Thanks to everyone who participated in the Adult Student Survey!
There was some really clear and valuable feedback from old and new students alike.
Class cards are awesome
Pretty much everyone agrees that they love the class card system, the warm-up system and 1 hour long classes!
So we won’t be changing any of those things. In the fall session, to keep up with everyone’s cost of living, you’ll see a small annual price increase (less than $1/class). Thanks for your continued support of our teachers!
While some people who have been with the school a long time miss multi-apparatus classes (so do I), the truth is that with the class card-system we can’t add them back in: there would be too much confusion week-to-week about what apparatus a given class was on. Remember, if you want to learn more than one apparatus you can, or join Member Workouts as an add-on to your regular program!
Shorter group warm ups and more stretching
If you’ve been around me in my off time, you’ve probably heard me get on the soapbox about how static stretching before working out is a bad idea. It’s bad.
That said, static stretching is GREAT after a class! Since the Weekly Warm-up has been such a hit, in the Fall you’ll start seeing another board: the Monthly Cool-down. It will include static stretching recommendations for legs and shoulders, and will take about 10-15min after your class. That means all students will be allowed on the floor 15 min before AND 15 min after your class…for free, just for being awesome.
The group warm-up at the start of your class is supposed to be 5 minutes of community building and movement. If, however, the teacher observes that most students have just arrived or that most students have not ‘actually’ done the Weekly Warm-up, the teacher may decide to make the group warm-up the same as the board, or to extend the time.
I’ve talked with the coaches, and we’ve all agreed to be better about honoring your time. Your job is to honor your OWN class time by arriving 10-15min before your class to make sure you complete the warm up. We’ll still extend it or make the group re-do it if too many people don’t seem warm!
Levels can be confusing
AMEN! This is a constant struggle. Circus is a creative art, not a competitive sport, and so there are not national or even regional standards for levels. To make things even more complicated, students come into the school at a variety of fitness levels and with over 300 active adult students, accommodating everyones schedule is impossible! We’ll be enacting a few of solutions in the fall…here’s a brief list.
No more Intro Workshops…instead, new students (and old) can take one of our new “Fundamentals” classes. These classes will be required before joining the entry level of each apparatus, and will be about learning and mastering the basics. You can stay in Fundamentals as long as you like, but we’ll be teaching the same basics every week. New or visiting students won’t be able to sign up for classes online without this under their belts, and we’ll tighten up the online sign-up system for other classes as well.
Our hope is that this will allow new students to come to Level 1 classes feeling prepared to jump in, and reduce the amount of time teachers have to take in Level 1 “on-boarding” a new student.
Clearer Level guidelines
Check out our general level guidelines HERE. These are still going to be the backbone of the school, but by the fall we’ll expand them internally. Coaches will also be more communicative with students about what level class they should be in.
Remember, there’s no real rhyme or reason to levels–it’s just a way to get a group of people together who can have a satisfying class experience. If you’re feeling like you’re struggling in your current class, try a lower level and vice-versa! If you’re not sure when you should move up, just ask your teacher before or after your class.
The best way to learn the fastest and have the best experience at PSCA is to pick a weekly class and stick with it without jumping around or missing weeks.
For our advanced students, we’ll still have our Level 4 classes, but we’ll also be offering multi-week Intensives. These Intensives won’t be on a class card, will be more than an hour (usually) and will focus on specific higher level skills. Dedicated students need to be just that…dedicated! Coming every week and expecting to spend more than an hour in class is par-for-the-course for more advanced training, and we’ll make these sessions as affordable as we can. As a bonus, anyone enrolling in Intensives will get Member Workouts for the duration of the Intensive for free! We’ll be announcing these intensives later in August.
Availability of classes
Availability of classes relies 99% on the student body signing up for classes further in advance…if it were up to us we’d run all the classes all the time!
Here’s how the school decides what classes to run:
-Two months out, we work with the coaches to build the schedule, making it about 10% larger than we think it’s going to be.
-A month before a new session, we release the new schedule and make class card sales available.
-When the new session starts, we look at class card sales, and base the number of classes the whole school can run on those sales. If you wait until the middle of the new session to buy a class card it throws off our math and we end up running too few classes.
-In the first week, we cut all the classes with an average of 0-1 people signed up.
-In the second week we cut all the classes with an average of less than 3 people signed up. This means that if you are not actually signed up for classes by the second week of the session, you are missing out on your ‘vote’ of which classes run.
The other thing to remember…
is that this whole past year has been an experiment in the class-card system, without any historical data to guide us. Now that we have some information, there should be far fewer cancelled classes each session. It still depends primarily on you buying your class card and signing up in advance! We can’t run classes willy-nilly and just hope people sign up, or leave empty classes on the schedule “just in case you need it.” We gotta keep the doors open!
Thank you to everyone who filled out the survey. It was really gratifying to get so much feedback and see how far the school has come in the past year, and the whole staff couldn’t be more excited to dive in to the Fall session with you. If you have any questions or concerns, just zip us an email.