Policies and Forms
- Registration, Payments, Cancellations & Absences
- Camp Tuition Insurance (Optional)
- Health and Medication
- Camp Rules
- Before/After Care & Arrival/Dismissal
- Enrollment Minimums/Maximums and Waitlist
- Health and Safety Protocols
- Additional Policies
Registration for any program closes 14 days (including weekends) prior to the start of the program, unless it is already sold out. Example: For a camp that runs June 12-16 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m., registration closes Monday, May 29, at 9 a.m.
Application Deposit & Payment Plans
Enrollment in 2023 SSA Summer programs is limited; therefore, a one-time 100% non-refundable application deposit of $75 is required at the time of registration to hold your child's spot.
The remaining balance due will be billed in three installments, on April 14, May 12 and June 12, 2023. Payment for registrations received on or after June 12, 2023, is due in full. To pay in full after enrolling, email email@example.com. In order to establish a different payment plan, families must speak to an SSA Summer representative before registering.
Full payment for all plans is due by June 12, 2023. Failure to meet payment schedules will result in loss of any discounts and possible disqualification from the programs registered. Payments received after June 12, 2023, will incur a 10% penalty charge based on the registered tuition rate. Payments received after after June 19, 2023, will incur a 20% penalty charge, and may disqualify families from enrolling in future SSA Summer programs. There is a $75 fee for any returned checks.
*NOTE to SSA families: SSA Summer does not bill through VC Pay.
- Until April 13, 2023, canceled registrations are eligible for a full refund minus the $75 application deposit.
- From April 14-May 11, 2023, canceled registrations are eligible for a refund minus the $75 application deposit and the April 14 payment amount. If paid in full, canceled registrations are eligible for a refund minus the $75 application fee and 1/3 of the canceled program fees.
- From May 12-June 11, 2022, canceled registrations are eligible for a refund minus the $75 application fee, and the April 14 and May 12 payment amounts. If paid in full, canceled registrations are eligible for a refund minus the $75 application fee and 2/3 of the canceled program fees.
- After June 12, 2023, there are no refunds for any canceled programs.
Should SSA Summer cancel any program prior to its start, registered families will receive a full refund minus the $75 application fee. For all other cancellations, the above policies apply. Approved refunds will be processed at the conclusion of the SSA Summer season, beginning August 14, 2023.
To maintain proper records and ensure the safety of our campers and staff, please notify the SSA Summer office at 412-447-2230 of any absences from camp.
There will be no refunds or pro-rated fees for missed days/time at SSA Summer programs. This includes, but is not limited to, due to illness/injury (including COVID-19) or required quarantine due to COVID-19 exposure.
To help you protect your investment during these uncertain times, SSA Summer recommends families consider purchasing optional camp tuition insurance. As a convenience, SSA has researched several companies, and while not an official endorsement, AMSkier Insurance offers a “Peace of Mind Insurance” plan starting at $12 per week. Should your child be unable to attend camp or need to leave early for specific reasons, such as injury or illness including COVID-19, the insurance company (not SSA) would reimburse you for any unused, non-refundable camp tuition. Camp tuition insurance is optional and must be purchased by the family directly from an insurance provider. Shady Side Academy is not affiliated AMSkier, and interested families are encouraged to explore other camp tuition insurance options as well.
Health Information & Immunization
Our Health Form is mandatory to complete the online registration, regardless if you are an SSA student or not. If you have registered your child online, you need take no further action unless submitting further documents and information. Please be advised that, per PA School Code, we require an up-to-date immunization form, in English, on file for all non-SSA students. This is mandatory to attend. To discuss any health matters or immunization, please call Nathan Verbanets, Director of Summer Programs, at 412-447-2230. Faxes can be sent to 412-968-3004. Failure to submit a valid immunization record will result in the delay of attendance of your child within any SSA Summer Program, without financial reimbursement, until the form is submitted to and approved by our medical team.
