Poetry Community Christian School

Est. 2002; Fully Accredited 2006

Academics

CURRICULA:  PCCS offers a challenging core curriculum undertaken at a reasonable but challenging pace.  Faculty and Administration partnered to carefully evaluate curricula options for its Primer - 12th grades and chose, for example, Everyday Mathematics and the University of Chicago Math Project curricula--rated in the Top 10 Exemplary and Promising Math Programs by the Dept. of Education--a program incorporating daily experiences with math into its curriculum as well as popular elementary “Home Links” to keep parents in the learning loop. PCCS uses another research-based curriculum, Super Kids, for its Primer, 1st and 2nd grade integrated Reading, Phonics, Grammar, Spelling & Writing program.  Upper Elementary uses research-based Sitton Spelling, ABeka Grammar, Concerned Communications Elementary Handwriting, as well as SRA-McGraw Hill’s Open Court Reading & Phonics, a program endorsed by the National Reading Panel and ranked in the Top 7 by the National Federation of Teachers.  Over the year, many secular history and science textbooks have been altered and contain bias or simply do not comport with Christian principles--PCCS is committed to offering a Christian-based curricula in all elementary classes (ACSI's Purposeful Design for Elementary Science and BJPress Heritage Studies for Social Studies).  For similar reasons, PCCS utilizes a challenging Christian curriculum, Apologia, for science.  The classic literature curricula offered by Prentice Hall in addition to supplemental classic novels form the instructional focus for our college-bound upper school students in English. PCCS' curricula committee sought long and hard to find a multi-dimensional writing curriculum to sequentially build the writing school from elementary up.  We found it in the WriteShop curricula used for 3rd-6th grade and in 9th grade Writing Lab which launches our high schoolers successfully into writing scholarly research papers for their remaining Writing Labs (10th grade: Literary Criticism; 11th grade:  Current Events; and, finally, 12th grade:  20-page Senior Thesis for presentation to the school board to graduate).  See the bottom of this page for links regarding additional curricula research. For 24 total Dual College Credits available for high schoolers at PCCS (e.g., ENG 1301, ENG 1302, ENG British Literature, ENG American Literature, College Algebra, Pre-Calculus, Psychology, Human Development), PCCS utilizes the college-chosen textbooks and materials.


DAILY SCHEDULE

PCCS ELEMENTARY students engage in core classes for the first five periods of the day including two periods of Mathematics followed by Reading, Spelling, Composition, and Grammar. Elementary social studies courses are offered during the Fall semester (BJU Press Social Studies curriculum) along with activities and simulations to make this subject more memorable and interesting for students.  Elementary students enjoy science outdoors and indoors during the Spring semester using ACSI's Purposeful Design Science curricula, an interactive Christian program that also meets common core standards.  Electives for all Elementary grades are offered in the 6th or 7th periods of each day.  The day begins at 8 a.m. with Bible and Devotions (Monday-Chapel), and adjourns at 3:45 p.m. for 2nd-6th graders and at 3:40 p.m. for Primer and 1st graders.


The JUNIOR HIGH schedule begins with Math followed by Literature, Writing Lab, G/S/V (Grammar/Spelling/Vocabulary).  The 7th graders take UCSMP Transition Math-Prealgebra Life Pac Social Studies and ABeka General Science, while 8th graders take UCSMP Algebra I, Glencoe U.S. History I, and BJ Press Earth Science. 
Junior High classes begin at 8 a.m. for Bible and Devotions (Chapel on Mondays), and adjourn at 3:45 p.m. Monday - Thursday.


SENIOR HIGH school students attend five core classes (see Graduation Checklist in right sidebar) with necessary labs (Monday - Thursday plus Fridays until 1 p.m.).  Each semester, 7th-12th graders select eight weekly enrichment electives classes (see sample choices at right sidebar button).  Classes begin at 8 a.m. for Bible and Devotions (Chapel on Mondays), and adjourn at 3:45 p.m. Monday - Thursday. and at 1 p.m. on Fridays.


NATIONAL PERFORMANCE:  As a "school grade card," PCCS has chosen to compare its performance with national standards.  Therefore, students in 1st through 12th grades take nationally normed achievement tests without preparation each May.  What does it mean for a test to be "nationally normed?" National norms represent the pattern of performance of all the nation's students in various types of schools throughout the United States; national norms help schools and parents evaluate their local school's performance in relation to the nation as a whole.  The percentile rank scoring ranges from 1st %tile to 99th %tile with an average student scoring at the 50th %tile--these ranks tells where a particular student ranks within the nationally normed group (a 72%tile means that the student scored higher than 72% of the test takers in the norming group). 

