High School Programs

Summer School (9-12)

High School Summer Campers at Shady Side working for course creditsShady Side Academy offers a variety of Summer School courses for students entering grades 9-12, including for-credit courses in art, mathematics, computer science and science. All capable students are welcome to enroll in for-credit courses, but please be aware that classes are accelerated and involve significant homework assignments. A number of non-credit courses are also offered, including college-prep and interest-driven enrichment courses.

Courses offering a full academic year of credit meet half a day for six weeks, with the exception of science courses. Courses offering one term of academic credit typically meet half a day for two to three weeks. All courses are held on the Senior School campus. Limited busing is available. For-credit courses include lunch.

Please note some courses have prerequisites in order to enroll. For-credit summer courses are condensed and therefore accelerated due to the shortened duration. Students can expect additional work at home each evening. Read course descriptions carefully before registering. Most courses have enrollment limits so that we can provide a quality learning experience for every student. All courses are subject to cancellation if fewer than five students enroll prior to Friday, June 8, 2018.

Notes on For-Credit Courses

Transfer of Credits: Credit for the purpose of making up a failure has been accepted by public and independent schools. Arrangements for credit transfer should be discussed when registering for Summer School. Shady Side Academy does not assume responsibility for credits not transferring.

Absences: To earn credit in for-credit summer courses, students must attend all class sessions. We recognize that from time to time, circumstances arise beyond the control of students or their families, including illness or emergency, that make attendance impossible. The Summer School director may deem an absence approved or unapproved based on available documentation. Unapproved absence from any course may result in no credit earned.

Shady Side Academy Families: Please note only one graduation requirement in any discipline can be earned through summer study. For example, science requires two years of study – only one of the required courses may be taken in the summer. To read the policies regarding summer study, please see the Senior School Course Catalog.

Progress Reports

Progress reports are issued in for-credit courses at the end of the third and sixth weeks of Summer School. The Summer School director receives interim reports on students not performing satisfactorily, in which case parents are notified and action plans formulated.

Meet the Summer School Director

David BarndollarDr. David Barndollar is Shady Side Academy's Summer School Director. He is an experienced educator and school leader deeply committed to the development of students. He serves as the chair of the Senior School's English department and has served in a number of capacities over his career as an educator.

Please contact Dr. Barndollar with any questions.


Digital Photography

June 18-22, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

In this course students will learn to generate and manipulate images for print and online use. Photos will be created on iMacs using the latest version of Adobe Photoshop. Students who work on the yearbook and newspaper will find this course particularly helpful. It also benefits those who want to prepare portfolios. In addition to class projects and critiques, students will work collaboratively on research and skill development. The history of photography with focus on contemporary trends is part of the course curriculum.

Students will use their own digital cameras or phones.

PREREQUISITE: Studio Art 2D Foundations

3D Studio Art Foundation

SOLD OUT! To be added to our waitlist please contact Dr. Barndollar at dbarndollar@shadysideacademy.org.

June 18-22, 9 a.m - 4 p.m.

3D Studio Art Foundation introduces students to the process of creating three-dimensional art projects in a variety of media including, but not limited to, cardboard, foam board, ceramics and metals. Students will be required to sketch their ideas on paper prior to beginning each assignment. While emphasis will be placed on creativity, design, technique and form, each student’s visualization and conceptualization skills will be challenged.


SOLD OUT! To be added to our waitlist please contact Dr. Barndollar at dbarndollar@shadysideacademy.org.

June 11-15, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Architecture is a course that provides the student with the fundamentals of architecture through a range of procedures in drafting and 3D model making. These technical skills are combined with computer applications (Chief Architect on iMac computers) so that the student can build an architectural plan using both technologies.

Emphasis is on the following: history of architecture and styles, contemporary building and design techniques and proper use of tools and materials. The summer course includes a field trip to Fallingwater. The cost of the field trip (travel, admission and lunch) is included in the course fee.

PREREQUISITE: Studio Art 2D Foundation or Studio Art 3D Foundation

Glass & Advanced Glass Fusing

SOLD OUT! To be added to our waitlist please contact Dr. Barndollar at dbarndollar@shadysideacademy.org.

June 11-15, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Students in this class will have the unique opportunity to explore color, texture, design, patterns and form while working with opaque and transparent sheet glass. Glass is a one-credit class that focuses on the process of fusing, slumping and casting glass in an electric kiln. Its aim is to provide opportunities for students to expand their visualization and conceptualization skills while challenging their creative problem-solving abilities.

PREREQUISITE: 3D Studio Art Foundation

Additionally, students who have successfully completed the first-level Glass class are able to enroll in the Advanced Glass class. Both classes (first-level and Advanced Glass) are offered simultaneously and they have different project assignments, which are based on individual skill level at the beginning of the course.

Computer Science

Web Page Design

SOLD OUT! To be added to our waitlist please contact Dr. Barndollar at dbarndollar@shadysideacademy.org.

June 18-29, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.

This course covers the fundamentals of computation from the perspective of web page design. Topics covered include the creation of web pages using the following tools: web page layout and markup language; a scripting language; and simple problem-solving using variables, conditionals and loops. The coursework consists of readings, homework and quizzes, completion of several projects and a final exam.

