After School Explorers
After School Explorers (ASE) is the Junior School’s unique after-school program. Students receive an all-inclusive 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 for a full year, one to five days a week per term, or daily drop-in. Families enrolled in ASE and daily drop-in attendees can take advantage of the Fox Chapel shuttle that transports students to the Senior School campus at the end of each day for a small fee.
After School Director
- ASE is available from 3:10-6 p.m. every day the Junior School is in session.
- Schedules can be customized daily for each child.
- Fox Chapel Shuttle available daily for an additional fee.
- Programming also offered for in-service days and school breaks.
2019-2020 Dates and Rates
Term I (12 weeks): Aug. 27–Nov. 15 (PK/K start date Aug. 29)
Term II (12 weeks): Nov. 18–Feb. 21
Term III (12 weeks): Feb. 24–June 2
5 days/week (per term): $1,265
4 days/week (per term): $1,100
3 days/week (per term): $880
2 days/week (per term): $625
1 day/week (per term): $345
Daily Drop-In Rate: $40/day
Fox Chapel Shuttle: $8 for enrolled Explorers, $11 for daily drop-ins, $6/child for two or more siblings enrolled in ASE
Please note: There is no longer a "Full Year" enrollment option. Students must enroll PER TERM. When a student enrolls in three consecutive terms, they will receive the "Full Year" discount, which will be reflected on the payment balance of Term III enrollment.
Term rates include the choice of one enrichment class each day and one 30-minute music lesson each week (based upon availability), as well as snack, recess, games, sports and activities at play time, and access to the quiet, supervised Study Center (grades 1-5).
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.
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.
A wide variety of enrichment classes are available Monday through Thursday, from sports to art to cooking to science. Explorers have access to one enrichment class each day that they are registered in After School Explorers, excluding Fridays. See the Enrichment Classes tab for class information.
Three skilled music teachers lead enrolled Explorers in one 30-minute music lesson per week. Instruments include piano, violin and guitar. Based upon availability. Note: Students enrolled in music lessons are enrolled for the year and are expected to practice at home each day. The year will culminate with a recital at the end of the school year.
The Study Center is run by a teacher 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.
Fox Chapel Shuttle
The Fox Chapel Shuttle departs each day from the Junior School at 5:15 p.m. and transports students to the Senior School Curry Gym patio. All students enrolled in After School Explorers have access to the shuttle, based on availability and subject to an additional fee.
Spring Enrichment Classes
February 24- June 2
Grades PK-3: 3:45-4:45
Mindful Nature is a course that gets students outside of the building and into nature! While outdoors, Bonnie Weiss will lead students through the exploration of Mindfulness, as well as stories and nature crafts that focus on social emotional skills and sustainability. A sample class might include a folktale about environmentalism, a walking meditation, and making rubbings of leaves for the children’s nature journals. This class is perfect for those who enjoyed Mindful World I & II or beginners!
OBSTACLE COURSE (SOLD OUT)
Grades PK-5: 3:45-4:45
Do you have an aspiring Ninja Warrior at home? If so, this is the class for them! Join the dynamic duo of Mrs. Pettito-Kenny and Mrs. DiFiore as they create new courses to explore each week. This is a class for all ages and will have homemade obstacles to challenge every grade level. Please note this class will periodically include outdoor play, so spare clothing is recommended!
LEARN TO COOK! (SOLD OUT)
Grades PK-1: 3:45-4:30
What smells so good?! Join PK teachers, Claire Pilarski and Jazmine Scales, for some messy, yummy fun! Mini chefs should be prepared to sample what they make so come hungry. From time to time, there may even be leftovers to take home to family and friends!
DOERS & DREAMERS
Grades PK-K: 3:45-4:15
Calling all our creative, little friends! With classic and modern picture books serving as inspiration, you’ll use tools like Lego blocks, play dough, and even recycled objects, to give these stories a life in 3-D. Each class will end with a mini-museum walk to see what everyone has created!
Grades 4-5: 3:45-5:00
This is a class you don’t want to miss! Students in grades 4 and 5 will work alongside Junior School computer science teacher Karen Sandora to create the Junior School yearbook for the 2019-2020 school year. Participants will take photos during school events and learn how to lay them out using provided yearbook software.
