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.
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. 
Shade classes begin early in the morning, with Professor Rumpole teaching an 8am history class.
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.
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.
- CFVY (Transferred from Beacon Academy)
- SSSN (Transferred from Haven Academy)
- ABRN (Transferred from Haven Academy)
- Iris Marilla (Transferred from Beacon 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.