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Shades Mountain Christian School

Private | PK-12 | 325 students

We are known for excellence in Christian education

 

Living in Birmingham

Situated in a suburban neighborhood. The median home value is $201,000. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $970.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
 
Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 10 ratings
2013:
Based on 1 rating
2012:
No new ratings
2011:
Based on 6 ratings

Teacher quality

Principal leadership

Parent involvement

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29 reviews of this school


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Posted November 5, 2014

Great school! We are the parents of two graduates of SMCS who attended school there from K4 through 12th grade. We chose SMCS because we wanted to invest in our children's intellectual and spiritual education. We were not disappointed. SMCS also provided them with the opportunity to participate in multiple sports, band, choir and other activities which contributed to building their character and helping to prepare them for life after high school. SMCS is one of the area's best kept secrets which needs to be shared!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 5, 2014

Both our boys transferred from an excellent school system when they were in the 6th grade. We originally chose to move our oldest son because we felt a smaller school would benefit his personality better. A once timid child blossomed in the smaller environment. The added value of a Christian curriculum was important to us, but it was not the original reason we switched schools. Both our boys excelled academically and socially. Both played football and baseball. But, what is unique about a smaller school, students are not pigeon-holed into just being a scholar, jock or artist. Our boys excelled academically, played sports and participated in SMCS theater. That elective enabled both boys to talk in front of people without fear. Both served as ambassadors for their colleges touring prospective students with their parents. Our oldest son had an excellent job offer in February before he graduated this past May. Our second son made a 32 on his ACT and is maintaining a 3.9 GPA in engineering. Looking back over our sons secondary school years at SMCS, we appreciate the impact the school had in our boys lives. We chose to go a different school path and we are thankful we did!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 31, 2014

One of the best schools in Hoover.... I am proud to have a daughter and son that attended Camp Straight Street and daughter to work on the staff... These are amazing teachers helping young people grow and learn through God... Thanks, Angela Finley ~
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 29, 2014

I cant say enough good things about SMCS. The leadership and faculty is top notch. High level of academics with a Christian foundation. The family atmosphere and support is amazing.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 27, 2014

As a parent of two children, one who graduated and one still attending, investing in there future at Shades Mountain has by far been the best decision I ever made for my children. I see visible evidence of the schools influence on both by children as they grow and learn to deal with others and the various challenges we all face. The school currently shares facilities with the shades mountain independent church, but they are working to either build or buy a facility. The other real benefit is that as a small school, you will know everyone and they know you and your kids. It's much easier to stay involved and know your kids friends in this smaller enviroment.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 14, 2014

Our daughter has been at this school since K-5, she has loved it! We are happy with our choice. This is a private school where GOD is FIRST.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 2, 2014

This has been the best decision we have made for our two sons. The staff is awesome and the education as well. It is great to have God involved in every aspect in the classroom.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 30, 2014

Shades Mountain Christian is indeed a wonderful little gem tucked away in Birmingham! I love that the staff is so pleasant and inviting and that there are always opportunities for the parents to get involved. The curriculum is challenging and Christian based. The thing that initially drew us to the school was the fact that they offer a K3 as well as a K4 program. My daughter has an October birthday, so I was very excited that she wouldn't have to start Kindergarten late, and could be in a real academic setting even at 3 years old. I love the school, the teachers, and administration, and we look forward to many more wonderful years!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 30, 2014

We LOVE Shades Mountain Christian! The teachers are fabulous, the people are friendly, there are many opportunities for involvement, and my child is receiving an education that will prepare him well for college. We believe this atmosphere of unity and quality of education is largely due to strong, caring school leadership, including administration, staff, and teachers. We plan to remain a part of the SMCS family until graduation!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 11, 2014

The best kept secret in Birmingham. SMCS has a highly qualified faculty and administration. We are a small school, but that does not mean we are not significant. There is opportunity for every student to use their God-given talents and abilities.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 2, 2013

The school is extremely dysfunctional. I graduated from Shades Mountain several years ago. The education is substandard and will not prepare your child for college. The quality teachers have left in recent years leaving a void. Facilities need major upgrading. The teachers are paid very poorly and as a result do not show interest in the students.


