Providence Heights Alpha School: Celebrating 96 years of excellence in education

Founded and sponsored by the Sisters of Divine Providence, Providence Heights Alpha School has been dedicated to providing students from PreK to Eighth Grade with an advanced, rigorous, and relevant curriculum in a nurturing and caring environment since 1926.

The upcoming 2022-23 school year marks nearly a century of Providence Heights Alpha School working to fulfill and advance its mission to develop servant leaders and innovative thinkers by providing a distinguished Catholic education. Alpha School strives to model Christian values rooted in trust, fostering compassion, leadership, and social justice in a community that welcomes children of all faiths and cultures. Alpha School is an independent, private, Catholic school that works in collaboration with the Diocese of Pittsburgh. This collaboration enables Alpha School to offer a variety of competitive sports as well as sacramental preparation for their Catholic students.

Alpha School’s award-winning faculty strives to develop the whole child through relationships that are built on respect and trust. Their curriculum is designed to be student-centered, developmentally appropriate, and focused on social, emotional, spiritual, and academic growth. Students are encouraged to be creative by teachers who emphasize the skills of collaboration, communication, organization, and problem solving. Small class sizes afford teachers the opportunity to work one-on-one with students and differentiate lessons according to each child’s needs and strengths.
In 2016, to support their growing PreK and Kindergarten programs, Alpha School opened the Early Learning Center (ELC) at Ketteler Hall. This one-of-a-kind space is specifically designed for their youngest learners. The ELC houses five individual classrooms as well as a large communal gallery. The space allows students to safely explore their environment and provides endless opportunities to creatively engage with their peers.
At Alpha School, students are not limited to a single self-contained classroom. As early as first grade, students travel to subject specific classrooms. This lays the groundwork for the middle school model that starts in third grade. They utilize the school’s science, STEM, and computer labs and experience the benefits of cross-curricular activities such as the Talking Art Museum, a collaborative project where students research an artist and painting of historic significance. Students work in pairs to become the artist and the painting, and then present their work to the school community in a fun and interactive atmosphere.
Alpha School’s middle school teachers have a passion for teaching that motivates their students to challenge themselves to achieve their fullest potential. As students progress to middle school there is more emphasis placed on developing their independence by building stronger time-management, organizational, and study skills. Students in sixth through eighth grade serve as role models for the youngest members of the community. They are encouraged and expected to participate in leadership and service activities such as the Works of Mercy Program, Student Council, student ambassadors, and the buddy program. Middle school students also plan school-wide events including Trunk n Treat, Baby Jesus’ Birthday Party, Catholic Schools Week activities, and food drives that benefit area food banks.
Providence Heights Alpha School is proud to be located on the 40+ acre campus of the Sisters of Divine Providence in the heart of Allison Park. Faculty and students alike frequently take advantage of all the campus has to offer. They can be found gathering water samples from the pond to analyze in science class, reading or reflecting prayerfully on one of the benches in St. Anne Park, or playing on the soccer field and playground during recess.

As a well established learning community, Providence Heights Alpha School incorporates the traditions of the Catholic faith in ways that promote spiritual and personal growth within all of their students. For example, beginning in kindergarten and continuing through eighth grade students practice their faith by leading the school in daily prayer, weekly mass and other liturgically significant celebrations as readers, song leaders, and altar servers. These activities not only help to develop a unique personal relationship with Christ, but they also provide students opportunities to become confident public speakers. Another time honored tradition at Alpha School is the buddy program. Pairing the youngest members of the school with middle school students reinforces a sense of community and responsibility for both the younger and older students to be a positive example for future generations.

The science and STEM programs focus on not only researching, designing, and experimenting, but the importance of analyzing and evaluating as well. Whether they are designing solar powered ovens or rocket launchers, building bridges or ecosystems, or dissecting one of the six animals that are part of the curriculum, students learn to apply the scientific process and work collaboratively. The innovative curriculum and instruction does not stop with science and STEM. Alpha School’s art and music programs take full advantage of the school’s technology. Students use the computer or Mac labs to learn basic animation, music composition, and sound production. The combination of technology with fine arts provides students with a modern outlet for expressing their creativity.

In 2020-21 Alpha School’s eighth graders averaged the highest possible overall score in all subjects tested as part of the Iowa Assessment – grade equivalent of 13.0. Many middle school students take part in regional competitions, such as the Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science and the Pennsylvania Regional Engineering and Science Fair, where they typically win awards and special recognition for their outstanding projects. Outside of the classroom, students of all ages can participate in a number of enrichment activities including school plays, music lessons, sports, and academic clubs.

Did You Know?
• Alpha School has an 8:1 student-teacher ratio.
• The average class size at Alpha School is 11.
• 26% of enrolled students are of faiths other than Catholicism.
• 100% of Alpha Students score Advanced on the ACRES tests.
• Alpha School serves students from 12 different school districts in the Pittsburgh area.
• Busing is provided for students from most districts.
• Alpha Athletics Association offers students the opportunity to participate in competitive sports, including: soccer, basketball, volleyball, cross country and track.
• All students are encouraged to take part in school-wide charitable activities that benefit the local community.
• Alpha School has a partnership with Bridges to Burkina, a charitable organization helping to develop schools in rural Burkina, Africa.