About Catalyst

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

Reading Matters!


Reading is transformative. Reading impacts how we communicate with others and bridges how we identify with others. Reading is a vital foundational skill for learning at every age. Unlocking a love for reading while a young person, can open the doors to a lifelong love of learning and exploration. And creating a lifelong love for learning is a big part of our mission here at Catalyst.  Reading benefits us psychologically. Reading can inform how we understand the world.  Reading to and with our scholars in grades K-2 is one of the best things caregiving adults can do. Not only does it [...]

Reading Matters!2021-04-18T17:39:21-04:00

Social Emotional Learning at Catalyst 


At Catalyst we are dedicated to preparing our scholars to achieve their dreams. By closing achievement and opportunity gaps, our educational philosophy seeks mastery along three dimensions:college readiness, career readiness and life readiness. This week we are focusing on life readiness. Here’s a quick review of what all three mean to us:  College Readiness All scholars will be prepared to attend and graduate from a four-year college or university.  Catalyst scholars will be prepared by achieving mastery of a broad, rigorous college-preparatory curriculum that both prepares and inspires. Career Readiness All scholars need to be equipped with the skills to thrive [...]

Social Emotional Learning at Catalyst 2021-03-15T21:05:04-04:00

Make the Switch: Grade 2


Changing your child’s school can feel daunting. Sometimes it’s more daunting for parents than for the student. Here we’re focusing on the second grade and how truly seamless it can be. At Catalyst, we are ready to welcome your second grader to our founding second grade class.  Open for only K and 1st for the 2020-2021 school year, we are thrilled with our successes as a new public charter school. As our charter outlined, we will grow a grade each year until we are a K-8 public school. We prepare every one of our scholars to define and achieve their dreams. [...]

Make the Switch: Grade 22021-03-05T18:12:55-05:00

Why is Play Important? 


At Catalyst, play time is very important to us. We ensure our scholars get PE four days a week! Plus plenty of recess time and movement brain breaks. Why?  We’re very glad you asked.  Play creates a sense of adventure and nurtures imagination. Through play, children of all ages, learn valuable skills like working with others, sharing, problem-solving and more. In turn, play can also help our scholars develop their ability to concentrate. “Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.” [...]

Why is Play Important? 2021-03-03T12:48:46-05:00

Why Choosing Kindergarten Matters


Kindergarten is a special time for every child. It’s also an important decision for families and caregivers - which kindergarten to choose. Thank you for considering us in your search. At Catalyst, we love Kindergarten!  Catalyst is a tuition-free public charter school, the first new public school in over six years in Pittsburgh. We’re here to make and keep learning fun. We aim to prepare our scholars for a lifetime of curiosity, confidence and character-building. Our school is currently K-1 and will be a K-2 in the 2021-2022 school year, so we can focus on our youngest learners, and grow with [...]

Why Choosing Kindergarten Matters2021-02-09T21:15:20-05:00
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