There are certain minimal prerequisites to registering a student at PCS. These rules are meant to help students be able to meet the demands of the curriculum, not to exclude people. The curriculum is very intense and since class time is limited to only 3 hours per week, it is expected that much of the student's work be done outside of class.
Following is a list of prerequisites and an explanation of why the requirement is necessary:
- Students must be able to understand and speak Mandarin Chinese. While it may seem strange to require a student of Chinese to already be able to speak and understand it, this requirement is actually the at the core of the PCS curriculum. Our focus is on learning to read and write traditional Chinese characters. To that end, we expect that students already speak and understand Mandarin Chinese at least at t basic conversational level. The intensity of the coursework does not allow the teachers time to teach students to understand or speak basic Chinese.
- Native Chinese speaker in the home. As stated above, the limited class time per week and the intensity of the coursework mean that there simply will not be enough time in class for the teacher to teach everything that is required. Much of the coursework will need to be done at home by the student and with the help of a native Chinese spearker who can also read and write Chinese.
- Minimum/Maximum Age. The curriculum at PCS is designed to follow a standard K-12 program. Thus, the ages of students in each grade is similar to that found in a regular American school. We generally expect students to start the program with Kindergarten and proceed through High School. If students wish to enroll later in their school career then their Chinese language proficiency will need to be evaluated via a formal test to determine if they can be enrolled and if so, what grade level they can start at. It should not be expected that a student can enroll in Portland Chinese School when they start High School without already having a very strong background in reading and writing traditional Chinese. Each such exception to the standard age requirements will be evaluated on a case by case basis.