Update on our Summer Classes and Re-opening Plans for In-Person Sessions + NEW ACADEMIC ENRICHMENT CLASSES! 6/5/2020
Dear Pittsburgh Preppers,
We will be opening both of our locations to in-person tutoring and small group classes in two phases, on June 22nd at our Shadyside location and on July 6th at our North Hills location. I have been monitoring our situation everyday and with the CDC and PA Dept of Health, and I am confident that at this stage the benefits of in-person education with our students and faculty outweighs the declining levels of risk in Allegheny County in Pittsburgh, PA.
This means that students in our SA/NA sections will both start their first week of classes entirely online, but the SA section will transition to in-person classes starting from June 22nd onwards. NA section will continue to complete the sessions online for the second week. This may present some initial difficulties for our students and families in the SA section, so we thank you for understanding these changes and developments during this pandemic. Students and families in all other sections, SB/SC/SD and NB/NC/ND will begin all sections in-person uninterrupted.
For students who are still uncomfortable with attending live in-person sessions, we will broadcast our sessions live online via Zoom or Google Meets, but participation will be limited to observation. We will try our best to accommodate but note that during this difficult time there will be some limitations for online students joining in-person classes via Zoom or Google Meets.
Health and Safety
If students or any family members have been in contact with friends & family who are sick, they are mandated to stay home. Everyone’s health and safety remains our first priority and students will be asked to go home and stay quarantined for 14 days if they come in with symptoms. Please stay home if you are sick or have symptoms! If a student attends a class and shows symptoms, we may be forced to cancel all in-person sessions altogether as a result.
New + Improved Programming at Pittsburgh Prep!
Despite the difficulties, all of us at Pittsburgh Prep have been working extremely hard over the past three months, tirelessly working remotely to improve our already powerful and innovative curriculum in test prep and academic tutoring than we have had at any other year prior. We have an improved SAT+ACT summer test prep program replete with a learning management system, a new vocabulary book, an updated 3rd edition of our SAT Study Guide, and a growing online resource with videos and quizzes to help our students achieve their absolute higher scores. We were the first to offer SAT summer intensive classes in the Pittsburgh region, the first to offer unlimited exams and live exam reviews, first to offer free repeat classes, and will continue to innovate year-in and year-out. To register for our summer classes, please follow the link HERE.
For the first time this year, we are also rolling out Summer of Prep Academic Enrichment Classes in AP-level Chemistry, Physics and AB Calculus for students who are looking to preview these subjects. Each class will be conducted online, led by expert instructors with years of professional experience in teaching AP courses at top private high schools in Pittsburgh. Each class will delve deeply into the major categories of Chemistry, Physics and Calculus so that the student enrollee will walk away with a deep understanding of the foundations in each subject matter. Students are encouraged to sign up for these sessions soon since we are expecting a high-volume of student enrollment. Seating is limited to 14 students per online class. Registration link can be found HERE.
Our test prep instructors have all scored 99% on actual standardized exams, possess advanced graduate degrees, and have gone through a rigorous 40 hr. training program with less than 10% of all applicants becoming an instructor with us. We engage and encourage constant professional development to continually improve our selves, organization and curricula that benefits our students with their unique needs. For online or in-person private tutoring inquiries with our expert instructors, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or purchase the hours directly by following the link HERE.
Reopening Protocol for Our Students, Families and Staff
- Everyone must abide by CDC guidelines strictly (LINK)
- Pittsburgh Prep will follow Gov. Wolf’s recommendations for reopening in the green phase (LINK)
- Desks and chairs will be sanitized and disinfected after each class or tutoring session and during lunch periods
- Students must wear masks at all times in and out of the classroom
- Students will be separated from each other as far as possible within the classroom to prevent the spread of any potential contagions from each other
- Students will have their temperatures checked via a temperature gun – anyone registering 100 degrees or higher will be sent home immediately
- Everyone is asked to refrain from any contact with each other, including high-fives and hugs
- Parents are urged to limit their interactions with staff, other students and families by dropping off their child and asking questions via email/text/Zoom to all faculty and admin
- Live, in-person group classes will be limited to 12 people or fewer at any given time
- Class will begin on time and will end on time as originally scheduled
- Students will only be allowed to stay on premises if they have a planned session – no loitering will be allowed outside of appointment times
- Lunch periods will be for 30 minutes: students are allowed to leave the premises during this time but must wash their hands before entering the classroom. Students who stay and eat will be asked to thoroughly clean their stations afterwards with the provided Clorox wipes.
- Private tutoring will be conducted with doors closed at all times in separate rooms
- Tutoring rooms will have windows open and AC turned ON to maximize airflow
- Hands must be washed and sanitized every time students enter the classrooms or use the restrooms – sanitizers will be provided for everyone
- If a student is sick or show symptoms of sickness, the student MUST stay home for 14 days – we will broadcast classes live to the student via Zoom or Google Hangouts
- If a student was in contact with anyone who has COVID-19 or showed symptoms of sickness, the student MUST stay home and remain so for 14 days – we will broadcast classes live to the student via Zoom or Google Meets
- Students joining online may not be able to participate fully due to the limitations of Zoom or Google Meets, but are encouraged to pose questions after each class via email
As always, please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions at any time. Our email is email@example.com and we’d be happy to answer any concerns or feedback that you may have.
