Shady Side Academy strongly believes in providing professional development opportunities to its faculty and administrators. Each year, more than $350,000 is provided to support ongoing training and inspiration to our educators. A significant portion of this funding is made possible through the generous support of the Paul G. Benedum Teaching Endowment. The Scheetz and Faculty Graduate Study endowments also help to fund these programs. Faculty and administrators are encouraged to take advantage of these rewarding programs.
- Application Process
- Request for Stipend/Reimbursement
- Faculty Study Grants
- Summer Curriculum Grants
- Paul G. Benedum Teaching Fellowship
- Sabbatical Leave
- Benedum Conference Fund (Continuing Education Grants)
- Presidential Grants
- Big Idea Grant
Applications for all professional development opportunities should be submitted to Chief Talent Recruitment and Development Officer Armani Davis. Faculty and staff are asked to follow the procedures for submitting applications. Teachers must have school head approval, and administrators must have supervisor approval, prior to the application to ensure that the conference or workshop is beneficial and that adequate classroom/department coverage is available. Faculty and staff must also submit the appropriate request forms with head/supervisor signatures and attachments. Please contact Armani Davis with any questions regarding submissions.
- The Benedum Teaching Fellowships Grants deadline is TBA.
- All other applications will be accepted throughout the year, with a monthly deadline of the first Monday of each month. There will be NO exceptions.
- Applications received by the first of the month will be reviewed at the monthly school heads' meetings. Their meetings vary each month; therefore, the length of time between the first of the month and acceptance/denial of applications will also vary. With this in mind, applicants should plan their submissions with sufficient time for review and processing before funds are needed.
Presidential Grants are approved or denied at the sole discretion of the president and will not be discussed at the monthly meetings. They will, however, follow a similar schedule and submissions should be timed according to the above guidelines.
Download the Professional Development Application & Reimbursement Procedures (PDF)
Request for Stipend/Reimbursement
Please read the updated procedures below for PD Stipend/Reimbursement:
1. Once you have notified by Armani Davis about your approved PD, you will receive a stipend in the approved amount.
2. You are responsible to making your own arrangements for the PD opportunity that you were approved for using the stipend. This includes everything from tuition to travel and meals.
3. After your opportunity, complete the PD Stipend/Reimbursement, attach all original receipts, and submit it to Armani Davis.
A. If you spend more than the allotted amount you will absorb the overage or you will have to check with your School Head or administrator for any funds they can give you.
B. If you don’t spend all of the stipend you will be require to pay the remaining amount to Shady Side Academy.
Faculty Study Grants
These study grants provide tuition reimbursement to teachers and administrators taking graduate courses for certification and/or advanced degrees. They are designed to encourage the Academy's faculty and administrators to continue their professional growth and improve their effectiveness as educators and/or facilitators.
Any member of the Academy faculty or administration, regardless of years of service, is eligible to apply for academic year study grants.
Recipients must attend an accredited college or university taking courses leading to certification or be enrolled in a graduate degree program directly related to the applicant's current or projected responsibilities, or in non-degree courses or special programs (but not workshops) conducted by an accredited college or university and directly related to the applicant's current or projected responsibilities or programs under the aegis of institutions generally recognized for excellence in the field in which the program is offered. The Academy will fund only evening or online graduate courses during the academic year. The maximum amount an applicant may receive in any academic year is $6,000 per academic year. Up to $150 will be allowed for textbooks. Recipients will, upon completion of the grant, submit a written evaluation of the work covered by the grant to their respective school head or supervisor. Teachers will be required to remain an employee at the Academy for one (1) year following the completion of their program or earned degree. If the applicant leaves the Academy before the end of that required year of service they will be required to reimburse tuition monies totaling $4,000, the amount applicants receive for one (1) year of a Faculty Study Grant.
Summer Curriculum Grants
These study grants allow teachers to develop ideas for collaborative curriculum projects during the summer.
