PSCS graduates demonstrate high levels of self-expression, intrinsic motivation, and commitment to the 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 ultimate development and expression of these characteristics and is uniquely structured to showcase them. To be granted senior status, students must first gain the approval of the staff (see Junior Letter, below). Then during their final year, seniors must:
- Meet the principles of the school's presence requirement
- Conceive of and complete a yearlong Senior Project
- Present their credo to the community
- Participate in the yearlong Senior Seminar
In addition, graduating students are expected to promote and uphold the values of the school through a distinctly elevated and mature enactment of our Core Commitments. At the start of their culminating year, seniors are given a handbook that presents these requirements in detail.
The Junior Letter
To be granted senior status, students must successfully present to the staff why they are ready for the rigors of the senior year. To be considered, students will need to be 16 years old and have been enrolled at PSCS for at least three full school years at the time of their projected graduation. Due in January—17 months before their projected graduation date—qualifying students interested in graduating from PSCS submit what we call the Junior Letter, their written case outlining why they think they are ready for the rigors of the senior year. These letters and each student's history at the school is carefully reviewed by the 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 likely have the option to remain at PSCS and request approval again the following January.
PSCS does not have academic requirements, nor do we require students to take standardized tests or earn credits to graduate. There are no letter grades. We believe that students should follow their interests and hone a diverse range of skills—an approach that allows them to intrinsically participate in academic, creative, and collaborative rigor. 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 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 is included on their official school transcripts. With this approach, 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.
Liana will take a well-deserved sabbatical for the 2020-21 school year. Having achieved great success during her 13 years at PSCS, Liana feels now is the right time for reflection and renewal, to spend time with her family and focus on her independent music career, and not commute from Bothell every day. She looks forward to keeping in touch with us during her time away. We appreciate the amazing program Liana has cultivated at PSCS.
B.A. Music, Western Washington University & Fairhaven College; M.M. Trumpet Performance & Orchestral Studies, New England Conservatory of MusicRead More >