Providence High School (Burbank, California)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Providence High School
Providence High School (Burbank, Calif.).JPG
511 South Buena Vista Street

, ,

United States
Coordinates34°9′16″N 118°19′37″W / 34.15444°N 118.32694°W / 34.15444; -118.32694Coordinates: 34°9′16″N 118°19′37″W / 34.15444°N 118.32694°W / 34.15444; -118.32694
TypePrivate, Coeducational, College Prep
Religious affiliation(s)Roman Catholic;
Sisters of Providence (Montreal, Quebec)
FounderSister Mary Gleason, SP
OversightProvidence St. Joseph Health
CEEB code050402
Enrollment479 (2019 - 2020)
Average class size17
Student to teacher ratio12:1
Color(s)Forest Green and White         
Athletics conferenceHeritage League
Delphic League
Prep League
AccreditationWestern Association of Schools and Colleges[1] Western Catholic Educational Association, California Association of Independent Schools, National Association of Independent Schools,
PublicationConcept (literary magazine)
NewspaperThe Vista
AffiliationProvidence St. Joseph Health, Sisters of Providence
Head of SchoolScott McLarty
Assistant Head of SchoolAllison Castro

Providence High School in Burbank, California, is a co-ed, independent, Catholic, college preparatory high school, founded by the Sisters of Providence in 1955[2]. Located in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Providence is known for its college-prep academic programs, with the option to specialize in one of three focus programs: Cinema Arts, Medical and Technology.

Providence is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Western Catholic Educational Association, California Association of Independent Schools[3], and most recently, the National Association of Independent Schools.


On September 19, 1955, Providence High School opened its doors to 81 female students. A recent cement strike had resulted in a shortage of building materials, and construction on the school was not completed in time for the students' arrival. Under the guidance of the school's first principal, Sr. Mary Gleason, SP (Maria Theresa), the first classes were taught in donated circus tents in the parking lot. On November 2, 1955, classes were able to move into the first floor of what is now known as the "A" building, but only three rooms were accessible to students at that time.

In fall 1957, the school adopted the Alma Mater, written by Cathy Wade Shepard '60, with music by her father, William Wade. On June 15, 1959, 68 young women took part in the school's first annual commencement, held at the Starlight Bowl. In May 1960, the Board of Admissions and Relations of the University of California granted accreditation to Providence High School.

From All Girls to Coeducational[edit]

In May 1973, school officials began to discuss with the Archdiocese the possibility of making the school coeducational. It was decided in January 1974 that the school should indeed include boys for the following school year.

1980s and 1990s[edit]

Enrollment declined in the 1980s, a problem faced by many Catholic schools in the area, leading to the most difficult challenge in the school's history. In the fall of 1988, with enrollment at an all-time low of fewer than 200 students, the Sisters of Providence announced that the school would close at the end of the 1988-1989 school year. A group of determined parents and students were very upset by the news and banded together along with Principal Sr. Lucille Dean, SP to improve Providence's enrollment. Impressed by the parents’ devotion, the Sisters of Providence agreed that if 100 potential students took the school's entrance exam that spring and enrollment reached 400 students within four years, then Providence High School would remain open.

2000s to Present Day[edit]

On December 11, 2000, the school held a groundbreaking ceremony for the planned student activity center. Construction of the new facility, featuring a gym, conference room, snack shop, weight room, and exercise room, began on January 9, 2001 and was completed in early 2002. The Fritz B. Burns Student Activity Center was dedicated and blessed at a special liturgical celebration on January 20, 2002.

Sr. Lucille Dean, SP retired from her position as principal at the conclusion of the 2004-2005 school year and, Mrs. Michele Schulte, became the school's 7th Principal. After Mr. Michael Collins spent one year as Interim Head of School in 2010-2011, the school appointed Mr. Joe Sciuto as Head of School.

The 2012-2013 school year marked the opening of the long anticipated Science Center, which contains biology, chemistry and physics classrooms and labs. PHS has been continually accredited by Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), Western Catholic Educational Association (WCEA) and has recently become a member of California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS).

Providence's first head of school, Joe Sciuto served the Catholic high school until the spring of 2019.[4] Administrative leadership changed in the Fall of 2019 when Scott McLarty was selected to become Providence High School's second Head of School and changing former Principal Allison Castro's title to Assistant Head of School.[5][6][7]

Focus Programs[edit]

Cinema Arts Focus Program[edit]

The Cinema Arts Focus Program explores the influence that narrative has in media through an in-depth hands-on curriculum. The Cinema Arts Focus Center is a first-class studio with professional-grade equipment. Cinema Arts students are given the opportunity to compete in various film competitions and to hear from guest speakers currently working in the industry.

Medical Focus Program[edit]

The four-year program covers topics from health, medicine, and biotechnology to health care within political, social, economic, religious and ethical frameworks.

The program is the result of a partnership between Providence High School and Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center. Expansion of the program now includes participation and support of the following organizations/institutions: Providence Holy Cross Medical Center, Shriner's Hospital, USC University Hospital, LAC+USC Medical Center, Glendale Memorial Hospital, Kaiser Permanente, Midway Medical Center, Huntington Memorial Hospital, and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.[8][9]

Technology Focus Program[edit]

The Technology Focus Program is designed as a broad-based introduction into various kinds of technology, providing a launching pad for further college study and industry application.[10]

In 2018, the Technology Focus Program Center held its ribbon cutting ceremony unveiling a 32-station computer lab, four 3-D printers, a CNC machine, a mill machine and a laser cutter. This facility is open for Technology Focus Program students enrolled in the four-year program.[11]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ WASC-ACS. "WASC-Accrediting Commission for Schools". Retrieved 2009-06-05.
  2. ^ "Providence High School History". Retrieved 2019-08-22.
  3. ^ "California Association of Independent Schools - Home". Retrieved 2019-08-22.
  4. ^ "Providence's head of school reflects on his local legacy as he prepares for new job". Burbank Leader. 2019-03-12. Retrieved 2019-08-22.
  5. ^ "Providence picks Loyola High alum for next head of school". Burbank Leader. 2019-04-02. Retrieved 2019-08-22.
  6. ^ "Question & Answer: Providence High School's new head of school happy to be home". Burbank Leader. 2019-07-12. Retrieved 2019-08-22.
  7. ^ "Welcome, Mr. McLarty". Retrieved 2019-08-22.
  8. ^ "Outstanding high schoolers get a taste of medicine at Providence". Retrieved 2019-08-22.
  9. ^ "Focus Programs". Retrieved 2019-08-22.
  10. ^ "Providence High School, Focus Programs". Providence High School. Retrieved 22 August 2019.
  11. ^ "Providence High School provides 21st-century learning with new facility". Burbank Leader. 2018-01-27. Retrieved 2019-08-22.