding teaching quality. My biggest concern is Classical needs to re-establish itself a tradition of excellence whether in academic or sports. As a LaSalle alum and I know how proud I am being associated with that great institution everytime a student/team does well in an academis setting or on the fields. I can't say that about Classical. Winning breeds winners. God knows Providence does not have a lot to be proud of these days.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted May 22, 2009

Yes, this school is a great college prep school and the counselors are amazing. The faculty is great but I have to agree with the whole seniority thing. I had a chance to go to LaSalle Academy, almost my whole family went there, but I thought Classical would be more challenging, and I was right. I stand by my decision in going to this school and in doing that, I met great people and I am doing much better in my studies. I have bad subjects and good subjects, but getting a B- in this school is like getting an A+ in some other school. Thank you Classical.
—Submitted by a student

Posted August 25, 2008

Those 10-20% make the biggest difference in getting more hardworking kids to come to classical, but the other 80% is less motivated than would seem normal in a 'college prep' school. In addition, the 80% of teachers that are operating 'on cruise control' do little for the school and often print out test from online, forcing many students to teach the material to themselves. However, if your child is sufficiently hard working and a little bit brilliant, classical may in fact be the right place for them, because although the teachers may not be the best, when an Ivy League school sees amazing SAT and AP scores, they will know the student from classical did it without as much help as students from many other private schools. In addition, students will excel, utilizing their independence gotten from going to classical high school.(Go Classical 2010!)
—Submitted by a student

Posted May 28, 2008

There are far too many teachers at Classical who are only there because of their seniority. When there are issues or concerns, administration does not address them. Union rules for the teachers are by far the ruling factor. Administration needs to step up and to have the integrity to do the right thing as far as teachers are concerned. However, all too often the student is left in classes where the teachers deliberately 'lose' assignments, ridicule and make fun of students and do not perform up to the same standards that the students themselves are held to. Taking my child out of a private school and going to Classical was the biggest mistake I ever made.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted May 9, 2008

I'm a recent Classical graduate attending an Ivy League university. While Classicalites tend to think that they're getting an intense academic college preparation, I can tell you that Classical could have done a lot more to prepare me for college. There are certain teachers that work hard to earn the school's reputation but they're limited. Although Classical boasts of its AP Program, its strengths truly lie in the liberal arts and humanities. However, if you plan on pursuing engineering or a science intensive major in college, look elsewhere. The counselors are pretty great though and work hard to secure the best college seats for students. During my four years, I felt that the students aren't motivated enough and the poor funding from the school department really doesn't help improve things. In my opinion, what the school needs is a new system of review to assess the quality and effectiveness of teachers.
—Submitted by a student

Posted February 16, 2008

the school is not as great as i thought it would be, the teachers dont care for there students.
—Submitted by a student

Posted July 19, 2007

I went to Classical. I learned so much from the diverse community. I actually learned life lesssons and how to survive when the chips are down. Gotta love Mr. K. I just want everyone to know that the High School you send your child to is secondary to the School they come home to after the bell. Expose your kids to outside experiences early and provide them with REAL facts of life. Teach them to be leaders where the can make change within there communities.
—Submitted by a student

Posted July 27, 2006

I graduated from Classical in June 2006 and I am genuinely grateful for the time I spent there. There is plenty of room for improvement, however. I had a handful of wonderful, engaging and intelligent teachers there, but I also had many teachers who were only at Classical because they had enough seniority to get out of the rougher public high schools in Providence. What I most enjoyed about Classical was the diversity. There were so many different kids in my classes and I feel that this experience was more important than having a beautiful building. Classical's greatest asset is its students because they are open to all kinds of new things and they are driven towards success. They can't maintain Classical's high standard of education by themselves, though. Much improvement is needed from the administration and superintendent if Classical is going to keep attracting these great kids.
—Submitted by a former student

Posted April 7, 2006

I am the parent of a freshman at Classical and I can honestly say that I expected a more challenging curriculum for my child and more support on behalf of the guidance dept. As far as family friendliness is concerned all I can say is that I tried calling one of my child's teachers a few weeks ago(via the couselor no one on one)-and I was told that the teacher, as a response to my petition that he call me, said that he does not call parents....I think that says it all....
—Submitted by a parent

Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

The test results by subgroup show how the designated group of students is performing in comparison to the general population.

Grade level


The state average for Math was 34% in 2014.

306 students were tested at this school in 2014.









The state average for Reading was 79% in 2014.

299 students were tested at this school in 2014.









The state average for Science was 30% in 2013.

294 students were tested at this school in 2013.





The state average for Writing was 50% in 2014.

298 students were tested at this school in 2014.








Scale: % at or above proficient

About the tests

In 2013-2014 Rhode Island used the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) to test students in grades 3 through 8 and 11 in reading and math, in grades 5, 8 and 11 in writing, and in grades 4, 8 and 11 in science. GreatSchools ratings currently reflect 2013 test data; the ratings will be updated when the latest NECAP science data is made public and available in the summer of 2014. The NECAP is a standards-based test, which means it measures specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Rhode Island. The goal is for all students to score at or above the proficient level.

Source: Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education


All Students62%
Black or African American43%
Hispanic or Latino54%
Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islandern/a
White (not Hispanic)78%
Economically disadvantaged students57%
Not economically disadvantaged students67%
Title I62%
Students with disabilitiesn/a
Students without disabilities62%
Limited English proficiency (LEP)n/a
Proficient in English62%
Not migrant62%


All Students98%
Black or African American100%
Hispanic or Latino99%
Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islandern/a
White (not Hispanic)98%
Economically disadvantaged students99%
Not economically disadvantaged students98%
Title I98%
Students with disabilitiesn/a
Students without disabilities99%
Limited English proficiency (LEP)n/a
Proficient in English98%
Not migrant98%


All Students77%
Black or African American71%
Hispanic or Latino78%
Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islandern/a
White (not Hispanic)80%
Economically disadvantaged students78%
Not economically disadvantaged students75%
Title I77%
Students with disabilitiesn/a
Students without disabilities77%
Limited English proficiency (LEP)n/a
Proficient in English77%
Not migrant77%
Scale: % at or above proficient

About the tests

In 2013-2014 Rhode Island used the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) to test students in grades 3 through 8 and 11 in reading and math, in grades 5, 8 and 11 in writing, and in grades 4, 8 and 11 in science. GreatSchools ratings currently reflect 2013 test data; the ratings will be updated when the latest NECAP science data is made public and available in the summer of 2014. The NECAP is a standards-based test, which means it measures specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Rhode Island. The goal is for all students to score at or above the proficient level.

The different student groups are identified by the Rhode Island Department of Education. If there are fewer than 10 students in a particular group, the state doesn't report data for that group.

Source: Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Breaking down the GreatSchools Rating

GreatSchools Ratings for this school are based on 2012-2013 test results. Use the breakdown ratings below to compare types of students at this school. Learn more »

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
Hispanic 44% 22%
White 25% 64%
Black 18% 8%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 9% 3%
Two or more races 2% 3%
American Indian/Alaska Native 1% 1%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 0%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Student subgroups

  This school District averageState average
Students participating in free or reduced-price lunch program 60%N/A43%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Oops! We currently do not have any teacher information for this school. We rely on the state Department of Education, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), and in some cases school administrators such as registrars and principals for this data.

What makes a great teacher? Study after study shows the single most important factor determining the quality of the education a child receives is the quality of his teacher. Here are some characteristics to look for »


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770 Westminster St
Providence, RI 02903
Phone: (401) 456-9145


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