New Families

at Portsmouth Christian Academy

You’re Officially an Eagle!

Congratulations and welcome, New Families! You are officially an eagle and we are beyond excited to welcome your family into the PCA community! This page has been created with YOU in mind – and should make your transition in an easy one. On this page you will find essential information to get you started at PCA. You will learn how to start the school year with us, including the new student events and key timelines. We also outline essential areas of family and student life such as: dress code standards, volunteer opportunities for parents, and school communication protocols. Take a look around, start preparing for the start of school and let us know how we can help!

8 Steps to Prepare for the School Year


Health Forms

IMPORTANT: Download and complete your child’s New Student Health Packet and submit to the Nurse’s Office within two weeks of enrollment. Health forms may be submitted via email at, by fax at 603.750.0490 or in person to the Lower School Receptionist.


Blackbaud Tuition

Register with Blackbaud Tuition Management for your tuition billing. After registration is complete, our Business Office will finalize the agreement and you will receive an email outlining your scheduled payments.


School Calendars

Save or print our 2024-2025 School Calendar for key dates and events.

Please note: Our Yearly Planner is subject to change so refer back for the most up-to-date information.


Dress Code

Review your schools dress code below and start shopping!
Lower & Middle School Dress Code
Upper School Dress Code

Families can also take advantage of our Swap Shop, our on-campus option to shop gently used, dress code approved items.

Please note: The school supply lists are reviewed every year and, while unlikely, are subject to change before the start of the school year.


School Supply List

Review the current 2023-2024 School Supply List for an idea of what to expect to purchase prior to the start of school:
PCAP School Supply List
Lower & Middle School Supply List
Upper School Supply List

Please note: The school supply lists are reviewed every year and, while unlikely, are subject to change before the start of the school year.


Get Connected

Compassionate Community is a core value at PCA for great reason! With families coming to PCA from over 55 towns across the Seacoast, creating a unified community takes some work – but don’t fret, we made it easy for you!

Facebook: Start by joining our PCA Community Facebook Page. This page creates a safe space for families to connect with other PCA families as well as provides helpful reminders for important upcoming school events.

Please note: Class specific Facebook groups are also available but are managed by class parents and not monitored by PCA.

Volunteer: Parent partnership is a huge component of success here at PCA. One of the many ways we partner with families is through our Volunteer Service Program. We encourage parents to be involved in the life of our school and welcome them to campus often.

Visit our Support Page to learn more and sign up to be a PCA volunteer.

Veracross: In August, you will receive an email welcoming you to Veracross, our online school information system, allowing you access to your child’s records, our online school calendar, and PCA’s family directory.

Drive: PCA families come from more than 55 towns across New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Maine! Join our DRIVE Facebook group to connect with other families who live in your area to coordinate potential carpool groups.

Once your Veracross account is set up, you can also find families near you on Veracross using the instructions at this link.

Bus transportation is also available through PCA, with stops in Portsmouth and Hampton. Registration is required and seats are limited.

Moms in Prayer/Fathers in Prayer: Join other PCA parents as they come together to pray for the their children, the school, its leadership, teachers, students, and mission. Follow the links to learn more about Moms in Prayer and Fathers in Prayer!


Get Acquainted

PCA offers a number of additional programs to support our busy families. Take a look at those that may be helpful to your family.

Kaleidoscope: Our afterschool Kaleidoscope Program, allows our PreK-through-8th grade students to explore a variety of extracurricular options each quarter that range from mentally stimulating STEM opportunities to physically competitive dodgeball workshops.

Be on the lookout for a registration email a few weeks before the start of each quarter.

Before/Aftercare: Busy parents appreciate the opportunity to utilize our before and after-school programs, which run from 7:15am to start of school day and end of school day to 5:30pm, respectively.

Families interested in Beforecare and Aftercare services can utilize them on a drop-in basis for full school days and will be billed on a monthly basis. Families will need to pre-register for Aftercare on early dismissal days through the Kaleidoscope Registration Page available a few weeks prior to the new quarter. 

Eagle Camp: PCA is also excited to offer our families and the local community summer programming through PCA’s Eagle Camp. Families can choose between a variety of options from week-long camps that include sports, fine arts, and STEAM exploration to our typical Eagle Camp programing, which is packed with adventures that include getting outdoors, visiting the pool at UNH, making crafts, and playing games.

Lunch: PCA has an arrangement, with several local restaurants, to provide lunches to our students which parents may purchase on a quarterly basis throughout the school year.

Be on the lookout for a registration email a few weeks before the start of each quarter.


Get Your Questions Answered

Have additional questions? Here’s how to get in touch:

PCA Phone Number: 603.742.3617

Head of School Office, Kathy Towle, ext. 3305
Lower School Office, Sue McKenney, ext. 3228
Middle School Office, Denise Chang, ext. 3263
Upper School Office, Amy St. John, ext. 1103
Business Office (Tuition and Billing), Allison Russell, ext. 3308
Athletics, Derek Summers, ext. 1108
Office of College Planning, Tara Hatfield, ext. 2106
Student Health, Nurse’s Office, ext. 1109

Frequently Asked Questions

What does the start of school schedule look like for new families?

