Catalyst News

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

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

How Catalyst Academy Opened During a Pandemic


This article originally appeared in the Pittsburgh Business Times on March 22, 2021. It was written by Julia Mericle. Here's how a charter school in Pittsburgh's east end opened in the midst of the pandemic When Brian Smith started the journey to opening Catalyst Academy Charter School four years ago, he did not expect to welcome the school’s first students in the midst of a global pandemic. Smith, founder and CEO, said he spent several years obtaining the necessary requirements to open a charter school, and he and his team received final approval to open the school in the fall of 2019. By [...]

How Catalyst Academy Opened During a Pandemic2021-04-10T15:54:13-04:00

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
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