Quick Facts


Shady Side welcomes students from 53 different ZIP codes in Allegheny County, plus 10 other PA counties, nine states and nine countries. We embrace each other's differences and backgrounds, and know that this diversity adds to the richness and depth of our students' overall learning experience.


The heart and soul of any great school is the faculty, and Shady Side teachers are dedicated to the craft of teaching, passionate about working with children and young adults, and committed to the idea that learning is truly a collaborative endeavor.

  • Student-to-teacher ratio: 8:1
  • Average class size: 15
  • 130 faculty members; 75% hold advanced degrees
  • $275,000 in professional development funds are available annually
  • 86% of faculty participated in professional development opportunities in 2016-2017
  • Visit our faculty blog to learn more about our faculty!

Country Day School

Shady Side Academy Country Day School serves 120 students in grades PK-5 and is located on 17 acres in Fox Chapel, a suburb in the North Hills of Pittsburgh.

  • School Day: 8:15 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
  • After-School Program: Runs until 5:30 p.m. and includes enrichment classes, music lessons, study and play time
  • Facilities: Outdoor classroom, athletic field, playground, garden, gymnasium, library
  • Classroom Technology: State-of-the-art technology center; iPads, iMacs and SMART Boards throughout the school
  • Pre-Kindergarten: Junior (age 3-4) and senior (age 4-5) pre-kindergarten programs with a variety of schedule options
  • Science: Spacious science lab with ever-changing earth, life and physical science exhibits; outdoor classroom, woods and trails promote inquiry, discovery and learning through nature
  • Math: Problem-solving curriculum accommodates different learning styles and connects abstract math concepts to real-world applications.
  • Language: Spanish instruction beginning in kindergarten
  • Arts: Music, performing and visual arts programs develop confidence, creativity and self-expression; annual all-school and grade-level stage performances
  • Responsive Classroom: Approach incorporates character education while teaching students to care for themselves, each other, and their environment.
  • Community: Community-building through assemblies, morning meeting, buddy program and community service

Junior School

Shady Side Academy Junior School serves 245 students in grades PK-5 and is located on seven acres in Point Breeze, a neighborhood in Pittsburgh's East End.

  • School Day: 8:15 a.m. to 3:05 p.m.
  • Before Care: Free supervised care beginning at 7:30 a.m.
  • After School Explorers: Runs until 6 p.m. and includes enrichment classes, music lessons, study and play time
  • Facilities: Athletic field, educational gardens, three age-specific playgrounds, gymnasium with performance stage, library
  • Classroom Technology: Idea lab, computer lab, SMART Boards and iPads in every classroom, 1:1 iPad program in fifth grade
  • Pre-Kindergarten: Separate PK facility built in 2007 and expanded in 2014; program offers full-day, half-day or mixed-day scheduling.
  • Science: Suite of five labs renovated in 2015 included early (K-2) and upper (3-5) elementary labs, robotics & maker space, science idea lab, and ecosystem lab
  • Math: Math in Focus Singapore Math curriculum in grades K-5
  • Writing: Writing Workshop curriculum in grades PK-5
  • Language: Spanish instruction begins in PK
  • Instrumental Music: Instruction begins in grade 2
  • Wellness: Program incorporates character education, study skills and mindfulness

Middle School

Shady Side Academy Middle School serves 210 students in grades 6-8 and is located on 35 acres in Fox Chapel, a suburb in the North Hills of Pittsburgh.

  • School Day: Runs from 8 a.m. to 3:45 p.m., including an athletics & activities period
  • Facilities: Gardens, a gymnasium and two athletic fields (students also use athletic facilities at the Senior School)
  • Classroom Technology: 1:1 iPad program, SMART Boards in every classroom, two computer labs
  • Science: Three newly renovated science labs, one for each grade
  • Math: Two levels offered in each grade; Math in Focus Singapore Math curriculum incorporated into sixth and seventh grade coursework; advanced independent study when appropriate
  • Writing: Writing laboratory provides space for students to practice writing and receive assistance from teachers
  • Languages: Chinese, Latin and Spanish offered
  • Arts: Visual arts and music classes; six music ensembles, two annual theatre productions including a fall play and winter musical
  • Athletics: Offerings include boys and girls teams in 13 different sports

Senior School

Shady Side Academy Senior School serves 460 students in grades 9-12 (including 65 boarders) and is located on 130 acres in Fox Chapel, a suburb in the North Hills of Pittsburgh.

  • School Day: Academic day runs from 8:15 a.m. to 3:05 p.m., followed by a 45-minute club/activity period, and an athletics period from 3:50 to 5:35 p.m
  • Boarding: Seven- and five-day boarding options with a 2:1 resident student-to-faculty ratio; two single-gender dorms
  • Academic Facilities: Six academic buildings, including the Benedum Visual Arts Center, Hillman Center for Performing Arts, plus a library, plus a dining hall and the SSA Farm. The new McIlroy Center for Science and Innovation is under construction and scheduled to open in 2018.
  • Athletic Facilities:
    • Two gymnasiums
    • McKnight Hockey Center
    • Six athletic fields, including Michael J. Farrell Stadium with artificial turf and lights
    • Two fitness facilities
    • Three international-sized squash courts
    • 10 tennis courts
    • Eight-lane all-weather track
  • Classroom Technology: SMART Boards in every classroom, tablets and laptops available to every class, computer lab, robotics lab with 3-D printer, boat and helicopter
  • Athletics: 27 competitive teams in 17 different sports for boys and girls, with a rich championship history.
  • Arts: Numerous music ensembles perform concerts throughout the year; annual theatre productions include fall play, winter musical and spring one-act plays; eight advanced visual arts electives.

College Matriculation

The SSA College Counseling Office and its three full-time college counselors are dedicated to assisting students in finding "best fit" colleges and universities that will nurture their abilities and undiscovered talents, while allowing them to realize their career aspirations.

Class of 2017 By the Numbers

  • 125 graduates attending 72 colleges and universities in 26 states plus D.C.
  • Accepted by 176 colleges and universities
  • 100% of those seeking merit scholarships were offered awards ranging from $2,000 to $50,000+ per year
  • 69% are attending college out of state
  • 1 is attending a U.S. service academy
  • 10% are attending an Ivy League school
  • 11% are attending a US News & World Report Top 10 National University or Liberal Arts College; 62% are attending a Top 50 school
  • 20% are attending a Times Higher Education Top 25 World University
  • 46% are attending a college ranked "most competitive" by Barron's Profile of American Colleges
  • 17% are competing in NCAA collegiate athletics
  • 25 are "lifers" who attended SSA from grades K-12
  • 17% participated in the Senior School boarding program
  • 17% were recognized by the National Merit Scholarship program
  • 42% completed an independent study or senior project
  • 22% participated in an international exchange or off-campus semester program
  • 78% lettered in at least one varsity sport; 41% lettered in two or more
  • 49% participated in the performing arts (theatre production or musical ensemble)

Colleges Attended

Accreditations & Associations


  • Pennsylvania Association of Independent Schools (PAIS)
  • Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools


  • National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS)
  • The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS)
  • Pittsburgh Consortium of Independent Schools (PCIS)
  • National Association of the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
  • Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE)
  • College Board
  • Educational Records Bureau (ERB)
  • Cum Laude Society
  • Pennyslvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA)
  • Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League (WPIAL)
  • Pittsburgh Area Independent School Teachers Association (PAISTA)
  • The Center for Spiritual and Ethical Education (CSEE)
  • Independent Curriculum Group (ICG)
Powered by Finalsite