2018 Education Guide

It’s difficult to believe but we are nearly mid-way through the school year, and it’s time to begin planning for the next one. Perhaps you are enrolling for the first time or are looking to make a switch. Or perhaps you are simply looking for a new educational experience to enrich your life. We are fortunate in the North Hills to have so many varied and exceptional educational institutions in our midst from which to choose. Below are some of the best in our area for you to consider when making decisions about education. 

Blessed Francis Seelos Academy

Blessed Francis Seelos Academy was established in 2017 through a union of Saint Alexis’ and Saint Alphonsus’ parish schools. We have merged our traditions, and are forging our future, together. The result is a vibrant learning environment that integrates Catholic teachings with the culture, key values, and traditions of family and community. Our goal is to develop each child’s academic abilities while fostering his or her spiritual and personal growth. Our resources include:

Religion –  Altar servers, liturgical choir, church instrumentalists, classroom-led service/outreach projects, sacramental preparation

Technology – A full complement of Chromebooks and SmartBoards are used in daily classroom activities.

Extracurricular activities – Forensics, school musical, band, chess club, book clubs, soccer, basketball, volleyball, cross country, track and field, and more

Facilities – The Seelos Academy Early Childhood Center (half-day and full-day preschool programs) is located at the Saint Alexis Campus. Grades kindergarten through eight are located at the Saint Alphonsus campus, which is wheelchair accessible.

Please join us at our Open House on Sunday, January 28 from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. to tour the school and speak with teachers and parents about how Blessed Francis Seelos Academy can help forge your child’s future

Blessed Trinity Academy

Blessed Trinity Academy is building its future on the foundations of the past. As a newly formed school, BTA focuses on meeting the individual needs of each learner. Utilizing the strengths of each school, BTA has been able to combine the best of what each school offered onto one campus. This year, BTA began upgrading all of our technology, by utilizing Chromebooks in the middle school, and tablets in the intermediate and primary grades. Adding on a variety of extracurricular activities, sports programs, and clubs has allowed students the opportunity to excel in multiple disciplines. The Forensics team came in 1st place in their first tournament this year, while the Varsity Boys Cross Country became Diocesan Champions! Building a sense of community in the new school has been an important goal at BTA. With help from the Service Club, the school came together to donate over 100 shoe boxes for the needy in West Virginia. The primary grades have partnered with their Bulldog Buddies (middle school) to work on various service projects including making blankets for the residents of St. Barnabas.  With strong support from the community and within the school, the future is bright for Blessed Trinity Academy! 

Blessed Trinity Academy Early Childhood Center

Building our future on the foundations of the past

Blessed Trinity Academy Early Childhood Center opened its doors as a new entity for the 2017-2018 school year on September 5, 2017. Located at the former St. Bonaventure Parish School campus in Glenshaw, the school is part of the newly formed North Hills Regional Catholic Elementary Schools and is exclusive to early childhood learning. Rooted in the Catholic tradition, a Christ-centered learning environment is offered for three and four year olds. Our curriculum standards offer pre- reading and math skills, science, social studies, and varied activities that help to develop fine and gross motor skills. BTAECC treats each child as a unique individual and works to help them develop socially, emotionally, physically and academically. Our qualified teachers are certified in Early Childhood Education. Several options for full- and half-day programs are available. We invite families interested in more information to call the school at (412) 486-2606, ext. 301 or join us for our next OPEN HOUSE on Sunday, January 28, 2018 from 1:15-3:15 p.m.  Meet our staff, tour our school and learn about all the good things we have to offer your child as they begin their preschool “journey.”

Butler Catholic School

Have you ever seen a famous building and imagined how you would redesign it? Students at Butler Catholic School did exactly that when they participated in the Rozzy STEAM Challenge. The Challenge, designed to allow kids to build and design like real architects, required participants to rebuild a famous structure and add a new feature using only materials available in the classroom. Of 500 projects submitted nationally, a Butler Catholic team was chosen as a finalist. Congratulations to Bridget Preston, Mikayla Wabe and Rigel Weakland on their work adding a rock climbing wall to the Sydney Opera House!