Medication During Camp
If your child has ANY medication that is needed during camp hours, a valid Authorization for Medication must be filled out, signed by a doctor or licensed prescriber and submitted to our SSA Summer office regardless if you are a current SSA family. All medications, including epi-pens and inhalers, must be given to the camp nurse by a parent or legal guardian and only the nurse may distribute these during camp. Any loose medications must be in a properly-labeled prescription bottle or original packaging.
Return to Camp After Injury, Sickness, Concussion or Concussion-Like Symptoms
If your child is diagnosed with an injury, concussion, or concussion-like symptoms during SSA Summer programs, we require documentation from a licensed health professional stating they can return to camp. If accommodations are needed, they must be specifically stated in this documentation. Modified schedules may be required based upon documented accommodations, especially when limiting physical activity. A majority of SSA Summer Programs are highly active programs and may pose risk to injury, therefore, parents/guardians must fully understand the risks when returning to camp, even with documentation from a licensed professional. All doctor's notes must clarify and specifically note that the child is able to return to camp.
Please keep children home from camp when they are ill and/or pick them up if they become sick at camp. If your child experiences a fever at home, please reach out to the camp nurse regarding SSA's protocols for return to camp. SSA Summer requires all participants to adhere to our COVID-19 protocols listed on the Policies page.
SSA Summer is nut-free. If sending in any snacks please check all labels to make sure they are 100% nut-free. This includes NOT processed in a facility that may contain nuts.
All SSA Summer policies and forms are completed as part of the online registration process, except the Authorization for Medication form. PDF copies are provided below simply for reference or if parents need to update information over the summer. The forms below can be downloaded and emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, faxed to 412-968-3004 or mailed to:
SSA Summer Programs
Shady Side Academy
423 Fox Chapel Road
Pittsburgh PA, 15238
- Photo Release and Policies Form
- Summer Camp Rules
- Authorization for Medication - Mandatory only if taking any prescription or over-the-counter medication during camp hours, including epi-pens and inhalers; due prior to arrival at camp.
- Bus Stop Supplementary Form - Bus reservations are only included in the online registration process and mandatory to secure a seat on the bus. If there are any changes please submit this form to email@example.com.
- Health Form - Required to attend camp and included in the online registration process. However, if there are any changes please submit this form to firstname.lastname@example.org.
SSA Summer ascribes to the Guiding Principles of Shady Side Academy: Honesty, Kindness, Responsibility, Respect and Safety. It’s paramount that campers act accordingly and participate as good citizens in the SSA Summer community.
Things that are never okay at camp:
- 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 camp
- Ignoring counselor or staff directions
Consequences at camp:
We expect all campers to demonstrate care, respect and responsibility at all times; campers must also exhibit self-control, kindness and follow instructions. Campers 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 camper breaks a rule, s/he will receive a verbal warning from a counselor or camp director.
- If the camper ignores the verbal warning and continues with poor behavior, both the camper and a parent/guardian may be asked to meet with the camp director to help the camper make a constructive plan for improved behavior.
- If, after the meeting, the camper still does not follow the camp 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 camp community, the camp director(s) reserve the right to expel campers at their own discretion. In this situation, the “Three Strikes” policy will not apply, and refunds will not be provided.
Support your child(ren)! Parents are also responsible for the success and safety of their campers. We thank you in advance for taking the time to help ensure that each child has an optimal camp experience.
- Notify SSA Summer in advance if your child has any specific learning, emotional, social, medical, behavioral or special needs. Please refer to the SSA Summer Health Form for more information.
- Keep children home from camp when they are ill and/or pick them up if they become sick at camp. If your child experiences a fever at home, please reach out to the camp nurse regarding SSA's protocols for a return-to-camp. SSA Summer requires all participants to adhere to all SSA Summer, current state, local and federal guidelines/policies regarding COVID-19.
- Only parents and guardians may bring medications to camp, and they should do so before camp begins. Our nurses can only accept labeled prescription medicines in original containers and will distribute during the day as required. For the well-being of all children, please do not use camp as a time to transition a camper off of medications.
- Respect our hard-working staff by ensuring timeliness at drop-off and pick-up.
- Please regularly check the email address you provided during registration to stay apprised of all news, events, and information. This is our primary means of communication, email@example.com.
