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Welcome to Shady Side Academy Senior School’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 members know the students well and develop strong relationships with the boarders. Along with actively supervising the boarders, the residential life faculty offers academic support in their discipline and a listening ear when needed.

Five-day boarding is truly the best of both worlds. Students live on campus during the week and spend weekends at home with family. By being campus residents, students benefit from greater access to school resources: teachers, coaches, the art center, the gym, the rink, the theater and campus events. Eliminating the daily commute not only gives boarders more time to study and sleep, it also can reduce the frenetic pace of life. Boarders begin to assume more responsibility and independence in a well-supervised setting, which helps prepare them for n smooth transition from high school to college. 

In more than 20 years of living and working at a variety of co-ed and single-sex boarding schools, I have firsthand experience with many boarding approaches, and 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 family relationships on the weekends. It is a wonderful experience of growth for our students who chose to participate in the boarding experience.

I invite you to explore these web pages or watch the video below to learn more about our five-day boarding program. Then, come and 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

Watch the latest Res Life activities:

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