CHALLENGING CURRICULA

PCCS offers a challenging core curriculum undertaken at a reasonable but challenging pace.  Faculty and Administration partner to carefully evaluate curricula options for each grade, including a focus on "research-based curricula" (also known as "evidence-based curricula") and scope and sequence for sequential core classes rather than personal teacher curricula preferences.  (Click on the blue links shown below to read more about select curricula)
  • Mathematics:  Primer - 10th grades utilize Big Ideas Mathematics, an empirically research-based mathematics program that offers both textbook-based and digital support to ensure students build a strong math foundation in anticipation of ACT/SAT/TSI entrance exams.  11th and 12th graders have two track options for math:  Dual Credit College Mathematics (e.g., College Pre-Cal, College Algebra, College Statistics) or TEA-approved 3rd and 4th year mathematics (e.g., Pre-Calculus, Financial Mathematics, TSA-Prep Math)
  • Elementary English/Language Arts (ELA):  The PCCS elementary curricula committee research  revealed another research-based curriculum: Super Kids.  This program is utilized for  Primer, 1st and 2nd grades and integrates Reading, Phonics, Grammar, Spelling & Writing program.  Upper Elementary uses research-based Shurley Grammar which introduces abstract language arts concepts through logical, concrete, and multi-sensory strategies that support diverse learners. For upper elementary reading, PCCS uses 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. Since its incorporation in 2002, PCCS recognized that handwriting instruction and practice meets several educational objectives and cognitive milestones and chose "A Reason For" program as its scripture-based program by Concerned Communications.
  • Science and History/Social Studies:  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 curricula in all elementary classes (ACSI's Purposeful Design for Elementary Science and BJPress Heritage Studies for Social Studies).  Upper School students enjoy learning history through BJ Press Heritage Studies (7th-11th grades) and ABEKA U.S. Government for 12th graders.  PCCS utilizes a challenging Christian curriculum, Apologia, for  upper science. 
  • Upper School English Literature:   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.  
  • Writing:  PCCS emphasizes developing writing skills early through the P-2nd grade Super Kids Program and then through the WriteShop curricula.  Research-based Shurley English and Writing is utilized for Junior High through 10th grades. High schoolers are scheduled for Writing Lab (11th and 12th grade Dual Credit English student must complete a scholarly research paper each semester for their college credit requirement). In addition, 12th graders, in order to graduate, must also prepare and present a Senior Capstone to the school's leadership team in May.  See the bottom of this page for links regarding additional curricula research.

PCCS Academic Performance

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).

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.  Prior to 2013, PCCS was also rated highly when 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%).  

OTHER MEASURES OF PERFORMANCE Check out the link below to review local ISDs preliminary ratings by the TEA...poor and needing improvement in every school district surrounding PCCS.  These scores measure student performance on state tests, progress students make year to year, whether the school is closing the achievement gaps between poor students and their peers, and how well schools are preparing students for college or careers.  GO TO THIS LINK and enter the district name in the search box:  

https://interactives.dallasnews.com/2017/grading-texas-schools/#_ga=2.213946327.1903333846.1507063466-661484780.1495145371


How does PCCS measure up?  The SACS/AdvancED Index of Education Quality (IEQ) scores for PCCS were: 1) Overall Score 315.38 (AdvancED Network of all private schools average 278.94); 2) Teaching and Learning Impact 309.52 (AdvancED Network of all private schools average 268.48); 3) Leadership Capacity 336.36 (AdvancED Network of all private schools average 293.71); AND 4) Resource Utilization 300.00 (AdvancED Network of all private schools average, 286.27).  Want to learn about SACS/AdvancED? Go to this website: http://www.advanc-ed.org/about-us


ACT and PCCS:  In the PCCS September 2017 ACT Report of College Readiness, the Table of "Percent of ACT-Tested Students Ready for College-Level Coursework" showed benchmark comparisons of all PCCS students who took the ACT and Texas ISDs:  College English Composition (PCCS 90%, State 57%), College Algebra (PCCS 80%, State 40%).  More about the ACT:  ACT scores range from 1 to 36, and the average ACT score is 20. If you’ve scored 20, then you’ve scored higher than 50% of test-takers. A 24 places you at the 74th percentile—better than ¾ of test-takers. A score of 30 means you’ve scored better than 95% of them--for PCCS students that have taken a course sequence of Algebra I/II, Geometry and Trig/Other Adv. Math, the average is 30.0.  That's why PCCS has moved to the research-based math curriculum (CPM, College-Prep Mathematics).  We want to give students the best chance to nail the ACT Math!  

How does PCCS measure up on the SAT?  The 2017 College Readiness Benchmarks for PCCS vs. National scores:  Overall (PCCS 92%, National 48%), English (PCCS 100%, National 71%), and Math (PCCS 92%, National 50%).  

Core Class Addition – Spring Semester:  Weekly challenge question from an SAT/ACT will be presented by our upper school faculty in History, English, Math and Science!  

PCCS SUPPORT SERVICES PROGRAM
Does your child struggle with Learning?  Click below to learn more about our Program!

 

ACADEMIC YEAR & DAILY SCHEDULES

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 and junior high 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. 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) and math facts and computation (ALEKS, Xtra Math, EveryDay Math & Quizlet).

