We offer a challenging Middle School curriculum with an emphasis on academic rigor, global awareness, responsibility and leadership.

Middle School

MS English ClassShady Side Academy Middle School serves a coed population of approximately 205 students in grades 6-8. Our 35-acre campus is located in the Fox Chapel suburb of Pittsburgh.

The Middle School is a place of transition for young adolescents who are growing at a rapid pace socially, emotionally and intellectually. Our mission is to help students gain greater independence in their academic and overall school life as they prepare for the challenge of high school. Here they begin to make choices, take on more responsibilities and learn to advocate for themselves in a supportive environment that encourages intellectual risk-taking.

Academic Rigor

Our academic program balances inquiry, skill development, critical thinking and subject mastery. Students develop as communicators and as scholars – gaining valuable writing skills and effective study habits, which will prepare them to succeed at subsequent levels of their education. We celebrate innovation, instill confidence and foster leadership. Students learn to reason logically, to use factual information to support their ideas, and to present persuasive and cohesive arguments.

Hands-on projects and experiential learning opportunities permeate the curriculum, ensuring students gain a complete understanding of critical concepts, such as those grasped in three language options – including Chinese – and accelerated math courses.

A Balanced Approach

Life at the Middle School is a balance of academics, arts and athletics. Students uncover hidden talents and pursue their passions as they participate in our required co-curricular program of athletics and activities each term. These opportunities, along with our advisory system, help students think about who they are and who they would like to become.

With caring adults to nurture, guide and motivate them, students become proficient learners and gain an understanding of how to be better citizens in an ever-changing, diverse world. Adherence to our Guiding Principles of respect, honesty, responsibility, safety and kindness grounds everything that we do.

A Day in the Life of the Middle School

MIddle School Photo Tour

8th Grade Catapult Design Project


Equipped with only pencils and rubber bands, eighth graders compete to design and construct the strongest catapult. By following supply and time constraints, students embrace efficiency and creativity in the engineering process.