For many families, a typical weekday doesn't begin at 8 a.m. or end at 3 p.m. Many Lower School parents need supervised care both before and after school hours for their children, and SPA offers a comprehensive program for extended-day care on either a full-time or part-time basis. We also offer private music lessons, special-interest clubs, and athletic teams for after-school enrichment.
Before-school care is offered each weekday morning free of charge to all Lower School students. Every morning the Adventure Kids (AK) program runs from 7 a.m. to the start of school; on Wednesdays, when classes begin at 8:45 a.m., students may attend AK from 7 to 8:30 a.m. Before-school care is supervised by staff members who are committed to providing a fun, caring, and safe setting for students. The program is held in the Activity Room on the ground floor of the Goodrich Campus, with direct access to the playground and outdoor playing fields.
The after-school care is held each school day from the end of classes until 6 p.m. and is staffed by the same caring, skilled staff as the before-school care program. Less structured than the regular school day, the after-school AK program offers a variety of mixed-age group activities, snack time, and quiet time for independent reading, games, and homework. Outdoor play is encouraged for all children throughout the seasons, including sledding and ice skating on the school's playground ice rink. The program is held in the Activity Room on the ground floor of the Goodrich Campus, with direct access to the playground and outdoor playing fields. There is a fee for the Lower School after-school AK program; please inquire about rates.
Full-Day Care: On days when school is open but there are no classes (such as Parent/Teacher Conference Days or Faculty Professional Days), SPA offers fee-based, full-day care open to all Lower School students. The full-day Adventure Kids Program features field trips, outdoor play, craft projects, and other activities. The program is not in session on holidays or during school vacations.
Starting in Grade 5, students may participate in one of SPA's Lower School interscholastic athletic teams. Lower School teams compete in the Catholic Athletic Association, made up of local middle schools that also field teams in Grade 5. Grade 5 athletic teams include girls' and boys' soccer, girls' volleyball, co-ed flag football, girls' and boys' basketball, and co-ed track and field. Practices are held right after school until 4:30 p.m. Learn more about Lower School athletics.
The Private Music Lesson Program at SPA offers private music lessons in a variety of instruments and voice, and small-group lessons can be arranged upon request and based on availability. Lessons are held once a week at the Goodrich Campus, and can be scheduled for before school, during the student's lunch period, or after school. Lessons are offered in piano, violin, viola, cello, double bass, electric bass, guitar, harmonica, ukulele, flute, clarinet, saxophone, bassoon, trumpet, trombone, French horn, percussion, and voice.
Private music teachers are local Twin Cities musicians who are also skilled in musical education for young children; many have taught in SPA's Private Music Lesson program for years. Download the Private Music Lesson program overview for more information about the program, including fees and instructor bios, or register for lessons here.
The Lower School offers several after-school clubs for students. These clubs are hosted on the Goodrich Campus, and can be combined with the Adventure Kids Program to fit families' late-afternoon schedules. Clubs offered vary according to the time of year; examples of clubs include:
Chess Club is a long-standing and popular activity in the Lower School. Chess Club is for students in Grades K-5. Chess Club has separate sessions for beginning, intermediate, and advanced players, and all sessions have an end-of-year tournament for players.
Girls on the Run and Let Me Run are running programs for girls and boys, respectively, in Grades 3-5. The programs use running to prepare children for a lifetime of self-respect and healthy living. Coaches use interactive lessons from an experience-based curriculum to teach participants important life skills such as standing up for yourself, being a good friend, making healthy choices, resolving conflicts, and more.
Tech Clubs are led by the Lower School technology faculty and feature various activities associated with robotics, coding, and computer science.