Q: Do you have to be "professional" to attend Professional Children's School?
A: No. In fact, most of our students are "pre-professional," meaning they are pursuing their craft at a high level and investing a considerable amount of time each week to their passion. Our students include aspiring dancers, musicians, actors, athletes, artists, and entrepreneurs. They are passionate about their academics as well as their craft.
Q: What is the advantage of attending PCS over an online school?
A: PCS is a brick and mortar school where students attend college preparatory classes everyday, interact with their peers and teachers in and out of the classroom, and take part in typical school day activities. When students need to be absent for professional reasons, they are able to continue their studies online. Students at PCS are not missing out on the traditional school experience.
Q: What happens if my child decides to no longer continue their artistic/athletic pursuits?
A: The short answer-- nothing changes. Professional Children's School is a college preparatory academic program, and there is no reason to leave on account of a student's change of mission. Some students come to PCS as young performers or athletes and for a variety of reasons including injury, change of heart, or closing of a Broadway show, focus solely on their academics.
Q: How can a student complete their graduation requirements if they're allowed to be absent for extended periods of time?
A: PCS students need a minimum of 18 credits to graduate high school. Most students graduate having earned 22 to 24 credits. This flexibility in the number of classes a student takes each semester along with the opportunity to take online courses over the summer allows students to follow the academic path that best suits their academic and professional goals.
Q: How do students keep up with their work while they're away?
A: PCS utilizes a Learning Management System to make lessons, assignments, class notes, videos, and supplemental materials available for students to access online. Whether a student is absent one day for an audition, one week at a competition, or one month on a film shoot, they are still able to view and submit their work and communicate with their teachers and peers.
Q: Are students always coming and going or is there a sense of community?
A: Most of the students are here most of the time. While many students have individualized schedules where they start classes later in the morning in order to accommodate time on the ice rink or leave school earlier in the day to get to a tennis training program, they are still able to fit in their classes, lunch, and time to meet with teachers and friends.
Q: Do you offer AP and Honors courses?
A: At PCS, we offer advanced level courses including: Advanced Physics, Advanced Biology, Advanced Calculus, French V, Spanish V, Modern Middle East, Constitutional Law, Political Thought, and Senior Honors Seminar just to name a few. Colleges and universities recognize the vigor, challenge, and integrity of our academic offerings.
Q: Do students study their professions at school?
A: We offer the following arts classes: Drama, Studio Art, Creative Writing, and Chorus. Since we are NOT a performing arts school, ALL students are welcome to take any arts class as an elective to round out their curriculum. If a musician loves Studio Art, they are welcome to take it for a semester, a year, or all four years of high school! The Middle School's schedule includes two periods of Art, two periods of Drama, and two periods of Music every week.
Q: How is PCS different from a performing arts school?
A: The length of our school day runs from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. with some students having a later start time or earlier end time to accommodate their outside pursuits. Additionally, students do not "major" in an arts focus at PCS. We have a flexible schedule so that students have time to pursue their craft outside of school and study wherever and with whomever they choose.
Q: Do your students go on to college/ university/ conservatory?
A: YES! All of the above! Our full-time College Counselor specializes in working with our unique student population and their specific college goals. With new students joining PCS even in senior year, we are well-versed in sharing our students' dynamic stories with colleges and universities. By senior year, some dancers are working professionally and defer their college admission or go to college part-time. Others, may want to dance in college or do a joint BFA program with a university and a dance institution. By senior year, some dancers may want to focus solely on academic institutions of higher learning.
Q: Are there clubs and activities at PCS?
A: We have many clubs and activities at PCS: ArtSpace, Yearbook, Student Association, GSA, Affinity Groups, Basketball, Literary Magazine, Complex Conversations... for students who have the time and inclination, there are many ways to get involved. All are welcome to every meeting or even once in a while-- we know, you have busy schedules after school! We get it!
Q: Must students take P.E. class?
A: Our dancers, athletes, and students currently in a theater production with eight shows per week are eligible for a P.E. exemption. Having said that, all students are welcome to register for P.E. class. Who doesn't love a good game of Pickle Ball?
Q: Do you have learning support?
A: Yes. We have a full-time Learning Specialist on our faculty. The learning specialist at PCS is the touchpoint for students with an existing IEP, IESP, education evaluation, and/or receiving testing accommodations, or has a foreign language waiver. The learning specialist works in concert with our faculty members to create a supportive learning environment for our students.
Q: How big are the classes at PCS?
A: In total, there are 185-195 students at PCS. Each grade grows a little larger; as students become busier with their pre-professional and professional commitments, they apply to PCS. As a result, we start off small in our middle school and end up with a senior class of 50 students. In academic subjects, a typical class size is 14-18 students-- small enough for individual attention, and large enough for a critical mass and stimulating class discussions.
Q: How many new students do you admit every year and when do they join?
A: We start out every school year with approximately 60 new students across the grades. We accept students in every grade every year. Fun fact-- Junior year is one of our most popular entry points. Our students join us from 14 states and 7 countries, public schools, independent schools, home schooling, and online programs.
Q: What does rolling admissions mean?
A: Rolling admissions means that we accept applications all year long. Students can begin classes in either September or February. Our busiest admissions season is summertime when many students are invited to stay in New York for year-round dance programs. It's a mad rush for September, but it's very exciting for those students who are living their dreams.
Q: Do you accept second semester students?
A: We accept second semester students. Each year, somewhere between 6 and 12 new students join the PCS community for second semester, which begins the first week in February.
Q: Do you accept new seniors?
A: We accept several new seniors as full-time students every year. Some reasons students join us senior year-- they are 18, and can now model in Fashion Week runway shows, they have been invited to the year-round Alvin Ailey Merit Scholarship Program, they have been accepted to Juilliard Pre-college division for music studies.
Q: How does financial aid work at PCS?
A: Every family is welcome to apply every year for need-based financial aid through TADS. Approximately 40% of our student body receives some amount of financial support.
Q: Can a student from abroad study at PCS?
A: Yes. About 18% of our students are international students. They come to PCS from 7 different countries. We offer three levels of ESL classes for English Language Learners, and we can provide international students with an I20 in order to procure an F1 Visa. We also accept exchange students for one semester.
Q: Who is the “ideal” PCS student?
A: The ideal PCS student possesses a passion for their craft as well as their academic studies. They enjoy and benefit from the flexibility and community that PCS can provide. At PCS, students don’t need to choose between a great education and their dreams.