PCD begins 'Quest' to reimagine itself, how it educates

Announces three initiatives aimed at broadening its reach

By Mike Rego
Posted 10/1/20

EAST PROVIDENCE — Marking a distinct change in the way it has been administered since opening in 1923, the Providence Country Day School formally launched what it is calling its "Quest" …

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PCD begins 'Quest' to reimagine itself, how it educates

Announces three initiatives aimed at broadening its reach

Posted

EAST PROVIDENCE — Marking a distinct change in the way it has been administered since opening in 1923, the Providence Country Day School formally launched what it is calling its "Quest" initiative Thursday morning, Oct. 1, from its campus on Waterman Avenue in city.

Head of School Kevin Nolan made the announcement, explaining the decision of the school's board of trustees to pursue a different and, in his words, "bold and brave and necessary" course.

"Education itself is a quest, with each student pursuing an individual journey for deeper knowledge and personal fulfillment," said Mr. Folan, adding the new direction PCD was headed showed the school is "ever evolving and timelessly purposeful."

He said the board pondered questions such as were students being taught properly, was the school contributing to the overall educational system meaningfully and did the instruction pupils are currently receiving matter in modern times?

Mr. Folan continued, saying the body answered those inquiries by breaking down its mission into three pillars, which are to make the school more "accessible, personal and relevant."

The board wondered if PCD was available to the many and was it viewed "as a place of belonging."

Mr. Folan noted staggering increases in private independent school tuitions, which he pegged at some 400 percent over the last few decades, precluded some students from even considering the school and weren't sustainable for either it or families.

To that end, he announced as of the fall 2021 term, PCD would be decreasing tuition by nearly 40 percent, down to $25,000 per pupil in the upper school and $22,000 in the middle school. Mr. Folan said PCD will continue to honor existing tuition arrangements and offer various financial aid packages.

Next, in making education more personal and to counter standardization, he said the school is introducing an individualized instruction model called the "PCD Playbook," a tailored plan for each student in the school.

And lastly, to make PCD more relevant, the school is creating an on-line academy, offering students locally and around the country the opportunity study its curriculum virtually.

"These are the cornerstones of the PCD 'Quest,'" Mr. Folan said. "These are the tools we will use as we continue to carefully consider and evolve in our journey to reimagine education for a better tomorrow. This quest is ongoing and it began long ago.

He added, "These are bold moves and some may ask what is a 97-year-old private school doing trying to reimagine education? To those this is too bold, too dangerous, I say that every worthy quest is daunting and that we are not afraid."

View more information at www.pcdquest.com.

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