Student Life

Clubs & Activities

School clubs and activities are a fun and meaningful way to complement a student’s classroom education. Extracurricular activities provide a familiar and secure setting for a student to learn a new skill, meet students in other classes and grades, and expand their educational and social horizons.

At Saint Kilian Parish School, students have a diverse selection of clubs and activities to choose from as follows (click on the titles below for details):

Children in the fourth grade or higher can act as Altar Servers. Training and scheduling is provided by Saint Kilian Parish staff. Altar servers perform most of the functions of the former minor order of ordained clerics known as acolytes from the Greek word akolouthos (attendant). Church writings from the second and third centuries discuss the role of acolytes, giving the office great importance and honor in the history of the Church. Although institution into the ministry of acolyte is reserved to lay men, the diocesan bishop may permit the liturgical functions of the instituted acolyte to be carried out by altar servers, men and women, boys and girls. Altar servers are not ordained, they are commissioned by their parish priest.

The primary role of the altar server is to assist the priest in the celebration of the liturgy during Mass. This is done through specific actions and by setting an example to the congregation by active participation in the liturgy by their actions, singing of hymns, responses of the people, looking alert and sitting or standing at the appropriate times.

Servers carry the cross, the processional candle(s), hold the book for the priest celebrant when he is not at the altar, carry the incense and censer, present the bread, wine, and water to the priest or deacon during the preparation of the gifts or assist him when he receives the gifts from the people, wash the hands of the priest, assist the priest celebrant and deacon as necessary.

Altar servers are chosen from among the faithful who display a desire to participate in an intimate way during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. It is an extreme privilege to kneel so close to the altar as our loving Savior, Jesus Christ, becomes truly present, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity upon the altar.

A server is uniquely joined in the Heavenly Supper of the Lamb of God and serves in the company of myriads of angles eternally singing "Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!"

For more information, please contact Deacon Ralph Bachner.

Art Club presents an opportunity for middle school students to complete teacher directed activities and/or an independent study where they can design a project that they would like to work on independently.

Band allows students to express themselves in a creative manner through music via woodwind, string and percussion instruments. Students learn through a variety of music genres and participate in performances throughout the school year.

The Celtic Page Turners Book Club is a reading club for students in Grades 3 - 6. This club is broken down into two groups: Group A (Grades 3 & 4) and Group B (Grades 5 & 6). Students read the club’s monthly book selection and then come together for four gatherings after school to discuss the story, complete a story-related craft, share snacks, and have a whole lot of fun together.

Our school cantors meet regularly for individual coaching and lessons. School cantors are scheduled to sing at school Masses.

Challenge of Champions is a Problem-Solving Competition held each November for Grades 4 - 8 private school students. Teamwork is strongly encouraged in the events, including language arts, logical thinking, math, visual discrimination/reasoning, and a cooperative obstacle course.

SKPS Summer Chess Camp Led by Chess Master John Surma
Cost: $15/ SKPS Student * Kindergarten - Grade 12 Students Welcome * Registration is now open.


SKPS is hosting a Summer Chess Camp for students entering grades K - 12 in the Fall of 2017. The camp will be led by Chess Master John Surma. Students can pick and choose the day(s) they would like to come - come one day or as many days as you like.

Welcome!
Chess club offers students an opportunity to learn how to play, develop current skills and advance their experience through matches against other students and supervision by parent volunteers.

Session Information
The club is broken into 3 groups: Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced. Levels may fluctuate depending on the student's ability to master skills and participate. Leaders who have been identified with strong chess capabilities will be available to all groups during the session providing skill-building strategies. 

  • Beginners - all students new to chess or in the early stages of learning the game.  Leaders will consistently monitor games that the beginners play and provide lessons that will focus on terminology and offensive and defensive moves.  Volunteers will assist, supervise and encourage the beginners to ensure they understand the game and learn basic tactics.
  • Intermediate – all students who are comfortable playing chess games, understand the rules and are developing their skills.  Leaders will work on strategy and improving their skills throughout the entire game. Volunteers will supervise play and encourage students to ask questions and challenge themselves every week.
  • Advanced – all students who have the skill level and competence to compete in tournament play.  Leaders will teach tournament strategies and skills.  All games will be played according to tournament rules.  Volunteers encourage the students to display tournament-style play.

