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Five-Day Boarding

Welcome to Shady Side Academy’s five-day boarding program where we work to cultivate trust, a sense of community and intellectual spirit. Community develops from having a collective sense of purpose and in Shady Side’s boarding program this purpose can be broadly defined as learning and having fun together. In building trust and intellectual spirit, we hold our students to high expectations, both in their academic and social development. An enthusiastic team of dorm parents and on-campus faculty, who also teach and coach at the Academy, know the students well and develop strong relationships with the boarders. Along with actively supervising the boarders, the residential life faculty offer academic support in their discipline and a listening ear when needed.

Shady Side’s history with boarding began when the school moved to Fox Chapel in 1920. Five-day boarding is truly the best of both worlds. By being campus residents, students also benefit from greater access to school resources: teachers, coaches, the art center, the gym, the rink, and campus events as well. Some families find that eliminating the daily commute not only allows the boarder more time to spend studying and sleeping, it also reduces the frenetic pace of life. Dormers certainly begin to assume some responsibility and independence in a well supervised setting, which helps make a good transition between prep school and college. 

In over 20 years of living and working at a variety of co-ed and single sex boarding schools, I have first-hand experience with many boarding approaches, and I have a unique perspective on how special Shady Side’s five-day boarding program is. It offers an opportunity for students to experience increased independence in a monitored setting for part of the week, while allowing parents the time and space to maintain their regular familial relationships on the weekends in their natural home setting. It is a wonderful experience of growth for our students who chose to participate in the boarding experience.

Come spend some time in our dorms and see for yourself why 5:2 is indeed the perfect ratio.

My best,

Wendy Skinner
Director of Residential Life, Dean of Students

At the end of her freshman year, boarder Rebkah reflects on dorm life for a creative writing assignment in English class.

Res Life Slideshow

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