Mission & Values


Shady Side Academy’s mission is to challenge students to think expansively, act ethically and lead responsibly.


Shady Side Academy is a vibrant learning community that values intellectual curiosity, personal integrity and diverse perspectives. Through a rigorous and balanced curriculum of academics, arts and athletics, our students are challenged to explore their passions and excel beyond expectations. Supported by active alumni and parents, our unique culture of faculty-student mentorship inspires students to become lifelong learners and engaged, thoughtful citizens of their communities.


Guiding Principles

Members of the Shady Side Academy community acknowledge and accept five principles that serve as fundamental points of guidance for all adults and students living and working together in the school community: Honesty, Kindness, Responsibility, Respect and Safety. These principles guide our activities and interactions, helping us to measure not only what we attempt but also the spirit in which we do so. While these principles guide our daily interactions, they point to the larger, more encompassing ideals and behaviors of integrity, thoughtfulness and compassion.

Community Norms

In September 2020, a Community Collaboration Committee comprised of Senior School student leaders developed the following Shady Side Academy Community Norms to promote civil discourse and the tolerance of different perspectives at SSA:


  • Approach conversations and interactions with empathy, and acknowledge that our experiences and backgrounds are diverse and shape our beliefs.


  • Realize that the people around you are willing to help you and that reaching out for support is not a sign of weakness.


  • Listen wholeheartedly with positive intent to learn, understand and gain commonality.
  • Lean into discomfort and suspend judgment of yourself and others.
  • Recognize that ideas are nuanced and complex.


  • Speak from the “I” perspective; express yourself passionately and thoughtfully.


Fide Semper Vincere (Latin: "They conquer always who have faith")