Upper School – Academics

Providence Academy’s Upper School is filled with the energy and enthusiasm of high school students, and we would not want to have it any other way. Highly qualified teachers with years of experience learning their subject matter at an advanced level and years of experience teaching and mentoring high school and college students form the backbone of the Upper School experience.  If the quality of the teachers is the most important factor in a school’s overall quality, we have invested substantially in hiring the best quality faculty members we can find.  Students and parents consistently speak about them as the most important factor in PA students’ success at college and love of learning for its own sake that lasts them the rest of their lives.

College preparation requires a focused commitment to the three essential elements of a college preparatory high school–namely, a demanding and coherent curriculum, sound lesson planning and pedagogy, and development of students’ reading, writing, and speaking skills.  Providence does all three very well.  Students take a substantial number of required core credits that focus on religion, science, history (not social studies), mathematics, world languages, and English.  They also have a substantial number of elective possibilities to explore artistic, health-related, and other academic offerings.  Some students feel so well prepared for college, they report wishing we had a college here, too!

Finally, no high school is complete without a commitment to all aspects of the human person, most importantly student commitments to learning about and fostering a relationship with God and virtuous interaction with one another.  In the arenas of faith and virtue, students need experiences with one another and God that transcend college preparation.  They learn the important leadership, personal, and interpersonal skills most fully through extra-curricular arts, athletics, and faith-related opportunities.  Students at PA have an abiding commitment to living a life committed to morality and the Church.  One alumna reported missing “the fact that the student body has a commitment to a moral life that they are actually trying to live out daily.”

Learn about Quo Vadis – Pathways toward Graduation in the Upper School. By clicking on the link, you can read a summary of what the new regular and honors pathways entail and get FAQs answered.

Quo Vadis – Pathways toward Graduation Summary and FAQ

The Department of English at Providence Academy teaches great works of Western literature to help students pursue truth and thus improve as human beings.  These texts reveal that knowledge of enduring truth is a beneficial thing attainable by human minds and that virtuous actions make greater individuals and build better societies.  We require students to discuss these works, grapple with perennial ideas, and engage in the conversation of mankind.  We require that students learn the skills of proper grammar, written, and oral expression necessary for them to succeed in this conversation.

Required Courses:One Credit Each, Full Year

Grade 9 Classical Literature

Grade 10 British Literature

Grade 11 American Literature

Grade 12 Senior English Seminar

One-Semester Electives: .5 Credit Each 

Grade 9 Debate I, Journalism

Grade 10 Debate I-II, Journalism

Grade 11 Debate I-II, Philosophy, Journalism, College Reading*

Grade 12 Debate I-II, Philosophy, Journalism, College Reading*

*Online Elective Course

Providence Academy’s Department of Fine Arts believes that the arts are integral to the formation of a complete person. Students therefore learn fundamental skills of each discipline in order to produce artistic creations, and gain an understanding and appreciation of the modern world.

Studio Art emphasizes sound drawing techniques in order to develop ideas in all areas of the visual arts. Students apply the principles of art to a variety of projects in an environment where tradition enlightens creativity.

Theatre and production courses analyze the history and theory of performance while developing basic skills in design and technical aspects of theatre. Students present their knowledge and skill through various theatrical presentations.

Music courses teach historical, theoretical, and emotional analysis through performances.  Students are encouraged to become comprehensive musicians using these multiple angles.

Full Year Electives (One Credit Each)

Grade 9 Studio Art I, Academy Chorale, Symphonic Band, Music Consortium

Grade 10 Studio Art I, Studio Art II, Publications, Academy Chorale, Symphonic Band, Music Consortium

Grade 11 Studio Art I, Studio Art II, Studio Art III, Publications, Academy Chorale, Symphonic Band, Music Consortium

Grade 12 Studio Art I, Studio Art II, Studio Art III, Studio Art IV, Publications, Academy Chorale, Symphonic Band, Music Consortium

One Semester Electives (.5 Credit Each)

Grade 9 Introduction to Theater

Grade 10 Photography I, Introduction to Theater

Grade 11 3D Art I: Modeling*, Photography I, Photography II, Introduction to Theater

Grade 12 3D Art I: Modeling*, Photography I, Photography II, Introduction to Theater

