After School Explorers
After School Explorers (ASE) is the Junior School’s unique after-school program that runs from 3:10-6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Students receive a fun and engaging experience that can be customized to fit their individual needs and interests, without ever having to leave the Junior School campus! Options include enrichment classes, music lessons, study center, unstructured play, organized games and more! Rates are offered by the term for daily enrollments as well as emergency drop-ins.
- General Info
- Enrichment Classes
- In-Service Days/Break Camps
- Policies and Procedures
- Register Now!
2021-2022 ASE Dates & Rates
Term I Fall (12 weeks): Aug. 31–Nov. 22
Term II Winter (12 weeks): Nov. 29–Feb. 25
Term III Spring (12 weeks): Feb. 28–June 3
Term II Winter:
Daily Care Mondays (8 sessions): $192
Daily Care Tuesdays (10 sessions): $240
Daily Care Wednesdays (11 sessions): $264
Daily Care Thursdays (11 sessions): $264
Daily Care Fridays (9 sessions): $216
Daily Drop-In (Emergency Day-of): $30
Daily Care term rates include a daily snack and any supplies needed for daily activities plus homework help in the Study Center. Rates exclude Enrichment Programs, In-Service days, and Break Camps. All enrichment programs are in addition to the Daily Care fees. Enrichment classes are only eligible to those enrolled in Daily Care. Please note that all after school programming and enrollment space is contingent on staffing and overall enrollment. Programs may be adapted and/or canceled based on enrollment. If this occurs we will communicate it immediately to all enrolled families. If an emergency arises and after care is needed please reach out as soon as possible so we can accommodate and assist for day-of drop-ins only.
Junior School Site Coordinator
Text for Pickup: 412-254-4772
Students will explore in age-based cohorts during after school hours. Each day will feature fun and engaging activities, including outdoor/indoor organized sports and games, arts and crafts, homework time, and more. All activities will strictly adhere to SSA COVID-19 health and safety protocol.s Activities include:
Play Time! Included w/Daily Care Enrollment
Play time includes the gymnasium, field and playground. Students begin each afternoon with recess and a snack before beginning their individual schedules. Explorers can enjoy play time for the entire afternoon or return there after their enrichment classes, music lessons or Study Center time. In addition to unstructured play time, a staff member may lead a variety of daily games and intramural sports.
Study Center Included w/Daily Care Enrollment
The Study Center is run by an educator who communicates frequently with the school’s learning specialist and classroom teachers. Families may request that a report be sent home after each visit to the Study Center. Study Center is not available on Fridays.
Snack Included w/Daily Care Enrollment
Enrichment Classes Additional Fees Apply
A wide variety of enrichment classes are available at an additional cost Monday through Thursday, from sports to art to cooking to science. Explorers have access to one enrichment class each day that they are enrolled, excluding Fridays. See the Enrichment Classes tab for class information.
Music Lessons Additional Fees Apply
Three skilled music teachers lead enrolled Explorers in one 30-minute music lesson per week. Instruments include piano, violin and guitar. The school year will culminate with a recital. Based upon availability. Students enrolled in music lessons are enrolled for the entire year (same day and time) and are expected to practice at home each day.
Enrichment classes are offered to all after school attendees at a minimal additional cost to ensure regular attendance, self-commitment, and personal growth in the respective enrichment course. Registration is based on a first-come first-serve basis with a minimum registration requirement needed for programming to come to fruition. Waitlists will be created for each class, but acceptance into the enrichment class is not guaranteed if you are placed on the waitlist.
Total of 8 Mondays in Winter Term
- Nov. 29
- Dec. 6, 13
- Jan. 3, 10, 24
- Feb. 7, 14
Sports and Games
Ages and Times: Grades PK-1 3:30-4:15 p.m.; Grades 2-5 4:15-5 p.m.
Rate: $15 per session, $120 per term
Minimum enrollment of 10 students across 2 groups (maximum of 12 per group)
Students will get a chance to run, jump, throw, and catch with a wide variety of fun games. Mr. Jonathan will teach sports like basketball, football, soccer, and kickball. Games include SSA favorites such as capture the flag, steal the bacon, jump the brook, relay races, and obstacle courses. The class is designed to teach new activities to students of all ages and is welcoming for those with a wide variety of experiences. Kids should be expected to exercise, learn good sportsmanship, and have an awesome time!
