At PSCS, our first focus is not limited to an academic program; our focus is on the full range of human development.
PSCS was founded upon the belief that young people are intrinsically compelled by their own curiosity and desires to learn, and that when provided a positive and supportive environment (along with a wide variety of opportunities offered by interesting and engaging people) students will enthusiastically pursue meaningful and challenging tasks.
Where mainstream educational models promote one-size-fits-all memorization and conformity, the approach used at PSCS fosters creativity, flexibility, and a genuine diversity that stems from the uniqueness of all human beings. In our environment, meaningful learning occurs naturally and inevitably, though the pace, form, and content of learning will vary from person to person. PSCS maintains a flexible structure, free to adhere to valid traditional forms and also free to create new ones.
We provide a safe, nurturing environment in which the curriculum is responsibility and the goal for our graduates is maturity. We surround students with talented people of high character who get to know each individual as a whole person, help them to set goals, discover they’re interests and passions, and then work with them to DO something with that passion. Our hope is that students do not have to consider middle and high school as means to an end, but rather to enjoy childhood and to have families focus on relationships, rather than “the homework war.”
It’s important to recognize that PSCS does not have academic requirements. However, this is not to say that students aren’t provided transcripts* or the opportunity to engage in academic rigor. Rather the opposite. Our educational philosophy is such that students are ultimately in charge of deciding how, when, and if they want to pursue topics deemed mandatory in most schools.
PSCS is a Washington State approved middle and high school. Our courses and activities are delivered to students by a teaching staff with degrees from some of the most prestigious universities in the country, volunteers from within and without the community, and are often led by our own students—but are a natural by-product of this environment. It’s a philosophy grounded in the most robust findings in behavioral science over the past 50 years, as well as first-hand observation of how kids learn and grow.
We ask students to dedicate themselves to three simple “core commitments”: Practice Integrity. Engage the Community. Act with Courage.
*PSCS documents the activities in which our students are involved and creates a narrative transcript based on this. Classes in which students are present for at least 70% of the sessions are recorded on the transcript. Some Independent Study projects are also recorded, as are activities that students complete on their own that can be appropriately documented. Additionally, each student is assigned an advisor each year. This advisor provides a narrative report, twice a school year, that are included on transcripts (high school students write self-evaluations each year that are also included).