*Online Course

The Department of History regards as its highest objective student understanding of the major economic, political, social and cultural movements that have shaped Western Civilization from the Neolithic Revolution to our current age.  While in pursuit of this objective students will acquire the necessary skills to flourish at the highest collegiate levels and to become more knowledgeable about the civilization of which they are the beneficiaries.  The aforementioned skills include critical reasoning, concise and cogent writing, analysis of cause and effect, as well as the moral framework through which to filter and thereby assess the choices made by men and women in the past, and to weigh the consequences of those choices.  Augmenting the mission of Providence Academy, this skill set will include appreciation for the Christian values that ennoble the best of our western heritage.  Mastered competence in both the content and skills utilized by historians will result in culturally literate citizens who are equipped to meet the challenges of an evermore complex world marked by dynamic and perplexing change.

Required Courses (One Credit Each, Full Year)

Grade 9 World History (1cr)

Grade 10 US History I (1492-1877)

Grade 11 US History II (1877 to Present)

Grade 12 Modern Western Civilization

Elective Courses (.5 Credit Each, One Semester)

Grade 11 American Government*, Current Events, Introduction to Sociology, Principles of Leadership (Sem. I)

Grade 12 American Government*, Current Events, Economics, Introduction to Sociology, Principles of Leadership (Sem. I)

*Online Course

Mathematics establishes a dynamic intellectual foundation for all forms of organized knowledge modeling physical reality and providing logical patterns for inquiry. Realizing this, the mathematics department of Providence Academy requires mastery of skills using a combination of drill and practice methods and innovative activities that emphasize conceptual understanding, problem solving, and analytical thinking skills. Precise and meaningful mathematical communication, both oral and written is vital in all of our courses. The program’s college-preparatory curriculum is rigorous and intellectually challenging for students. It consists of separate courses in algebra, geometry/trigonometry, pre-calculus, calculus and statistics.

All mathematics courses meet for the entire year. Students are required to take 3 credits of mathematics, beginning in grade 9, to meet graduation requirements. In most cases, this will result in completion of, at least, Pre-Calculus. Because college requirements vary, Providence Academy recommends that students take 4 credits of mathematics during their years in Upper School.

Honors Classes: The Mathematics Department offers honors-level courses corresponding with Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry and Trigonometry, Pre-Calculus, and Calculus I. Placement depends upon previous performance in a mathematics course (or math placement test for new students).

Full-Year Math Courses (One Credit Each)

Grades 7-12 Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry and Trigonometry, Data Analysis, Pre-Calculus, Probability and Statistics, Calculus I, Calculus II (Honors Course)

One-Semester Electives: .5 credit each

Grade 11 Personal Financial Management

Grade 12 Accounting, Personal Financial Management

Physical Education is an integral part of the educational experience for all students at Providence Academy. The PK-12th grade program promotes lifetime activity through the development of skills in a variety of physical activities. Students also learn foundational values such as teamwork, sportsmanship, honesty, and integrity that they can carry with them for a lifetime of enjoyment in recreational and competitive sports.

All Physical Education courses are one semester long. Two semesters of Upper School PE are required to graduate. Freshmen must register for one credit worth of PE and/or one credit worth of Fine Arts. Eligible students may apply for a PE waiver.General PE is a prerequisite to all PE courses and will be assigned in lieu of a student’s elective PE request if the student has not yet taken General PE and if scheduling permits.

Required & Elective Courses (.5 credit each)

Grade 9 General PE2, Individual & Dual Sports, Life & Athletic Fitness, Team Sports, Study Hall

Grade 10 Ballroom & Latin Dance, Individual & Dual Sports, Life & Athletic Fitness, Team Sports, Study Hall

Grade 11 Ballroom & Latin Dance, Health & Life Management Skills*, Individual & Dual Sports, Life & Athletic Fitness, Team Sports

Grade 12 Ballroom & Latin Dance, Health & Life Management Skills*, Individual & Dual Sports, Life & Athletic Fitness, Team Sports

*This is an online elective course.