Mindful World I
Ages and Times: Grades K-3, 3:30-4:30
Rate: $20 per session, $160 per term
Minimum enrollment of 6 students (maximum of 20 per group)
Mindful World is a unique program combining mindfulness, art, and international cultures to teach children social-emotional skills, literacy, and to be citizens of the world. Bonnie Weiss, owner of The School of Mindful Arts, will guide students through folktales about body awareness, mediation practices, and make shadow puppets to do plays in small groups.
Total of 10 Tuesdays in Winter Term
- Nov. 30
- Dec. 7, 14
- Jan. 4, 11, 25
- Feb. 1, 8, 15, 22
Ages and Times: Grades PK-1, 3:30-4 p.m. or 4-4:30 p.m. (same class added due to popularity!); Grades 2-5, 4:30-5:15 p.m.
Rate: $20 per class, $200 per term
Minimum enrollment of 5 students (maximum of 12)
Join the dance professionals from Pittsburgh’s Bodiography for a basic introduction to ballet steps and positions. This class will enhance motor skills and coordination with fun exercises in music qualities and rhythms and story-telling with movement! Ballet shoes are recommended, but not necessary!
Comic and Basic Animation Workshop
Ages and Times: Grades 1-3, 3:30-4:30 p.m.; Grades 4-5, 4:30-5:30 p.m. (learning enhanced with the use of iPads)
Rate: $25 per class, $250 per term
Minimum enrollment of 4 students (maximum of 15)
Explore the world of your favorite animated character as you go on an adventure with them in your fantasy world. Discover their universe and narrate their experiences through visual storytelling, dialoguing, comics, flipbooks and animation. Make your first zine, cartoon strip series, GIFs and more!
Ages and Time: Grades 2-5, 3:30-4:30 p.m.
Rate: $25 per class, $250 per term
Minimum enrollment of 8 students (maximum of 16)
The fencers and coaches of Pittsburgh Fencers' Club are extremely excited to introduce Fencing to the students of SSA Junior School. Fencing is one of the oldest Olympic sports – fast-paced, quick decision making under pressure, team work, building strategies, and mental discipline are essential parts of our training. Pirates, swashbucklers, musketeers, Olympic Fencers - all have those skills in common! Come join us for a class of fencing, fitness and fun! All necessary equipment will be provided.
Total of 11 Wednesdays in Winter Term
- Dec. 1, 8, 15
- Jan. 5, 12, 19, 26
- Feb. 2, 9, 16, 23
Ages and Times: Grades PK-K 3:30-4 p.m.; Grades 1-2 4-4:30 p.m.; Grades 3-5 4:30-5:15 p.m.
Rates: Grades PK-2 $15 per class, $165 per term; Grades 3-5 $18 per class, $198 per term
Minimum enrollment of 5 students per group or 15 per grade level (maximum of 12 students PK-K and 16 students Grades 1-2 and 3-5)
With decades of experience, Coach Mark Haffner combines exercises, positive encouragement and skilled training to help students advance to the next level as tennis pros. With an emphasis on agility and fun, Coach Mark pairs students of similar ability and age level. Tennis rackets are provided, but students are encouraged to bring their own.
Ages and Times: Grades K-2 3:30-4:15 p.m.
Rate: $18 per class, $198 per term
Minimum enrollment of 10 students (Max of 15)
Young martial artists will have the chance to learn from the instructors of the Shaolin Studios located in Regent Square! The class will include age-appropriate self-defense techniques, evasive movements from escaping garbs and holds (jiu jitsu) and forms patterned after animals. Predicated on three guiding principles of self-control, respect, and discipline, classes include a combination of warm-ups and stretches, kicks/punches/blocks, techniques, and strength exercises. The benefits of martial arts are increased confidence, improved focus, strength, and discipline.
Total of 11 Thursdays in Winter Term
- Dec. 2, 9, 16
- Jan. 6, 13, 20, 27
- Feb. 3, 10 17, 24
Ages and Times: Grades K-1 3:30-4:15 p.m.; Grades 2-5 4:15-5:15 p.m.
Rate: $18 per class, $198 per term
Minimum enrollment of 20 students across 2 groups (maximum of 12 in grades K-1 and 16 in grades 2-5)
Joining SSA since 2008, John Young, chess expert and instructor at a number of local schools, teaches everything from the basics of the game to winning strategies. His calm and supportive teaching style provides a comfortable environment for beginner and advanced player to develop their game.
