PSCS provides students with a collaborative educational environment and true ownership of their learning.

The value of community and the importance of a healthy school environment are so significant at PSCS that certain activities are automatically scheduled, some of which have required attendance. Most activities, however, are determined through a highly structured collaborative system involving the students and staff that takes place throughout the year. 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. To assist with this process, students are assigned an Advisor, a member of the teaching staff with whom they meet regularly. Although many of the activities offered through this process are cross-grade, PSCS is divided into two distinct but overlapping programs: middle school and high school. Students who fully embrace the programs 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.

Middle School Program

PSCS nurtures in our 6th, 7th, and 8th graders a deeper understanding of themselves and their responsibilities to community—and helps them develop the skills needed to derive the most benefit from the school. Advisors act as coaches and guides in this process, assisting students in identifying and pursuing their interests while involved in a community setting. As part of the program, middle school students have some additional structure and are required to participate in middle school-specific programs and activities, including seminars and advising. During their 8th grade year, students complete and present an individual project based on their personal interests. This process creates a natural bridge to attending high school at PSCS and acts as a precursor to the Senior Project.

High School Program

High school students at PSCS focus on the concepts of self-awareness, self-direction, and goal setting—all in the context of participating and contributing to a healthy school community. Advisors help students identify their short- and long-term goals, and to map out strategies to achieving them. In terms of school offerings, advisors challenge students to participate in activities not based on what they think they "should" be doing, but because students are excited by these activities and find meaning in them. Advisors also engage students in a process of rigorous self-reflection, which is authentic and supportive of student growth. During their 10th grade year, students complete and present a collaborative project, usually related to creating value for another community.

Graduating From PSCS

PSCS graduates demonstrate high levels of self-expression, intrinsic motivation, and commitment to the community. A student’s senior year at PSCS is the crowning development and expression of these characteristics and is uniquely structured to showcase them. To graduate from PSCS, a student must first be approved by the staff. To be considered, students will need to be at least 16 years old and have been enrolled at PSCS for at least three full school years at the time of their graduation (PSCS Graduation Requirements).

Featured Profile

Sieglinde Levery-Nicholas

Sieglinde Levery-Nicholas was born and raised in Seattle, living out most of her angsty teen years in the Central District. She graduated from Franklin High School in 1999, spent a year at Cornish College and spent a couple of even angsti-er years trying to write the next great American novel (“Still working on that”). In 2002, Sieglinde packed up a friend’s Dodge Neon and moved cross country to attend UNH in tiny Durham, New Hampshire. “Not only is the East Coast radically different than the Northwest, but Durham is the size of my pinky toe. It was a huge life change.” Sieglinde spent her last semester of college in Cambridge, England, studying Shakespeare and travel writing. Then after ten years in New England—seven of which were spent working in Development at a small North Shore private school—she was hired as the Director of Advancement by PSCS co-founder, Andy Smallman, working for PSCS from 2012-2020. Sieglinde recently returned to PSCS as the Director of Community Engagement for May and June, with the potential to continue on in that capacity next school year. Alongside Tim Ichien, Samuel Mitchell, Sieglinde will take part in a schoolwide shift toward a collaborative Co-directorship/Administrative Team—a perhaps somewhat radical notion to some, but a long held idea, originally developed by co-founder, Andy Smallman. Sieglinde’s primary function is Director of Community Engagement (DOC), which will still include the planning and oversight of PSCS fundraising, marketing, communications, and admissions, but will honor her passion for connection and relationship (both internal and external), as well as allow the dedicated Administrative Team to continue together the work being done every day to ensure PSCS kids are safe, seen, and supported; to ensure every parent and guardian feels like a member of said team; and to ensure transparency, trust, and equity for our staff and community. Sieglinde lives in Rainier Beach with her husband Drew, whom she’s known since high school (go Quakers), and her son, Oliver. B.A. English, University of New Hampshire Read More >