Today, Providence Country Day School unveiled "The Quest." Recognizing that education is at a crossroads in America, the comprehensive plan strives to set a new standard for private school education by making it more personalized, less expensive, and uniquely geared to prepare students to thrive in the complex world of tomorrow.
"At PCD, we see a world that is changing so rapidly, it demands a different kind of education than the traditional prep school model, so we are redefining that model accordingly," said Kevin Folan, head of school. "The Quest empowers students to gain the skills necessary to adapt to an ever-changing economy, environment, and society. It also aligns our costs with our institutional values, which require increased accessibility. This is the trajectory for PCD to be at the leading edge of independent education by the time our second century of service begins in 2023. That it also coincides with families seeking options in light of the pandemic — many needing the in-person instruction we offer — is serendipitous."
To fulfill the promise of a more personalized educational experience, PCD developed a plan for a customized volume for every student called "The Playbook." Issued at the beginning of the academic year, it will document each student's individual strengths, challenges, achievements, and aspirations. This extensive book will ensure that every student knows they are valued, and will provide parents with a window into their children's abilities and ambitions along with PCD's plan to help them maximize their talents, overcome obstacles, and achieve their goals.
PCD's tuition reset signifies one of the boldest moves in independent education today and sets it apart from all other private schools in New England. The move will allow PCD to prioritize fit over finances in order to curate a student body that optimizes the PCD experience for all. Over the past generation, household wages have increased 15% while PCD's tuition has increased 400%. That upsurge is typical for independent schools, but it does not reflect PCD's diversity and inclusion values. Effective for the 2021-2022 academic year, the high school tuition will drop from $39,250 to $25,000; middle school from $34,400 to $22,000.
"Our administration and board believe in taking definitive action, so when we looked at the disparity between the range of students who succeed here and who can afford the tuition — and how that clashed with our core principles — we felt compelled to reduce that cost substantially," Folan said.
"As a whole, The Quest ensures our graduates are prepared to not only succeed in college, but also in life," said Board of Trustees President David Bazar. "PCD continually reviews its curriculum to strengthen the balance between academic and artistic rigor and whole-life preparation. With this endeavor, we are defining 21st-century graduates' needs and raising the bar for private education."
Further demonstrating its forward-thinking approach and ability to adapt to a shifting educational landscape, the school is launching PCD Online Academy. The innovative, self-paced program enables students (grades 6-12) who live outside PCD's drawing area to benefit from the school's rigorous and nurturing college prep curriculum.
Throughout its 97-year history, PCD has faithfully served a diverse group of students, including Peter Karmue — a 2004 graduate, psychiatric nurse, and African refugee. "Without PCD, I don't know where I would be today. Going to school there was a dream come true. It taught me to work with others as a team and really helped me grow as a person. As Ghandi said, 'Be the change you wish to see in the world.' PCD made that change in me. I am forever grateful and will always be an advocate for the school," he said.
To learn more about The Quest, visit PCDQuest.com.