photo of Shady Lane students


Our Vision

We envision a world where children are prepared, their families are connected and their educators are valued.

Our Values

  • Fostering Diversity
  • Building Positive Relationships
  • Providing an Atmosphere of Play-Based Learning
  • Learning Through the Arts
  • Enriching the Teaching Professions

Vision on a Paper Placemat

The concept of Shady Lane School began in 1966 with one of its founders, Phil Hallen, scribbling notes on a paper placemat at a local restaurant. Phil’s placemat is proudly framed and displayed in the school’s lobby. His vision: "provide a model inter-racial education program to help children accomplish their growth tasks by efficiently combining the approaches of education, mental health and human development."

Five Decades and Beyond

In the five decades since, Shady Lane has grown and evolved in countless ways. As our many children grew, so too did the school. Some key milestones in Shady Lane's history include:

(1960s/1970s) A Learning Sanctuary in Tumultuous Times

  • First day of classes at Shady Lane School, at Calvary Episcopal Church in Shadyside: September 1966
  • Looking for Me, a film documenting dance and movement therapy programs at Shady Lane, receives the Council on International Events (CINE) award: 1972
  • Symposium titled The Arts for Children: A Creative Process is held as part of Shady Lane's 10th Anniversary: 1976
  • A New Way for Schools: Intergenerational Teaming of Adults in Classrooms for Children, a book documenting the success of Shady Lane's Senior Citizens in Schools program, is published: 1979

(1980's/1990's) Change and Stability: Shady Lane Grows Up

  • Begins offering extended day, full year programming: 1981
  • Move from Calvary Episcopal Church to Wilkins School Community Center, Regent Square: 1983
  • Fred Rogers addresses Shady Lane's 20th Anniversary Conference: 1986
  • Becomes one of the first programs accredited through the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC): 1987
  • Purchase and renovation of former Mine Safety Appliance building at 100 North Braddock Avenue: 1991-1992
  • Hosts Arts Alive!, a conference on arts in early education, as part of its 25th Anniversary celebration: March 1992
  • First day of classes at new building: September 1992
  • Named as one of the Ten Best Preschools in the country by Child Magazine: September 1993
  • Celebrates 30th Anniversary with fundraising event featuring Lily Tomlin: February 1997
  • "Building for the Future" capital campaign launched to fund new addition to Shady Lane's building and establish formal endowment funds: September 1998
  • "Partners for Children", a collaborative organization of Shady Lane parents and staff, established: November 1999

(2000-2010): A New Century: Shaping Futures and Reshaping Shady Lane

  • Establishes Shady Lane Resources to formalize the outreach, professional development and advocacy component of Shady Lane's work: April 2000
  • Establishes Mixed-Age Class (MAC), home for an inclusive two-year program for three- and four-year-olds in collaboration with the Watson Institute: September 2000
  • Hosts Arts in Early Education: A Policy Conference: November 2000
  • Completes and dedicates major building addition, including art studio, reception area and additional administrative offices: August 2001
  • Establishes first Shady Lane website ( October 2001
  • Co-sponsors Leadership for Life, the first of three Leadership Conferences organized by the Alcoa Collaborative for Early Childhood Professional Development: October 2003
  • Founds annual Shady Lane Children's Village, an interactive arts and activity area at the Pittsburgh Home & Garden Show: March 2004
  • Begins offering coursework for the Child Development Associate credential, in collaboration with Point Park University and PAEYC: January 2006
  • Completes expanded playground, including a new Children's Garden, is completed: April 2006 Establishes Riverview/Shady Lane Pre-Kindergarten Scholarship Organization, in collaboration with Riverview Children’s Center in Verona, to benefit families receiving scholarship and subsidy through state business tax credit program: July 2006
  • Opens the Partners Classroom, designed as second mixed-age class: September 2007 Granted renewed accreditation under NAEYC's new accreditation standards and process (good through November 2012): November 2007
  • Holds first annual Art on Ice benefit to support Shady Lane’s scholarship programs: June 2008
  • Establishes position of Family/Child Advocate, providing referrals and support for children, families and educators facing significant family changes; emerging medical, physical and/or behavioral special needs; and other personal, professional or family challenges: July 2008
  • Newly redesigned Shady Lane website wins Interactive Media Award’s “Best in Class 2008” for new sites created for schools: Fall 2008
  • Begins offering multi-session, mastery-level professional development sessions for experienced educators, through contract with Southwest Regional Key: Spring 2010
  • Creates two new classroom spaces to temporarily house the Kindergarten classrooms of the Imagine Environmental Charter School, designed to Shady Lane's specifications for future incorporation into the School: Summer 2010

(2010-Present): 50 years and Beyond: Continuing to Grow and Change

  • Hosts creators of new PBS series, "Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood", to film live-action segments featuring Shady Lane students and serve as filming location: October 2011
  • Board passes ambitious plan for 2012-13 including relocation of classrooms, offices and Professional Development Room and expansion of School programming to include third Toddler classroom: October 2011
  • Moves Professional Development Room and administrative offices into new third-floor suite: January 2012
  • Moves Young Fours and Older Fours Classrooms into new second-floor classrooms: July 2012
  • Establishes new Toddler 1 Classroom in former Older Fours space on ground floor: September 2012
  • Adds new "Little Gym" to complement existing gym on ground floor: September 2012
  • Moves Partners Class to new second floor classroom: August 2013
  • Moves Older Threes Class to first floor classroom, with a new name (Preschool 3): August 2013
  • Opens third preschool classroom (Preschool 1) to mirror Toddler classroom structure and completing expansion plan begun in 2010: September 2013
  • Adds infant and young toddler program for 6 weeks - 2 year old- September 2016
Fill out my online form.
HTML Forms powered by Wufoo.