PSCS provides students with a collaborative educational environment and true ownership of their learning.
Although many of the courses and activities at PSCS are cross-grade, PSCS is divided into two distinct but overlapping programs: middle school and high school. Students who fully embrace the opportunities offered at PSCS show consistent progress in self-expression, leadership, and skill building in almost any endeavor, and are starting to recognize they are part of something bigger than themselves.
Our philosophy nurtures in our 6th-8th graders a deeper understanding of themselves and their responsibilities to those around them. In middle school, Advisors and older students act as coaches and guides in this process, assisting our youngest and newest to identify and pursue their interests while helping them to develop the skills they need to derive the greatest benefit from the community. Middle school students are required to participate in some specific programs and activities, including Seminars and Cairn Projects, but are asked to invest most fully in discovering who they are as individuals and who they are in community.
9-12th grade at PSCS is focused on the concepts of self-awareness, self-direction, and goal-setting. Students are challenged by their Advisors to participate in offerings because students find excitement and/or purpose in them. Advisors help students a) identify short- and long-term goals (and map out strategies to achieve them); b) provide support in understanding and prioritizing required Seminars and WA State Graduation Requirements; and c) engage in a process of authentic self-reflection that supports them in moving toward their next goals, whether that be further education, the workforce, the Peace Corps, or any number of life pursuits.
Graduating From PSCS
PSCS graduates demonstrate high levels of self-expression, motivation, and commitment to the community. A student’s senior year at PSCS is the ultimate development and expression of the arc of the student journey and is structured to showcase these qualities. To receive a diploma from PSCS, a student must first be approved by the staff to move on to the senior year. To be considered for approval, the student will need to be at least 16-years old and have been enrolled at PSCS for three full school years at the time of their projected graduation. A student is then approved by indicating their readiness to commit to the Senior Process, as outlined in the Senior Handbook and the Junior Letter process. Lastly, seniors are required to meet the state of Washington’s graduation requirements. High school students and their families work with Advisors to create individualized pathways that satisfy these requirements.
Here’s how Duncan Moore, the vice president of the PSCS Board of Trustees, responded when asked to describe his involvement at PSCS:
“When I meet folks while at a PSCS event I’m often asked, ‘So, what’s your connection to PSCS? Which child is yours?’ To which I respond, ‘None of them. I don’t have children.’ So what is my connection to PSCS? Why do I serve on the board, facilitate classes, and generally hang out as much as I can? It’s because I’m secretly envious of all the kids that do get to attend PSCS. . . .Read more >