We are an eclectic, parent-run group of secular homeschoolers who run two 13-week sessions per year of enrichment classes, primarily taught by parents in our group. There are 10 days of classes, weekly on Wednesdays, a field trip, a party (Halloween or Valentine’s) and Share Fair (end of the semester exhibit). Classes are either one or two hours long – and students may register for as many (or as few) as they wish.
We are a diverse community that offers support and friendship, and draws on the strengths of participating parents and families. We welcome families with all learning styles, including cyber, traditional homeschoolers, unschoolers, or eclectic.
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. We provide classes for ages 4 - 18.
Classes generally run from September to December and again from February to late April or early May. Specific dates can be found on the menu under Calendar. The list of current classes can generally be found under the Class Registration link, in the top menu.
Our classes take place at Mifflin Avenue United Methodist Church, from whom we rent space during the day. That address is 905 Mifflin Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15221. We have the use of multiple classrooms, clubroom/parent lounge and gymnasium/lunchroom. There is also a room available for young toddlers/infants who are accompanied by their parents or other adults.
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 the class grid, following the procedure on the Registration Instructions page. You can see your total under the account balance link at the top of the page. Payment is due on or before the first day of classes. Even after the term has started, many clubs and some classes may be open to new students. If you are new to us or to homeschooling and wish to see whether your child(ren) may join a class which is in progress, please contact Holly Schnur, Board President at firstname.lastname@example.org.
IMPORTANT REMINDER – CLEARANCES
Since PALS Enrichment is an all-volunteer organization, please remember that under the recently passed law, all adults who will be attending Enrichment need to have obtained state-required clearances (as described on the CLEARANCES page) before they will be permitted to register for classes and before they or their children will be permitted to attend PALS Enrichment classes.
All families attending PALS Enrichment 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.
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 Facebook and via email.
Any parent who has attended at least one term may propose a class, using the form on the Class Proposal Form. (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 the forum and emails on this webpage and through our Facebook.
If you are interested in joining PALS Enrichment, you can see the Terms and Conditions here, as well as the rest of our policies. If you are interested in joining PALS Enrichment or have further questions, please contact our new family liason.
If you would like to receive emails with the dates for the upcoming term, as well as reminders about registration approaching, sign up for this list: Mailing List We will never share your information and do not send frequent messages!
PALS Enrichment is an all-volunteer organization, and as such, each and every adult who attends the PALS class day needs to submit two state clearances, and potentially one federal clearance as indicated below. Families may not register for classes until the secretary has a copy of your current clearances on file.
Here are the THREE required documents and where to find them:
PA Child Abuse Clearance: https://www.compass.state.pa.us/cwis/public/home
PA State Police Criminal Record Check: https://epatch.pa.gov/home
In addition to the above, please choose the below that apply to you:
If you have NOT lived in Pennsylvania for at least the last 10 consecutive years, you are also required to provide us with an FBI Criminal Background Check. If you have already obtained a FBI Criminal Background check since the time that you moved to Pennsylvania, you may provide us with a copy of that. If you have never obtained an FBI Criminal Background check, please use the link below for IdentGo Fingerprinting Applicant Registration. Choose Digital Fingerprinting and Enter the code 1KG6ZJ for DHS Volunteer. https://www.identogo.com/locations/pennsylvania
If you have lived in Pennsylvania for at least the past 10 years, you will submit an affidavit attesting to that fact by the first day of classes. The affidavit can be found here, or you can submit one you've used for another organization like Scouts or your school district. Signing this affidavit affirms that you have lived in PA for at least 10 years and have not been convicted of a felony or any crime that would preclude volunteering with children in the last 5 years.
Once you have received your clearances, email a pdf copy of them to email@example.com. Then you will able to create an account in our website, which will enable you to register for the next semester's classes.
Please know that your privacy is our utmost concern, and your private documents and information will be kept in strict confidentiality. Any volunteer that has clearances on file with PALS does not need to submit another copy unless your clearances have expired. PA state clearances are good for 5 years. For those who submitted an FBI Clearance Check, you are not required to renew that document if you provide us with a written affirmation that you have lived continuously in Pennsylvania since you obtained the previous FBI Clearance Check, and have not been convicted of a felony or any crime that would preclude volunteering with children since the date of your last FBI Clearance Check.
If you are not sure if PALS has a copy of your clearances, please contact our secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org.