Posted September 2, 2011

All I can say is that we LOVE SMCS! Our children transferred to SMCS in 2009 from another private christian school. I'll be the first to say that NO school, private or public, is perfect. However, SMCS comes pretty close to perfect in the areas that matter. The administration and staff truly desire for each student to grow closer to God and strive for academic excellence. We have seen our children grow in both of these areas. We are so thankful to each teacher and administrator for going above and beyond to educate, guide and care for our children. Looking forward to many more years at SMCS! God is doing great things at this school!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 20, 2011

After reading all previous reviews, I would like to address a couple of issues that were mentioned. Having been a school parent for two decades, I believe I can objectively speak to some concerns that were raised. For starters...SMCS is a "private" school receiving no funding from any branch of government. There is no such thing as a "subsidized" or "reduced" lunch at SMCS. Therefore, expect to pay higher prices than at a public school cafeteria. The cafeteria staff works hard to provide nutritious choices while at the same time providing appealing choices to the secondary students. Is it a perfect scenario? No, but they do the best they can do within the existing scope. Secondly...bullying exists in all schools because we are an imperfect people living in a fallen world. The administration works diligently to stop bullying as soon as it is made known. Bullying is not a "big" issue at SMCS. Has bullying existed before? Isolated cases sure, because at such a small school, it is much more on the front page than at a large school. SMCS is a Christian school, not a bubble. God allows life issues at SMCS just like at public schools. He's shaping and molding at all times! God reigns!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 20, 2011

My daughter has been a student at SMCS for the past three years. I am a public school teacher and have elected to withdraw my daughter from the public school setting in order to have her educated from the biblical world view. I have said many times that moving her was one of the best parenting decisions my husband and I have ever made. God has truly done a work in my daughter's life. We are EXTREMELY pleased with the academics at SMCS. Class sizes are small and the teachers go above and beyond the call of duty! I am so happy that God placed people in my life that moved us in the direction of SMCS. We love it so much we plan to enroll our second child here next year! God is so good to direct our paths and our family is blessed beyond measure with the path He chose for us at SMCS.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 19, 2011

This is a great time to be part of the Shades Mountain Christian School family! God is doing amazing things in the life of our school, He has positioned us for spiritual and physical growth. Our family joined the SMCS family in 1993 when my nephew started K4 and to date 6 children in our immediate family have attended or are attending SMCS. My husband and I have 2 children at SMCS, a 10th grader and a 6th grader. We are committed to Christian education and count it a privilege to be part of this school family. Check us out at SMCS.org or on Facebook - SMCS Athletics.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 19, 2011

Shades Mountain Christian School is more than I expected in a Christian School. Growing up in a small Alabama town, Christian school was not an option or a consideration. My oldest child started school at SMCS in 1999 and I could not be more pleased. The Christian atmosphere and academics taught from the Christian world view has exceeded my expectations.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 18, 2011

It is a privilege and a blessing for our two children to attend Shades Mountain Christian School. We are in our 5th year at SMCS. The school leadership team and faculty are dedicated to educating children based on a Biblical world view and equipping them for the life that God has called each of them to. They truly do exist to assist us as parents in the greatest calling we will ever have. Classes are on average 15 students and there are so many opportunities for children to get involved and participate. Our family is so grateful and looking forward to many more years at SMCS.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 5, 2010

Our three children attend SMCS and we are very happy! Our son started in the 4th grade and we are very thankful for the welcoming christian environment! The academics are challenging and the sports & band programs have been great for our son. My two younger children are learning so much and are building a strong foundation academically & spiritually! I am so greatful for SMCS ...my three are thriving here!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 23, 2010

Our son attended SMCS 2009-10. They do have a bullying problem there and although the admistration is nice and very helpful, they do not have a very good plan to deal with bullying. Our son was picked on off and on all year. We met with the teacher, principal and head master. We removed him after one year. The MATH and ENGLISH are very advanced and hard. The math teacher was not willing to help our son even though we went to her several times early in the year. Weak PE dept too.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 1, 2010

Our son was in the middle school at SMCS 2008-2009. He also started 2009-2010 there, but after six weeks into the school year we pulled him out. At the first orientation the principal stated that seven students had left the year before due to bullies. That should have been a red flag. The first year there was terrible with bullies, and young inexperienced teachers. We chose this school because we were told that bullies were dealt with. The beginning of the scond year our son was not bullied, but bored with the curriculum. 90 minutes is way too long for classes. We left there and skipped a grade and went to another school. The girls dress as bad as public school students. The boys that are members of the Church and school seem to think they can get away with much disrespect and bullying. Much more but no space.
—Submitted by a parent


Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

We currently do not have any test score information for this school. Unlike public schools, private schools are not always required to report data about their schools or not required to take the same tests as public schools. Many private schools take different standardized tests; however, that information is often made available only to families of enrolled students. We strive to acquire additional private school data whenever available.

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 74% 58%
Black 23% 34%
Hispanic 3% 5%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 1%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 0% 1%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 0%
Two or more races 0% 1%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

College readiness and student pathways

Students typically attend these schools prior to attending this school South Minster Day School
Covenant Classical Day School
Hoover City Schools
Colleges most students attend after graduation University of Alabama
Auburn University
Samford University
Read more about resources at this school
Source: Manually entered by a school official.

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students Art teacher(s)
College counselor(s)
Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
Librarian/media specialist(s)
Music teacher(s)
PE instructor(s)
Priest, pastor, or other religious personnel
School social worker/counselors(s)
Foreign languages spoken by school staff None
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by a school official.