Grades 2-5: 3:45-4:30
Come dance with Mrs. Blazin at Kids’ Zumba! Develop coordination and musicality while moving to a variety of rhythms from around the world in this high-energy class.
SPORTS & GAMES SAMPLER
Grades PK-K: 3:45-4:15
Grades 1-5: 4:15-5:00 (SOLD OUT)
Mix it up with ASE’s very own Mr. Cody! This class will try out a new sport or game each week. From kickball to bowling to relay races to "Steal the Bacon" and more, Sports & Games Sampler is sure to keep you guessing and moving!
ART & ANIMATION
Grades 2-5: 3:45-4:45
Come learn the art of animation with SSA’s Mr. JK Riki! In this class, students will look at how to create amazing characters and the basics of making them move. JK Riki is a visual artist and the author of 15 Day Creativity Boot Camp.
Ballet - Grades PK-K: 3:45-4:15
Broadway Jazz - Grades 1-5: 4:15-5:15
Fall, Winter, and Spring Terms
ASE favorite, Bodiography, are back with all the moves! Ms. Kaylin Treese will help to establish solid dance foundations with our younger students in ballet, and then build on those steps in Broadway Jazz with our older students. It is recommended that enrolled PK-K students purchase ballet shoes. NOTE: This is a yearlong class that culminates in a dance recital in May.
DARLING DOGGIES: LITTLE VETERINARY SCHOOL (SOLD OUT)
Grades PK-1: 3:45-4:45
8 sessions only! Feb. 25; Mar. 3, 10, 31; Apr. 7, 14, 21,28
The Little Veterinarian School encourages elementary school children to role play and explore the exciting world of veterinarians. Using interactive demonstrations, crafts and games, kids learn how to take care of a pet and use instruments that real veterinarians use. Each child will receive their own plush puppy to care for and take home at the end of the class!
Grades PK-K, 3:45-4:15
Grades 1-5, 4:30-5:00
8 weeks only! Feb. 26; Mar. 4, 11; Apr. 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 (make up date, if necessary)
Join the instructors from Little House Big Art as they guide students through basic beading techniques: learn specialized tools, use of jewelry findings and hardware, multi-strand pieces and fancy shcmancy tricks. Course includes materials, tools and instruction through a necklace or bracelet and earrings.
Grades PK-1: 3:45-4:15
Grades 2 -5: 4:15-5:15
Hit the stage for some high-energy dancing with the instructors from MURRdance! In this Hip-Hop class students will learn short choreography sequences, and have the opportunity to input their personal movement into the work. Participants will also get to debut their moves in the year-end ASE music/dance recital!
Grade PK-K: 3:45-4:05
Grades 1-2: 4:05-4:30
Grades 3-5: 4:30-5:15
With 15 years 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.
SPARTAN FIT (SOLD OUT)
Grades 3-5: 3:45-5:00
The Spartan FIT Program at Pittsburgh FIT is based around general physical skills including coordination, agility, balance, stamina, endurance, and quality of movement. We use games and activities that highlight and challenge each aspect of the student’s development.
This program uses challenges such as rope climbing, vaulting over obstacles, slacklining, and using other parkour-like skills to complete obstacle courses to foster the young student-athlete. We choose to gamify our fitness to keep our Spartan FIT students engaged, entertained and constantly challenged. Special emphasis is placed on developing each athlete's confidence and athletic resilience
PLEASE NOTE: This class takes place at Pittsburgh FIT’s facilities. As enrolled students will be offsite, there will be no early dismissal from this course. Families must sign a waiver. Class capacity is 9 students.
MARTIAL ARTS (SOLD OUT)
Grades K-2: 3:45-4:30 pm
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.
MANDARIN (SOLD OUT)
Grades 1-3: 3:45-4:45
10 sessions only! Feb. 26; Mar. 4, 11; Apr. 1, 8, 15, 22, 29; May 6, 13 (make up date, if necessary)
Explore Chinese language and culture in through physical activity, games, crafts, music and more. Students will progress through the course learning pronunciation, vocabulary, reading, writing, and listening, and will gain confidence in their ability to learn Chinese and to speak it. This spring, we will celebrate Chinese New Year, learn the Chinese zodiac, explore the history and geography of China, and more! Manhattan Mandarin’s classes also feature interactive video and audio to help build language and cultural fluency. Your child will learn and explore the world's most spoken language and have fun doing it!