We are cautious, optimistic, and excited to see you all again in person, and to guide you all to your absolute best scores this Summer!
Onwards and forever upwards,
Statement on Current Events (6/3/2020)
Dear Students and Families of Pittsburgh Prep,
This past week, we have witnessed an incredible amount of pain and injustice that was proceeded by protests and calls for institutional change. No matter how you feel about any individual’s actions, the facts are that black americans continue to be mistreated in all corners of this country that we all share and call home. With so much uncertainty ahead of us, there is a sense of urgency to hold people accountable, to speak truth to power, to let our voices be heard.
This is why we believe that the road to a better and just society begins with an educated populace. This is why we believe in the youth who will lead us to righteous policies in our local communities and the overall society. For George, Ahmaud, Chris, Tamir, Trayvon, Philando, Breonna and countless others who all have suffered from deep injustices in the basic civilities we expect from our law enforcement, health care systems, political leaders and educational institutions, we acknowledge the deep level of suffering that encompasses being a black american in today’s society.
As bleak as things may seem today, history has always recognized the actions of changemakers. We are all thankful to be an integral part of a group of caring,
passionate community of youth and parents who seek a better world for the future. We are grateful to be able to guide our students, to stand with you all, to encourage everyone to strive for excellence, for justice, for compassion, and to seek ways to create a better world.
As a community-centered organization, we stand with all minorities and every group that has and continues to struggle with institutional racism. We recognize the need for a just system and we are working hard to improve our students and the world around us through education.
We believe in you, in us, in all that we do.
Staff and faculty at Pittsburgh Prep
Update on our Spring and Summer Classes (as of 5/12/2020)
Update on SAT June 2020 Exam Cancelled! ACT is still on for June + July. (as of 4/15/2020)
Update on COVID-19 (as of 4/4/2020)
We hope that all of you are safe and sound during this epidemic. Every high school student and family are feeling the impact of this virus, as they adjust to distance learning, final exam prep, AP exams, SAT/ACT test prep and college admissions. Despite the circumstances, we are all here for you and available to help you through it all. Please contact us with any questions or academic help at any time.
Free Online Power Prep Classes at Pittsburgh Prep
Our parents have entrusted us over the past fifteen years with providing the best test preparation education for their students, and it’s now time for us to give back during this time of pandemic. We are proud to offer our Pittsburgh community free online Power Prep classes in preparation for the June and July SAT/ACT examinations. For more information and registration, please click HERE.
Our Operations are Fully Available for Tutoring and Classes
All of our expert instructors are working remotely at home, and have been trained to seamlessly teach our powerful curriculum and to tutor in both small group and 1-on-1 via Zoom and on other online learning platforms. Students and parents have reported no interruptions to the effectiveness to our program, and we will continue to provide unparalleled instruction to our students everyday.
Exams Are Provided Online, then Graded and Assessed for You Without Disruption
Weekend exams are distributed to our students to take at home on the weekends. Exam results are graded, assessed and returned to our students and parents via email. Clear self-proctoring directions are given to all of our students so that score improvements can be measured within a 48 hour turnaround time, thanks to our intrepid and tireless center admin Valeria Antunez.
SAT/ACT/Subject Test/AP Exam Changes
The SAT and ACT exams have been cancelled until June (SAT) and July (ACT). Please go to collegeboard.org or act.org for the latest updates. Things are changing rapidly and in real-time, so it’s important to stay abreast of these changes. Refunds have been given automatically for March registrants, and families should have received emails from the organizations on how to register for the future exam dates.
Subject test requirements have been dropped for college admissions for some schools, while others have maintained them. MIT, for example, has dropped subject tests for all, while other schools claim that a lack of subject test scores poses no disadvantage.
AP exams will feature, for the first time, 45 minute at-home testing that will comprise of the first 75% of the curriculum. More information will be given on April 3, 2020, so check here or at collegeboard.org for the latest developments.
College and universities are fully aware of these changes, and their admissions offices and staff all recognize that families will be impacted greatly in terms of academic transcripts (GPA vs. Pass/Fail), affording colleges due to loss of finances, interruption to extracurricular activities & internships, and entrance exam preparation. So it’s best to stay healthy, document and understand your personal narrative during this unprecedented time of change, and prepare as best as you can for the various high stakes exams under the current circumstances.
Juniors and Seniors should register for the June and/or July SAT/ACT exams to ensure they have a seat for the upcoming test. This exam administration is expected to have the largest registrant pool in history, so register as early as possible.
- Continue to balance schoolwork, mental and physical health, and test prep in the coming months ahead to stay prepared for final exams, AP exams and college entrance exams.
- Contact your school counselor to determine your school’s response to the rapidly changing landscape of testing for your class.
Final thoughts: Remember, at the end of the day, your personal and your family’s health comes first. We hope the information above will help you place things in proper context, and will help you to stay motivated and informed through it all. We are all in this together. Stay strong. We are here for you.
Onwards and Upwards
Hoon Kim and the Staff of Pittsburgh Prep