Our fundamental approach begins with the ongoing maintenance of a safe, nurturing, and respectful environment.

PSCS students often pass through a series of stages, starting with a feeling of euphoria when they first enroll. Students are excited by the promise of spending their days pursuing activities that give them joy, and the thrill of being surrounded by an extraordinary group of teachers. We often say that PSCS is the easiest school you’ll ever attend because no one is telling you what to do. It’s also the hardest school, because no one is telling you what to do.

The job of the teaching staff is to not solve a student’s boredom problem.

This can be frustrating for students, but inevitably they emerge on the other side with a powerful sense of autonomy and ability to direct their own lives.

Students then often engage passionately in the endless academic and social opportunities available, and even begin leading new activities that they create. Over time, however, some students grow indignant over the fact that others are not taking full advantage of the school. The job of the teaching staff at this point is to coach students on how to transform their indignation into leadership. Staff will challenge students to become mentors for others who are in the process of learning how to fully engage.

The curriculum at PSCS is responsibility, and the goal for our graduates is maturity.

This takes place in a safe, loving, nurturing environment in which high-level academics are being offered by a teaching staff with degrees from the most prestigious universities in the world.

Featured Profile

Elizabeth Ortega

PSCS Teaching Staff member, Elizabeth Ortega, is a queer mixed-Latinx who found her way to PCSC after working with young people on food justice issues and running community kitchens and dinners in the White Center area. She is originally from the hot borderlands of the Southwest desert and has a deep affinity for the sun. She also comes from chasing after ice cream trucks and the dusty grounds of 4-H animals, among other places. For the last 7 years she’s roamed the PNW working with and organizing with young folks, making art, getting her graduate degree in Education and finding...

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