Any member of the Academy faculty, regardless of years of service, is eligible to apply for a summer curriculum grant.
Grant proposals are submitted to the president’s office, with a copy to the respective school head. The Academy Curriculum Committee (ACC) reviews all proposals.
Priority will be given to projects that:
- Are substantive
- Are project-based
- Are focused on 21st century learning
- Make connections between and among different schools and disciplines
- Include a substantive degree of vertical and/or horizontal integration
- Further the implementation of technology in the classroom
- Allow for teachers to create new courses or significantly revise existing courses
The grant should not be used for routine improvements and updates to courses, texts, assessments, assignments, etc. and projects that map out assignments and assessments will not be supported. Faculty receive a stipend of $100/day, and project leaders receive a supplemental stipend of $100 if the project will require significant follow-up and/or extensive reporting of a broad-based project among numerous faculty over several days.
Paul G. Benedum Teaching Fellowship
Benedum Teaching Fellowships provide funding for the purpose of strengthening professional development through an experience that will lead to personal growth and enrichment, and to permit faculty members to maintain a sense of intellectual vitality and excitement about their work. These fellowships allow recipients to play an active role in determining the kinds of experiences that will be most useful to them. An impressive array of opportunities exists. The following are simply illustrative:
- A teacher of art could join a summer community
- A teacher of music could receive a residency at Tanglewood
- A teacher of British literature could tour London's literary treasures
- A teacher of history could visit the medieval cathedrals of France
Full-time faculty members with two years of service and part-time faculty members with five years of service are eligible to apply. School heads are also eligible for Benedum Fellowships. The maximum grant amount is $5,000 and re-application is permitted in the sixth year after having received a grant. Faculty with 20+ years of service many apply in the fifth year after having received a grant.
Benedum Teaching Fellowships will be awarded for experiences that occur only when school is not in session or during the school year when a faculty member is on an unpaid leave of absence. Because generous funding for graduate coursework is provided from other programs, Benedum Fellowships will generally not be granted for this purpose. Recipients must return to their teaching duties for at least one full year after receipt of the grant. Upon completion of the fellowship, the recipient will prepare a written report of approximately 1,000 words in length detailing his/her experiences as a Benedum Teaching Fellow. Recipients will also make an oral report to the Benedum Endowment Committee.
The application will be submitted to Armani Davis on or before Monday, Jan. 9, 2023. The president, school heads and the faculty liaison of the Benedum Fellowship Committee will review the applications and prepare preliminary recommendations. The faculty liaison will then consult with the Faculty Advisory Committee for additional perspective. In early February, he/she will submit recommendations to the Benedum Committee. Benedum Fellowships will be awarded by the Board of Trustees before spring vacation. Fellowships are granted on the basis of the strength of the application (with respect to content) and the relationship of the proposal to the immediate and long-range goals of the Academy and the applicant.
As an essential part of a long-range plan to guarantee the continued existence of a strong educational program, the Academy has established sabbatical leaves for its faculty. Full-time teaching faculty, in consultation with their head of school, may elect either a full-year sabbatical at half-pay, or a half-year sabbatical at full pay. Full-year sabbatical leaves will be one academic year in length and faculty will receive half pay and benefits, plus a stipend of $3,500 to defray the cost of travel, study, or other expenses incurred while on leave. Half-year sabbatical leaves will be one semester in length, starting or ending at Winter Break. Faculty members on half-year leave will receive full pay and benefits plus a stipend of $3,500 to defray the cost of travel, study or other expenses incurred while on leave.
Sabbaticals will be awarded on the basis of seniority. There will be up to three sabbatical leaves Academy-wide per year. Faculty members become eligible for a sabbatical after 10 years of full-time teaching at Shady Side Academy. Part-time faculty members will accrue credit toward sabbatical eligibility at a slower rate based on their workload [0-49% of full time earns no credit; 50-74% earns ½ year credit per academic year; 75-99% earns ¾ year per academic year] until they reach the equivalent of 10 years’ service.* When an eligible faculty member has acquired the necessary seniority, he/she will be informed by the president’s office that he/she can choose to take a sabbatical leave in the following year. The faculty member may elect to accept the leave or defer his/her decision until the following year.
