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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

Classical, Christian education is a methodology that delivers incredible results, but is not a new educational concept. In fact, it has been used by educators for centuries and was the standard way of educating students. This unique but proven educational method provides students with the most appropriate tools for learning at their particular age by paying special attention to their educational development. Classical, Christian education emphasizes the three stages of the trivium; grammar (the basic ideas of all subjects), logic, or dialectic (the relationships that govern and relate ideas), and rhetoric (the ability to communicate ideas winsomely). It integrates learning and imparts a world view by guiding students to see the interconnectedness of all knowledge and the centrality of Christ and His word. This type of education is enjoying a resurgence in popularity as educators and parents alike rediscover the methods that have produced the great writers, thinkers, mathematicians, scientists, orators, and political minds of past generations.

Students benefit from this unique yet proven method of education to become independent thinkers and effective communicators, with a solid grounding in the knowledge of Christ. Utilizing back to basics techniques that provide students with the best tools for their learning abilities at any given age, classical education is experiencing a resurgence in popularity. Educators and parents alike are rediscovering the methods that have produced the great writers, thinkers, mathematicians, scientists, orators and political minds of history.

Classical education is as well suited to modern day learning as it was in the past. Modern subjects in science and technology are taught in classical schools using classical methods. Classical education teaches students facts, provides them with logical tools to use those facts, and perfects the students’ abilities to relate those facts to others.

Yes. While there is an initial adjustment period, students can be successfully integrated at any grade.

All Grammar students (grades JK-5) gather for a brief, daily Memory Period to share recitations, history timeline songs, grammar jingles, and Latin review. Students in different grades hear other classes review their curriculum and often sing along, providing “cross-grade” curriculum exposure.

Small class size is very important to our mission at PCS. Kindergarten class size is capped at 15 students, while grades 1-5 will not exceed 18 students per class, and grades 6-12 will not exceed 21 students per class without prior board approval.  Our Junior Kindergarten class will be capped at 10 students. 

PCS offers a full educational program for Junior Kindergarten through 12th grade.

Providence began offering classes in September 2001.

Subjects currently include math, science, history, geography, Bible, English grammar, literature, composition, penmanship, spelling, phonics, vocabulary, critical thinking, logic, philosophy, theology, art, and music, plus Latin beginning in 4th grade through 8th, with a Spanish I-IV elective or an additional option of extended Latin III-IV study through 10th or Greek for 11th grade and above. The curriculum follows the Association of Classical Christian Schools guidelines and has been developed by PCS board members and classical education advisors. The curriculum is examined and updated annually. Additional curriculum support comes from guest speakers, special projects, field trips, and internships throughout the year. Seniors research, write, deliver and defend a thesis paper on the topic of their choosing.

PCS offers a wide variety of extra-curricular activities. Offerings have included Cyber Patriots (national cyber security competition; PCS hosts the only team in Williamsburg), SAT Club, AP Prep Club, Archery Club, Fencing Club, School Band, Debate Club, Chess Club, Yearbook Club, Jump Rope Club, two Drama Clubs, Choir, Praise and Worship Teams, Audio Visual Support Team, Piano Lessons, Accordion Club, Art Club, Scouting, Homework Club, Tutoring and more. See our Clubs and Activities page for current offerings. 

Additionally, students in grades 6-12 belong to one of four Houses, which offers regular social activities and house competitions outside and during school hours.  See our House Information page to learn more.  There are also numerous school-wide socials and service-oriented projects run throughout the year for students and their families.

Yes, PCS students in 4th through 9th grade participate in the week-long ERB testing program. The ERB is the recommended standardized test for ACCS member schools.  It is used at about 2,000 of the nation’s most rigorous academic schools and closely echoes the SAT and ACT in what it measures.  Freshmen and sophomores take the Classical Learning Test (CLT).  Sophomores and juniors also take the PSAT. Students are encouraged to take the SAT and/or ACT at least once their junior year and an additional time their senior year if applicable. Historically PCS students have performed very well on these tests.

PCS is not affiliated with any church. It is an independent school that was established by an independent Board after two years of research and planning. The Board convened in 1999 with the intent of bringing classical, Christian education to Williamsburg. PCS does invite local church leaders to speak to students for weekly chapel.

While PCS teaches Christian philosophy, there is no requirement for a profession of faith by applicants or their families. PCS offers a nurturing and accepting Christian environment. Our families include Christians across many denominational lines, families of other faiths, and families who do not ascribe to any particular faith. All are welcome in the PCS school community.

Students applying for admission to Providence Classical School will be screened for academic placement. If unable to adequately discern the needs of the student, PCS may request further professional testing be conducted at the parents’ expense. The testing results will be evaluated by PCS in conjunction with the parents. If it is determined that the needs of the student exceed the professional resources of the school, then admission will not be granted.

Please see our Profile for a complete list of higher education institutions to which PCS students have been accepted to date.

Yes, PCS staff offers guidance for the college application and scholarship process. The guidance department arranges for colleges and universities to visit PCS during the school year.  Additional resources, such as an SAT prep club are available to students.  PCS students are well-prepared for higher education.

PCS has been a member of the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) and the Association of Classical and Christian Schools (ACCS) accrediting organizations since its inception. PCS is also a member school of the Virginia Council for Private Education.  The accreditation process requires a number of graduating classes, which PCS has recently achieved.  PCS is currently examining options available to schools seeking accreditation. Note that our college-bound students have encountered no problems in the application process regarding this matter.

Providence Classical School faculty is comprised of qualified educators who pass a rigorous application and screening process. PCS teachers are trained in classical education methods, follow a carefully devised classical curriculum, and receive ongoing training. Under the Board’s recommendation, teachers and staff attend training sessions run by the ACCS and other organizations. The PCS faculty is also advised by local experienced classical education specialists.

The school building is open on school weekdays from 8:00 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. Students begin classes at 8:15 a.m. and end at 2:45 p.m. Parents have the option of a full or half day of Kindergarten. The half-day ends at 12:30 p.m. and the full day ends at 2:45 p.m.  Summer office hours are Monday-Thursday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Please see the PCS Financial Schedule on the Admissions Page for details on tuition and family discounts.

Tuition assistance is available to families with qualified need on an availability basis. An application is available with the enrollment package upon request.

Each classroom maintains an excellent reading section. The Williamsburg Regional Library Bookmobile visits the school regularly. An in-school library is planned for development.

Yes, Kindergarten classes have a daily aide. We also have daily aides in first and second grade.

Prospective students must be five years old by August 31st of the year of Kindergarten entrance. Parents of students who will turn five between the dates of September 1st and December 31st may request that their child be further evaluated to see if they meet early entrance requirements.

PCS has published a weekly school newsletter since its inception. The newsletter provides parents with a calendar of upcoming events as well as news about committees, clubs, school events, and needs. It also includes a weekly letter from the Head of School. Teachers use homework planners or weekly calendars and send announcements home daily in the student’s communication folder. Report cards are provided quarterly. The school maintains a Facebook page and an Instagram page. Inclement weather information is published through the website, Facebook page, and on local media.