Policies and Frequently Asked Questions

Use the topic links below to help you find the information you need as quickly as possible.
Teachers Resident & Non-Resident Fees Weather Cancellations
Contact Walk-In Registration & Fees Substitution Of Instructors
Registration Period Course Cancellations Class Size Limits
Materials Fees Getting a Mailed Brochure Tobacco & Alcohol Policy
Refunds How to Pay Your Class: Good? Bad?
Minors No Confirmation Of Classes Have An Idea for a Class?

Questions and answers

Q: Who are your teachers?
A: Our teachers vary from community volunteers to expert professionals.  They may or may or may not be certified in the courses they teach (see Substitution of Instructors below for additional information).
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Q: How can I contact someone?
A: You may leave messages for the FCAAE Director by phone at (412) 696-1410 or by email at director@fcaae.org. The FCAAE mailing address is: Fox Chapel Area Adult Education Committee, 611 Field Club Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15238. See our Contact page for more details.
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Q: What is the Registration Period?
A: Mail-In Registration begins as soon as brochures have been mailed each semester. Please use official registration forms only (either the one you received in the mail or the download form) and be sure to sign the waiver/release on the form.
    There is NO registration by email. 
    Space fills quickly; registrations are entered in the order received as long as...
           ...all information is entered correctly,
           ...the release form is signed, and...
           ...payment is complete.
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Q: What are "Materials Fees"?
A: For a few classes, a materials fee will be charged to cover the costs of special supplies. These fees should be paid directly to the instructor the first night of class.
     IMPORTANT: For One-Night classes, we must combine the class fee AND the materials fee with your registration payment so that our instructors are not deprived of funding if students do not show. Please make sure both tuition and materials fees are included with any One-Night class registration.
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Q: Can I get a refund?
A: We cannot stress enough that FCAAE is a non-profit organization. Your registration in a class represents a financial commitment that directly tells us if there is adequate interest and funding to hold the class.
    Thus we cannot issue refunds for cancellations or withdrawals unless the request is received at least 48 hours in advance of the first class--and even that refund will be less an administrative/cancellation fee of $10.
     More specifically, a full refund can be given only if your course selection was canceled or filled when we received your payment.
     However, partial refunds can be given to any student who is unable to attend a course and has notified the coordinator at least 48 hours prior to the first meeting.  To cover our administrative costs, a $10 administration/cancellation fee must be assessed per course for any refund issued. 
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Q: What about minors? Can my child attend a class?
A: Family Swim is the only class that is designed for adults with minors.  Our brochure will designate other classes from time to time where attendance by minors of a certain age, if accompanied by a paying adult, are welcome. 
     However, in general, we can only allow a student under 18 to attend our classes under very precise conditions:

  • First, no minor may take a classroom slot which can be filled by an adult; in other words, adult registration takes priority. 
  • Second, both the Executive Director and the instructor must give permission. 
  • Third, to meet the liability requirements of our program, no minor may register or even attend any class unless accompanied by a registered adult*. 

Example: There are three slots remaining in a class one night before the class runs.  The instructor and Executive Director have given permission.  The minor is allowed to register, but her mother or another adult must register with her for the same class.  One night, her mother is ill.  The minor cannot attend that class that night.
     Does the adult have to pay?  Usually, yes.  Again, please contact the Executive Director for more specific information about any course in question.
     *Please note: On the registration form, we ask if the student is 18 or over.  We reserve the right to refuse entry and to deny a refund to anyone who has provided false information.
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Q: What is meant by "Resident" and "Non-Resident" fees?
A: All classroom space, classroom tools, heating, maintenance services, and so much more are provided free of charge by the Fox Chapel Area School District to this non-profit program.  Therefore, Fox Chapel Area employees and taxpayers--both residents and business owners--receive a reduced tuition fee.
     We are sorry, but Fox Chapel taxpayers and employees may not "guest" register non-taxpayer students in order to provide those persons with the reduced tuition. Again, we reserve the right to refuse entry and to deny a refund to anyone who has provided false information.
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Q: Is it possible to be a "Walk-In" student?
A: Sometimes. If you didn't pre-register for a class and would like to try to get in, FCAAE can sometimes give you a "Walk-In" Registration. But...

  • Walk-ins are permitted ONLY on a space-available basis
  • There is no such thing as "Drop-In" status** and
  • If Walk-In status can be given, the student will pay an additional $5 fee

     This additional* $5 fee for each student for EACH class for which he/she is considered an official "Walk-In" will apply to anyone whose official registration form and payment has not been received by the FCAAE Director at least 24 hours before the start of the class in question.
Two more important notes:

  • The Walk-In Policy applies to both district and non-district residents. 
  • Students joining classes after the start of the term must pay the FULL class tuition PLUS the Walk-In Fee. 

