Shady Side Elementary
Shady Side Elementary is a stone’s throw from Parrish Creek, where it empties into the West River. Watermen can be seen bringing their catch into the creek from the front windows of the school building. This rural setting in southern Anne Arundel County is on a peninsula with an abundance of wildlife, including many bird species and woodland animals. One can see geese, osprey, seagulls, and other water fowl. The seagull was selected as Shady Side’s mascot. If you drive down Route 468, better known as Muddy Creek Road, you will pass horse farms and other scenic sites as well as a marina.
In 1971, the school opened its doors to students.Teachers take advantage of the school’s open classroom design by collaborating as they share ideas and successful instructional practices. Each grade level team meets formally at least once a week to review test scores, share ideas, and plan instruction based on the identified needs of each student. Intervention programs are in place for students needing extra support. Students have been successful in all the academic areas, as evidenced by standardized assessment scores and the number of students receiving awards at our Success Assemblies. Shady Side seagulls continue to SOAR to new heights.
Students who need a more challenging program participate in our Talent Development Program. Those identified for this program receive accelerated instruction which includes higher level thinking and problem solving skills in the areas of mathematics and language arts. “Hands on Equations,” a program for teaching algebraic equations, is used in grades three, four, and five.
Shady Side has an extensive volunteer program. Over two hundred parent and community volunteers are signed up to work at the school and help with special programs. Teachers leave work for the daytime “Genies” who arrive and follow teacher directions to complete clerical work or to tutor students. There is a special “Teacher Elves” night held periodically where parents meet in the workroom at 7:00 pm to complete tasks left by teachers. An active and supportive PTA works very hard to enhance the school appearance inside and outside the building.
Our cultural arts team, “CATS”, promotes the arts through collaboration with classroom teachers. Art, music, physical education, and media teachers develop lessons and activities related to language arts themes and science and social studies units. Under the direction of the physical education teacher a group of students performs at the Anne Arundel County’s Dance Festival each year. Band, strings, and chorus programs are presented in the fall and spring. Chorus programs generally follow a theme such as “Lewis and Clark” for the year of their anniversary celebration, and this year’s theme is “Local History.”
Shady Side Elementary is a true community school. Some staff members were at one time students at the school. Community businesses and organizations support the school by making donations and allowing the school to use their facilities. The Shady Side Kiwanis Club, the Moose Lodge, and the Lula G. Scott Community Center are just a few of the organizations that support Shady Side’s community projects such as “The Spring Fling.” Held for the past two years, this event included local crafts, children’s games, good food, and representatives from organizations such as the fire department and the SPCA. The school staff works closely with The Captain Salem Avery House Museum and Discovery Village. In conjunction with personnel from both places, teachers and staff members from Shady Side created a fieldtrip guide, Seasons of a Chesapeake Bay Waterman. The guide contains activities and lessons to prepare students to visit both sites. Some Shady Side teachers are working with The Captain Salem Avery House on a local history project.
Shady Side Elementary is warm and welcoming to anyone who enters the building. All school personnel are friendly and helpful. Teachers are dedicated and have high expectations for all students in all areas, academic as well as social. Parents are partners in the process and support teachers and staff as they work with their children at home. This cooperation and support from parents at Shady Side is essential to the success of our students. It is through this partnership that our Shady Side Seagulls have been able to reach high levels of success and SOAR to great heights. Students, parents, teachers, and staff working together have created a wonderful learning community.