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Senior School

Welcome to the online home of Shady Side Academy Senior School, which serves a coed population of approximately 490 high school students in grades 9-12 who spend their days thinking, debating, creating and learning. Our bucolic 130-acre campus is located in the Fox Chapel suburb of Pittsburgh, about 20 minutes from downtown.

Browse through our course catalog to read about the numerous academic, art and athletic offerings. Check out the Student Voices Blog to hear firsthand what its like to be a student at SSA, or scroll through our slideshows. Visit the Parkin Fellows page and get inspired to serve others and travel the world. While the pictures you see and stories you read will give you an excellent sense of our school, nothing compares to experiencing it firsthand. Our students say “thank you” as they leave their classrooms, hold doors open for each other and greet each other crossing the quad to assembly.

The mutual respect teachers and students have for each other is exemplified in our culture. We believe students have a voice and deserve the opportunity to lead alongside their teachers. Since the 1960s, students have served as full, voting members of the Academic Policy Committee, the Admissions Committee and the Discipline Committee, as well as team captains and student council officers, to name a few. Each faculty member advises a small group of students. Advisors meet weekly with advisees, and you’ll see pairs and small groups of teachers and students walking around the quad, having lunch or vigorously extending classroom discussion. We are a close-knit community, one founded on and living out our five Guiding Principles of honesty, kindness, responsibility, respect and safety.

Our teachers, 63 percent of whom have advanced degrees, facilitate rigorous discussions and inquiry-based learning in classrooms, coach winning athletic teams, train compelling actors and work with artists and future architects. Through our balanced program of academics, arts and athletics, students learn while doing and collaborate with peers and faculty members on a daily basis.

Approximately 10 percent of our students participate in our boarding program. Whether playing Tuesday night football, studying together during study hours or just hanging out in faculty apartments after homework is done, our residential community allows students to be independent and prepare for college while enjoying the benefits of living at home on the weekends.

We invite you to watch our "Day in the Life of the Senior School" video to take a peek into the daily life of our school!


Mrs. Katharine Vavpetic
Head of the Senior School

Shady Side Academy Senior School
423 Fox Chapel Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15238
412-968-3000 phone
412-968-3002 fax

Video: A Day in the Life
of the Senior School

Student Voices Blog

What is it like to be a student at the Senior School? Follow our students throughout the year as they share their insights.

Read the Student Voices Blog

Campus Tour

Senior School News

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