SSA fields 30 highly competitive varsity teams in 17 sports for boys and girls and boasts a rich championship history.


Discipline. Perseverance. Teamwork. Sportsmanship. Winning and losing with grace. Overcoming adversity. Living a healthy lifestyle. These are the important character traits and life lessons that come from participation in athletics. And it's why athletics play an integral role in the educational experience at Shady Side Academy.

Senior and Middle School students participate in both physical education and athletics as part of the curriculum. The Senior School fields 30 highly competitive varsity/prep teams in 17 sports for boys and girls, and boasts a rich championship history. Junior varsity and Middle School teams emphasize skill development and participation.

Country Day and Junior School students have regular PE classes, and optional after-school offerings include athletic lessons, a Girls on the Run program and a coed cross country team for grades 3-5.

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Department Philosophy

PK-12 Health, Phys Ed and Athletics

The Shady Side Academy health, physical education and athletic programs are dedicated to providing a positive and meaningful educational experience for all students.

The health program focuses on the sound development of the physical, mental and social well-being of our students. This philosophical approach to the program helps students attain lifelong health and wellness by focusing on responsible decision-making skills.

The physical education and athletic programs foster the development of cognitive, affective and motor skill development within the framework of human movement. Emphasis is placed on the basic needs of the students with regard to the following areas: teamwork, physical fitness, coordination, instruction in skills related to team and individual sports, competition, sportsmanship, recreational activities, and lifetime carry-over sports. We stress the importance of participation and the value of developing efficient, effective, and creative movement. Through a developmentally appropriate and sequential program of various activities, we strive to meet our students' needs and interests.

The activities, discussions and experiences of the health, physical education and athletic programs can, and must, contribute to the shared goals of education. Through this co-curricular approach our students' self-esteem, cooperative behavior and ability for self-direction is enhanced.

Athletics play an integral role in the educational experience at the Senior School. Students are required to participate in the athletic program at the younger levels, and we encourage students to stay involved in the upper forms by offering a wide range of sport options. We believe the positive character traits developed through athletic participation have a direct correlation to greater individual success after high school. Our goal is to make your child's and your experience with the SSA athletic program educational and enjoyable.