Location
Chess sessions will be held in the cafeteria.  All students are to enter through the cafeteria.  Doors open at 7:30. Chess begins at 7:30 and ends at 8:20. Please be prompt since our session time is only 50 minutes.

Enrollment
Enrollment takes place at the beginning of each session.

Breakfast
Breakfast can be purchased through the cafeteria or students may bring their own nut-free, breakfast items. You are welcome to bring a drink of your choice in a sealed container - no open liquids please.

Tournaments
In addition to our Friday meetings, we encourage the students to participate in chess tournaments. Tournaments are held in the Pittsburgh and surrounding area.  Information on these tournaments will be distributed to the club. 

Volunteers
Adult volunteers who would like to help at chess club are greatly appreciated, and necessary to continue offering this to the students at SKPS. VOLUNTEERS DO NOT NEED TO KNOW HOW TO PLAY THE GAME! We will assist all volunteers in learning the basics of chess and places to get more information. Please contact Laura Reese to let us know if you are available to help.  Thank you in advance for helping to make Chess Club a great experience for the students! 

Chess Club Contacts
If you need further information, please contact one of the following leaders:

Forensics is a competitive speech program. Students involved in Forensics have the opportunity to compete among other schools within the Pittsburgh Diocese in categories including declamation, prose, poetry, multiple reading, drama, and impromptu.

Math 24 provides the opportunity for children to practice skills in becoming proficient at the Math 24 game. Two SKPS students are then chosen to compete in the Math 24 competition each year.

Students in Grades 5-7 meet to preview the content of the Course II and Course III middle school math curriculum.

Students have the opportunity to develop singing, acting, and ensemble performance skills through practicing and the performance of various musicals. Those not wishing to perform are always needed on the Stage Crew. Beauty and the Beast will be performed in the Spring of 2016.

The award winning Saint Kilian Courier is Saint Kilian Parish School’s official student news publication - written and produced by students. Middle school students are invited to join the staff. Students write articles both individually and as a team to bring the latest news to the school community. Departments offered include school and local news, sports, fashion, crafts, entertainment, book and technology reviews, interviews, and recipes.

Middle school students participate in a nationwide essay contest expressing their views on democracy.

Winners of the SKPS Science Fair move on to complete regionally among other middle school students. Students present their Science Fair projects to PRSEF judges and monetary awards are provided to the winners from each category. Please click here for more information about PRSEF.

Middle school students are required to prepare an experimental or research-based project while learning the steps of the scientific method. Students present their findings to judges and have the opportunity to move on to the regional PRSEF (Pittsburgh Regional Science and Engineering Fair) competition. The Science Fair is optional for students in Grades 2 - 5.

At SKPS, knowledge and practice of the Catholic faith are incorporated into all aspects of the curriculum. A key component of this approach is providing the link between Catholic social teaching and service which integrates those teachings into the students' daily lives through age-appropriate service projects. Students participate in grade level and school wide service activities and projects throughout the entire school year.

Spanish Club focuses on the cultural aspects of the Hispanic world through arts/crafts and other activities.

The Spelling Bee is an annual Diocesan event that features the winner of our SKPS Spelling Bee. The student competes against other students from other Catholic Schools in the area in a series of competitions before advancing to the finals for the title. SKPS 6th grade student Thomas O'Toole won the 2015 Diocesan Spelling Bee - and we could not have been more delighted!

Student Council is a student run organization that plans school-wide service, spirit, and fundraising events. Student Council Leadership is determined by an annual election after the campaigning period has ended. Students may also choose to be a Homeroom Representative or Committee Member (Dance, Service, Fundraising, and Spirit).