DAILY SCHEDULE:  The school day begins for all students at 8 a.m. with Devotions and Bible Study (and one day of Chapel for elementary and upper separately). Monitors are present 7:30 a.m. - 8 a.m. and until 4:20 p.m. after school.


The Elementary Schedule is Monday-Thursday with five core periods including two periods of Mathematics plus Reading, Spelling, Composition, and Grammar. They also have Social Studies, Science and Electives (one elective per day and these vary each day). Primer and 1st graders adjourn at 3:55 p.m. while 2nd and up adjourn at 4 p.m.


The Junior High Schedule is Monday-Thursday with five core classes in Math (Prealgebra, Algebra), Science, Social Studies, English/Literature, Writing Lab with Grammar and Membean Vocabulary. Social Studies is Texas History and World Geography for 7th and U.S. History I for 8th graders. They have 8 electives slots per week.


The High School Schedule is Monday - Thursday plus Fridays until 1:10 p.m. It includes five core classes (see Graduation Checklist in right sidebar) with necessary labs. Each semester, 7th-12th graders select eight weekly enrichment electives classes (see sample Enrichment Schedule, above).

HS Graduation Planner

PCCS tailors its Graduation Planner after the TEA Graduation Foundation Requirements as well as Academic Endorsements.  The program includes both DCAP (Dual Credit/Advanced Program) and LAPS (Liberal Arts/Practical Sciences) Endorsements  in addition to the TEA & PCCS Foundation Requirements. (Support Services courses are not listed below but align with educational needs of student groups).  


ENGLISH:  

FOUNDATION:  English I, English II

DCAP:  Dual Credit ENG 1301, 1302, British Literature, and American Literature

LAPS:  Creative Writing/World Literature, Dual Credit 1301, 1302

The PCCS HS English program also includes 4 years of composition/writing lab plus College Entrance Exam English Prep.

NOTE:  A number of PCCS high 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:  

FOUNDATION, ALL TRACKS:  Cultural History & Geography, World History & Geography, U.S. History II, Economics and U.S. Government (including Mock Trial).


MATHEMATICS:  

FOUNDATION:  Quadratic and Linear Algebra, Geometry, Advanced Algebra

DCAP:  HS/Dual Credit Pre-Calculus, Dual Credit College Algebra and Dual Credit College Statistics/12th Grade.

LAPS:  Math Models I/II and/or College-Prep Mathematics (TSI Clep Course), College Algebra (Dual Credit and non-Dual Credit), Financial Mathematics.  Consistent with TEA options, alternative math credits are available in the Senior year for those students entering majors not requiring upper level math (e.g., Consumer Mathematics, Business Models).  Other required HS Math courses include College Entrance Exam Math Prep and Dave Ramsey Money Management for Teens.


SCIENCE WITH LAB:  

FOUNDATION:  Biology/9th, Forensic Science/10th

DCAP:  Chemistry/11th, Physics/12th 

LAPS:  IPC/11th, Alternate TEA-approved Science (e.g., Marine Biology, Entomology, Food Science)/12th

Optional Dual Credit:  Anatomy & Physiology


LANGUAGES & REASONING:

FOUNDATION:  Latin & Logic/9th, Membean Vocabulary/All

DCAP:  Logic & Reasoning/9th, Spanish I/10th, Spanish II/11th

LAPS:  Tourist Spanish, Alternate Language (e.g., Continuing Spanish, ASL levels)

Optional Dual Credit:  College Spanish I/II


OTHER REQUIRED COURSES:  Health I/II, College & Career Planning, P.E. (4 courses), Fine Arts (4 courses), Speech (incl. competition), Technical Applications/Computer Sciences (4 courses), CONNECT (Bible & Service Learning, every semester or school-sponsored Mission Trip prep), 68-hour Internship, and electives of choice, including Dual Credit Psychology and Dual Credit Sociology.  


A Senior Capstone presented to the Board of Directors and Officers is required to graduate.

39 Dual College Credits for High Schoolers

With tight budgets and multiple children, PCCS parents have appreciated the benefit of sending their graduates to college with more affordable College Dual Credits under our Concurrent Dual Credit Contract with accredited Trinity Valley Community College rather than paying the higher 4-year university course rates.  Yes! Students have been successful in transferring these credits to other colleges within and outside of Texas! College textbooks, approved by the community college district, are utilized, and our teachers are qualified as college adjunct faculty to teach these courses.


ENG 1301 Composition (3 credits

       ENG 1302 World Lit (3 credits)

 American Lit (3 credits)

British Lit (3 credits)

College Algebra (3 credits)

College PreCalculus (3 credits)

College Statistics (3 credits)

Social Science PSYCH (3 credits)

Social Science SOCI (3 credits)

College Spanish I/II (8 credits)

Anatomy & Physiology (4 credits)



PENDING:

Music Appreciation, 3 credits
Social Science Human Development, 3 credits
Business Law I, 3 credits

PCCS ALUMNAE
Tracking Graduates

PCCS graduates attend a wide variety of private and public colleges & universities.  In fact, Dallas Baptist University and Texas Women's University have each commended our graduates and actively solicit our graduates each year.

 

PCCS graduates have attended (have graduated from)


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