     *The $5 Walk-In fee is in no way, shape or form a substitution for regular class tuition. We must also stress that no student can automatically expect "Walk-In" status in any class. That status must be defined by BOTH the class instructor and by the Executive Director. Want to verify you can be a Walk-In?  Email the Director.
    **"Walk-In" and "Drop-In" are not the same thing.  You cannot "test visit" a class for one night.
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Q: Why would a course be cancelled?  What happens if my course is cancelled?
A: As a non-profit institution, we work hard to keep tuition fees low while maintaining as many classes as we can. 
    If the total course enrollment can even just barely cover the cost of the teacher salary, we will run the course.  If enrollment is inadequate to meet the financial costs of the course, then most of the time, we are obligated by our status as a non-profit to cancel it.
Although it is rare, we have in the past had to cancel a course because of instructor illness, etc.
    Therefore, the FCAAE must always reserve the right to cancel any course because of inadequate registration, instructor illness, etc.  Notification of cancellation will be given to you as soon as possible, a full refund of your tuition is guaranteed, and either your check will be returned or you will be issued a refund check.
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Q: How may I have a brochure mailed to me?
A: Right now, all area residents should be receiving our red-print brochure in the mail. Out of district residents who take courses from us are also added to our mailing list. If you would like to be added to our mailing list, please contact our Executive Director by email director@fcaae.org or phone 412.696.1410.
    Also, if you HAVE been receiving brochures in the past and did not get one, we would like to know about it. In January of 2011, many of our students never got their brochures, and for the future, we want to identify any areas or routes having delivery problems.  Again, please contact our Executive Director by email director@fcaae.org or phone 412.696.1410.
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Q: How should I pay?
A: Please make out your check or money order to "Fox Chapel Area Adult Education." There will be a $40 charge for NSF checks.
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Q: I have received no class confirmation.  Should I be worried?
A: In general, no news is good news.  Unless you receive information to the contrary, report to your class on the scheduled night. However, if you give us your email address on your registration, we can now send you a quick confirmation once we have registered you into a class.
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Q: It's snowing out.  Is my class going to run?
A: If Fox Chapel Area Schools are CLOSED for snow or for emergency reasons, there will be NO Adult Education that night.  Classes will be made up at a later date.  Please listen to KDKA for closings caused by inclement weather, or call (412) 696-1410 after 5 pm and listen to the recorded message to learn whether or not classes will be held. 
    We are now recommending that our students with cell phones "follow" us on Twitter.  Just text the words "FOLLOW FCAdultEd" to this number: 40404, and whenever classes are cancelled, you'll get an automatic Tweet. Cancellations will also be posted on the Homepage as soon as possible (our website is staffed by volunteers) and on our Facebook page.

Q: I had a different instructor tonight. Why don't I have the person named in the brochure?
A: The Adult Education Committee reserves the right to substitute instructors when necessary. In rare instances, between the time the brochure is printed and classes start, instructors suffer health problems, family conflicts and so on. Personal emergencies throughout the semester will necessitate a substitution.  We do our best to make sure your course will run as scheduled.
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Q: The brochure said one of my classes was limited to 15 people, but there were 20 people in the room when I arrived.  
A: The Adult Education Committee reserves the right to increase or decrease class numbers in response to various situations that arise between the brochure's publication and the start of class.  Physical space limitations, needed equipment, student interest, and instructor preferences will dictate the eventual number of students in the classroom.
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Q: I can't seem to find a place to have a cigarette in the building.  Where can I smoke?
A: Nowhere.  Not inside, not outside.  Again, nowhere.  Tobacco and alcohol use are expressly forbidden in Fox Chapel Area School District buildings and on Fox Chapel Area School District grounds.
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Q. I  a) enjoyed my course or instructor or b) did not like my course or instructor.  I would like to let someone know why.  How do I do that?
A: Your feedback is essential to our program. While we hand out evaluation forms at the end of every course, some students may feel uncomfortable writing at length on these forms.  Please go to our Grade Us/Your Ideas page for detailed information.  Again, your input is valuable.
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Q: I have some ideas for a course.  Who do I talk to about my idea?
A: Great! We need your ideas. Please go to our Grade Us/Your Ideas page for detailed information.
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