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!
2022-2023 ASE Dates & Rates
Term I Fall (12 weeks): Aug. 30–Nov. 18
Term II Winter (12 weeks): Nov. 29–March 3
Term III Spring (11 weeks): March 6–June 2
Term III Spring:
Daily Care Mondays (7 sessions): $182
Daily Care Tuesdays (11 sessions): $286
Daily Care Wednesdays (11 sessions): $286
Daily Care Thursdays (11 sessions): $286
Daily Care Fridays (10 sessions): $260
Daily Drop-In (Emergency Day-of): $35
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.
Director of After School
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 protocols. 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 works closely with students to ensure students have the opportunity to work on their homework during after school hours. This is available to students grades 1-5 and Monday- Thursday. 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 Friday, from sports to art to chess to science. Explorers have access to one enrichment class each day that they are enrolled. See the Enrichment Classes tab for class information.
Private Music Lessons Additional Fees Apply
Skilled music teachers lead enrolled Explorers in one 30-minute music lesson per week. Instruments include piano and ukelele. 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.
New for Winter and Spring 22-23! 4th and 5th Grade Instrumental Band Private Lessons Additional Fees Apply
Instrumental band teacher, Mr. Chris Donato will be teaching private Clarinet, Flute, Trumpet, Trombone, and Alto Sax lessons for 4th-5th grade students. Students will be taught to further hone their skills in their instrument and work towards playing more complex compositions. Space is very limited, and based upon availability. This class is only offered to students enrolled in ASE on Mondays and Thursdays. 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 (7) Mondays in Spring Term
- March 6, 13
- April 3, 17, 24
- May 8, 15
Basketball with Coach Steve Berger
Grades PK-1: 3:30-4 p.m.
Grades 2-5: 4-4:45 p.m.
Rate: $135.00 for term
*Need Minimum enrollment of 6 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!
Robotics Coding with Mr. McCarroll
Grades 1-3: 3:30-4:30 p.m.
Rate: $200.00 for term
*Need Minimum enrollment of 7 students per class (Max 15 per group)
3rd-5th grade Science teacher, Mr. McCarroll, is excited to be offering Robotics for grades 1-3. Students will explore coding for robotics with several different platforms including Sphero Bots, Matatabots and LEGO Spike. Each session will focus on a different aspect of coding for successful robot behavior.
Total of (11) Tuesdays in Spring Term
- March 7, 14
- April 4, 11, 18, 25
- May 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
Ages and Time: Grades 2-5: 3:30-4:30 p.m.
Rate: $275 per term
*Minimum enrollment of 10 students (maximum of 18)
The talented coaches of Pittsburgh Fencers' Club are extremely excited to continue to share the art of 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. It's no wonder why this Olympic Sport is known as the "Physical Chess." Fencing makes fitness fun! All necessary equipment will be provided.
Snapology Movie Making Animation Studio
Ages and Time: Grades 4-5: 3:30-4:15 p.m.
Rate: $275 per term
*Minimum enrollment of 10 students (maximum of 15)
Students will learn how to develop their computer and technology skills by creating their very own stop-motion movie using LEGO bricks. We will work in teams to develop an amazing movie complete with character dialogue, sound effects, and more all while learning how to use stop motion software and web cameras. Our completed movies will be uploaded to a secure site so that we can share our STEAM created movie masterpieces with our families!
Ages and Time: Grades PreK-K: 4:30-5:00 p.m.
Rate: $275 per term
*Minimum enrollment of 10 students (maximum of 15)
Children will begin to explore the world of robotics as they build simple models that teach the fundamentals of robot design. Whether learning about sensors while building drills or magic wands, or discovering ways gears and pulleys make movement while building helicopters or robotic dogs, your child is sure to have fun while learning new STEAM concepts!
Fundamentals of Dance: The INK Experience
Ages and Times: Grades PK-1: 3:30-4:15 p.m.
Rates: $275 per term.
*Minimum enrollment of 8 students (maximum of 20)
Students will learn coordination with music, discipline, and confidence all while exploring the principles of DANCE!!! The INK Experience invites students to explore the world of performing arts through dancing, costume, physical education, and wellness. 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! We will end our Spring Term with a special performance for our families to see!
