Private school sees huge growth

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Providence Classical Academy makes big strides

Providence Classical Academy has come a long way in eight years.

What started as an idea by one family has turned into a school that serves many families, all attending with the desire to receive a wholesome education from a Christian classical school. Headmaster Howard Davis, who founded the school, said “What we’re doing works and families see that. Our goal is to nurture kids who love the lord and love to learn.”

The school, located on 27 acres of property on Old Brownlee Road, moved into its brand new 1,900-square-foot building just days before the school year began. While there are projects yet to be completed, administrators, faculty and students all agree that it now feels like a real school campus.

The new space includes a gymnasium, industrial size kitchen and enough classrooms to house their growing enrollment numbers. Enrollment numbers have grown significantly, beginning with 17 in 2005 and beginning the 2013-2014 school year with 325 students, more than 70 than last year’s total.

PCA has also expanded their grade level offerings. Students are now enrolled in classes for PreK through tenth grade and school officials hope to graduate their first high school class in the next two years.

Along with a new building, students now have playground equipment and desks for their classrooms. One of the things PCA administrators and teachers are looking forward to is seeing the children eat in a cafeteria style setting during lunchtime.

“Before this they would eat in their classrooms,” Susan Gordon, PCA headmaster’s assistant, said. “Some of them don’t know the difference so that will be new for a lot of them.”

PCA has also expanded its grade level offerings and now offers PreK through tenth grade. Eighth grader Ellie Davis has been a student at PCA since the very beginning and said she’s looking forward to seeing the school grow even more.

“I started with five kids in my kindergarten class and more come every year,” Ellie said. “It’s cool to see how much the school has grown. It feels more like a school now.”

Ellie enjoys going to chapel, learning Latin and following the Christian Classical Education model, which are distinct characteristics that sets Providence Classical Academy apart from other local schools. Students attend chapel every morning, sing worship songs and engage in learning traditional subjects – math, reading, history – with a twist.

Chana Windham, kindergarten teacher and PCA mom, said their teaching methods are tried and true. She said it’s remarkable to see the school start so small and grow – physically and spiritually – every day.

“We’ve gone from teaching in Sunday school rooms at a church to furnished classrooms on this campus,” Windham said. “God has his hand on this place and we do it all for his glory.”

The next phases of construction are just as exciting, Gordon said. PCA is looking to add a separate middle school/high school building, a kindergarten building, athletic fields and possibly a library. Dr. Susan Gatti, assistant principal, said the school’s development is phenomenal.

“This is the result of what happens when you put God back into education, which you can’t do in public schools,” Gatti said. “God has truly blessed us with this school.”

For more information, call 820-9465 or visit the PCA website at www.providenceclassicalacademy.org