Founded in 1994, PSCS is a Washington State–approved private school and a federally recognized 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
660 S. Dearborn Street, in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District.
9am to 3:40pm.
In an effort to build upon the collaborative and equitable vision of the school, PSCS parents, staff, and the Board of Trustees agreed to invest in non-hierarchical administration and collaborative leadership, rather than in a traditional Head of School. This decision included the formation of an Administrative Team, comprised of our three directors. The Admin Team functions in close cooperation with the PSCS Teaching Staff.
Student/Teaching Staff Ratio
Our students are between the ages of 11 and 18 (grades 6–12 in more traditional schools). We enroll students entering grades 6-8, and grades 9 and 10.
32 students from Seattle and the greater metropolitan area. PSCS families come from all over; Rainier Beach and Columbia City, to Kirkland and Bellevue, Phinney Ridge and Ballard, Mountlake Terrace, Bainbridge Island, Mukilteo, and more.
Subscriber School, Northwest Association of Independent Schools (NWAIS)
Member, National Association of Independent Schools
Member, Washington Federation of Independent Schools (WFIS)
PSCS has 4 Teaching Staff members, 2 Adjunct Teaching Staff members, and 3 Administrative Directors.
PSCS is a state-approved private school and offers graduates an official Washington state high school diploma (PSCS Graduation Requirements).
28% of PSCS families receive aid. PSCS is committed to allocating a significant amount of tuition aid to assist families with financial need. The school uses an impartial outside entity to evaluate and determine objective financial need. It is also our intention that enrolled students are able to fully participate in all activities for which they qualify, and that the cost of these activities is not a barrier to participating. We do not wish to nickel and dime families after they've been enrolled. In support of this, PSCS has a program aid fund available for families who need help with such expenses.
Students are not given letter grades at PSCS and are not required to take any standardized, performance-based, assessment tests either to be admitted to PSCS or during their time here.
The requirements we place on our students provide the structure for them to be immersed in our positive and supportive environment, which is the root of our philosophy. Students are expected to spend 1,000+ hours present and on-campus (Community Hours), to attend classes, group programming, seminars, as well as off-campus events. We require students to fulfill our community service expectations and to attend PSCS for at least three years to be eligible to graduate.
PSCS parents/guardians participate in two conferences per school year with their student and their student’s Advisor. Parents are welcome to request additional meetings, and Advisors and/or the Director of Program may recommend or require them. Student progress is also detailed in two-week Check-ins, staff reports and reflections, as well as student self-reflections each year.
Each term, all reports, reflections, and milestones are compiled by Advisors and the school Registrar into a narrative transcript, which reflect state graduation requirements as well as PSCS-specific community requirements, most of which fall under the headings of our Core Commitments (above). Approved Independent Study projects are also transcripted, as are courses students complete on their own with outside resources, as long as they can be appropriately documented.
PSCS has an open admissions policy that reflects our aim to respect individual differences and learn from diversity. We admit students, and welcome staff and volunteers, of any race, ethnicity, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender expression, age, physical and cognitive ability, ancestry, medical condition, family care status, belief system, and family dynamic.
9-12th grade is focused on self-awareness, self-direction, and goal-setting. PSCS High School students are challenged by their Advisors to participate in offerings because they find excitement and/or purpose in them. Advisors help students continue to identify short- and long-term goals and to map out strategies to achieve them, including understanding and prioritizing required Seminars and WA State Graduation Requirements. Advising also engages a process of authentic self-reflection that supports students in moving toward their next goals, whether that be further education, the workforce, the Peace Corps, or any number of life pursuits.
Recent Class Offerings
Scientific Inquiry, Self Care, African American & Latinx History, American Lit. Octavia’s Brood, Sex & Health, Drumming, Cultural Films, Intro to Philosophy, Business & Finance, Writing Personal Narratives, Geometry, College Explorations, Natural Latin, World Geography, WA State History, Indigenous Poetry, Soccer, Cephalopod Biology, Algebra, Summarize THIS!, Blog Writing, History of Pop Music, Queer History, Current Events, Student Leadership, Landscape Sketching, Drawing & Sculpture, Theater, Building Gliders.
PSCS seniors often see the benefits of further and deeper learning and mindfully pursue higher education. PSCS alumni were accepted to, attend, or have attended the following colleges and universities for undergrad and graduate studies:
Boston Conservatory of Music at Berklee, Bellevue College, Bunka Fashion College-Tokyo, The School of Oregon Ballet Theater, Cal Arts, Cornish College of the Arts(+), DigiPen(+), LA School of Music, Make Up Forever Academy-NY, Marymount Manhattan College, Naropa University, Ohio-Wesleyan University, Oregon Culinary Institute, Pacific Lutheran University, Parsons School of Design, Quest University(+), Reed College, Sarah Lawrence, Saybrook University, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Seattle Central College(+), Seattle Pacific University(+), Seattle University, St John’s College, The Evergreen State College(+), The New School(+), University of Arizona, University of Illinois, University of Sarajevo Film School, University of Washington(+), UW-Bothell, UW- Engineering Program, Western Washington University(+), WWU-Fairhaven(+), Whitman College(+), Whittier College, and more.
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.”Read More >