Total of (11) Wednesdays in Spring Term
- March 8, 15
- April 5, 12, 19, 26
- May 3, 10, 14, 24, 31
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: $135 per term; Grades 3-5: $153 per term
*Minimum enrollment of 5 students per group or 15 per grade level (maximum of 12 students PK-K and 15 students Grades 1-2 and 3-5)
With decades of experience, award winning 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 to help encourage students to be "players not spectators." Students in the lower class levels will learn basic skills of dynamic and static movement, while students in the older classes will develop skills to play at a competitive level. Tennis rackets are provided, but students are encouraged to bring their own.
The School of Mindful Arts Presents: Mindful Movement and Contemplative Art
Ages and Times: Grades PK-K: 3:30-4 p.m.; Grades 1-5: 4:15-5:00 p.m.
Rates: Grades PK-K: $225 per term; Grades 1-5: $250 per term
*Minimum enrollment of 10 students across 2 groups (maximum of 20 in both groups)
Mindful Movement PK-K: In this shorter, 30 minute course, designed with our youngest explorers/adventurers in mind, we dispel any bias that mindfulness means sitting still or being bored. Mindfulness means being aware, & fully present with kindness and curiosity- what better way to start children off on the basic physical literacy of mindfulness than through movement? This series will be a sampler of classes guided towards self-regulation including body scans, yoga, tai chi, dancing, drumming, mindful walking, and stretching as well as stories, art, and games.
Contemplative Art Grades. 1-5: Although there are no pre-requisites for this course, we go over all of the basics of mindfulness. This series is great for students grades 1-5 who are seriously interested in art or who want to take a deeper dive into contemplative creativity. Each session will start with a guided meditation about a mindfulness topic such as “your peaceful place” or “seeing so much to be grateful for”. Then the bulk of the class will be spent in quiet reflection and creativity as students produce artwork in response to the meditations. This course will be a sampler of art techniques with different media/materials each week.
Total of (11) Thursdays in Spring Term
- March 9,16
- April 6, 13, 20, 27
- May 4, 11, 18, 25
- June 1
First Tee Golf
Grades 1-2: 3:30-4:15 p.m.
Grades 3-5: 4:15-5 p.m.
Rate: Grades 1-5 $200 per term
*Need Minimum enrollment of 5 students per class (Max 10 per group)
At First Tee – Pittsburgh, we’re Building Game Changers by empowering kids to be the best version of themselves. By seamlessly integrating the game of golf with character-building, we create learning experiences that help kids uncover their inner strength, self-confidence, and resilience that they can carry to everything they do. Our trained coaches not only provide an introduction to junior golf and an opportunity to enhance golf skills, but they also create a safe, supportive, and empowering environment to help your child prepare for life ahead, including friendships, school, college and even their careers.
Ages and Times: Grades K-1: 3:30-4:15 p.m.; Grades 2-5: 4:15-5:15 p.m.
Rate: $200 per term
*Minimum enrollment of 20 students across 2 groups (maximum of 20 in grades K-1 and 24 in grades 2-5)
Having served our SSA youth since 2008, John Young, chess expert and instructor at a number of other 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 players to develop their game. Students in the younger classes will learn the fundamentals of the game, while students in the older groups will learn more complex strategies to develop their gameplay. The class culminates in an exciting tournament during the last classes where prizes are awarded!
Grades PK-K; 3:30-4:00
Rate: Grades PK-K $150 per term
*Need Minimum enrollment of 5 students per class (Max 20 per group)
The Soccer Shots program provides children an opportunity for social development, participation, confidence, and fun through the game of soccer. Our Empower curriculum is focused on breaking down new skills and encourages growth with balance, movement, and basic soccer concepts. It is supported with visuals and can be altered to accommodate children’s needs. We celebrate growth, confidence, and participation in our classes!
A skilled music teacher will lead enrolled students 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.
New for Winter 22-23! Private Instrumental Band Lessons for Grades 4 and 5
Instrumental band teacher, Mr. Chris Donato will be teaching private Clarinet, Flute, Trumpet, Trombone, and Alto Sax lessons for 4th-5th grade students. This class is only offered to students enrolled in ASE on Mondays and Thursdays. Lessons are based on limited availability and offered for an additional $45 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.
