Welcome to Portsmouth Christian Academy! This website provides a glimpse of our school’s personality, distinctiveness and goals. A personal visit to our lovely riverside campus is the only real way to experience the serene and wholesome learning environment. For those of you visiting our website for the first time, I would like to invite you for a personal tour should you be in the area.
PCA began with an enrollment of 70 students in 1992 and grew to over 800 students in 2005. It is clear that the school has enjoyed unparalleled growth over a relatively short period of time. The reasons for such growth are worth discussing for they capture what makes PCA such a special and unique school. PCA is:
A school, not a church. Though our curriculum and philosophy of education is Christ-centered (see our Statement of Faith, Mission Statement, and Philosophy of Education), we welcome families from a variety of denominations to our school. Over 60 regional churches are represented at PCA. Parents and students who have not yet made a commitment to follow Jesus Christ are welcome at PCA so long as they agree to abide by our parent/student contract and accept that we will be operating from a Christian worldview. In addition to our religious diversity, we also are blessed by many international students who make our cultural environment special.
A safe place to learn. Our goal is to ensure that PCA is a safe place for your child. When we say “safe” we define that in several different ways: safe physically (free from physical bullying) , safe emotionally (feeling accepted for who they are and not made to feel unwanted or unlovable), and safe intellectually (free to ask “dumb” questions in class without ridicule; free to respectfully challenge concepts and ideas presented in the classroom).
A place with shared values. The values we espouse and the ones we seek to cultivate are derived directly from our Christian faith.
A place to excel. We recognize that each child is gifted by God in a special way. Rather suppressing excellence, we celebrate it. Each child is encouraged to identify their personal gifting and to partner with us in making it flourish.
A place where students are challenged. We are selective in our admissions process because we seek to populate the school with students of similar learning abilities. By doing so, we are able to target our teaching in a way that challenges everyone, and we are not faced with the difficulty of trying to meet the needs of a wide spectrum of learners.
A place that emphasizes critical thinking skills. We understand the difference between knowledge and wisdom, and we have created a curriculum that emphasizes both. Our faculty is not satisfied with the mere acquisition of information and facts, but challenges each student to use the acquired knowledge in a wise and judicious manner. This is frequently done by discussing the wisdom of a contemplated action in the context of the Bible.
A place that encourages the development of speaking and writing skills. The ability to communicate effectively is a crucial skill that requires hard work and perseverance to master. Our language arts staff is committed to ensuring that our students are competent in presenting oral and written arguments and the other disciplines emphasize the need for each student to be able to articulate not only an opinion, but one that is supported by logic and thoughtful research.
A place to put faith into action. PCA students are encouraged to devote time either individually or as groups to assisting those less fortunate than themselves. PCA students have participated in mission trips to Belize, Mexico, inner city America, Guatemala, and other countries around the world.
A place where artistic expression is encouraged. PCA arguably has the finest fine arts program in the region. At a time when other schools are cutting back on such programs, PCA continues to expand the scope of the choral, drama, orchestral, and symphonic offerings.
A place where athletic competition is encouraged. We participate in the New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association, the governing body for public, private, and parochial schools in the state. As such, our athletes have the opportunity to compete throughout the state against schools of similar size in a variety of sports. We offer male and female soccer, basketball, track and field, and tennis; female volleyball and softball; and baseball for the men. Our student athletes have won several state level awards and championships.
A place where parents are welcome and volunteers are our life’s blood. PCA has been the winner of the New Hampshire Blue Ribbon Award for exceptional volunteer support for over 15 straight years. We not only welcome parental involvement, we are blessed by the many services that could only be made available with the help of so many talented and committed volunteers. On average, PCA enjoys nearly 20,000 hours of recorded volunteer service per year!
Economic diversity. Because we seek to provide quality at a reasonable price, we are privileged to enroll children from all economic levels. There is also a very aggressive financial aid and scholarship program which awards support on the basis of need and merit.
Fully accredited. PCA is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) and the Association of Christian Schools, International (ACSI); our pre-school program is certified by the State of New Hampshire.
A place to grow spiritually. We believe that the Christian worldview and gospel offers all of us the best hope for living a life that is characterized by compassion, love of others, selflessness, personal sacrifice, personal accountability, good values, healthy relationships, and overall success in life. The PCA experience is replete with opportunities to learn more about the Christian faith through bible studies, chapel programs, the upper school bible curriculum, mission trips, outreach opportunities, and celebrations of the holy days. A PCA graduate will not only know the Christian message, but be able to articulate it.
A place to maximize the students’ God-given gifts: As stated in our Mission Statement, we believe that it is our responsibility to team with the parents to seek to maximize the intellectual, physical, artistic and spiritual potential of each student at PCA. We take this challenge seriously in the belief that by doing so we will best prepare our graduates for constructive citizenship and a life of service to community, family, church, country and God.
I have had the privilege of serving at PCA for nearly fourteen years as its Headmaster. I come to work each day feeling blessed to work alongside some of the most dedicated, committed, and qualified Christian men and women I have ever known. Their love of teaching, nurturing, encouraging, mentoring, and praying for each child at PCA is a blessing to behold and a signature characteristic of our school.
My wife, Sally, and I have eight grand-children enrolled at PCA. She is a retired certified elementary teacher and frequently substitutes here. One daughter is on staff, another volunteers hundreds of hours to school activities. Both sons-in-law are involved with the school with one of them serving on the board of directors. I stress our personal involvement at PCA because it is representative of the level of commitment we see displayed by staff, students, faculty and parents every day.
It is our privilege to team with the parents who are making an incredible investment in the lives of their children, both in this world and the one to come. PCA provides the opportunity to prepare our students to become caring, committed, and capable citizens in a world that desperately needs them.
I opened with an invitation to visit PCA. I know that if you do, you will see firsthand not only a picturesque campus, but a special school that is committed to maximizing the amazing, God-given potential of each student. I encourage you to strongly consider joining the hundreds of parents and children, staff and faculty, alumni and supporters who comprise the PCA family.