Shady Side Academy's Mission in Action
Shady Side Academy's mission is "to challenge students to think expansively, act ethically, and lead responsibly."
Inspired by this mission, Shady Side's driving purpose remains the development of responsible, transformative leaders for the City of Pittsburgh and beyond. This reason for existing was embedded at our inception, as the pioneers of the American steel industry founded a preparatory school designed to ensure next generation leadership for what they envisioned would become the great, enduring industrial city of the 20th century.
As we envision the Academy's next chapter and consider a changing world, we have opportunity to reimagine how we deliver on this mission, creating a unique and valuable education for families and bright, curious students who:
Want Small Classes and Big Opportunities
We are small enough to know, support and care for individual learners, but also large enough to offer a program where all students can find their place to lead and succeed, often on the biggest stage and under the brightest lights.
With the combination of our intimate and highly relational teaching, coaching and advising models, and an overall enrollment nearly twice that of our largest local peer independent school, we pair the closeness typically found in independent schools with the programmatic breadth and the fulsome community scale and spirit of a large public school district.
Seek Real-World Learning and To Become The Leaders of A Connected, Digital Future
We develop leaders at the intersection of technology and the liberal arts. And with all that is happening in our city and region, we have the unique ability to provide our students with the real-world learning experiences that will prepare them to become ethical, humane leaders in an increasingly digital world.
Artificial intelligence, smart robots, augmented reality and other advances suggest the future of our global economy is digital and rapidly changing. Shady Side stands out in its capacity to produce the leaders who will humanize this digital future, lending it an ethical dimension and ensuring it serves to strengthen our communities.
Desire a Balanced, Informed Worldview
We pair Western Pennsylvania's most geographically diverse student body (107 ZIP codes, 13 states, 8 countries) with a brand and balanced curriculum, challenging students who see the world in remarkably different ways to engage in a dialogue that is essential to expansive thought and responsible leadership.
Given the manifold perspectives that make up our community and program, Shady Side has an unparalleled opportunity in our region to help students confront differences and grapple with views and opinions they do not hold themselves. We position our students uniquely to practice civil discourse and develop the humane, constructive relationships that will help our nation and world bridge divides.