Special education / special needs

Level of special education programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Specialized programs for specific types of special education students
  • Specific learning disabilities

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

School facilities
  • Computer lab
  • Science lab

Arts & music

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
School facilities
  • Art room
  • Music room
Visual arts
  • Design
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
Music
  • Band
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Instrumental music lessons
  • Jazz band
Performing and written arts
  • Creative writing
  • Drama
Clubs
  • Drama club
  • Drum line
  • Marching band
  • Yearbook

Language learning

Foreign languages taught
  • Spanish

Health & athletics

Staff resources available to students
  • Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
  • PE instructor(s)
School facilities
  • Access to sports fields
  • Gym
  • Kitchen

Gifted & talented

Instructional and/or curriculum models used
  • Advanced placement courses
  • Honors track
College preparation / awareness resources offered
  • College prep programs/courses during the year
  • College presentations or information sessions
  • SAT/ACT prep classes
  • School-sponsored trips to college campuses
  • Visiting teachers or lecturers from colleges
Clubs
  • National Honor Society
School leaders can update this information here.

School basics

School start time
  • 8:00 am
School end time
  • 3:00 pm
Before school or after school care / program onsite
  • After school: ends at 6:00 p.m.
School Leader's name
  • Brian Willett
Best ways for parents to contact the school
  • Email
  • Phone
Age at which early childhood or Pre-K program begins
  • 3 years old
Gender
  • Coed
Boarding options
  • Day school
Is there an application process?
  • Yes
Affiliation
  • Christian
Associations
  • SACS/ACSI
Fax number
  • (205) 978-9120

Programs

Instructional and/or curriculum models used

Don't understand these terms?
  • Advanced placement courses
  • College prep
  • Honors track
Specific academic themes or areas of focus

Don't understand these terms?
  • Religious
Bi-lingual or language immersion programs offered

Don't understand these terms?
  • No
Level of special education programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Specialized programs for specific types of special education students
  • Specific learning disabilities
Foreign languages taught
  • Spanish
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • None
Vocational or skills-based training offered
  • None

Resources

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • College counselor(s)
  • Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
  • Librarian/media specialist(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • Priest, pastor, or other religious personnel
  • School social worker/counselors(s)
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • None
Extra learning resources offered
  • Career/college counseling
  • Counseling
  • Mentoring
  • Remediation
  • Tutoring
College preparation / awareness resources offered
  • College prep programs/courses during the year
  • College presentations or information sessions
  • SAT/ACT prep classes
  • School-sponsored trips to college campuses
  • Visiting teachers or lecturers from colleges
Transportation options
  • None
School facilities
  • Access to sports fields
  • Art room
  • Audiovisual aids
  • Auditorium
  • Cafeteria
  • Chapel/spiritual reflection center
  • Computer lab
  • Gym
  • Internet access
  • Kitchen
  • Library
  • Music room
  • Playground
  • Science lab
School leaders can update this information here.

Sports

Boys sports
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Cross country
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Soccer
  • Track
Girls sports
  • Basketball
  • Cheerleading
  • Cross country
  • Golf
  • Softball
  • Volleyball

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Design
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
Music
  • Band
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Instrumental music lessons
  • Jazz band
Performing arts
  • Creative writing
  • Drama
Media arts
  • None

Student clubs

Clubs (distinct from courses)
  • Drama club
  • Drum line
  • Marching band
  • National Honor Society
  • Student council/government
  • Yearbook
School leaders can update this information here.

School culture

Dress Code
  • Dress code
Bullying policy
  • This school has a bullying and/or cyber bullying policy in place.
Parent involvement
  • Attend parent nights
  • Chaperone school trips
  • Coach sports teams or extracurricular activities
  • Join PTO/PTA
  • Organize fundraising events (school auction, bake sales, etc.)
  • Present special topics during curricular units
  • Volunteer in the classroom
School leaders can update this information here.

Apply

 

This school accepts applications on a

rolling basis

 
Apply now
 

What are your chances?


6 out of 10students were accepted for the 2014-2015 school year.


Students accepted for the 2014-2015 school year
80
Applications received for the 2014-2015 school year
125
Students typically come from these schools
South Minster Day School
Covenant Classical Day School
Hoover City Schools

What does it cost?

Tuition range for the 2014-2015 school year
$3000 - $7000
Vouchers accepted
No
Financial aid offered
Yes.
School-based aid

Planning ahead

Students typically attend these schools after graduating
University of Alabama
Auburn University
Samford University
College preparation / awareness offered
College prep programs/courses during the year
College presentations or information sessions
SAT/ACT prep classes
School-sponsored trips to college campuses
Visiting teachers or lecturers from colleges
Notice an inaccuracy? Let us know!

2290 Old Tyler Road
Birmingham, AL 35226
Website: Click here
Phone: (205) 978-6001

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