In the event that a faculty member who is eligible for a sabbatical leave reaches retirement age before it is his/her turn to take it, he/she will receive in lieu of a sabbatical leave a cash payment equal to the amount given as a stipend. This payment will be in addition to the usual three sabbaticals for that particular year.
*NOTE: A sabbatical offer will not necessarily coincide with the date of eligibility. Sabbaticals will be offered each year to the three most senior faculty members who are eligible (and have not already been awarded a sabbatical.) Others who are eligible will be offered sabbatical only after they reach that level of seniority.
Benedum Conference Fund (Continuing Education Grants)
Shorter-term learning experiences such as conferences, workshops and seminars also provide excellent opportunities for professional development. In order to encourage teachers and staff to attend professional training sessions, a teacher or administrator may receive a continuing education grant from the Benedum Conference Fund to fund such sessions.
All teachers and administrators are eligible regardless of time of service. This program is not limited to certified teachers.
Teachers must have school head approval, and administrators must have supervisor approval, prior to application to ensure that the conference or workshop is beneficial and that adequate classroom/department coverage is available.
Benedum Conference Fund Continuing Education Grant Request Form
These grants are made in order to allow faculty and staff to take advantage of unique professional development opportunities for which funding could not be provided from other programs. In the past, the president has provided funding for overseas study, supported attendance at out-of-state conferences, brought in outside speakers and consultants to deal with specific faculty concerns, etc.
Any teacher or administrator is eligible to request a Presidential Grant, regardless of years of service. Before applying, however, applicants should be certain that they are not eligible for funding from other Academy professional development programs.
Applications are considered on a case-by-case basis. Due to limited funding, all applications may not be approved. The final decision is at the discretion of the president.
Big Idea Grant
Thinking of a big project but a summer curriculum grant won't cover it? Consider applying for a Shady Side Academy Big Idea Grant!
What is the purpose of a Big Idea Grant?
A Big Idea Grant is grounded in the belief that encouraging creativity and leadership amongst teachers is critical to providing an excellent education to students. The purpose of the Big Idea Grant is to enhance student learning and student interest in learning by providing faculty and staff an opportunity to exercise their passion for teaching and develop new ideas. The goal of the Big Idea Grant is to...
- Empower our faculty and staff by creating opportunities for our educators to lead, collaborate and innovate while delivering on our Unique Value Offerings.
- Promote and support innovative programs, curriculum and instruction.
- Cultivate a deep commitment and collaborative approach to our unique value offerings by tying together current and future strategic initiatives and priorities.
What is a Big Idea Grant?
Big Idea Grants are individual proposals for up to $1,200 that will provide Shady Side Academy faculty with funding for projects that support its mission to "Challenge students to think expansively, act ethically and lead responsibly." Idea applications will focus on projects that promote one or more of the following unique points of value offering:
- Small Class Sizes and Big Opportunities
- Real World Learning, Leaders of a Digitally-Connected Future
- Balanced, Informed World View
For example, projects might include project-based assessments, partnerships with community-based organizations, collaborative partnerships between faculty across departments or divisions, interdisciplinary and hands-on learning, etc.
Who is Eligible?
Any member of the Academy faculty or staff, regardless of years of service, is eligible to apply for a Big Idea Grant. Project proposals are to be submitted directly to Armani Davis, chief talent recruitment and development officer by completing the form below. The Academy Curriculum Committee (ACC) reviews all proposals.
What Can I Use the Funding On?
Awarded dollars can be used for materials, software and project participant(s) compensation up to $125 per day. The grand cannot be used for routine improvements and updates to courses, texts, assessments, assignments, etc. and projects that map out assignments and assessments will not be supported.
Apply for a Big Idea Grant