Ages and Times: Grades PK-K 3:30-4 p;.m.; Grades 1-2 4-4:45 p.m., Grades 3-5 4:45-5:30 p.m.
Rates: Grades PK-K $15 per class, $165 per term; Grades 1-5 $18 per class, $198 per term
Minimum enrollment of 10 students across 3 groups (maximum of 12 per class)
Soccer Shots in a program designed to introduce your child to soccer! Soccer Shots has enthusiastic and energetic instructors who teach students the basics of the game like dribbling, passing, and shooting. Each week, concepts such as teamwork, sharing, and respected are highlighted and discussed.
Ages and Times: Grades PK-K 3:30-4 p.m., Grades 1-2 4-4:30 p.m., Grades 3-5 4:30-5:15 p.m.
Rate: $25 per class, $275 per term
Minimum enrollment of 10 students per class (maximum of 18 per class)
PK-K Animal Explorers: The animals living in our backyards or in our towns are very different from the animals in other parts of the world. In Snapology’s Animal Explorers class, students will learn where animals live and why an animal’s habitat is important for survival. Through stories, games, and building animals with DUPLO® blocks, your little learner will be busy exploring biomes of the world while gaining critical social and developmental skills without even realizing it! This program will segue into the Junior Engineers program where young students build fun and simple models using DUPLO® blocks. By playing with and manipulating the models, they experience pulleys, levers, gears, wheels and axles while exploring energy, buoyancy, and balance. Classes include free-building time to promote creativity.
Grades 1-5 STEAM Lab: In Snapology’s STEAM Lab, students will actively experiment with the principles of science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics. All programs and activities are hands-on with guided instruction from an experienced Snapologist. Our programs utilize teamwork, communication, and creative problem-solving as an essential part of creating a fun and productive atmosphere where students can learn, challenge themselves, and practice their social skills. Your learner will work with a partner to create a variety of structures, robots, machines, and more to solve challenges presented to them in this exciting enrichment lab!
Music Lessons (begin Wednesday Sept., 8 2021)
One skilled music teacher will lead enrolled students only (24 slots available per term), in one 30-minute music lesson per week. Instruments include piano and ukulele. Lessons are based upon availability and offered for an additional $30 per lesson.
Note: Students enrolled in music lessons are enrolled FOR THE YEAR and are expected to practice at home each day. Classes will culminate with a recital at the end of the school year. Families will need to enroll in Daily Care the same day as their music lesson. Children will be enrolled for the same lesson time each term. Due to the nature of the program, we are unable to shift days and times for lessons.
$75 Per Day • 8:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
- Friday, Sept. 17, 2021
- Monday, Oct. 11, 2021
- Friday, Nov. 19, 2021
- Friday, Dec. 10, 2021
- Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022
- Friday, Feb. 25, 2022
- Thursday, March 10, 2022
- Monday, April 18, 2022
- Tuesday, April 19, 2022
- Monday, May 23, 2022
No Care Available
- Monday, Sept. 6 – Labor Day
- Tuesday, Sept. 7 – Rosh Hashanah
- Thursday, Sept. 16 – Yom Kippur
- Tuesday-Friday, Nov. 22-26 – Thanksgiving Break
- Monday Dec. 20 - Monday, Jan. 3 – Winter Break
- Monday, Jan. 17 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
- Monday, Feb. 21 – Presidents' Day
- Friday, April 15 – Good Friday
- Monday, May 30 – Memorial Day
Hosted at the Shady Side Academy Junior School in Point Breeze and open to students from any school
Weekly rate: TBD; Daily rate: TBD
- Families must provide lunches and snacks daily.
- Break Camps run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the SSA Junior School unless otherwise noted.
- FREE before care begins at 8 a.m.
- After care is available until 6 p.m. at an additional cost of $20 per child.
- All activities included in the program cost.
- Late registrations are subject to a $20 fee. Some programs may not accept late registrations.
Late Pick-Up Policy:
After 6 p.m., a late pick-up fee of $10/child will be added for the first 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, the late fee increases to $10/child per minute. Families who are late more than three times in one term will be charged $10/minute/child on subsequent late pick-ups. Charges will be added to the end of term bill.
To maintain proper records and ensure the safety of our students and staff, there will be no refunds or pro-rated fees for missed days/time at SSA After School programs. This includes, but is not limited to, due to illness/injury (including COVID-19), failing any daily COVID health screening, or required quarantine due to COVID-19 exposure.
