We absolutely love this school. My daughter came from Scotts Valley Middle, hesitated about switching, and fell in love with the school, does not want to go back at all. I agree that this school is not necessarily for everyone. It is somewhat different from the "typical" American high school experience (and I think it's no coincidence that it has a somewhat more international group of families than many of the local schools). If your child prefers a large campus, or an emphasis on sports, or the more typical American high school experience that one reviewer described (football, basketball, etc.), then this school might not be for your child. However, if your student would like a small campus, close community, much stronger emphasis on fine arts, languages, sciences and academics, then this could be a great school. We have also liked it socially. My daughter has found a great group of friends; although they do work hard, they have a lot of fun together too and are really nice kids. Also, there is less pressure here to fit into some of the high school stereotypes (jock, nerd, cheerleader). Not for everyone, but they serve their stated mission extremely well.
Our daughter left PCS at two months into 7th grade due to stress and the fact that we wanted her to have the typical "high school" experience that we didn't see happening at the highly academic-oriented format of PCS. I'm happy to say that , after leaving PCS, she enjoyed the typical high school football and basketball games, formals and fun of high school as well as the acadmic rigor requred to get her into a great college. This week, coming from Soquel High, she was accepted into University of Chicago, Georgetown, Northwestern, Tufts and American. So, parents, my advice to you would be to think carefully about the unrelentingly priority that PCS has on rigor with a healthy, social and academic focus that could equally happen in your local high school.
PCS is a great school overall. However it is very demanding , my kids are doing fine, but sometimes they struggle for such challenging academic programs. Sometimes I wonder if I should transfer them to a regular school.. On the other hand I can see the great results and positive impact on my 3 kids. It is adifficult choice as a parent, don't take it lightly... If you don't have the time to sit down and help your kid succed on a daily basis through organizational skills or academic direction don't apply. PCS volunteers are great, the teachers are very good and the leadership strong as well.. My kudos to all of them.
Amazing education that far surpasses all other schools in all of Monterey Bay. I have found that other students in their freshmen year at other schools are learning the material we learned in 7th grade. PCS will prepare me for very prestigious schools, far better than other public schools.
A brilliant education delivered singlehandedly by a brilliant group of devoted teachers. That's all there is to it.
Our son left (along with about 11 other students) in his Jr. Year. The emphasis was primarily on AP test taking and so much homework that seemed to gauge how much work students could do vs. how much they learned. For him, the curriculum's rigidity and lack of choice made learning seem like a chore instead of a life-long pursuit. It is a school that works for some kids and not others. Parents should think about what their child is like and what they want out of their education and see if it is a good fit before having them choose this school.
My daughter left PCS after attending 7-10 grades. Though very bright she found the pressure to get good grades and homework load were too great. She started out with great self esteem and a love to learn and left with feelings of failure, inadequacy and burn out. The homework load left her little time to pursue any other interests outside of academics. She is now attending another small charter school and is much happier and feels she is actually learning more then at PCS because she is now taught how to think and at PCS she was mostly taught how to pass the AP tests.
PCS has an amazing faculty devoted to public education and college preparation for all students. The curriculum is extremely rigorous and is not for everyone, but only for STUDENTS (not just parents) who want it. It is not a place a student can be forced to attend. It has a narrow mission--college prep for everyone, and admission is lottery based--and that is what is done well. There is also a strong emphasis on community service and a global perspective. As with most educational endeavors, it is experimental and does not cover every aspect of student and child development. Many non-academic aspects of growing up are left for families to cover in their own way. The school culture is very positive and academic. Students have fun, care about each other and work very hard.
The previous poster sums up perfectly our family's experience with PCS. Our kids work hard in an environment in which this is nothing special, just what's done by just about everyone, just because that's how things are done around here. No big deal.
We have two very bright children attending this school. They have lots of homework and study hard, but are both challenged and love the school! Our nearby publlic schools just weren't working for them . . .
I have my second child graduating this year and found the enviornment at this school to be perfect for my students. There is a striving to be the best YOU can be not what anyone else is. The instructors are caring, sharp and young. They have the right mindset to get the informationaccross to these young minds and inspire them to go beyond what they might of thought their boundaries were!
PCS is seeing great results because of a rigorous college-prep curriculum that builds from grade 7, teachers with high expectations who work together, students who put in extra effort and involved parents. Smaller classes help, although some students may think the school is too small.
Pacific Collegiate provides a wonderful opportunity for students to receive a college prep education with small classes and highly educated teachers. The small size of the school, focus on strong academics, and involved/dedicated parents contribute to the success of this school, which has become one of the best schools in California. Add to that the strong music, drama, art, and foreign language classes, and you have a school that reminds many people of highly regarder private schools. I commend those who founded PCS and those who have contributed to the succcess of this highly regarded school! I wish there were more schools like this in CA.
My daughter was one of the members of the second graduating class. She was one of those kids with potential and intelligence but really on the lazy side. At her prior school she was headed toward student government but Community college admission. She decided with the encouragement of her older brother to spend her last 2 years at PCS. She worked harder than at her previous school, learned to respect her teachers and respect my interest in her education. She graduated from USF in 2005 and immediately found a management position in Retail and is enthusiastically looking forward to her future with the confidence of a college graduate. I am sincere in saying that even thought PCS had a tumultous beginning that she benefited from the collective efforts of dozens of PCS people.
Perhaps the greatest school in the county, if you can get in. Volunteering is mandatory.
Great teachers. They care about students. Accelered curriculum. Excellent school.
The core academic courses are excellent as are the drama and choral/music programs. The arts program is poor and some of the language programs are below par. There are few to no choices available for 11th and 12th graders to create a tailored schedule. Parents are very involved and the sense of community among the students is beyond wonderful. It is not perfect but our family is very satisfied.
PCS is a small school allowing more personal time with the teachers. Currently we are occupying the natural bridges site. The teachers are first selected by the school board then a handful of students choose which one they think will work best at PCS. Pcs also supports the arts. We have 4 music classes, 2 chorus classes, 3 drama classes, and many art programs available. With a tight budget PCS relies heavily on parents to volunteer and donate.
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