PCCS students were administered the Stanford Achievement Test in years 2003-2012 with math and English scores in the top of the nation each year (always in the top 15%-18%).  Since 2013, PCCS has administered the nationally-normed TerraNova Achievement Test which uses the most current and accurate national norms available.  The TerraNova, endorsed by the Association of Christian Schools International, results reveal that PCCS students (1st-12th) on average are performing above their measured cognitive performance scores.  TerraNova average scores remain high (ranging 11%-16%), with the school average including all students except those placed in the learning difference program/LD diagnosis as per educational guidelines.  Students in the LINK Lab learning differences program also take the TerraNova and are performing above projected performance based upon measured cognitive levels.  

ACADEMIC YEAR:  Children are only young once, and family time cannot be regained once lost.  This important consideration as well as inefficiency noted in other school settings were accounted for when adopting the PCCS schedule (See Academic Calendar tab). The PCCS compressed schedule has been successful as confirmed by the school's high overall achievement test average.  Our academic year begins the 3rd or 4th week of August to ensure the Fall Semester is 16 weeks before Christmas Break begins. The Spring Semester begins after New Year's Day for 18 weeks plus a Finals Week ending the Thursday before Memorial Day. Senior Graduation is the Friday before Memorial Day to permit family members to enjoy the longer weekend. Breaks are generous at PCCS: 10 days each for Thanksgiving, February and April Breaks and 17 days off for Christmas Break.  PCCS elementary, junior high and LINK Lab students attend a four-day on-campus school week in addition to online educational enhancements to meet accreditation contact hours. High schoolers attend through Friday 1:10 p.m. plus online educational enhancements, also to meet accreditation contact hours. We discovered that students are better focused and use time more efficiently when curriculum and teaching styles hold their interests, so online educational enhancements are not a replacement for instruction but a reinforcement of college-bound and SAT/ACT vocabulary (Membean), spelling, math facts (EveryDay Math & Quizlet), and history facts.

HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION PLANNER

PCCS tailors its Graduation Planner after TEA Distinguished graduation requirements and typical college admission expectations, including the Texas "4x4" (English, History, Science & Math) plus 3 yrs of foreign language:

English:  English Gold, English Platinum, Dual Credit (college credit) 1301/1302 World Lit & Composition, and Dual Credit American or British Lit; 4 years of Writing Lab; College Entrance Exam English Prep

NOTE:  A number of PCCS hiigh schoolers tested at or above the national mean (against other dual credit students and college freshman nationwide) on Writing Skills (including usage/mechanics, rhetorical skills of the ACT's- Collegiate Assessment of Academic Proficiency Achievement Awards

History/Geography:  Ancient World History & Geography, Modern World History & Geography, U.S. History II, Economics and U.S. Government (including Mock Trial)

Mathematics:  Algebra/8th Grade, Geometry, Advanced Algebra, Functions/Statistics/Trigonometry, and Dual Credit (college credit) College Algebra or Pre-Calculus/Calculus; College Entrance Exam Math Prep; Dave Ramsey Money Management for Teens

Science with Lab:  Biology, Chemistry, Forensic Science and Physics

Languages & Reasoning:  3 courses in Spanish; Honors Latin & Greek Roots; Honors Logic & Reasoning

Other Required Courses:  Health I & II, College & Career Planning, P.E. (4), Fine Arts (4), Speech (2, incl. competition), Computer Sciences (4), CONNECT (Bible & Service Learning, every semester or Honors CONNECT for the school-sponsored Mission Trip prep), 68-hour Internship. and electives of choice. A Senior Capstone presented to the Board of Directors and Officers is required to graduate.


PCCS ALUMNAE:  Tracking PCCS Graduates...PCCS graduates attend a wide variety of private and public colleges & universities.  In fact, Dallas Baptist University and Texas Women's University have both communicated with PCCS about the success of our graduates at their institutions and actively solicit our graduates each year.  PCCS graduates have attended (have graduated from):

John Brown University, Texas A&M-College Station, Texas A&M-Commerce, Dallas Baptist University, Howard Payne University, University of Texas-Dallas, University of Texas-Austin, Texas Tech University, Eastfield College, Trinity Valley Community College, University of Houston, Fire School, Police Academy, Armed Forces (Navy and Army), University of North Texas, Paul Mitchell Cosmetology School, El Centro College, Southern Assembly of God University, Le Tourneau University, Christ for the Nations Institute, Savannah College of Art & Design, Texas Women's University, University of Texas-Tyler, St. Mary's University, Medical University of the American Medical School, Santa Fe University for Art & Design, University of New York, University of Pennsylvania, Texas Wesleyan University, Belhaven University, Vanderbilt Graduate School
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