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Shady Side is three schools yet one Academy. SSA has developed three distinct learning environments unique to the developmental needs of students at the junior, middle and senior levels, but the sum of those efforts is a coherent and comprehensive curriculum across the PK-12 continuum. Among the threads that hold it all together are:

  • Faculty attention to a student's curiosity, progress and need for healthy challenges and mentoring
  • Emphasis on the mastery of essential skills
  • An atmosphere that encourages inquiry, questioning, self-determination and creativity
  • Balance: intellect and action, responsibility for self and for something larger than oneself

Perhaps above all else, at every level, Shady Side Academy teaches students how to learn - how to orient themselves in new settings, discern patterns and relationships and then apply themselves in the pursuit of meaningful achievements.

Junior School Curriculum

The Junior School curriculum focuses on interdisciplinary teaching and learning through play and investigation. Learn more.

Middle School Curriculum

With support from caring faculty, Middle School students are encouraged to take on greater personal responsibility in their learning. This allows them to delve deeper into their individual strengths and abilities. Learn more.

Senior School Curriculum

A renowned college-preparatory curriculum helps Senior School students to further develop and refine critical thinking, writing and analytical skills that distinguish them in the college search. Dedicated college counselors guide students through a process with final results meant to fulfill their ambitions and further prepare them for the future. Learn more.


The mission of the three school libraries reflects the philosophy of the Academy. The school librarian promotes the enjoyment of literature, develops a collection of diverse information and resources, and provides instruction in the use, selection, creation and retrieval of information so that students may fully participate in the school and global community. Learn more.


Academic News

Independent Curriculum Group

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