"I’ve gone to a school where my voice has been valued, where I've been given the opportunity to make my own choices and compassion has been paramount. A place with teachers who actually care about me and how I'm doing. A place where I learned how to read. And when I say learned how to read, I don’t mean learned how to read, I mean I learned how to read.

-pscs senior credo

Students at PSCS

At PSCS, staff and students are focused on fostering a brave and creative environment that prioritizes self-care and community-care, as well as lifelong love of learning and collaboration. We believe that ALL people want to make the world a better place and are intrinsically compelled by our innate curiosity and passions. We can see that most of us thrive when provided choice, responsibility, positive support, responsibility, and community expectations.

We also see that by centering the lived experience of our Indigenous, Black, Brown, South Asian, East Asian, and Latine staff and students, and sharing truths about history and current events, PSCS students begin to find meaning in deeper education and discover new ways to contribute positively to the world beyond middle and high school.

We know that the more value we place on understanding each other’s experience and humanity, the closer we get to ending violent oppression and realizing joy.

Programs & Info

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 Projects, but are asked to invest most fully in discovering who they are as individuals and who they are in community.

Featured Profile

Dana Bettinger

PSCS friend and supporter, Dana Bettinger, earned a bachelor’s degree in architecture from Pratt Institute and then a master’s degree from Yale University, but after seven years as an architect—including time spent running her own design firm—she returned to graduate school and became a teacher. Dana taught art, architecture, and stagecraft at University Prep for over a decade, and previously served as the president of the PSCS Board of Trustees.

She was initially attracted by the school’s progressive philosophy.

“You don’t hear students at PSCS talking about what they’ll do when they’re finally ‘in the real world,’” she says. “Our students understand that they’re being given the freedom and support to pursue ‘real life’ right now, instead of constantly being trained for some future experience.”

Dana may have been drawn in by the idea of progressive education theory put to practice, but the best part of serving on the board is being a part of such an extraordinary group of individuals.

“I get to interact in such a thoughtful way with all of the incredible people who make up our community,” she says, “from students to parents to other volunteers. They’re smart, engaged, and always inspiring.”

The community is at its best, Dana says, at its unique graduation ceremony. Seniors are honored individually in an event that, in some years, has lasted more than seven hours.

“It is an incredible opportunity to see a group of strong, fascinating young people reveal their true selves in creative, eloquent ways—and then be comfortable allowing the people who love them to share their experience in such a public way.”

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