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Psi Kids is a play-by-post campaign involving private high-school students in modern-day Boston who suddenly acquire both psionic powers and an awareness that other, secret groups may have them too. It's a blend of low and high adventure: personal self-discovery mixed with cosmic revelations, day-to-day concerns with mysteries from history, teenage angst with problems of national security.
Teaser: The Secret Circle meets The Tomorrow People.
The setting for the campaign, at least in the beginning, is in and around St. Cyprian's Academy, an (imaginary) private K-12 school in suburban Boston, Massachusetts, in the United States. St. Cyprian's is coeducational and diverse, has both day and boarding students, and offers substantial financial-aid and outreach programs, so PCs may come from a variety of backgrounds, family situations, and socioeconomic classes.
It's the end of the summer, the start of the 2012-13 school year, and everyone is talking about the big party Melanie Donaldson is going to throw at her parents' house, up in Mission Hill, across the street from Fitzgerald Park.
You should find an excuse for your PC to be at that party. Perhaps you were invited; perhaps you're with a date who was; perhaps you're crashing. Maybe you're a next-door neighbor who is or isn't a fan. Maybe you're just passing by on an errand. Choose whatever makes the most sense for your character's attitudes, background, and connections.
St. Cyprian's Academy
Founded in 1873, St. Cyprian's is by no means the most elite of Boston's private schools, but it has a fine reputation and a strong parent community which stands by the administration and faculty. The school has a chaplain, but is no longer associated with a specific faith. Students take classes on religious literature in middle school, and comparative religions and philosophy/theology in high school, but the school chapel is usually used for assemblies that are secular in nature. The school continues to teach and maintain a strong honor code for its students, in both academics and behavior.
St. Cyprian's divides itself into three departments: Lower School (350 students in grades K-5), Middle School (325 students in grades 6-8), and Upper School (325 students in grades 9-12). The usual entry points are kindergarten, third grade, sixth grade, and (to a far lesser extent) ninth grade, though diversity students and unusually talented applicants may arrive at any age.
The largest class cohort is in sixth grade, which the school caps at 120 students, about half continuing from the Lower School and the other half coming from outside admissions. Thereafter, class size shrinks; families move away, or students change schools, but St. Cyprian's tends to accept only a handful of replacements who (in the school's opinion) will match well with the existing community. By the time of twelfth-grade graduation, a class is typically about 70 to 75 students.
St. Cyprian's offers a boarding program for up to a hundred students of middle-school age and older; sixth- through eighth-graders are housed separately from the high-schoolers, and each age group has its own house masters (a married faculty member, living on campus with her/his spouse), though they share dining facilities. The other 900 or so students live off-campus and are only present during the school day and for artistic or sporting events.
The school offers a full college-preparatory program from experienced teachers; faculty retention is a point of pride, and sets St. Cyprian's apart from many private schools which burn through younger faculty members while keeping only a few elders to serve as department heads and fond memories for alumni. Many faculty members have advanced degrees, and the average class size is around fifteen.
High-school students may take a large variety of Advanced Placement tests; the school particularly encourages these in English, U.S. History, and at least one of the sciences. The school's diploma is fully accredited by the International Baccalaureate. Languages offered include Arabic, French, Spanish, Latin, Mandarin Chinese, and Russian -- and, in cooperation with other area schools, German, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, and Portuguese.
Performing artists at the school can participate in glee club, jazz band and chamber-music ensemble, and dance and dramatic troupes. Visual arts include drawing, painting, pottery, and sculpture. Athletes from the school compete (as the "St. Cyprian Swans") in baseball, football, basketball, soccer, lacrosse, track and field, cross country, wrestling, and swimming; other athletic programs include a sailing club, tennis and golf, and the Voyageur Outdoor Experiential Education program for caving, climbing, hiking, and kayaking both in the wider Boston area and on vacation trips. Social service work is encouraged, and a certain number of hours is a requirement for graduation.
(For story-telling purposes, I think St. Cyprian's may simply displace the campus for Boston College High School, which has a great location south of downtown and by the bay. I'll see what I can do about putting a campus map together.)
(More details to follow)
This campaign has not yet begun. A general outline of events, with links to forum threads, may appear here eventually.