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Classical High School
770 Westminster Street
Providence, RI 02903
(401) 456-9145

Introduction

Classical High School, founded on March 20, 1843, is a coeducational college preparatory school in Providence educating students in grades 9-12. Classical was originally an all male school, however, it has since become coed. According to the school's website, According to it's mission statement, "Classical serves a diverse community and provides its students with the means to achieve high standards in a rigorous learning environment. Classical encourages its students to pursue academic, athletic, artistic, and personal growth so that they will experience success in colleges and universities, and will demonstrate excellence and leadership within the global and local community". With a total enrollment of 1,133 students and 76 teachers under the leadership of Superintendent Chris Maher and Principal Scott D. Barr, Classical is continually ranked as one of the highest performing public schools nationwide. The purpose of this context statement is to inform you about the community, district, and school backgrounds to help decide if this high school is a good fit for your child.

Community Background

In order to get a more in-depth look at Classical High School, we will look at the city of Providence, where it is located. We will look at the income and poverty levels compared to the rest of Rhode Island and the United States. Then, we will look at the racial/ethnicity demographic compared to the Rhode Island and the United States. Finally, we will look at education statistics in the community compared to the rest of the state.

First, we will look at the income/poverty levels of ProvidenceProvidence-39616.jpg
Income/Poverty
Providence
Rhode Island
United States
Median Household Income
$37,632
$56,361
$53,046
Median Family Income
$43,674
$72,717
$64,719
Per Capita Income
$21,676
$30,469
$28,155
All Families Below Poverty Level
24.6%
9.6%
11.3%
All People Below Poverty Level
29%
13.6%
15.4%
Total Population
626,667
1,052,567
311,536,594
(US Census 2010)

According to this table, both Providence's median household income and median family income are significantly less wealthy compared to the state of Rhode Island and the country as a whole. They also make less money per capita compared to the rest of the state and the country. People and families who live in Providence are also significantly below the poverty line compared to the rest of the state of Rhode Island and the country. We can also see that the population of Providence is lower than the population of Rhode Island and the United States, but the population is a majority of the state of Rhode Island.

Next, let's look at the racial demographics of Providence.
Race/Ethnicity
Providence
Rhode Island
United States
White/Caucasian
49.8%
81.4%
74%
Black/African American
16%
6.3%
12.6%
Asian
6.4%
3.1%
4.9%
Hispanic/Latino
38.1%
12.9%
16.6%
American Indian/Alaska Native
1.4%
0.4%
0.8%
(US Census 2010)

Compared to the state and the rest of the country Providence has a fewer percentage of Caucasian citizens than the U.S and Rhode Island, though it is still the dominant ethnicity. Providence also has a higher percentage of African American citizens. There is also both a higher Asian and Latino population compared to the U.S and Rhode Island. There is also more American Indian/Alaskan Natives in Providence compared to the state and country.

Finally, we will look at the education statistics
Education
Providence
Rhode Island
Public school enrollment (total)
23,907
141,959
Public school enrollment (% low- income)
80%
47%
Students who are English Language Learners
23%
7%
Chronic early absence in grades K-3
23%
12%
Chronic absence in high school
41%
24%
Suspension rate
35
22
High School graduation rate
71%
81%
Children enrolled in full-day kindergarten
100%
81%
(RI Kids Count 2013)

From this chart, we can see that there are more students enrolled in public school that come from low income families in Providence compared to the rest of the state of Rhode Island. There are also more English Language Learners in Providence compared to Rhode Island. They also have a higher absence rate in both K-3 and high school compared to the rest of the state. Providence's high school graduation rate is 10% less than the rest of the state, but they have 100% of their children enrolled in full-day kindergarten, when the rest of Rhode Island has 81%

District Summary

Now, we will look at the district that Classical High School is in. We will look at the NECAP test scores and attendance in the district. We will also compare these statistics to the statistics from the state of Rhode Island and also from the districts Barrington and Central Falls. We are comparing these three school districts because they are vastly different from each other.hs classical (2).jpg

First, we will look at the NECAP scores in math from grades 3-8 and 11th grade.
NECAP Assessments
State
Classical
Barrington
Central Falls
3rd Grade Math
56%
33%
79%
29%
4th Grade Math
63%
39%
78%
42%
5th Grade Math
61%
38%
85%
37%
6th Grade Math
59%
31%
82%
26%
7th Grade Math
59%
34%
87%
19%
8th Grade Math
57%
34%
90%
15%
11th Grade Math
35%
14%
79%
12%
(InfoWorks 2013)

According to this graph, Classical's district scored below the state average and also scored below Barrington's average. However, they scored above Central Falls in all grades but 4th grade. However, all districts seem to significantly go down by the time the students reach 11th grade. In 4th grade, students scored at 39%, while in 11th grade, they scored 25% lower at 14%.

