PSCS graduates demonstrate high levels of self-expression, intrinsic motivation, and commitment to their school community—as well as the global community.
Graduating from PSCS
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 (below). 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.
The Junior Letter
Qualifying students must get staff approval to enter the senior year in the year prior to their intended graduation from PSCS. This approval process begins with the "Junior Letter." Due in January, the Junior Letter is each student's written reflection of their experiences at PSCS and their readiness for the rigors of the senior year. These letters, and each student's history at PSCS, are carefully reviewed by staff. Approved students attend a mandatory Junior Seminar during Spring Term to further orient and prepare them for the senior year process. Students denied the privilege of becoming seniors will have the option to remain at PSCS and request approval again the following January.
In addition to their courses, PSCS seniors participate in a rigorous Senior Process. This includes:
- completion of a large-scale Senior Project that challenges their capabilities and furthers a passion.
- development of their Credo, a statement of personal belief, with staff guidance over the course of the school year, and presentation of that statement at their graduation ceremony.
- successful completion of, and the work associated with, Senior Seminar (writing and editing their Credo, practicums, interviews, conversations, and text studies).
- presentation of their final Senior Project at Senior Showcase.
Community Service is a PSCS Graduation Requirement. As we strive to graduate students who embody our vision for a more just and equitable future, we believe it is through service that we begin to develop empathy for ourselves and for all. We can begin to understand the complexities of equity and inclusion, while simultaneously attempting to leverage our privilege and power to dismantle, in small part, the systems of injustice that exist where we live.
Even in the context of a global pandemic, we believe there are still many opportunities to help (neighborhood food drive, socially distanced restoration projects, etc). PSCS will collaborate with students and families to identify and approve safe service opportunities, in coordination with a student’s Advisor. Students are encouraged to seek out service opportunities with their friends and families, whether through a local agency or through an individual project. PSCS will collaborate with students and families to identify and approve safe, meaningful service opportunities. At the end of the year we will acknowledge the various ways we have served our communities and our experiences doing so. Completion of community service requirements will be reflected in a student's transcript.
PSCS does not have academic requirements, standardized testing, or letter grades. We believe that students should follow their interests and hone a diverse range of skills—an approach that asks them to participate in academics, music, and the arts collaboratively. 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 and courses 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 are included on their official school transcripts.
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.