Administration in the 2010-11 was very old-fashioned. My child was in Pre-K then. Someone new in leadership was coming, but declined a 2nd year. At an awards assembly certificates were handed out by the administration without smiles and with no feeling. Maintenance needed on the gym roof that year. Old/plastic chairs in the gym for a holiday program. A woman sitting in front of me had her chair totally collapse. Next program, rented wooden folding chairs. They send a very polished looking magazine to donors and parents. You'll read about all the expensive events and then you'll think about the basics the school needs. Paid full tuition. Functionally obsolete items should always get noticed. My husband/brothers went here. My uncle's aristocratic cousin and his son went here.The school is still boy centric. Not quite right for our warm and creative child. Thankfully, we have a great public school walking distance. Happy I could review SSA. There is a general feeling in PGH that you can't make unfavorable remarks about any long-standing institutions.
My son's in Pre-K, a program in its third year, I believe. The teachers are extremely nurturing and sensitive to each child's individual needs, personality and age-appropriateness of teaching methodology. The children are submersed in all aspects when learning a topic. Currently, they're learning about the human body (digestive system, respiratory, etc.,). My son thinks he's just singing, reading, drawing and playing. They also emphasize on leadership and self-esteem. However, I think they still have room for improvement in providing more customized teaching for students that are excelling. Overall, the school has been wonderful for building the foundation socially, emotionally and academically to help them excel later.
Don't listen to the other people. This school is amazing I'm in 7th grade and every day when I am with my friends and in class I am having a good time. This school is not to hard but a little challenging I've learned so much from this school.
Shady Side Academy Junior School Art program is excellent! Science, Social studies, writing above average. Math, music, languages, computer just average. Teachers, as with any school, some great and some average. Administration not quite on top of current trends. Basically, Shady Side Academy is overrated. If I would do it over again, I would find a great public school with options for many advanced placement courses. This is something SSA doesn't have. Other schools educate students within a more academically stimulating setting, challenging electives, preparation for AP exams and SAT subject tests, and rigorous classroom experience. In the Senior School, sports and athletics are not an option. Your child will not only be pulled from class to participate in his/her sport, they will still be held accountable for class work they missed in order to compete in the required sport. It's like scheduling math and physics at the same time.
It was okay but not very challenging. Good in reading and writing; really weak in math. The 'everybody's a winner' philosophy gets in the way of allowing children to excel. They should consider grouping students in subjects according to their ability.
Can't say enough good things about the Junior school. We've found all areas of the curriculum to be strong. The reason there are no allowances for gifted students is beacause all classes at Shady Side are considered to be advanced. Take a look at the website, 100% of graduates go on to college. Most go to Ivy League Schools. There is plenty of opportunity for parent involvement and the school holds many fun activites. It is very expensive but there is aid available to those that qualify.
Overall we love the school's environment and the teachers. Having said that, I must say the math program is weak. Also, no allowances (acceleration or gifted instruction from AIU) are made.
I could not ask for a better education for my child. She receives personal attention and every teacher and staff member knows her by name. The teachers encourage the students' interests and expand on those interests and student strengths. My daughter jumps out of bed every morning to go to school - and anticipates her day. SSA is a challenging environmment but not a stressful one.
Excellent school that provides each student with personalized attention, and developmentally appropriate curricula and activities. Parents are very involved and are asked to be involved by teachers, faculty, and staff.
Ok school, comparable to a good public school. Uses Everyday Math which we have found to be a very weak program. Strong in writing and reading.
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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
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