Now, let's look at the NECAP scores of all 11th graders in each district.
NECAP Assessments
State
Classical
Barrington
Central Falls
11th Grade Math
35%
14%
79%
12%
11th Grade Reading
81%
61%
97%
53%
11th Grade Writing
66%
48%
81%
35%
11th Grade Science
30%
10%
68%
14%
(InfoWorks 2013)

According to this, Classical's district did not meet the state's average in NECAP testing in any of the subject areas in 11th grade. In 4th grade, 39% of the students passed their math NECAP exam. This decreased to 14% by the time the students got to 11th grade. In reading, 53% of students in 4th grade passed the NECAP test. In 11th grade, this score increased to 61%, which is a significant increase. In writing, 32% of 8th graders passed the exam, which increased to 48% by the time they got to 11th grade. For science, only 10% of 11th graders passed the exam, which was a 3% increase from 8th grade, when only 7% passed. As you can see, Classical's district did not meet the average scores on the NECAP exam, although some areas that students were tested on had increased over time.

Finally, let's look at the attendance in Classical's district
Attendance
State
Classical
Barrington
Central Falls
Attendance Rate (Elementary Schools)
95%
93%
96%
93%
Attendance Rate (Middle Schools)
94%
92%
96%
92%
Attendance Rate (High Schools)
92%
87%
95%
88%
Chronic Absenteeism (Elementary Schools)
13%
23%
4%
25%
Chronic Absenteeism (Middle Schools)
15%
27%
6%
27%
Chronic Absenteeism (High Schools)
24%
42%
7%
40%
(InfoWorks 2013)

According to this chart, Classical's district scores below the rest of Rhode Island in terms of attendance. Although very close in numbers, the attendance rates in elementary, middle, and high schools is still slightly below Rhode Island's average. Their chronic absenteeism is also much higher than the rest of the state, with each number being almost doubled. Another interesting fact is that 80% of students in Classical's district are eligible to receive subsidized lunches, almost double the 47% in the state that is eligible for these lunches.

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School Analysis

Finally, we will look at Classical High School, as a whole, compared to the rest of the state, Barrington High School, and Central Falls High School. We will look at more NECAP scores, along with SAT and AP exams. We will also discuss student indicators such as graduation rate after 4 years and stability rates.

First, let's take a look at Classical High School's 11th Grade NECAP scores compared to the rest of the state, Barrington High School, and Central Falls High School.
NECAP Assessments
State
Classical
Barrington
Central Falls
11th Grade Math
35%
55%
79%
12%
11th Grade Reading
81%
100%
97%
53%
11th Grade Writing
66%
85%
81%
35%
11th Grade Science
30%
39%
68%
14%
(InfoWorks 2013)

As you can see from this data, Classical High School scored consistently higher than the rest of the state and the other two high schools, except in science compared to Barrington. Compared to the rest of the state, Classical High School scored 20% higher in math, 19% higher in reading and writing, and 9% higher in science. Another important fact to note is that 100% of it's 11th graders passed the reading NECAP test, something that is not an easy feat.

Now, we will take a look at SAT and AP exams.
SAT Exams
State
Classical
Barrington
Central Falls
Mathematics Average
484
531
588
425
Reading Average
483
541
578
394
Writing Average
471
519
566
404

AP Exams
State
Classical
Barrington
Central Falls
Number of Exams Taken
7237
1140
544
134
Number of Students to Take Exams
4390
544
294
94
Exams Scored at College-Level Mastery
4143
530
492
20
% Scored at College-Level Mastery
57%
46%
90%
15%
(InfoWorks 2013)

Looking at the SAT data, Classical's average scored consistently above the average of the state. Comparing back to the district that Classical is located in, we can see that they score above what is scored on the NECAP exam, making it seem that Classical is one of the better schools in the district. However, Barrington still scores above Classical in each test category. We can assume from this graph that the teachers at Classical are more effective in their teaching than teachers in the rest of the district.

Now we will look at AP scores. Classical High School offers 21 AP courses that a student could take. We can see that compared to Barrington and Central Falls, students at Classical took significantly more AP exams and the school also had a greater number of students who were eligible to take the exams. Also, 46% of students scored at college-level mastery, which looks low compared to Barrington but it's only because Classical had more exams taken by students and also a higher amount of students taking exams.

Finally, we will talk about graduation rate. Classical's graduation rate is 96.6%, higher than the state's graduation rate which is at 80.7%. They also have a lower drop out rate, at 0.3%, compared to the state's 8.0% drop out rate. This shows that students at Classical want to stay in school and are getting a good education. This is also shown by a stability index of 98% compared to the state's 86%. Students are very comfortable at Classical and feel that all of their needs are met.

Conclusion

As you can see, Classical High School is one of the very academically prestigious high schools in Rhode Island. As a community, Providence isn't one of the richest cities in Rhode Island, with a lower median household income compared to the rest of the state, though it is very diverse with its people. The district Classical is located in also isn't as great as it should be, with NECAP scores constantly below the state average, along with absenteeism also being slightly below the state. However, as a school, Classical performed consistently higher than the rest of the state and also higher than Barrington High School, one of the best schools in the state. The students are also prepared for college in each subject area, especially reading, and feel very secure in school. Hopefully this overview will help you in your decision for choosing Classical High School for your student to enroll in.

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References

U.S. Census. (n.d.). Retrieved October 19, 2015.
Classical High School. (n.d.). Retrieved October 16, 2015.
Rhode Island Education Data Reporting - RIDE InfoWorks. (n.d.). Retrieved October 22, 2015.
RI Kids Count. (n.d.). Retrieved October 22, 2015.



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