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Middle School

PCA's Middle School

Middle School students thrive on attention from others, need acceptance from peers and desire to know more about the world around them. They are developmentally at the season of their lives when habits, character and values become solidified. Through providing an array of rigorous curricular and co-curricular opportunities, it is a privilege to come alongside families challenging our Middle School students to do all for the greater glory of God. The grade levels included in PCA’s Middle School are Fifth through Eighth.

Middle School Highlights

  • Biblically integrated curriculum
  • Technology integrated classrooms as well as Technology classes
  • Curriculum-aligned special programs and activities
  • Weekly Chapel and advisory groups
  • Service projects with a missions focus
  • Emphasis on written communication skills through Collins Thinking and Writing Program
  • Project-based learning
  • Bible as a core subject
  • A strong math curriculum
  • Strong grammar focus through Shurley Grammar
  • Healthy habits feedback with the Fitnessgram program in P.E.
  • World Language instruction in Spanish, French and Latin
  • Fine Arts focus through music, art and theatre classes
  • Grade level trips and retreats
  • Early and Aftercare is available

Curriculum and Resources

Enrichment Opportunities

Enrichment opportunities at Prestonwood Christian Academy are designed to enhance the vertically-aligned curriculum through the addition of innovative learning experiences which extend beyond the classroom.

Student Leadership Institute

The mission of Student Leadership Institute is to assist our Seventh and Eighth Grade students in the development of their leadership philosophy and skills by exposing them to a biblically based, practical, multifaceted year-long program. The core principles upon which we focus are: serving others, evangelism/engaging the culture and serving in a local church. Each student must apply to be in Middle School SLi. Meeting times are built into our Thursday class schedule with students divided into small groups for training.

Biblical Worldview Institute

One of the most distinctive elements of Prestonwood Christian Academy is the school’s intentional focus on developing a biblical worldview. Biblical Worldview Institute was created to give students, faculty and parents the opportunity to think critically about Christianity around the world!

Check out our Biblical Worldview Institute page to learn about this year's conference and watch speakers from past years!

High Touch, High Tech

High Touch, High Tech provides fun, interactive, hands-on science and nature experiences for students without having to leave their classrooms. Through a discovery style of learning, students are engaged in science content. All of the programs are a compliment to the science curriculum in place.

Stand Up and Be Heard

The purpose of the Stand Up and Be Heard Program is to help students lose the fear of presenting in front of a group by equipping them with effective presentation skills. The program starts in First Grade with one videoed oral presentation and continues from Second through Eighth Grades with two videoed oral presentations a year. Students learn about key areas of good presentation: stance, introduction, eye contact, voice, gestures and ending. The key component of the program is that students are videoed as they give their presentation and then within the following week a parent meets with each student individually giving them positive feedback as they watch their personal presentation. Students grow in confidence as they learn some key essential elements to oral presentations.

Click here for more information about PCA's Communication Arts Program and how students can get involved!

Lions Scholar Program

The Lions Scholar program (LSP) at Prestonwood Christian Academy equips and develops students to enter prestigious universities to attain positions of influence in leadership, academics and places of cultural impact for the purpose of engaging the culture for Christ. The most influential institution in America, if not the world, is the educational institution. In order for evangelical Christians to continually be involved in areas of leadership and influence, they must engage the mind.

The Middle School LSP program (grades 5-8) is structured around texts by Christian authors. This process prepares students for Upper School LSP, which as previously stated emphasizes great books and significant literature.

Future Problem Solvers

A focus at Prestonwood Christian Academy is to provide challenging enrichment opportunities for students that compliment and enhance the regular curriculum. Future Problem Solving Program International provides a venue for students at PCA to utilize their skills they have acquired to compete in a competitive setting that includes the best and brightest students from public schools from the state of Texas. Those students who advance to international competition compete against the best from other states and countries also involved in FPSPI.

The goals of the program are to:
Develop creative thinking (fluency, flexibility, originality, and elaboration)
Develop and improve research skills
Increase awareness of and interest in the future while studying current significant issues
Develop teamwork skills
Improve communication skills both written and verbal
Develop critical and analytical thinking skills
Learn and utilize problem solving strategies

Program Overview

Future Problem Solving, which began in 1974, is an international competitive program where gifted and high-achieving students are given the opportunity to compete in either team, individual, community service, creative drama, or scenario writing competitions. FPS teaches students how to think, not what to think, and instructs students how to examine the world in constructive ways while providing them with strategies for facing the unknowable future. (FPS Manual)

Constitutional Convention

The year was 1787. The place: the State House in Philadelphia, the same location where the Declaration of Independence had been signed eleven years earlier. For four months, fifty-five delegates from the several states met to frame a Constitution for a federal republic that would last into "remote futurity." Prestonwood Christian Academy's Fifth Grade students portray those delegates to that convention and the framing of the federal Constitution. This meaningful activity involves active debate on the key issues of the day and challenges our students to think critically.

Fitnessgram

PCA is committed to teaching students about a healthy lifestyle. The FitnessGram is a series of physical activities done by students in a controlled setting in order to obtain a benchmark of their overall fitness level. The testing consists of several components such as a pacer test, push-ups, curl-ups, a trunk lift, and a BMI measurement that provide an indication of a student’s level of fitness. Results are sent home, along with a letter of explanation, after all test data is entered. This is repeated annually in order to track growth.

The Marine Team

The primary focus of PCA’s Marine Team is to learn how aquatic organisms live, interact, and develop within their environment. Marine Team members learn through a hands-on approach where they study, observe, care for, research and demonstrate their knowledge of the organisms associated within their care. Through participation in the Marine Team, members also learn about team work, responsibility, ecology, conservation and God’s creation. A nine week program which is integrated into the Seventh Grade science curriculum allows all students to be Marine Team members. Following this program, students are given an opportunity to participate further if they are interested.