Grades K-1: 3:45-4:15
Grades 1-5: 4:15-5:15
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. Note: Returning first grade students may sign up for the hour-long class. New students should sign up for the 30-minutes class to learn the basics.
Grades PK-K: 3:45-4:15
Grades 1-5: 4:15-5:00
In a world with endless possibilities, improvisation answers the call by saying, “Yes, AND…!” Students will stretch their creative muscles and find their funny bones in this theater class which focuses on games and exercises that emphasize creativity and “being in the moment.” Lead by Junior School and ASE Drama Teacher, Nancy McGeever, this class is sure to keep us laughing!
Grade PK: 3:45-4:15
Grades K-3: 4:15-5:00
Soccer Shots in a program designed to introduce your child to soccer! Coach Matt is an enthusiastic and energetic instructor who teaches students the basics of the game like dribbling, passing, and shooting. Each week, concepts such as teamwork, sharing, and respected are highlighted and discussed.
SCAVENGER HUNTS & GEOCACHING (SOLD OUT)
Grades 1-5, 3:45-5:00
Explorers will learn navigation techniques and use their problem-solving and collaborative skills to complete in-school scavenger hunts and identify nearby geocaches. As the students become more familiar with the processes, they will have the opportunity to work in teams to create their own original concept for a cache. At the end of the term, the teams will have the opportunity to register their project online, and the final class will be a race to be the first to find the other team’s caches. For more info on geocaching, visit www.geocaching.org. Please note that this class will periodically take place outdoors, and spare clothing is recommended!
ROBOTICS (SOLD OUT)
Grades 2-4, 3:45-4:45
Jeff McCarroll, Junior School science teacher, will lead a beginning robotics class for students in grades 2-4. Participants will use Lego’s NXT hardware and software to learn icon-driven programming. Students will begin with pre-constructed robots, so that programming will be the emphasis of the early classes. Programming will cover everything from movement to infrared sensors. Already have some experience with NXT? This class will give you the opportunity to practice and improve upon your skills.
Grades 3-5 ,Boys Only!, 3:45-5:00
Lace up those sneakers and let the running begin! Boys in grades 3-5 will gradually increase their running stamina over the course of the trimester. Students will run on a variety of surfaces, including the trails at Frick Park. Running games will be played to keep the atmosphere fun while strengthening the boys both inside and out!
For the 2019-2020 school year, ASE will offer in-service day and school break programming on all days the Junior School is not in session (excluding the holidays listed below). These exciting day- and week-long camps are much more than six hours of day care. Each affordable program is centered on a theme; over the course of the year, students will have a variety of learning opportunities and adventures both on and off campus!
Rates & Details
In-Service Day Programs
Open to SSA Junior School students only
40 participant maximum
Full-day programs: $75
School Break Camps
Open to students from any school.
Weekly rate: $375
Daily rate: $80
Families must provide lunches and snacks daily.
- Programs run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the 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 (free on in-service days for attendees who are enrolled in ASE the day the program occurs).
- A shuttle between the Junior and Senior School campuses is available for a fee of $5 per child. Bus departs the Senior School at 8:30 a.m. and returns at 3:30 p.m.
- All activities included in program cost.
- Late registrations are subject to a $20 fee. Some programs may not accept late registrations.
No programming is available on the following holidays:
- Sept. 2 – Labor Day
- Sept. 30 – Rosh Hashanah
- Oct. 9 – Yom Kippur
- Nov. 27, 28, 29 – Thanksgiving Break
- Dec. 20-Jan. 5 – Winter Break
- Jan. 20 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
- Feb. 17 – Presidents' Day
- April 10 – Good Friday
- May 25 – Memorial Day
In-Service Day Programs
Sept. 12 - Hopes & Dreams Conferences
The Frick Art & Historical Center
Oct. 14 - Columbus Day
Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium
Nov. 15 - Evaluation Day
Dec. 2 - Faculty In-Service Day
Nationality Rooms-Cathedral of Learning
Dec. 6 - Parent Conferences
Fun Slides Skate Park
Feb. 21 - Optional Parent Conferences
Dogs with Jobs!