In-Service Days/Break Camps
$80 Per Day • 7:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
(Field trips are at additional cost)
- Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2022
- Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2022
- Monday, Nov. 21, 2022
- Monday, Nov. 28, 2022
- Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023
- Monday, April 10, 2023
- Monday, May 1, 2023
- Monday, May 22, 2023
- Space is limited and enrollment is competitive. Please be sure to sign up when registration becomes available!
- Waiting List: If the program 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. (Waitlisted does not guarantee a spot)
No Care Available
- Monday, Sept. 5 – Labor Day
- Monday, Sept. 26 – Rosh Hashanah
- Wednesday, Oct. 5 – Yom Kippur
- Monday, Oct. 24- Diwali
- Tuesday-Friday, Nov. 22-25 – Thanksgiving Break
- Monday Dec. 26 - Monday January 2 – Winter Break
- Monday, Jan. 16 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
- Monday, Feb. 20 – Presidents' Day
- Friday, April 7 – Good Friday
- Monday, May 29 – Memorial Day
Hosted at the Shady Side Academy Junior School in Point Breeze and open to students grades Pre K- 5 from either Country Day School or Junior School.
(Pricing and Registration Dates are TBD, programming for these camps is contingent on staffing availability)
Spring Break Camp: March 20-24, March 27-31
- 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 (excluding field trips) included in the program cost
- Late registrations are subject to a $20 fee. Some programs may not accept late registrations.
- Registration closes one week before the start of the camp.
Policies and Procedures
Car Pool Pick-Up:
When you arrive at the Junior School via South Braddock Avenue, please join the line around the front of the building and notify the staff member present that you have arrived to pick up your child by texting 412-254-4772. We will then bring your child to your car with all of their belongings.
Gate on Ben Hur St. for Pick-up:
To ensure continued safety and security, the gate will remain locked at all times during the After School Program. If you plan on using the locked gate on Ben Hur St., please text 412-254-4772 that you have arrived at the back gate and include your child's name in the text. We kindly ask that you remain outside the locked gate until your child is brought to you. Pick-up from the Ben Hur gate should ONLY be used by families who live within the surrounding neighborhood, it is not an alternative pick-up spot to avoid traffic on Braddock Ave. In hopes of also maintaining a fantastic relationship with our neighbors, we ask that no cars park on Ben Hur St. during pick-up.
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. Please note, there will be no billing adjustments for any cancellations following the first week of After School per term start.
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. Being waitlisted does not guarantee a spot.
We are currently 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 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 follow the "Shady Side Way" and 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.
If a student breaks a rule, s/he will receive a verbal warning from a counselor and will talk through their choices and come up with a plan to rejoin the group after they have taken some time to calm down and reflect on their actions.
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 Director or 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 Director or Site-Coordinator(s) reserve the right to expel a child at their own discretion. In this situation, refunds will not be provided.
Director of After School
Sarah Chedwick has been supporting students and their families through their education journeys for many years as a School Age Administrator and Early Childhood Educator. With over 10 years in the education field, Sarah has an abundance of experience in building enriching programs for students and their families and mentoring new staff in their career pathways.
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?
For the safety of your child, all doors to the Junior School are locked and children will be picked up from After School using SSA's car pool process. Guardians will not be permitted to enter the building. When you arrive to pick up your child, please send a text with the child's name to 412-254-4772, and an ASE staff member will bring your child to your vehicle.
Can I use the gate on Ben Hur St. for Pick-up?
To ensure continued safety and security, the gate will remain locked at all times during the After School Program. If you plan on using the locked gate on Ben Hur St., please text 412-254-4772 that you have arrived at the back gate, and include your child's name in the text. We kindly ask that you remain outside the locked gate until your child is brought to you. Pick-up from the Ben Hur gate should ONLY be used by families who live within the surrounding neighborhood, it is not an alternative pick-up spot to avoid traffic on Braddock Ave. In hopes of also maintaining a fantastic relationship with our neighbors, we ask that no cars park on Ben Hur St. during pick-up.
Who are the instructors for the program? Are students properly supervised?
Along with the After School Director, Sarah Chedwick, a consistent group of qualified and experienced staff 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 optional mask wearing.
After School Explorers Registration
After School Explorers registration for Spring Term 2023 will open on Thursday, Feb. 9, at 10 a.m. and close on Sunday, Feb. 26, at 4 p.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 Registration
Spring Break Camp registration will open at the beginning of Spring After School Term registration.