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Shades Mountain Christian School

Private | PK-12 | 325 students


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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
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4 stars

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Based on 6 ratings

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20 reviews of this school

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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 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 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

Posted March 25, 2009

My child is in high school. All of us have been very pleased with the quality of the academics and the high standards and expectations that have been set. While I agree with the lunch choices needing improvement, my child chooses to purchase those things that are nutritious that he likes and subsidizes his meals by bring part of his lunch as well. I can't say that I would ever choose a school by the food they offer anyway. I am most concerned about the academics and chrisitian environment that adequately prepares my child for life.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted June 5, 2008

A really good school with strong dedicated leadership. Low student to teacher ratio. Great academics. Nice sports activities, well behaved articulate kids & a very safe environment
—Submitted by a parent

Posted December 1, 2007

i love the school it pretty awesome. you get to be around your friends 24-7. we also only have four classes a day. we have green days and white days. ech day we have different classes.
—Submitted by a student

Posted August 27, 2007

* Strong academics w/ good follow-up information * Committed and caring faculty * Numerous sports & extracurricular activities * Low student-to-teacher ratio * Christian environment * Students are well-behaved SMCS provides a safe wholesome environment that promotes learning.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted August 8, 2007

I am a parent with 3 children enrolled. We've been at the school for about 5 years. We love it! The administration and staff show a real love for the children. The academics are excellent. And the school provides many athletic opportunities and other types of extracurricular activities. The school has about 480 students in K-12th grades.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted July 25, 2007

My daughter started from K-5 and is now going to 2nd grade. Although the dress code from ist grade was quite a challenge to follow and the cafeteria prices/food choices may not be the best, I love the low teacher:student ratio and the quality of work. One thing that I really really love is the fact that the school takes christianity very seriously, (no sugar coating here). Another thing is my daughter really enjoys going to school at smcs and we plan on her staying for as long as God provides and we are in the area.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted December 8, 2006

My daughter started attending this school last year. I have not been pleased with the quality of teachers there. The dress code is ridiculous and the lunch prices are very high.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted May 27, 2006

SMCS has never and will never be driven by profits. There aren't any profits because this is a non-profit organization. My children have attended this school for 13 years and we have been very pleased with the focus on developing a heart for God and on academic excellence. Admittedly the cafeteria needs some work but what most people don't know is that the school is not responsible for the cafeteria. It is owned and operated by the church. We love SMCS!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted April 16, 2004

I would rate this school very high in the fields of academics. The student-teacher ratio is low and I like the fact that the faculty and students all know each other. I only have 2 problems with the school itself and I have to admit I haven't compared any other private schools and I don't know the Alabama standards for them. My son is in second grade and he attends Physical Education classes 2 days a week. I think all students in Elementary should attend 5 days a week. The lunch program needs alot of improvement. The food that is provided in the cafeteria is not nutrious (Dominoes Pizza, chicken nuggets, potato chips, gatorade, yoo-hoo's) The kids are allowed to even get 2 (or more) desserts if they choose. I can't help but feel that the school is driven by profit at the expense of the kids.
—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

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Special education / special needs

Specialized programs for specific types of special education students
  • Specific learning disabilities

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

School facilities
  • Computer lab

Arts & music

  • Band
  • Choir / Chorus
Performing and written arts
  • Drama

Language learning

Foreign languages taught
  • Spanish
School leaders can update this information here.

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School basics

School start time
  • 8:00 am
School end time
  • 3:00 pm
Before school or after school care / program onsite
  • After school
School Leader's name
  • Brian Willett
  • Coed
  • Christian
Fax number
  • (205) 978-9120


Specific academic themes or areas of focus

Don't understand these terms?
  • Religious
Specialized programs for specific types of special education students
  • Specific learning disabilities
Foreign languages taught
  • Spanish


Transportation options
  • None
School facilities
  • Computer lab
  • Library
School leaders can update this information here.



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


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