Enrollment & Payment:
After school requires a per child application deposit of $25, via credit card, to complete enrollment. The remaining balance will be billed on a term basis via your VC Pay student account. Charges sent to VC Pay will be added after the end of the each term in November, February, and June. All enrichment programs are in addition to the Daily Care fees. Enrichment classes are only eligible to those enrolled in Daily Care. All Drop-in Daily care attendees must enroll formally via the Camp Brain system at least one time per term. If attending Cross Country or any non-After School clubs and needing After Care, families must enroll in the Drop-In Daily Care or the appropriate Daily Care day of the week.
Due to COVID-mitigation efforts, staff limits and enrollment caps, waiting lists are available for specific days and programs. If a program and/or day is sold out online please make sure to formally enroll in the specific waiting list. If space becomes available we will be in contact immediately for a seamless transition into the program.
Due limited staffing and COVID-mitigation efforts, we are only accepting day-of emergency drop-ins. If you are in need please contact firstname.lastname@example.org immediately so we can assist! Each new enrollment, per term, requires a one-time online registration.
SSA After School subscribes to the Guiding Principles of Shady Side Academy: Honesty, Kindness, Responsibility, Respect and Safety. It’s paramount that children act accordingly and participate as good citizens in the SSA Summer community.
Things that are never okay to do at After School:
- Hitting, shoving, pushing or physical violence
- Verbal abuse, offensive language or bullying
- Lying or manipulating the truth
- Stealing or taking things without asking
- Destroying property
- Possessing, using or distributing drugs or alcohol
- Bringing weapons of any kind to school
- Ignoring staff or staff directions
Consequences at After School:
We expect all children to demonstrate care, respect and responsibility at all times; children must also exhibit self-control, kindness and follow instructions. Children who do not follow the rules will be asked to take responsibility for their actions. We understand that children make mistakes, and therefore allow a “Three Strikes” disciplinary protocol.
If a student breaks a rule, s/he will receive a verbal warning from a counselor or camp director.
If the child ignores the verbal warning and continues with poor behavior, both the child and a parent/guardian may be asked to meet with the Site-Coordinator to help the child make a constructive plan for improved behavior.
If, after the meeting, the child still does not follow the after school rules, s/he may be suspended and/or asked to leave the program. In this case, a refund will not be issued.
In extreme cases, to ensure the safety of the after school community, the Site-Coordinator(s) reserve the right to expel a child at their own discretion. In this situation, the “Three Strikes” policy will not apply, and refunds will not be provided.
Junior School Site Coordinator
Allison Rhodes has worked nationally with various organizations providing art consultation, therapeutic art and socialization services for children, at-risk youth, adults, senior citizens and those with cognitive, sensory and behavioral issues. Over the past 15 years, she’s created and taught multimedia art lessons in several area public and private schools. She enjoys creating positive experiences that bond people and the community!
Associate Director of Auxiliary Programs
How do I register?
Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. At the beginning of each term, you will receive an email to let you know that registration is open. Visit the Register Now! tab above to find the link to our online registration site when registration is open.
Do I need to send payment with my registration?
There will be a non-refundable application deposit fee of $25, paid via credit card. The remainder of your after-school balance will be billed by the school at the end of each term via your Student Account in November, February, and June .
How do I pick my child up from After School Explorers?
Due to COVID-mitigation efforts we will not be offering any after school shuttle services during the Fall term. For the safety of your child, all doors to the Junior School are locked. Guardians will not be permitted to enter the building. You can reach us by texting 412-254-4772 when you arrive, and an ASE staff member will bring your child to your vehicle.
Who are the instructors for the program? Are students properly supervised?
Along with the Site-Coordinator, Allison Rhodes, a consistent group of qualified and experienced staff, including an on-site coordinator, supervise students during activities, homework help, and playtime.
What safety measures are taking place during after school hours?
ASE will follow the same COVID-19 safety protocol that is practiced during the school day, including age-based cohorts, social distancing, frequent hand washing, and mask wearing.
After School Explorers Registration
After School Explorers registration for Winter Term 2021 will open on Wednesday, Nov. 10, at 1 p.m. and close on Friday Nov. 19 at 9 a.m. at the link below.
All after-school programming is contingent on student enrollment.
Note: After School Explorers is only available to currently enrolled SSA Junior School families.
In-Service Day & Break Camps Registration
Not available at this time.