PSCS was founded upon the belief that people are intrinsically compelled by their own curiosities and desire to learn, and when provided a positive and supportive environment—along with a wide variety of opportunities offered by interesting and engaging people¬—they will enthusiastically pursue meaningful and challenging tasks. Whereas mainstream educational models often 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 this environment, meaningful learning occurs naturally and inevitably, though the pace, form, and content of learning will vary from person to person. This philosophy is based on the most robust findings in behavioral science of the past 40 years.
It is a philosophy that has reinvented what school is in the 21st century.
At PSCS, students and staff collaborate to create the school's schedule, which has the flexibility to change regularly. This cooperative process provides an arena in which students learn to advocate for activities they want, to structure their schedules around their interests, goals, and priorities, and to be sensitive to the scheduling needs of others. Students are assigned an Advisor, a member of the teaching staff with whom they meet regularly. Advisors challenge students to identify short- and long-term goals and help them learn how to align what they do at school with these goals.
Students who fully embrace the program offered at PSCS show consistent progress in self-expression, leadership, and skill-building in almost any endeavor, and recognize they are part of something bigger than themselves. This progress is contextualized within the school’s Core Commitments: Practice Integrity. Engage the Community. Act with Courage.
PSCS is a Washington State approved middle and high school.
PSCS does not have academic requirements, nor do we require students to take standardized tests or earn credits to graduate. There are no letter grades. We believe that students should follow their interests and hone a diverse range of skills—an approach that allows them to intrinsically participate in academic, creative, and collaborative veracity. Advisors engage students in a process of authentic self-reflection that is challenging and supportive of their growth. The school documents this process with individualized transcripts that focus on the activities each student completes while attending PSCS. In addition, Advisors provide an annual narrative report of each advisee, and high school students write three self-reflection essays per year, all of which is included on their official school transcripts.
With this approach, PSCS is approved by the state of Washington to award a high school diploma to students who meet the school's graduation requirements, the same diploma awarded by public schools and other approved private schools.
PSCS is grounded in community.
The requirements we place on our students are based on providing the structure necessary for them to be immersed in the positive and supportive environment at the root of our philosophy. Students are required to earn 1000 Community Hours each year, and to attend mandatory whole group and small group activities (Advising, Advisory, Check-in/Check-out, and Seminar).
We require students to attend PSCS for at least three years to be eligible for graduation.
Teaching Staff Profile
B.A. Music, Western Washington University & Fairhaven College; M.M. Trumpet Performance & Orchestral Studies, New England Conservatory of Music
Having achieved great success during her 13 years at PSCS, Liana feels now is the right time for reflection and renewal, to spend time with her family and focus on her independent music career, and not commute from Bothell every day. While Liana is no longer a full time teaching staff member at PSCS, she will remain as Administrative Consultant for the foreseeable future—aiding in our transition to collaborative leadership.Read More >