Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Updated April 1, 9:45 a.m.

Shady Side Academy is actively monitoring the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and following public health guidance from the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The health and safety of our students, employees and families are our highest priorities. This page will be updated with information as the situation evolves; please bookmark and check back regularly.

Campus Closure & Distance Learning Extended Through May 3

After careful consideration of the federal government's extension of social distancing guidelines through April 30, as well as recent COVID-19 updates from local and national public health organizations, we have elected to extend our campus closure and distance learning plan through at least Sunday, May 3. Details are as follows:

  • Campus Closure: SSA’s four campuses are closed, including all outdoor athletic facilities, fields and playgrounds, through Sunday, May 3. We hope to reopen our campuses and resume in-person classes on Monday, May 4, but are adopting a "wait-and-see" posture regarding the rest of the school year.
  • Distance Learning: Monday, March 30, will be a virtual in-service day for faculty to finalize preparation for distance learning, which begins Tuesday, March 31. For details, see the SSA Distance Learning Family Guide, available in both online and downloadable PDF formats.
  • Cancellations: All school events, activities, field trips, athletics practices and games, auxiliary programs and facility rentals through Sunday, May 3, are canceled and will not be rescheduled, with the possible exception of prom, which may be rescheduled if we return to school on May 4. See the cancellation list on this page.
  • Facilities: Our facilities team is thoroughly deep cleaning and disinfecting all buildings and facilities across all four campuses during the closure.
  • Employees: Faculty and staff are to work remotely as much as possible during the closure. The only personnel permitted on campus through May 3 are security, facilities and essential staff, and campus residents. If you need to access a building during the closure, call Campus Safety at 412-352-7657.
  • Communication: Families will continue to receive regular email communications during the closure, and updates will continue to be posted on this page and the Distance Learning page.


Families or employees planning any travel should check the CDC COVID-19 Travel Recommendations by Country and U.S. State Department Travel Advisories websites, as well as the CDC Coronavirus and Travel in the United States website. In accordance with CDC and U.S. State Department recommendations and PA Gov. Wolf's statewide stay-at-home order, SSA asks community members to avoid all nonessential travel. If you travel to countries or areas of the U.S. under CDC or State Department health notices or advisories or areas with widespread COVID-19 community transmission, or if you have had contact with someone with COVID-19, please follow CDC recommendations and self-quarantine for 14 days.


  • If you develop symptoms of COVID-19, stay home and call your health care provider immediately. Per SSA's Illness Policy, students, faculty and staff should not come to school if they have a fever of 100˚ F or higher and must be fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication before returning. Residential faculty/staff should report symptoms to the school nurse as soon as possible.
  • If you, your child or a family member is diagnosed with COVID-19, such that it may make participating in distance learning difficult or impossible, please contact your school head. We are committed to working with all SSA families impacted by the disease.


The following actions are the best way to help prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
  • Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care. If you are sick, wear a facemask when you are around other people and before you enter a healthcare provider's office. (You do not need to wear a facemask if you are not sick, unless you are caring for someone who is sick.)
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or use the inside of your elbow. Throw used tissues in the trash. Immediately wash your hands or use hand sanitizer afterward.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. If surfaces are dirty, clean them with detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.


COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. Symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath, and may appear 2-14 days after exposure. The virus is thought to spread between people in close contact (within 6 feet) through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It also may be possible to get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes. Learn more:

Email Updates


All school events, activities, field trips, athletic practices and games, auxiliary programs and facility rentals are canceled through SUNDAY, MAY 3.

  • March 30 - CDS/JS In-Service Day Child Care Programs
  • April 1 - Lunch & Learn With Kerry Hannon '78
  • April 2 - Washington DC Alumni Reception
  • April 2-3 - JS 5th Grade Overnight to Lutherlyn
  • April 3 - SS Spring Dance
  • April 4 - CDS/JS Scavenger Hunt at the MS
  • April 6 - MS Author Visit
  • April 6 - Revisit Day for Accepted SS Boarding Students
  • April 6-9 - Grandparents & Special Friends Days (all campuses)
  • April 9 - SS Senior Class Countdown to Graduation
  • April 9 - JS Kindergarten Art Show
  • April 16 - JS/MS Concert
  • April 17 - MS Dance
  • April 17-18 - SS Band Trip to Philadelphia
  • April 18 - SS Admissions Open House
  • April 18 - PCIS College Fair
  • April 18: Hillman Series: Bindlestiff Family Cirkus
  • April 22 - MS Spring Concert
  • April 23 - JS Admissions Open House
  • April 23 - MS Global Action Day
  • April 23 - CDS 4th Grade Trip to Presbyterian Home
  • April 23 - Spring Downtown Lunch
  • April 23 - JS Spring Authors Night
  • April 24 - CDS Early Childhood/Let's Play
  • April 25 - JS Zumba-thon Fundraiser
  • April 26 - Spring Community Faire
  • April 27 - SS Cum Laude Ceremony
  • April 27 - SS Original Works Theatre festival
  • April 28 - MS Admissions Open House
  • April 30 - All-Academy Band Performance
  • May 1 - CDS Admissions Open House
  • May 1 - CDS 5th Grade Sleepover
  • May 2 - SS Prom (may be rescheduled)


There have been reports around the world of bias against individuals perceived to be from countries where COVID-19 is prevalent. People of Asian descent are not more likely to get COVID-19 than any other American. Learn more here. SSA is an inclusive community, and harassment, bullying or exclusion due to national origin, race, ethnicity or recent travel will not be tolerated. Please contact the school if you feel your child has been the target of any of these behaviors in our community.