Here’s a tentative schedule of the first week of the 2023-2024 school year based on last year’s event schedule. Once the schedule is official and finalized we will post it here!

Monday, August 28th:  
– First Day of School for Grade 9 & New Upper School Students – Early Release Day

– Student Open House* for Grades 1-8, 1-3pm.  No dress code required.
– New Family Meeting for Lower and Middle School, 3-4pm.  Location:  Main Gym

Tuesday, August 29th:  
– First Day of School for Grades 1-8 & Returning Grade 10-12 Students

– Student Open House* for Kindergarten, 9-10am.  Parents, please park and walk your children into the Main Lobby.
– Student Open House* for Preschool, 10-12pm (Come and Go).  Parents, please park and walk your children into the Multi-Purpose Room entrance.  
– Preschool orientation sessions.  9-10am OR 12-1pm (please choose one session; for both new and returning families).  Location:  Multi-Purpose Room

Wednesday, August 30th:  
– First Day of School for Kindergarten and Preschool Students

Please Note: Campus will be closed for Labor Day, September 4. Classes resume on September 5.

*Student Open House is different than an Admissions Open House, which you may have experienced during your admissions process into PCA. Student Open House is an opportunity for students and families to come into the classroom, meet their teachers, bring in school supplies, set up desks and feel prepared to start the new school year! It’s a great time for your child to meet new classmates and ease some of those first day jitters. We encourage all our families, new and returning, to attend this event. You can arrive and leave anytime from 1-3pm.

What is the Swap Shop?

The Swap Shop is an on campus option to acquire dress code approved uniform pieces. This pieces are gently used articles of clothing, shoes and accessories donated by current PCA families. Starting mid-year? Your Land’s End order won’t arrive until after the start of school? Not sure what size your growing kiddo is currenting wearing? Visit the Swap Shop and grab a few items to tide you over.

New families receive five free items per child. Each item, after the first five, is $3 for each additional item – or if you donate items, you may take one item for every item you donate.

The Swap Shop is located in the Lower School building, at the bottom of the stairwell from the Main Lobby. Payment via cash or check may be given to the receptionist at the Lower School.

To drop off items that you wish to donate, and please bring your clean, gently used items to the Lower School receptionist. Donated items should be clean, unstained, and in gently used condition. Only PCA approved Lands End or JCPenney uniform items are accepted. 

What are PCA’s summer hours?

PCA’s summer hours are Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 9 AM – 1 PM. The campus will also be closed the week of July 4th.

When are athletic team tryouts?

Fall Athletic Tryouts for our Middle and Upper School teams will be announced closer to the start of school. If you are starting mid-year, reach out to your admissions counselor for upcoming tryout dates or contact Athletic Director, Derek Summers, for more information.

What do I need to know about the music program for my child in the Lower School?

Requirements for music classes vary by grade level. Information about your child’s music classes, instruments, and more will be shared early in the school year.

How does my Upper School student register for classes?

In August, our College Planning Office will reach out to walk your student through the registration process and get them enrolled in the appropriate courses.

As a reminder, prior to course enrollment for Grades 9-12, a final official transcript or grade report from your previous school must be received by the College Planning Office. Please email Tara Hatfield as soon as it becomes available.

How does my Upper School Student obtain a parking pass and what are the requirements for Senior privileges?

To obtain a parking pass for Upper School students, please print and submit this parking pass application.

Senior Privileges: Seniors must have documented service hours (50 for each year in attendance) in order to be eligible for open campus / senior lounge at the beginning of the senior year. In addition, all service hours must be completed by the end of quarter three of the senior year in order to maintain senior privileges. Seniors who have not completed their hours by such time will receive a letter from the Principal/College Counseling Office, noting how many hours are left to meet graduation requirements. Seniors who have not satisfied the service hour requirement will have their diplomas and transcripts withheld until the requirement is satisfied. Seniors who are eligible for Senior Privileges need to submit this contract.

Are there additional resources for families to view prior to the start of the school year?

We always recommend our new families visit our Better Together Blog to gain a better understanding of the rhythm and events that happen here at PCA. We have even created an intentional category labeled “Topics for Parents” to resource you and your family as you step into life as PCA Parent.

In addition to the blog, you will also receive communication from PCA, where you may see reference to some on-campus acronyms. To get you started, we will share some of the most used “lingo” here at PCA.

PCAP: Portsmouth Christian Academy Preschool
LS: Lower School [K-12]
MS: Middle School [Grades 6-8]
US: Upper School [Grade 9 -12]
MPR: Multi Purpose Room
Annex: Additional Gym Space Adjacent to the Main Gym

Still in need of other resources? Please don’t hesitate reaching out to the applicable department via the numbers provided above. We are excited you are here and can’t wait to see you on campus soon!