This is just one of the many creative opportunities students are being introduced to thanks to Butler Catholic’s focus on STREAM. STREAM is the collaborative integration of 5 concepts (Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics), promoting critical thinking, innovation and creativity. The goal of Butler Catholic School is to take each student to the next level of learning through an integrated education experience. You are invited to learn more about the exciting ways teachers at Butler Catholic School are collaborating and bringing technology into the classroom at our upcoming Admissions Open House events, Wednesday, January 31 from 6:30 – 8 p.m. and Sunday, March 4 from 1 -3 p.m.

Greater Pittsburgh Christian Schools Network

We believe a mind requires a mind and a soul

Finding a Christian school in the Greater Pittsburgh Area is now simple. Visit PittsburghChristianSchools.net to see the area’s best Christian schools with links to their websites and a map showing exact locations. Discover the perfect school that meets your family’s needs and standards.

Katie’s Clay Studio

Katie’s Clay Studio offers a safe, creative and fun atmosphere that encourages children’s and adult’s artistic growth and personal development! We pride ourselves on an in-depth knowledge of child development and artistic mediums—we combine these into a studio bursting at the seams with curriculum perfect for all ages, backgrounds, needs and skill levels. All staff is certified, and we are happy to provide Federal and State background clearances at your request. Visit our website for pricing, schedule and more information. Katie’s Clay Studio has walk-in hours during the week and weekend for all your creative needs. Our studio philosophy is that everyone benefits when we GET MUDDY! Visit KatiesClayStudio.com. Remember, we are the one stop shop, for all things ART!

La Roche College

On Monday, Feb. 19, La Roche College will host Meet Design, an all-day event for high school juniors and seniors to explore creative careers in the fields of graphic and interior design.

The event is scheduled from 7:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at La Roche’s campus in the North Hills. Students who attend Meet Design at La Roche will test their own creative skills by participating in a hands-on design project.

Lisa Kamphaus, chair of the La Roche Design Division, said, “Meet Design at La Roche is a unique opportunity for high school seniors and juniors. They have the opportunity to work with our students and faculty and go behind the scenes for a firsthand look at our studio classes.”

After completing their projects, students will hear firsthand accounts about the challenges and opportunities in the field from alumni of La Roche’s design programs, who are now professionals in their respective fields.

While students are working on their projects, Meet Design at La Roche will offer an alternative schedule for parents to learn more about the College’s admissions process, student life, financial aid, tutoring, and academic support and career services. The event will include an optional, abbreviated morning tour of campus, a continental breakfast and lunch.

Register online by Feb. 14. Limited space is available, and one parent or guardian per registered student is welcome to attend. High school juniors and seniors who have not attended Meet Design before are given priority.

In the case of inclement weather, please check for updates at laroche.edu. Please direct questions to the Office of Freshman Admissions at 412-536-1792 or admissions@laroche.edu.

Providence Heights Alpha School

Music Teacher, Evan Kaden, Uses Innovative Tools and Techniques to Spark a Lifelong Joy of Music and Composition

Evan Kaden’s music classroom trades the traditional focus upon music skills and vocabulary that best serve the classically trained musician, for skills that allow students to become “functional musicians.” They are able to make and digest music alone or with friends in a way that is accessible and relevant to their lives, serving them not only as musicians but also as people who participate in the art world. This goal is served firstly by a great deal of hands on music making. Mr. Kaden focuses first on percussion and rhythm reading, starting with small classroom instruments at the elementary level and eventually progressing towards bucket-percussion ensemble performances. Orff instruments are used with a focus on rote teaching and improvisation. When the notation is taken away, students are free to have an exploratory experience instead of participating in a rigid exercise. Technology is also used to serve this ongoing goal of innovation by creating social and autonomous musicians. Upper level grades use GarageBand to create a variety of electronic music compositions. This teaches and reinforces many skills while providing basic tools to create music on home computers and spark the creativity of a student who feels that creating original music was inaccessible in other formats.