Walk and Talk

As students arrive in the morning, children in grades 1-5 participate in walk and talk in the gym. During this time, students and teachers walk and socialize together before the day begins. Walk and talk encourages relationship building, communication and exercise. This time greatly benefits students' physical, emotional and neurological development. It is a great way to start the day!



Students begin each Friday with a community assembly in the gym. These weekly assemblies provide time for announcements, birthday celebrations and opportunities for students to share their classroom experiences. The whole school participates in discussions around values and our Community Connections of honesty, kindness, safety, respect and responsibility. A focus on these guiding principles serve as the foundation upon which our community relationships are built.

School Buddies

Our in-school buddy system pairs students from two different grades. Buddy classes typically meet once a week to interact socially, read together, complete projects and enjoy outdoor time. Older students become mentors to younger children and help them feel special and cared for as important members of our community.

Community Buddies

Fourth graders have a special program with the Presbyterian Home in Oakmont, where students “adopt” a grandparent each year and spend time visiting that person, creating projects together and getting to know someone in a different phase of life.

Buddy Families

To ensure new families are supported on their transition to our school community, all incoming families are paired with veteran families. New families meet their buddies at the back to school picnic, and these ambassadors provide support and resources, and help new families navigate their first year at Country Day.

Community Service

Community service is integral to Shady Side Academy's mission, and there are multiple opportunities for Country Day students to help those in need. Some of our annual service projects include book and clothing drives, Backpack for Hunger and Jump Rope for Heart with the American Heart Association.