- For the safety of all children, parents and guardians are not permitted to visit campers during the camp day. If an emergency arises and you must contact your child(ren) please contact our camp office so we can immediately assist you.
In order to provide more flexibility for busy families, we offer FREE before care beginning at 7:30 or 8 a.m. depending on the camp.
After-care runs from 4:15 until 6 p.m. at a cost of $12 per day. You must register for after-care during the online registration process only. If an emergency arises and care is needed past 4:15 pm please reach out as soon as possible so we can accommodate and assist.
After-care families arriving after 6 p.m. will incur an additional $25 late pick-up fee. If late pick-up occurs repeatedly, it may be considered grounds for dismissal from the after-care program at the discretion of the director of summer programs without refund. Continued late pick-ups may also result in additional fees and disqualify families from enrolling in future SSA Summer programs.
Notes: No before or after care will be available the week of June 12-16. This year, we ask that families utilize before/after care only when necessary to keep our numbers at a minimum as multiple grades will be in a larger group setting.
Regular camp arrival time is between 8:45 and 9 a.m., and regular dismissal time is between 4 and 4:15 p.m.
Late Arrivals: To ensure the safety of all campers and staff, all campers arriving after 9 a.m. must check in staff immediately upon arrival.
Early Dismissals: All early dismissals must be completed by 3:30 p.m. and be arranged through the SSA Summer office at each camp facility. All children leaving early must be picked up from the SSA Summer office at each camp facility.
Please note that SSA Summer Programs, including for-credit high school courses, require a minimum of six enrollees to run. Full refunds will be offered in the event that any summer program is canceled because of low enrollment.
Although we would like to accept every child this summer, we cap our maximum enrollment so that we can continue to offer individualized safe activities and instruction. In a typical year, programs begin to sell out in May, but may sell out earlier.
A waitlist confirmation DOES NOT guarantee registration in an SSA Summer program. An SSA Summer representative will personally contact you if space opens to complete your enrollment. No fees are due to confirm a spot on the waitlist; however, fees are due, in full, if space is available and the registration is completed.
SSA Faculty & Staff Discount
If you are a Shady Side Academy faculty or staff member and interested in registering your child(ren), please contact Nathan Verbanets at 412-447-2230 by June 1, 2023. Not all programs are eligible so please reach out for more information if interested! Discounts only apply to eligible programs.
SSA Summer offers bus transportation to our Fox Chapel campuses from the North Hills and East End neighborhoods of Pittsburgh for an additional cost of $45 per rider, per week. This limited option is available during the normal registration process. A formal enrollment is required to secure a seat on any of our buses. Our yellow SSA school buses drop campers off at their program location – SSA Senior School (Focus, Sport, STEAM and Day Camp Discovery programs) and Middle School (Camp Ren programs). No busing is available for the East End Explorers program at the Junior School. If available, a bus counselor rides with campers to ensure a safe and friendly environment with supervision for all. Unfortunately bus stops cannot be added or amended from the list below.
To reserve a seat on the bus please make sure to complete a formal registration online.
Please note: bus times are approximate and may change depending on enrollment, construction, weather and/or traffic. Times are estimated as they do include appropriate safety checks.
At SSA Summer, the health and safety of our campers and staff is our highest priority, and we have robust health and safety protocols in place for all summer programs. In these uncertain times, however, we recognize that a successful in-person camp program must be flexible enough to adapt.
This section will be updated as protocols evolve in response to changing county, state and federal public health guidance regarding COVID-19.
Health & Safety Protocols
SSA Summer's health and safety protocols are grounded in national, state and local public health guidance and informed by SSA’s successful experience with in-person learning during COVID-19 over the past several school years.
- SSA Summer strongly encourages all campers and staff to stay up to date on COVID-19 vaccines and boosters for which they are eligible. However, the vaccine is not required for enrollment or employment. Learn about vaccine and booster recommendations here.
- Parents should upload a photo of their child's COVID-19 vaccination card to the child’s Camp Brain account.
