Shade Academy was founded in the Kingdom of Vacuo following the end of the Great War in order to train Huntsmen and Huntresses to slay the Creatures of Grimm. According to Qrow Branwen, it is the only real source of order in the Kingdom due to the lack of a formal government.
The Academy is attacked by The Crown, but the students and staff are able to defend it from being toppled, and incarcerate the criminal organization.
Local students are shown to be resentful towards other kingdoms, only begrudgingly accepting people from Beacon. When Theodore opened Shade Academy to more students from fallen academies, an uproar was caused by current attendees. In addition, they saw students who had transferred as weak. Shade Academy is shown to have much less camaraderie than at Beacon, students do not have much help from others. The idea of praise is seemingly absent and replaced with survival. 
Vacuan students are also shown to be extremely rude towards the students who had transferred from other academies, harassing them without any fear of punishment. They are trained to be able to fight until all their Aura is depleted, showing no mercy or weakness. The students generally have a positive view of their headmaster, cheering for him during assemblies.
Uniquely among the main four Huntsman academies, Shade appears to lack a uniform. At Ozpin's speech, students from Shade are seen wearing a range of casual clothes.
Like the city of Vacuo itself, Shade Academy is packed in a lot—vertically—with classrooms and academic spaces in three tiers, and Headmaster Theodore's office at the apex, which also housed the CCT transmitter. Shade Academy, and Theodore himself, were the center of everything in Vacuo—holding it all together. 
Theodore’s Office is a large space, led by two large doors in the center of the room. The office has various portraits of members of Ozpin's Group and people dear to Theodore, including:
- Ozpin and Theodore shaking hands
- Leonardo Lionheart
- James Ironwood
- Qrow Branwen
- A young girl in a checkered dress, holding a pet dog.
- Various Shade Academy staff
Since Theodore met Team CFVY, the portraits of Lionheart and Ironwood had been taken down, and Ozpin's portrait had a crack on it after Theodore punched a wall in the room, leaving a crater in its wake.
Xanthe Rumpole's office is described as closest thing to a museum in Vacuo, with pictures and document frames mounted on walls, displays with rocks, ancient weapons, models and dioramas, and yet there wasn't a single thing on her desk to hint at her own history. 
In Shade, student desks were arranged in a circle around each teacher's desk, placing students and professors on the same level, and theoretically facilitating discussion.
Shade's campus is surrounded by a low guard wall to distinguish its borders. It is unable to defend against Dust, but can defends against normal gunfire.
A wide open area on the highest level of Shade, where school assemblies are held. The grounds have an artificial oasis evoking Vacuo’s original, tropical nature with dense trees and plant life. 
Dormitories in Shade are notoriously small with little room for students to relax on their own. Each room has a mere 100 square feet to fit an entire team, leaving little space for personal belongings. There is a large Commons for the dorms, which is used as the main meeting spot for the Beacon Brigade.
Shade has a large sandpit arena used to train students. The arena has collapsible pedestals in the ground that are hidden by the sand, which can rise up to deliver primal weapons to students. 
Within Shade's campus, there is a small courtyard with a large fountain at the center.
Shade Academy does not have any lockers, believing that students must carry weapons at all times under the potential threat of danger.
- BRNZ (Deceased excluding Nolan Porfirio)
- CFVY (Transferred from Beacon Academy)
- SSSN (Transferred from Haven Academy)
- ABRN (Transferred from Haven Academy)
- ROSC (Temporary Team)
- SSEA (Temporary Team)
- NOVA (Temporary Team)
- FNDU (Temporary Team)
- BYRN (Temporary Team)
- Iris Marilla (Transferred from Beacon Academy)
- Carmine Esclados
- Bertilak Celadon
- Asher Mora
- Fenix Nemean
- Pyke Rite (Transferred to Haven Academy)
- During the August 21st, 2014 RWBY livestream, Monty Oum forgot the name of Vacuo's Huntsman academy due to being mentally exhausted from the RWBY crunch. To jog his memory, Miles Luna and Kerry Shawcross began miming "shade".
- As seen with Shade and Oscuro, combat schools in Vacuo seem to be named after darkness and shelter from sunlight.
- ↑ RWBY: After the Fall novel
- ↑ RWBY: Before the Dawn Chapter 1
- ↑ RWBY: Before the Dawn Chapter 2
- ↑ RWBY: Before the Dawn Chapter 14
- ↑ RWBY: Before the Dawn Chapter 2
- ↑ RWBY: Before the Dawn Chapter 17
- ↑ RWBY: Before the Dawn Chapter 5
- ↑ RWBY: Before the Dawn Chapter 10
- ↑ RWBY: Before the Dawn Chapter 3
- ↑ RWBY: Before the Dawn Chapter 7
- ↑ RWBY: Before the Dawn Chapter 11
- ↑ RWBY: Before the Dawn Chapter 6
- ↑ Eddy Rivas' Twitter
- ↑ August 21st, 2014 RWBY Livestream