March 30 - Faculty In-Service Day
May 18 - Evaluation Day
May 29 - Parent Conferences
Spring Break Camp Week #1-Sports & Games: March 16-20, 2020
Registration closes on Friday, March 6.
Monday, March 16-Field Trip to Children's Museum
Tuesday, March 17-Stay and Play at JS
Wednesday, March 18-Field Trip to PNC Park
Thursday, March 19-Stay and Play at JS
Friday, March 20-Field Trip to Urban Air
Spring Break Camp Week # 2 Paint, Play, Pretend!: March 23-27, 2020
Registration closes on Friday, March 13.
Monday, March 23-Field Trip to CMOA
Tuesday, March 24-Stay and Play at JS
Wednesday, March 25-Field Trip to Pittsburgh Glass Center
Thursday, March 26-Stay and Play at JS
Friday, March 27-Field Trip to Benedum Theater for Backstage Tour
Kristen Link, After School Director
Kristen Link is excited to meet the SSA students and families this fall as the After School Director! For the past 11 years, she served as the director of education and accessibility for City Theatre, overseeing the growth of the company’s Young Playwrights and Arts Access Programs. Prior to her work at City, she spent several years working in various arts administration offices, schools, and classrooms across Pittsburgh and Boston. Ms. Link holds a bachelor’s degree in theatre arts from Bethany College and a master’s degree in theatre education K-12 from Emerson College.
- Can my child take enrichment classes and music lessons?
- How do I register?
- Do I need to send payment with my registration?
- Are enrichment classes or music lessons ever canceled?
- If I'm running late, can my child stay after school?
- How do I pick my child up from After School Explorers?
- How many enrichment classes can my child take each day?
- Who are the instructors for the program? Are students properly supervised?
- Who can I contact with questions?
- What is the Tax ID number for tax purposes?
Absolutely! That is the benefit of an all-inclusive program. The term rates include the choice of one enrichment class each day and one 30-minute music lesson each week (based upon availability) as well as snack, recess, games, sports and activities at play time, and access to a quiet, supervised Study Center and the Fox Chapel Shuttle.
Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. Some enrichment classes fill up quickly! At the beginning of each term, you will receive an email to let you know that registration is open. Students will have the opportunity to choose new enrichment classes each term. Visit the Register Now! tab above to find the link to our online registration site when registration is open.
Very infrequently! Because we have a stable set of teachers in the program, we are able to deal with the ebb and flow of registrations. Though SSA reserves the right to cancel a class for insufficient enrollment, we will have additional daily activities in which all enrolled children can participate. Play time and the Study Center will never be canceled if the Junior School is open.
If you encounter an unexpected delay, the After School Explorers program is available for a $40 daily drop-in rate per child. Students will have access to play time, the Study Center and the Fox Chapel Shuttle (based on availability and an additional fee) until 6 p.m. Changes to your child's transportation must be emailed to your child's teacher and email@example.com.
For the safety of your child, all doors to the Junior School are locked. You can reach us by texting 412-254-4772 when you arrive, and we will open the doors nearest to the gym for you to enter the building. An ASE staff member will radio for your child to meet you near the gym doors. If you need to arrange for your child to be ready to be picked up when you arrive, we ask that you call 5-10 minutes in advance of your arrival to allow sufficient time for your child to wrap up an activity and to retrieve his or her belongings.
A consistent group of qualified and experienced staff supervise students during music lessons, time in the Study Center and during unstructured play times. Enrichment classes are taught by SSA teachers and reputable members of the Pittsburgh community. Most enrichment classes are capped at 16 students.
After School Explorers Registration
After School Explorers registration for Spring 2020 will open on February 4th at 10:00 a.m. at the link below.
Note: After School Explorers is only available to currently enrolled SSA Junior School families.
In-Service Day & Break Camps Registration
Registration for in-service day programs and spring break camp is open at the link below. Families may register for all programs offered during the 2019-2020 school year.
Note: Break camps are open to students in grades PK-5 from any school. In-service day programs are only available to currently enrolled SSA Junior School families.