PREREQUISITE: Problem Solving


Math I

June 18 - July 27, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Math I is a study of core topics in algebra and geometry. Students will complete a packet of problems through which the following key concepts are learned: the distributive property, order of operations, percent, slope, linear and quadratic relationships, perimeter, area, volume, direct variation, uniform motion, exponents, radicals, the Pythagorean Theorem, angle relationships and the distance formula. Shady Side students enrolled in the course will be prepared for Math II, while non-Shady Side students will receive Algebra I credit.


Biology 1

June 25 - July 27, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. (Thursdays from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.)

This is a junior-level course covering ecology, cell structure and function, genetics, development, plant and animal structure and function, respiration, photosynthesis and microbiology.

PREREQUISITE: Physics 1 and Chemistry 1

Chemistry 1

June 25 - July 27, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. (Tuesdays from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.)

This is a sophomore-level course covering the fundamental concepts of modern chemical theory, utilizing the laboratory investigation techniques taught in the Concepts of Physics course. The topics covered include: atomic theory, chemical structure and bonding, molecular geometry, stoichiometry and quantitative analysis, gas laws, acid/base chemistry, kinetics, equilibrium, thermodynamics, oxidation/reduction reactions and basic organic chemistry.

PREREQUISITE: must be rising tenth graders who have completed Physics 1

Physics 1

June 25 - July 27, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. (Wednesdays from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. except July 4; the lab session that week will be Tuesday, July 3)

This fast-paced laboratory-based course focuses on helping students to achieve an understanding of the nature of science and experimental design in the context of physics topics. Topics covered include energy, experimental design, 1-D kinematics, forces and momentum.


College Preparation

College Essay Writing Workshop

Session 1: June 18-22, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Session 2: June 25-29, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Session 3: July 30 - August 3, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Session 4: August 6-10, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.


Each student should expect to produce original, student-generated work of the highest quality – specifically, an activities resume and both a short and a long Common Application essay. This workshop offers a unique combination of one-on-one conferences and guided revision.

SAT/ACT Test Prep

Shady Side Academy partners with the alumni-owned Goldstein Test Prep to bring SAT/ACT prep courses to our Senior School campus.

Learn more about the Goldstein Test Prep program highlights and upcoming programs.

Visit the Goldstein Test Prep website for a full list of courses.

Enrichment Classes - Not for Credit

Robotics and Inventions

June 11-15, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.

In this week-long seminar, students explore some of the essentials of robotics and computer science with microcontrollers. Some of the projects involve how to build LED displays, turn servos and motors, react to light and temperature, and interface with remote controls, joysticks and even smartphones. The seminar begins with an introduction to microcontrollers using the Arduino board. Students will get an overview of electronics and how software transforms ideas into reality.

Camp Internships (9-12)

Counselors in training Shady Side Academy offers several opportunities for high school students interested in working in one of our SSA Summer programs. Becoming a member of our close-knit staff is a wonderful opportunity for responsible, vibrant and outgoing teenagers looking to work with children. We provide ample opportunities for leadership and advancement, while also giving lots of training, feedback and positive reinforcement. Working at camp can be one of the most memorable and instructive jobs you'll ever have; join us to see what the fun is all about! The positions below are highly competitive and we typically reach our cap by June 1.

Grade 9: Leaders-in-Training

Leaders in training Leaders-in-training, or LITs, are rising ninth graders who attend our middle school day camp, Camp Ren, while spending several hours each week volunteering with our elementary-aged Day Camp Discovery children. LITs also receive leadership instruction. All hours are recorded and documented so they can be put towards school requirements, scholarships, awards, etc.

The LIT program is reserved only for campers signed up for Camp Ren. Since LITs volunteer several hours each week, they receive a 5 percent discount on their Camp Ren tuition after registration. Learn more about Camp Ren.

Grade 10: Fellows

Fellowships are opportunities for rising tenth graders to volunteer with SSA Summer programs. Fellows have two options: they can join two counselors in overseeing a group of elementary-aged campers at Day Camp Discovery; or they can join an activity area to act as a teaching assistant. All hours are documented so that they can be used towards National Honor Society, scholarships, etc.

The application process to become a fellow is easy. Simply complete our online employment application, and you will be contacted for a brief interview or phone call. Once accepted, all fellows must complete a Pennsylvania Criminal Background Check, a Pennsylvania Childline Background Check and an FBI Background Check.

Grades 11-12: Junior Counselors

Junior counselors Rising juniors and seniors can apply to become junior counselors for our elementary-aged Day Camp Discovery. Junior counselors are responsible for helping counselors lead co-ed groups of 10-16 campers in lessons/activities, and providing a safe, fun and quality day camp experience for all children. Junior counselors actively lead campers in scheduled programs, oversee activities and assist counselors and specialists.

The application process to become a fellow is easy. Simply complete our online employment application, and you will be contacted for a brief interview or phone call. Once accepted, all junior counselors must complete a Pennsylvania Criminal Background Check, a Pennsylvania Childline Background Check and an FBI Background Check.

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Contact Us

Nate Verbanets

Nathan Verbanets
Director of Programs


"My daughter was ecstatic to learn she was able to attend the East End Explorers camp again. Each day she came home, she poured out the day's events like a faucet. She was extremely happy. It was truly a blessing to know that it was made possible because of your thoughtfulness. Thank you so much for all your assistance. Somehow I don't feel thank you is quite enough."

"Our son has been attending [camp] for the past six years. He has enjoyed every summer attending Discovery Camp and Camp Ren and looks forward to coming back year after year!"

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