We are an eclectic group of secular homeschoolers who run two 10-week sessions per year of enrichment classes, primarily taught by parents in our group. Classes are either one or hour and two hour long – and students may register for as many (or as few) as they wish. A supervised club room with crafts (and legos) is available for students who have an empty slot where they do not find a class that interests them.
We also generally run a Share Fair at the end of each term for our students and Valentine’s Day and Halloween parties open to the entire homeschooling community. You can read more about our mission statement on our Home Page. We do not provide a drop-off program, instead for reasons both legal and philosophical, our role is to facilitate our parents in providing classes and support for each other.
Classes generally run from September to December and again from February to late April or early May. Specific dates (and class times) can be found on the menu under Calendar. The list of current classes can generally be found under the Class Grid link, midway down the Registration Page. If you are curious about the kinds of classes we generally have, you can see several years worth of classes on the Past Sessions Page. You can also see photos of our students in classes on the Gallery page.
Our classes take place at The Pittsburgh Project, from whom we rent space during the day. You can find maps for each floor of the building on our Maps page and directions to the building (and instructions for which parking lot to use) on our Directions page.
Registration is generally open for several weeks during January/February and August/September. You can see the dates on the Calendar page. Registration is open first to parents teaching classes and then to the rest of the community. Registration is done online using google forms, following the procedure on the Registration Page. After registration is over, the Registrar contacts parents with their total cost. Payment is due on or before the first day of classes.
All parents attending PALS must provide us with clearances as required by the state of Pennsylvania. For more information, see the Clearances page.
All parents attending PALS must pay the Community Share Fee, which is paid per family and allows us to divides operating costs on a per family basis, regardless of number of children in the family. Class costs for each class are generally limited to materials fees, though in limited cases we provide space for independent contractors to provide classes to our community for a class fee.
All parents help in running the program by teaching, assisting, staffing the front door, cleaning-up, etc. Jobs are assigned at the beginning of each term and details regarding sign-up will be announced each term on our Announcements page. As an example, here is a link to the announcement for Fall 2016.
Any parent who has attended at least one term may propose a class, using the form on the Class Proposal Form Page. (If you propose a class and have later changes, use the link on that page for the Proposal Amendment Form to send us the changes). Class Proposals can be submitted during the term – the earlier the better; we try to have the schedule for the following term largely set by the end of each term.
We communicate with the PALS community through Announcements on this webpage and through our Facebook. If you wish to receive individual emails, you can follow the instructions here to follow this website, which will then send you an email copy of any announcement.
If you are interested in joining PALS, you can see the Terms and Conditions here, which also provides a link to the rest of our policies. If you have questions which haven’t otherwise been answered, please contact our Board President or other board member, using the information on the Contact Page.