ST. GEORGE – Providence Academy, a progressive new private school in St. George offering Christian-based curriculum centered on principles taught by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has found a home at the former Legacy Blackridge Subaru-Mitsubishi complex, located at 1700 S. Black Ridge Drive in St. George. Showrooms will soon be converted into classrooms at the facility, which boasts just over 29,000 square feet.
“All the kids that have walked through here, they’re all really excited about this,” Quin Denning, an administrator at Providence Academy, said.
“We’re grateful to have a company in the building that we feel is going to do positive things for the community and the children,” building owner Jim Painter said.
With a lease now signed for the location and preparations underway for the new school year, which starts Sept. 2, Providence Academy will officially begin accepting student registrations on Thursday, and registration will continue until classes are full.
“Registrations are filling up fast,” Denning said.
Providence Academy will host a registration meeting Thursday from 2-8 p.m. at the new building, and interested parents and students can drop by, find out more about the school and register for classes. Thereafter, informational meetings will be hosted at 7 p.m. each Thursday until the semester starts for anyone desiring to learn more about Providence Academy.
“They can just walk in if they want to register their kids or find out more about the school,” Denning said. “It provides an opportunity for parents to come in and learn what we’re all about.”
Inside the expansive building, offices once used by automotive salespeople will be converted into what Denning calls “incubator offices,” where students in Providence Academy’s business classes will form and operate their own real businesses. A large, high-ceilinged circular room once used as the car dealership’s reception area will become the school’s common area, where devotionals will be held and students can eat lunch. A garage currently outfitted with repair bays is slated to become either a theater for the school’s drama department or a television studio.
A cooperative store will also be set up in one area of the school, where students can learn firsthand about the retail business, community members can shop, and Providence Academy parents can sell crafts, garden produce and other home-crafted goods to help offset tuition costs.
“It will be run like a regular store,” Denning said. “Parents will be able to sell there to help reduce their tuition.”
Providence Academy additionally offers a “trade bank,” through which parents can contribute their skills to help offset tuition fees. For instance, a professional mechanic could contribute mechanic services to the trade bank to help pay for his kids to attend school.
“We’re really excited about our tuition assistance program and our business partnership program,” Denning said.
To further help parents in need of tuition assistance, Providence Academy has developed sponsorship packages that will enable community businesses to partner with the school and support its students – and as businesses help Providence Academy, the businesses will benefit, as well.
“If a business gives $100, they’ll get $150 in value back,” Denning said.
Businesses can sign up for one of five sponsorship packages ranging in price from $50 a month to $1,000 a month. In exchange for their financial support, sponsoring businesses can receive advertisements on the school’s website and partner pages, credit in the school trade bank, ads in school newsletters and on the school’s mobile app, a plaque at the school and more.
“It’s mutually beneficial for the business and for our students,” Denning said. “For any student that wants to come to our school, we want to find a way to help make that happen.”
Denning said these trade and sponsorship efforts are part of a founding principle called the “creative foundation.” There are three foundations of society, he said: the “entitlement foundation,” in which people expect someone else to provide for them; the “competitive foundation,” a dog-eat-dog existence in which people are governed by fear and a scarcity mentality; and the “creative foundation,” the highest of the foundations and “the true form of capitalism,” Denning said. The creative foundation is based on the abundance principle that creation of wealth and prosperity exists in abundance.
“It’s so critical that these kids start out on the right foundation,” Denning said. “Children that go to our school will gain experience that will build a foundation for decision-making for the rest of their lives.”
Hands-on learning is also a key focus at Providence Academy. Students in the school’s real estate class, for example, will go through all the steps of purchasing, staging, marketing and selling an actual home in the area during the course of the school year. Local real estate agents, lenders, title company employees and others will lecture in the class, and then students will apply what they’ve learned in a real-world setting by performing the hands-on work. Adults in the community have even expressed interest in attending these classes, Denning said.
“When our students graduate, they will be truly prepared for the real world,” he said. “Our whole curriculum is designed so students can progress as quickly as they are able, and our graduates will be better prepared for the working world than most graduating college students.”
Providence Academy’s curriculum is based on LDS principles, but the school is not sanctioned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The student body will include both LDS members and pupils who do not belong to the LDS faith. The LDS standard works, including the Bible and the Book of Mormon, will be utilized in class, but non-LDS students attending the school have the option to follow a Bible-based curriculum individually tailored for them, Denning said. Classes will have a Christian focus, but no student will be required to study LDS literature if they don’t want to.
Providence students are also able to learn at their own pace, and another key focus at the school is advancing students according to their individual capabilities. Students will have the opportunity to concurrently enroll in online college classes if they wish to, so they can potentially graduate from college at the same time they graduate high school – or sooner, if they have the desire and capacity.
“We’re really developing leaders,” Denning said. “We’re helping students learn leadership so that they can lead themselves.”
A D V E R T O R I A L
- What: Providence Academy registration meeting
- Where: Providence Academy, 1700 S. Black Ridge Drive in St. George (in the former Legacy Blackridge Subaru Mitsubishi building)
- When: Thursday, Aug. 7, 2-8 p.m.
- Admission: Free
- Details: Providence Academy events page | 435-674-5555
- Providence Academy website
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