Regional Fair

The regions of the United States are geographic areas which include multiple states. Prestonwood Christian Academy Fifth Grade students celebrate the triumphant work of our fore-fathers in the development of the delicious foods, crafts and history of each region of America.

Honor Guard

The PCA Middle School Honor Guard is made up of approximately twenty Sixth Grade students who have a strong desire to honor the Lord by demonstrating a love for their country. This is accomplished through participation in a reverent flag ceremony at the beginning and end of each school day for one week a month. The Honor Guard also presents the American flag at various ceremonies and worship times during the school year.

Competitions

Competitions at Prestonwood Christian Academy offer an opportunity for students to stretch themselves through oral and written communication, critical thinking and problem solving skills, exercising creativity, collaboration through teamwork, risk taking and more.

PCA Parents can find more specific information and links to register their students via myPCA.

Future Problem Solvers State and National Competition

Team Global Issues Problem Solving Competition

This elective program is designed for those students who desire to be challenged at a higher level through competition. Future Problem Solving Program International (FPSPI) is an international competitive program where gifted and high-achieving students compete in teams of three or four after researching topics that have implications for the future and are of global concern. Students utilize reading strategies while reviewing non-fiction material necessary for researching the FPSPI topics for the year. The topics are always interdisciplinary, but reading and language arts skills dominate the content of the program. The program develops creative thinking, research skills, critical and analytical thinking skills, communication skills (oral/written), problem solving strategies, as well as increases awareness of and interest in the future.

As part of the FPSPI team competition, students are required to research a given topic prior to competition, then in a two-hour time period, they are given a future scene or scenario based on the topic that contains a problem for them to address. Teams must generate and write sixteen challenges, choose one to solve, develop sixteen solutions, write five criteria questions in which to evaluate their best solution, then write a persuasive essay selling the team’s best solution. The work from each team is then forwarded to the state office for evaluation. Winners on problem three each year are then invited to compete at the state bowl in Austin, Texas. Winners at the state level advance to international competition. Some examples of the topics covered in FPSPI over the past few years are: nanotechnology, immigration, climate threats/change, orphaned children, sensory overload, cyber conflict, child labor, and genetic engineering. Participating in FPS takes commitment and dedication. The problem solving skills necessary to perform in FPSPI are skills corporations and businesses of all kinds would desire from an employee.

Teams that qualified for the state bowl on the third competition travel to Austin the third weekend in April. The first and second place winners at the state bowl compete at the international conference in May. Students are graded on their individual performance not what they do collectively as a team.

Scenario Writing

In conjunction with the Future Problem Solving Program International curriculum, students compose futuristic short stories (1,500 words or less) related to one of the current year's topics. Stories are first submitted for in school competition, and then several in each age division are selected to advance to the state competition. The first, second, and third place winner in each affiliate (state) program is invited to the FPSPI International writing competition. The first place state winner and all international finalists are invited to the International Conference to compete in an on-site writing competition.

Destination ImagiNation

Destination Imagination (DI) is an exhilarating after-school activity in which students work in teams to solve mind-bending challenges and present their solutions at tournaments. Teams are tested to think on their feet, collaborate and create original solutions that satisfy the requirements of the challenges. Participants gain more than just basic knowledge and skills—they learn to unleash their imaginations and take unique approaches to problem solving.

It is widely recognized that creativity, innovation, and the ability to manage change are essential competencies for today’s students – who live in, and are preparing to enter the workplace in, a world of rapid and accelerating change. A survey of more than 400 employers found their biggest concerns were that youth lacked 21st-century skills that will make them competitive in the job market. Three-fourths of those employers viewed creativity and innovation to be among the top-five skills most important in the current climate (eSchool News, October 2006). Based on more than five decades of research and development of Creative Problem Solving (CPS), we know that individuals and groups from the primary grades through adulthood can learn and apply creativity, teamwork, and problem solving.

Prestonwood Christian Academy is proud to make this great program available to students in grades 3 through 7 as well as to their parent coaches!

ACSI Speech Meet

Click Here for more information about PCA's Communication Arts Program and how students can get involved!

Spelling Bee

The ACSI Spelling Bee is held annually for students in third through eighth grades. ACSI provides a list of spelling words designed to help students integrate both writing and reading exercises with spelling. Students first compete within their grade level with the top students advancing to the District competition. From the District level, students in fifth through eighth grades become eligible to advance to the Regional competition. The objective of this competition is to develop good spelling habits, good vocabulary, proper communication as well as to promote fellowship with students from other Christian schools.

ACSI Math Olympics

The ACSI Math Olympics is held annually for students in third through eighth grades. Students choose to participate in either the Computation or the Reasoning category and work with parent coaches prior to each level of competition. Students first compete within their grade level with the top students advancing to the District competition. From the District level, students become eligible to advance to the Regional competition. The objective of this competition is to stimulate an interest in math and provide opportunities for fellowship with math students from other Christian schools. Students are also recognized for their achievements and are given the opportunity to glorify God through their mathematical abilities.

Administration

Bill Wendl

Bill Wendl

Middle School Principal
PCA Plano, Middle School
Phil Armstrong

Phil Armstrong

Middle School Assistant Principal, International Student Program Director
PCA Plano, Middle School
Koko Carroll

Koko Carroll

Administrative Assistant to Middle School Principals
PCA Plano, Middle School

Comment from a recent parent survey:

The Middle School leadership and guidance counselor are outstanding. I love the student ministry opportunities in which my child participates.