Catalyst Academy Charter School is a college-preparatory K-8 public charter school in Pittsburgh, focused on serving families and communities that are looking for a great school and ultimately, a great education. A great education cultivates confident, compassionate scholars ready to define and achieve their dreams. Our mission is to create a world-class K-8 school where all children are prepared for college, career, and life.

We opened in the fall of 2020, and we are growing a grade each year until we serve kindergarten through 8th grade. We have science and engineering, including computer science, 5 days a week, as well as arts instruction (music, theater, visual art) 4 days per week. We have a rigorous culturally-affirming humanities curriculum, and we holistically develop scholars by including social-emotional learning and physical education 4 days per week.

As a public charter school, Catalyst Academy is a tuition-free, open-enrollment school for any student, including students with special needs and English-language learners. Catalyst Academy is the first new K-8 charter school in Pittsburgh in six years and is located in the Lincoln-Lemington neighborhood, in the former Lemington school building.

Catalyst Teacher working with students


Our educational philosophy is that a child’s education should explore mastery along three dimensions: 

College Readiness

Scholars will be prepared to attend and graduate from a four-year college or university by achieving mastery of a broad, rigorous college-preparatory curriculum that both prepares and inspires.

Career Readiness

Scholars need to be equipped with skills to thrive in the 21st century economy, including communication, critical thinking, collaboration, & creativity. Our rigorous culture pushes scholars toward these skills.

Life Readiness

A great education cultivates confident, compassionate scholars ready to achieve their dreams. It is our goal to prepare scholars not only for college and career, but for life outside education and career as well.

We will prepare our scholars to define and achieve their dreams!

Three important core values guide us in pursuit of our mission: Belong. Grow. Achieve. Our core values are incorporated into everything we do:

Belong — All community scholars, families, teachers, and staff will be embraced, respected, and supported.

Grow — Every Catalyst Academy scholar, teacher, and staff member is committed to growing every day in alignment with our mission.

Achieve — A great education should be a catalyst for each scholar to define and achieve their dreams.

A Catalyst scholar with her teacher, engaged in classroom learning

At Catalyst, we instill growth mindsets and unlock an awareness of opportunities — for every one of our scholars — in college, career, and life.

Our educational model is carefully designed to close achievement & opportunity gaps with:

High Expectations

We push ourselves and our scholars to always pursue excellence.

Academic Rigor

College prep, culturally affirming curriculum, longer school day and year.

Quality Teaching

Small group instruction, instructional coaches, up to two hours daily for planning and practice.

Strong Relationships

Smaller classes enhance student and teacher relationships, frequent teacher-parent communication and home visits.

Innovation & Personalization

Catalyst Expeditions – Week-long project-based learning expeditions, scholar flextime for enrichment and tutoring, and personalized learning tools.

Holistic Development

Scholar goal circles, social-emotional learning curriculum, dedicated Catalyst Community Time.

We’re thrilled to be accepting applications for K – 2nd Grades for the 2021-22 school year, and applications for Kindergarten-3rd grades for the 2022-2023 school year will open by November 1st

Questions? Give us a call at 412.684.2400 or email us

ABOUT Catalyst

Catalyst Academy Charter School’s mission is to prepare all students for college, career, and life. Catalyst Academy Charter School’s core values of Belong. Grow. Achieve. reflect the school’s deep commitment to cultivating an inclusive supportive school community where everyone – children and adults – is focused on learning every day, in order for all students to define and achieve their dreams. Catalyst Academy Charter School’s education model is designed to close both the achievement and opportunity gap.  The approach couples rigorous core academics with a broad offering in the arts and sciences. Students will experience STEM learning daily and arts programming four days per week. Enroll your Kinder, First, or Second grader today!