The foundation on which the department is built and its animating principle is the Word of God expressed in Scripture and Tradition and infallibly taught by the Magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church.  Faith — understood both as the revealed truth to be believed and as the infused virtue by which this truth lives in persons — is the heart of the Religion program.  With the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and the Church Fathers and Doctors as its principal sources, the department combines theology with catechesis in an attempt to engage and evangelize students.

“It is necessary…that religious instruction in schools appear as a scholastic discipline with the same systematic demands and the same rigor as other disciplines. It must present the Christian message and the Christian event with the same seriousness and the same depth with which other disciplines present their knowledge. It should not be an accessory alongside of these disciplines, but rather it should engage in a necessary inter-disciplinary dialogue.” (General Directory on Catechesis, n.73§5)

Required Courses (One Credit Each, Full Year)

Grade 9 Introduction to the Creed

Grade 10 Moral Theology

Grade 11 Elements of the Christian Life

Grade 12 Reason and Revelation

The Department of Science at Providence Academy is dedicated to providing students a comprehensive understanding of science and technology, and their general progress, in order to appreciate the beauty of God’s created world, make sound moral decisions and succeed in post secondary education.  Students follow the Core Knowledge Curriculum through eighth grade, then take three required years of science, including chemistry, biology, and physics.  Advanced courses will be offered as electives for students who wish to further their study of science.  Students will use and analyze the scientific process, applying math, writing, laboratory, and presentation skills, as well as participate in discussions of current moral issues.  These activities will help students to become aware of the interrelatedness of God, science, and the world around them.

Students are required to take 3 credits of science, beginning in grade 9, to meet graduation requirements. In most cases, this will result in completion of, at least, Physics. Because college requirements vary, Providence Academy recommends that students take 4 credits of science during their years in Upper School.

Honors Classes:  The Science Department offers honors and advanced level courses corresponding with Chemistry, Biology, and Physics.

Required Courses (One Credit Each, Full Year)

Grade 9 Chemistry

Grade 10 Biology

Grade 11 Physics

Grade 12 Advanced Biology, Advanced Chemistry,Advanced Physics

Full Year Electives (One Credit)

Grade 11 Earth and Space Science*

Grade 12 Earth and Space Science*

One-Semester Electives: .5 credit each

Grade 9 Robotics, Foods & Nutrition I

Grade 10 Robotics, Engineering I, Foods & Nutrition I, Foods & Nutrition II

Grade 11 College Computing*, Computer Programming*, Engineering I, Engineering II, Foods & Nutrition I, Foods & Nutrition II

Grade 12 College Computing*, Computer Programming*, Power & Energy, Engineering II, Foods & Nutrition I, Foods & Nutrition II

*This is an online elective course.

The Department of World Languages invites students to explore, appreciate, and communicate purposefully in French, Latin, and Spanish.  Our program promotes listening, understanding, reading, writing, and speaking.  We teach linguistic, cultural, historical, and geographic aspects of these languages, challenging students to grow in their faith, sense of global community, and service to others.

Students are required to take 3 credits in French, Latin, and/or Spanish to meet graduation requirements.  If no language is taken in one of the first three years of Upper School, language in grade 12 is required.  If a student fulfills the language requirement at the end of junior year, senior course options are available.  Because college requirements vary, Providence Academy recommends that students take 4 credits of language during their years in Upper School, especially if they are interested in selective schools.

All courses in World Language meet for the entire year.  Unless indicated otherwise, all courses above level one require a prerequisite of C- or above in the prior level course and departmental approval.

World Language Courses (One Credit Each, Full Year)

Grade 9 French 1/II, Latin I/II/III, Spanish I/II

Grade 10 French 1/II/III, Latin I/II/III, Latin Poetry, Spanish I/II/III

Grade 11 French 1/II/III/IV, Latin I/II/III, Latin Poetry, College Latin Poetry, Spanish I/II/III/IV, Advanced College Credit, Spanish IV

Grade 12 French I/II/III/IV/Advanced or College Beginning Classical Greek I-II, Latin Poetry, College Latin Poetry, Spanish I/II/III/IV/Advanced, Advanced College Credit Spanish IV, Advanced College Credit Spanish V

2022-2023 Upper School Documents

Please use the link below to see downloadable PDFs of US Required Reading, US Student Supplies, and Senior Picture Information.

Translate »