For nearly a century, Providence Heights Alpha School has been on a mission to develop servant leaders and innovative thinkers by providing a distinguished Catholic education to children in the Pittsburgh area. By promoting Christian values rooted in trust, the school’s faculty and staff are focused on fostering compassion, leadership and social justice for children of all faiths and cultures. This genuine focus on the whole child and a strong sense of community creates a unique learning environment where students can shine and grow to their fullest potential.
Providence Heights Alpha School provides an education that incorporates current best practices in instruction, cutting-edge technology and authentic, real-world learning experiences. As an independent, private Catholic school, Providence Heights Alpha School works in collaboration with the Diocese of Pittsburgh, which enables the students to participate in various competitive sports, activities and sacramental preparation for Catholic students. The students at Alpha School are encouraged to grow into leadership and stewardship roles both in the school community and outside of school walls.
Central to the school’s mission is the focus on the whole child. The dedicated and talented faculty provide a student-centered and developmentally appropriate curriculum based on trust and respect. Small class sizes allow teachers to provide focused, individualized instruction while attending to students’ social and emotional needs.
The Alpha School community is proud to be located on the large campus of the Sisters of Divine Providence, which covers over 40 acres in Allison Park. The grounds offer the opportunity for science classes to explore the outside environment by collecting water samples or examining plant specimens. While the soccer field and playground provide students with a release during the school day, the serene St. Anne Park provides the perfect setting for reading, quiet reflection and prayer.
Since its founding, Providence Heights Alpha School has grown and expanded to reach even younger children. In 2016, Alpha School instituted the Early Learning Center (ELC) at Ketteler Hall, enlarging the student body to include PreK4 to 8th-grade students. The ELC is a unique and intentional space designed specifically to meet the needs and development of young learners. The five individual classrooms and large communal gallery within the ELC encourage safe exploration, boundless creativity, and cooperative engagement with peers.
In the main building, students are not limited to a single, self-contained classroom beginning in first grade and instead travel to subject-specific classrooms. Starting in third grade, students utilize the school’s science, STEM, and computer labs which prepares them for the cross-curricular model of middle school. Students look forward to cross-curricular activities among each grade, such as the fifth-grade Talking Art Museum, a collaborative project involving a blend of art and research that brings a famous artist and their work to life. The students enjoy presenting their hard work to the school community in a fun and interactive environment.
The focus on the whole child continues into middle school, where knowledgeable and passionate teachers impart their love of learning to students daily. They emphasize developing independence through organizational, time-management and study skills. Small class sizes prove beneficial in middle school to ensure the development of foundational knowledge and skills that are critical for success in high school. The teachers are readily able to identify students’ needs and strengths, providing them with a more personalized learning environment. Middle school students are also encouraged and expected to participate in leadership and service activities such as the Works of Mercy Program, student council and student ambassadors. Finally, the middle school students organize school-wide events such as the yearly Trunk n Treat, Baby Jesus’s Birthday Party, Catholic School Week activities and food drives.
The Alpha School community values tradition. Catholic traditions such as weekly Mass, daily prayer and religious celebrations promote students’ spiritual and personal growth. Students in kindergarten through 8th grade take turns leading Mass each and participate in roles such as readers, song leaders and altar servers. These activities help students develop confidence in public speaking while developing a personal relationship with Christ. Another tradition at Alpha School is the buddy program. Students in the middle school serve as role models for younger members of the community by reading to, tutoring and attending special events in the school with a buddy in PreK through first grade. This well-liked program helps reinforce a sense of community and responsibility.
Innovation is at the heart of the science and STEM programs at Alpha School. It focuses on researching, designing and experimenting, as well as the importance of analyzing and evaluating. Whether students are designing solar ovens, constructing 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 do not stop with science and STEM. Alpha School’s art, music and computer classes fully utilize the school’s technology. Students use the computer or Mac labs to learn basic animation, music composition and sound and video production. Combining technology with the fine arts gives students a modern outlet for expressing their creativity.
In 2021-2022, Alpha School’s eighth graders averaged the highest possible overall score in all subjects tested as part of the IOWA Standardized Assessment- a grade equivalent of 13.0. Many middle school students participate in regional competitions, such as the Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science and the Pennsylvania Regional Engineering and Science Fair, typically achieving awards and special recognition for their outstanding projects. Outside the classroom, students of all ages can participate in a number of enrichment activities, including school plays, music lessons, sports and academic clubs. Alums are proud of their achievements after Alpha School, regularly receiving honorary awards, such as the Eagle Scout award, valedictorian, national writing competitions, and scholarships.
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.
Alpha School serves students from 12 different school 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 participate 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.