Shady Lane has developed and implemented, in partnership with Duquesne University, a school wide social emotional curriculum and tiered approach to behavioral health for all students.
Our holistic program not only includes but celebrates differences in race, socio-economic status, culture, religion, physical and cognitive ability.
We focus on the diverse talents, experiences and methods developed by lead educators and team members.
Direct interaction with the arts is used as an outlet for children to express their imagination and enhance their growth and development.
Children learn the value of living, learning and playing in a relationship with others. This approach supports future learning and growth.
Shady Lane's staff and educators take great pride in creating a school where educators listen, parents participate and children thrive and flourish. Our educational program responds to the individual strengths and developmental needs of each child. In the process, we help your child grow as an individual, in relationship with others and the worlds of materials and ideas.
Throughout the day, our students are exposed to a range of activities that allow them to learn in different modes and make meaningful connections. Children emerge from Shady Lane more giving, confident, independent, curious and able to solve problems and resolve conflict.
Children six weeks to 12 months benefit from a 4:1 ratio, allowing for individualized interactions to best care for each child’s needs. Children’s cultures and families are represented in a variety of ways as we highlight childcare as an extension of the home.
Children 12 to 24 months benefit from a 5:1 ratio, providing a safe environment where children have the freedom to move about and play. Our young toddlers thrive on new experiences and build on previous knowledge to improve coordination, increase communication skills and further develop thinking and reasoning.
Embracing the two-year-old’s new sense of independence, self-awareness, creativity and playfulness, educators in our toddler program focus on physical, sensory, language and social development. Our toddlers enjoy a play-centered environment, with quiet choices and calming periods to pace their day.
Our educators encourage and support three-year-olds in becoming partners in play. At this stage problem solving and conflict resolution skills are introduced. Our preschool classrooms are stimulating learning environments that encourage the development of individual and group ideas.
Four-year-olds experience a daily mix of teacher- and student directed activities including group time with stories and songs, dramatic play, art and writing activities, puzzles and games, as well as active gross-motor play. Our Pre-K curriculum focuses on each child’s growing independence, expanding interest in the environment and their rapidly developing social skills.
Our Mixed Age classrooms allow children to experience a consistent classroom setting and teaching team for two years, being mentored by older children at first, and then having a year as a "leader" during the second. This sets the stage for children to grow within a supportive and loving atmosphere, open to many new and interesting ideas.
Great schools begin with dedicated, generous and positive people.
At Shady Lane, a dedicated team of educators leads each classroom. Our educators fall into one of two categories, signifying their role in the classroom and level of education and/or experience. Lead Educators are senior members of the staff who are both qualified by education/experience and service at Shady Lane to be responsible for their classroom's schedule, curriculum and day-to-day functioning. Educators are important members of the classroom team who serve as co-educators, rather than assistants, and bring their own skills and experience to the classroom.
Professional Development Director
As a charitable nonprofit, Shady Lane is governed by an all-volunteer Board of Directors that includes current and alumni parents and other community members. We recognize and thank our current Board Members here.
Rebecca Plaza Ponte
Executive Director (Non-voting, ex officio)