Five Questions With

5Q: Scott Barr

Principal, Classical High School

By Mary MacDonald |

1 Classical High School is consistently ranked among the top public schools in the state. Where do students come from within the city, and are they coming from private schools?

Classical High School was ranked No. 1 in the state, and was designated a gold medal school by the U.S. News and World Report. Classical truly reflects the beautiful diversity of our capital city. We draw from all neighborhoods in Providence. Students apply from public, private, independent and charter schools for admission.

2 What kind of partnerships do you have with businesses?

Classical enjoys partnerships with the major colleges and universities in our city, as well as many nonprofit agencies. With Providence on the cusp of becoming a major economic player, we would be more than willing to forge business partnerships in the city. Classical has strong [advanced math and science] programs that would help in establishing strong relationships with the business community.

3 What role does the school play in encouraging economic development?

A strong school, which we are, definitely influences the economic engine of a city. A school can attract competitive real estate prices, bring communities together, cultivate strong partnerships and become a true destination for folks who want to move here.

4 Does the presence of a high-performing, urban high school make a difference in attracting companies?

Absolutely, when a major company wants to move to Providence there is no doubt the firm researches the local education scene. Classical High School has received inquiries from all over the world, mostly from people who are relocating to Providence for employment and/or business reasons. Classical High School is a major selling point for our city.

5 Have you created any specific academic or after-school programs that appeal to students' career interest?

Classical offers more than 30 after-school programs, from clubs to tutorials, all geared to help our students achieve success. Our Science Olympiad and math team help prepare our students for [advanced math and science] careers, while our debate and mock-trial teams give valuable experience to students interested in the law. Classical also puts strong emphasis on service organizations and projects that give back to the community. •