PCA has so many problems we took our elementary children out in Decemnber. The headmaster is wonderful but the teachers and principal are too rigid. Lots of homework that is busy work, not valuable content. The academics are sub par (my oldest daughter went through Catholic schools and received a superb education). It's so dissapointing because the campus is beautiful, the teachers need more education themselves on how to teach and discipline children effectively.
Our son graduated two years ago and we still can t say enough about the excellent preparation he received at PCA preparation in time management; love of learning enhanced by faculty and administration that are truly invested and care; balancing social life and academics; and excellent foundational skills in the areas of math and science that are still serving him well for the rigorous electrical engineering program in which he is enrolled. Based on AP test scores, he was able to enroll at college with 12 credits (4 each in calculus, chemistry and English). Even as a sophomore, he is still earning top test scores in advanced math classes that he attributes in part to the things he learned at PCA. Academic preparedness = cost of tuition; making wise life choices = priceless.
Very happy with school so far. I have seen a big improvement in many areas already and she's only been there a couple months. Much better than public school.
I graduated from PCA two years ago. The school has a great environment but I do not find the academic challenging enough. There are not enough Honors or AP classes as other public schools in the area and without those, graduates from PCA do not have the same advantages as others when applying to prestigious colleges.
I had two kids that went through the bulk of their schooling at PCA. They are now attending the college of their choice because of the great academics at PCA. While the school does not offer all the 'extra' fluff (non academic) programs as some of the larger Public schools in the area, they make it up in academics where it really counts. The teachers care. The new Headmaster is as wonderful person. The price of tuition is very reasonable. I talkd to another parent once who was complaining because the school didn't offer some extra program that a local $20,000 prep school offered; I told her that if she wanted to pay 3 times as much just so her child could enjoy this extra (non academic) program to fork over the extra $14,000 and PCA would probably be glad to hire the additional part time coach. That shut her up!
PCA is a wonderful school where students can advance at their own pace in a caring and nurturing environment.
I was very surprised by some of the negative comments here. I have had tow kids at PCA for seven years, one in the Upper School and one in the Lower School. I have very bright children and they are challenged and work hard. I think the school's overall standarized testing results speak for the quality education children here receive. The teachers are exceptional and very much care for the kids as individuals. The Fine Arts programs have improved and there are Honors and AP classes offered at the Upper School. I would highly encourage you, if you are interested, to take a look and see for yourself....
PCA is a great school the teachers are wonderful and I felt I was challenged and now that I no longer go to PCA, I miss all the teachers that really taught me to believe in my abilitys.
My child has attended PCA for seven years, starting in Kindergarten. In general I find the teachers to be wonderful. The way they are able to meet each individual child's needs and challenges constantly amazes me. My child has been challenged, and continues to grow academically, socially and spiritually because of the great people at the school. PCA offers parents a wide vasruet of opportunities to become involved as a volunteer. They have a true open door policy, if I have a question someone at the school will find the answer for me. As with any organization, there are challenges that need to be worked on, but I have never felt I was leading anyone astray when I have recommended PCA to them. I would, and do recommend PCA to whomever is looking for a better school than what their child(ren) currently attend.
My son went to PCA from middle school thru high school. He is currently attending a good college and is quite able to handle the academics. I feel he was well prepared. He came into himself socially at the school and made some wonderful friends. However, the administration is very rigid and does not have a grasp of the real world and what young people face. Their expectations are that a teenager can behave like a saint at all times and this is just not realistic. There is also some favoritism with faculty children...
Having graduated from PCA, I felt prepared for what my Ivy League school has thrown at me. If you take advantage of all the accelerated programs the school has to offer, you will be fine at any university. PCA is not a school for those who need their hands held. It will prepare you for college, as many of the teachers in the upper school will try to create a college-like atmosphere. I enjoyed my time there. But like any school it has its 'cons'. There were incidents of favouritism, etc. Unfortunately my guidance counselor (to whom I owe many thanks) left the school (2007) as did two great leaders: the headmaster (2006), the former principal of the high school (2004?). Regardless, PCA is a great private school. If full advantage is taken, your child's education will surpass what he/she would have most likely received at a public institution.
Be sure of what your priorities are before choosing PCA. Our son attended fourth grade after having attended catholic school for PreK - 3. Our experience was disappointing and at times, infuriating. Academics were sub-par. My son received a heavy load of homework, but the content was not challenging. Just time consuming. We embrace the message of Jesus' love and acceptance. Not exclusion. We are returning to his old school this fall.
I am a senior at Portsmouth Christian Academy. Although there are some kids who drink and do drugs, it is a very low number and these students never pressure others to try anything. The students are generally good natured and hard working with much encouragement and individual help from the teachers. Most students get into good colleges. The art, music, and drama programs are good to get a credit or kill time, but very rarely will I see someone excel at any of the three. The sports teams are fairly competitive and a number of students have received sports scholarships to good colleges such as Texas A&M. I hardly see parents helping out at the school, there is not much for them to do. The school is very religious, but when a single student does something wrong, the entire student body is spoken to as if a criminal.
My oldest son went to PCA from K-8 and loved it. He made a lot of great friends and grew spiritually during his years there. He wanted to pursue sports and decided on boarding school. He wasn't as prepared academically as we had hoped, but his character and work ethic are helping him to learn what he missed. Still recommend the school for K-8. PCA is great for kids that are above average and don't have special needs. They have a very structured environment that might not work with really bright kids or kids with learning disabilities.
I love this school! I have 3 children attending and we moved just to go to this school. The K-12 aspect means my children have an uninterrupted school setting and can share experiences with each other. Lots of homework, high academic expectations, very competitive. Caring and intelligent staff, lots of parent involvement. Art, music, sports, after school programming, bus service, lots of extracurricular at the high school level. Guidance dept. and testing services for high school. It's a sacrifice financially, but very worth it to us. Very positive atmosphere. My kids are happy!
Better than NH public schools, but sadly the academics are not what the school's promotional material indicate. Nice facilities, but did not prepare my 2 children for the 'average' colleges that they now attend.
Portsmouth Christian Academy is a great school. One of the safest in the nation. The Curriculum is excellent, all of the teachers have masters degrees or are in the process of receiving their masters. The school is quite small. The lower school grades Pre-K through 8th containing somewhere around 750 students, and the high school 9th through 12th grade containing around 270 students. The school has a great Soccer and Basketball team. Other sports offered are Cross Country Running, Winter Track, Spring Track, Softball and Baseball, and Tennis coming soon. The Registration fee is $75 and the Lower school is around $5000 a year, where the upper school is around $7000 a year. If unable to afford, scholarships are available etc.
Be careful! This school is very much a fundamentalist school - they take the Bible literally and read Scripture everyday. The kids who go there are brainwashed and unprepared for the 'real world'. The administration is very Stepford wifish. Nice facilities. We pulled our child out after one year because of the rigidity of the curriculum and the extreme religious overtones. Most of the graduates go to lower tier colleges or Bible colleges. Many of the staff have 'advanced' degrees from on-line universities!
PCA has been a blessing to our daughter and our family. The teachers are all top notch and really care about their students. My child is thriving both spiritually and academically. After school activities are both optional and abundant. PCA is a wonderful Christian school!
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