- Masks are optional for all children, employees and visitors on our campuses, both indoors and outdoors.
- Community members who test positive for COVID-19 or are identified as a close contact must follow masking guidelines listed in the Case Protocols section below.
- Children and employees should self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms daily.
- Individuals with a temperature of 100° F or above or at least two of the following symptoms – chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea – should stay home and follow up with the nurse and their physician, regardless of vaccination status.
- If your child becomes sick or symptomatic at camp, please pick them up within an hour of notification.
COVID-19 Case Protocols
- Children and employees with a fever or two or more symptoms of COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status, should stay home, contact the nurse, and follow up with a physician to determine if they should be tested for COVID-19.
- If a test is not recommended, the child or employee may return to SSA Summer when fever-free for 24 hours (below 100° F without fever-reducing medication) and symptoms have improved.
- If a test is recommended and the student or employee is symptomatic with two or more symptoms, a physician assessment or a negative test in writing is required for return to SSA Summer.
- Positive COVID-19 cases must be reported immediately to the nurse.
- Children or employees testing positive must stay home and isolate for at least 5 days. If after 5 days you are asymptomatic or your symptoms are resolving (including 24 hours fever-free without the use of fever-reducing medications), you may return to SSA Summer on day 6, but must continue wearing a mask around others for 5 additional days.
A close contact is someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period, starting 2 days before that person's symptom onset (or in asymptomatic cases, 2 days before they were tested).
Nurses will not notify close contacts of positive cases; instead, nurses will encourage those testing positive to reach out to close contacts directly to notify them.
- If You Are Identified as a Close Contact:
- You do not need to quarantine, regardless of vaccination status, but should take the following precautions as soon as you find out you were exposed (the date of your last exposure to someone with COVID-19 counts as Day 0):
- Wear a well-fitting mask around others for 10 days after the date of your last exposure.
- Watch for symptoms of COVID-19 for 10 days after the date of your last exposure. If you develop symptoms, isolate and get tested (see above).
- Get tested at least 5 full days after your last exposure (Day 6), unless you had confirmed COVID-19 in the past 90 days and have no symptoms.
- If a household member has COVID-19, get tested right away and again 5 days after the household member has completed their isolation period. Wear a mask while at SSA Summer and around others during this time.
- Families do not need to notify anyone other than the camp nurse that an absence is COVID-related.
- If there are multiple cases in an SSA Summer Program group, SSA Summer will email parents in the class/group to recommend increased vigilance for symptoms.
Email and Communication
Once registered, communication to families regarding camp is sent electronically via email. During the registration process, please be sure to provide your preferred email address. Please notify our office of any updates during the year. Parents and guardians can contact us at 412-447-2230 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lost and Found
The SSA Summer Lost and Found is located in the gymnasiums on all SSA Summer campuses. Lost and Found will be cleared out at the end of the summer season in early August. All left items will be donated to charity.
Summer School Homework
Due to the shortened duration of summer school classes, nightly homework is to be expected. For elementary and middle school classes there MAY be upwards of 15-20 minutes of light homework each evening. For-credit high school classes MAY have upwards of 45 minutes of homework each evening. These times may increased or decrease based on the level of summer school course.
Leaders In Training (LITs)
NOTE: Due to COVID-19 mitigation efforts, the LIT program at Camp Ren will not be held in Summer 2023. Rising ninth graders may enroll as regular campers in Camp Ren in 2023.
Leaders-in-training, or LITs, are rising ninth graders who attend our middle school day camp, Camp Ren, while spending several hours each week volunteering with our elementary-aged Day Camp Discovery children. LITs also receive leadership instruction. All hours are recorded and documented so they can be put towards school requirements, scholarships, awards, etc. The LIT program is reserved only for campers signed up for Camp Ren. Since LITs volunteer several hours each week, they receive a 5% discount on their Camp Ren tuition in registration. This option MUST be selected by the parent within registration. The LIT discount can not be applied after registration is complete. Campers not able to participate in the LIT program due to behavior, absence, etc. or wishing to withdraw from the program will lose this discount.