Interview with the Principal


All scholars at Catalyst Academy thrive with the support and connections they form with our teachers and staff. Getting to know each other is such a treat and an important part of building connections that we decided to interview our Catalyst Principal Darren Gray. Keep reading to learn all about this excellent leader and what makes him such a good match for our Catalyst community. Darren Gray - Catalyst Academy Founding Principal When did you know you wanted to work in education? My journey into education was heavily informed by my experiences in school as a child. Growing up in the [...]

Interview with the Principal2021-08-20T15:46:28-04:00

Catalyst Meet and Greet


We are excited to meet our new incoming scholars and parents in preparation for the 2021-2022 school year at Catalyst Academy Charter School! Each year in these Meet and Greet events, we assess new scholars in order to design an individualized plan for each child. If you are still deciding which school is best for your child, this is the perfect place to get all your questions answered and meet some of our incredible staff.  Catalyst is a free college-preparatory K-8 public charter school in Pittsburgh, focused on serving families in the Hill District, Garfield, East Liberty, Larimer, Lincoln-Lemington, Homewood, and [...]

Catalyst Meet and Greet2021-08-16T16:54:50-04:00

Teacher Training Camp


The start of school is right around the corner, so with a summer full of fun under our belts, we are gathering our teachers at Catalyst to prepare for the new academic year. In order to achieve our mission of creating a world-class K-8 school where all children are prepared for college, career, and life, we start with our teachers.  Every year, we train our teachers rigorously in methods of instruction, inclusive learning, and living our core values in a 4 week long teacher training camp before school starts. Life is all about learning, growing, and becoming a little better at [...]

Teacher Training Camp2021-08-10T13:03:42-04:00

Meet Myra Powell, Parent Community Advisor


“We connect our Catalyst families to resources that will better their lives forever.” Myra Powell has been working in community development for over 35 years. She had never thought of working at a school until she learned about Catalyst Academy Charter School and our focus on building community. Her heartfelt support and joy in life are so contagious that we decided to interview her so she could share her story with us in her own words.  What was it about Catalyst that inspired you to choose to work here? The leadership team here at Catalyst is outstanding and their work ethic [...]

Meet Myra Powell, Parent Community Advisor2021-07-23T13:21:43-04:00

Summer Fun in Pittsburgh


The sun is out and so are we! At Catalyst Academy, we are having fun while school is out by preparing our next year’s programs and learning adventures.  Summer is a time filled with fun activities for all ages, and to inspire your family’s summer plans, we gathered a list of kid-centric resource hubs to give you great ideas of what to do with your little ones this month.  Kids Out and About Check out this great website with a bunch of ideas for your family, and start with their blog “Top 20 Places to Take Kids in and around Pittsburgh”. [...]

Summer Fun in Pittsburgh2021-07-16T00:46:37-04:00

Art Improves Learning


Splashing paint around, singing songs with a group, acting out silly scenes - these all might seem like simple ways to relax and have fun, but there’s even more to it than that! Catalyst Academy Charter School’s (CAC) Art classes activate the right side of our scholars’ brains, which inspires new ideas and strengthens young academic minds.  In our sculpture class, we combine 3-d circles, triangles, and squares to find which combinations have the best structural integrity. Connecting this exercise to the architecture we see in our city always lights up the minds of our scholars. That bright curiosity shines through [...]

Art Improves Learning2021-06-08T21:54:04-04:00

Run, Jump, Throw, and Grow!


The benefits of Physical Education are undisputed – young bodies need to move to be healthy. At Catalyst Academy, we use PE class to teach our scholars that their bodies can grow and achieve right along with their brains. PE benefits students both physically and mentally – when students move their bodies, they focus their minds. Exercise has been shown to relieve anxiety and increase concentration, both of which help scholars achieve academically.  Active participation in PE class happens four times a week at Catalyst Academy. Students are having fun playing kickball, dancing, golfing, bowling, doing gymnastics and running relays, and [...]

Run, Jump, Throw, and Grow!2021-05-27T15:31:10-04:00

Celebrating Catalyst Scholars


For young children, anticipating the celebrations for milestones like birthdays or holidays, builds so much excitement they can barely contain their glee. But celebrations like that only come around once a year, and at Catalyst Academy, we have built a culture of frequent celebration so our scholars can feel the excitement of their growth and achievements on a regular basis. Belong. Grow. Achieve. Our core values of Belong. Grow. Achieve. are rewarded and celebrated every week. Our scholars receive the Dreamweaver Award when they demonstrate the value of belonging; for instance, a student who goes out of their way to welcome [...]

Celebrating Catalyst Scholars2021-05-24T17:18:12-04:00

Growth in the Community Garden


A garden is a burst of color, a sign of growth and renewal, a reminder that a little dirt, water and sunshine will produce natural beauty. Especially this year, after months of being stuck inside due to the pandemic, we find our eyes wandering outside and appreciating the spring growth perhaps more than in the past. We may not be taking a walk in the woods, but at Catalyst, we are bringing natural beauty into our space and learning about nature. Catalyst’s own art teacher, Emily Newman, recently spearheaded our Community Garden project. Beautifying our space and learning how nature works [...]

Growth in the Community Garden2021-05-17T13:35:11-04:00

STEM at Catalyst Academy


Kindergarten and first grade may sound too soon for STEM activities, but early exposure is the key to unlocking a student’s curiosity and sparking a lifelong interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. At Catalyst Academy, every day of the week we are using STEM activities to help our scholars understand how the world works, and to encourage problem-solving and creativity that will benefit them in all areas of study.  What does STEM look like at Catalyst Academy? It looks like FUN!  Kindergarten scholars recently engineered a way to protect a mini skateboard from being blown away by high winds in [...]

STEM at Catalyst Academy2021-04-26T17:45:44-04:00
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