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 III Spring:
Daily Care Mondays (9 sessions): $216
Daily Care Tuesdays (11 sessions): $264
Daily Care Wednesdays (12 sessions): $288
Daily Care Thursdays (12 sessions): $288
Daily Care Fridays (11 sessions): $264
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 (9) Mondays in Spring Term
- Feb. 28
- March 7, 14
- April 4, 11, 25
- May 2, 9, 16
Grades PK-1 3:30-4:00; Grades 2-5 4:15-5:00
Rate: $90.00 for term
*Need Minimum enrollment of 10 students between the 2 groups (Max of 12 per group)
Coach Steve Berger from North Hills High School is back to teach our future NBA and WNBA players how to properly dribble a basketball and work on other ball-handling skills. Players will also work on stamina and endurance through running drills and shooting practice. For older students, the session ends with an opportunity to apply their skills in a friendly game!
Mindful World I
Ages and Times: Grades K-3, 3:30-4:30
Rate: $180 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 (11) Tuesdays in Spring Term
- March 1, 8, 15
- April 5, 12, 26
- May 3, 10, 17, 24, 31
Multi Media Studio
Ages and Times: Grades 1-3: 3:30-4:30 p.m.; Grades 4-5: 4:30-5:30 p.m.
Rate: $275 per term
Minimum enrollment of 4 students per class (maximum of 15)
Studio is defined as “the workspace of an artist”. We will do the work of painting, printmaking, sculpture, sewing and textiles and more throughout this multimedia class - and we will have fun! Don’t tell the kiddos, but we will throw in some art history – drawing on diverse artists and stories to inspire us. In fact, each class will come with a book recommendation so the whole family can learn about art together! Alison B is a certified art teacher who’s been teaching art and creating art for 30 years. By presenting an array of art processes and materials my hope is that each artist will find something they absolutely love - art is so powerful!
The INK Experience: A Musical Showcase!
Ages and Times: Grades PK-1: 3:30-4:15 p.m.; Grades 2-5: 4:20-5:10 p.m.
Rates: $275 per term.
Minimum enrollment of 8 students (maximum of 16)
The INK Experience invites students to explore the world of performing arts through singing, dancing, acting, costume and stage makeup design, set and props building, physical education, and wellness. Students will learn compassion, empathy, discipline, and confidence all while exploring the magical world of theatre. The INK experience is sure to leave a positive mark with a fun-filled program aimed to encourage youth to be the best they can be - all culminating in a term ending showcase!
Ages and Time: Grades 2-5: 3:30-4:30 p.m.
Rate: $275 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 (12) Wednesdays in Spring Term
- March 2, 9, 16
- April 6, 13, 20, 27
- May 4, 11, 18, 25
- June 1
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: $180 per term; Grades 3-5: $216 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: $216 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 (12) Thursdays in Spring Term
- March 3, 10, 17
- April 7, 14, 21, 28
- May 5, 12, 19, 26
- June 2
Ages and Times: Grades K-1: 3:30-4:15 p.m.; Grades 2-5: 4:15-5:15 p.m.
Rate: $216 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 pm.; Grades 1-2: 4-4:45 p.m., Grades 3-5: 4:45-5:30 p.m.
Rates: Grades PK-K: $180 per term; Grades 1-5: $216 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: $275 per term
Minimum enrollment of 10 students per class (maximum of 18 per class)
Prek-2nd Grade: Castles, Kingdoms and Wizards
Who wouldn’t want to escape and play in the world of magic, fairy tales, and royalty? In Snapology’s Castles & Kingdoms program, students will have the opportunity to use LEGO® bricks to design their medieval fantasies while also bringing the real history to life! Yes, your student will do more than just build with LEGO® bricks, they will build their historical understanding of the unique elements that make the medieval time period such a fascinating point in human history.
Grades 3-5: LEGO City
Does your builder enjoy designing beautiful buildings and cities for their mini-figures? If so, this workshop is the perfect space for your young architect or city planner to sharpen their design and building skills! In this workshop, students will learn all about the importance of collaboration, careful planning, and skillful execution of their building plans.
Total of (11) Fridays Spring Term
- March 4, 11, 18
- April 8, 22, 29
- May 6, 13, 20, 27
- June 3
Ages and Times: Grades 1-2: 3:30-4:15 p.m.; Grades 3-5: 4:20-5:20 p.m.
Rate: $180 per term
Players will learn the fundamental skills of flag football. Students will develop their own route trees, practice timing routes, and do skill drills to improve their agility. The class will learn the basics of one-on-one defense, zone concepts and how to coordinate as a group. There will be an introduction to punting and place kicking. A scrimmage will occur every session along with other football related games and competitions. Although this class is non-contact, players should be expected to play in a fun, active, and athletic environment.
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
- 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
- Spring Break Week 2 (March 28-April 1)
- 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: $375; Daily rate: $75
Spring Break Camp - March 21-25
Celebrate the beginning of spring with our friends from the After School crew at Shady Side Academy’s Spring Break Camp! Learn about the weather, butterflies, natural habitats and much more during this structured five-day camp. Campers will go on exciting virtual field trips, play organized games and participate in arts and crafts projects geared towards a daily spring theme.
- Families must provide lunches and snacks daily.
- Camp runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the SSA Junior School
- 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.
- Shuttle ($5 per rider) from the Senior School departs at 7:45 a.m. and returns at 4 p.m.
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 email@example.com 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 Spring Term 2022 will open on Friday, Feb. 18, at 4 p.m. and close on Thursday Feb. 24 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.