Our children have been at the school for many years starting out in the preschool. I would say that the elementry experience is wonderful. Caring, invested teachers and an emphasis on doing the right thing in a faith based environment. The middle school is another matter. Middle schoolers are treated more like elementry schoolers with similar rules and expectations. There is little room for individualism and the structure is very limiting celebrating the plain vanilla wrapper child. The class sizes are small which is good for the academics but again can be limiting with very little social interaction created for the more mature junior high experience. The middle school was an add on and is still a work in progress. I would say if your child is shy or quiet they will like the experience. Children that are social, creative or push the envelope will feel bored and frustrated.
I have a 4th grader and a 2nd grader at the school and couldn't be happier! This school has such a strong sense of community, not only among the parents and students, but the staff as well. All of the teachers know every student, regardless of grade and go out of their way to help each child. Having previously been at a charter school, I can't say enough about how impressive this school is both academically and socially for my kids. They are really thriving and I've seen their confidence soar in the smaller environment. I also love the uniforms-no hassle getting the kids ready or them worrying that they don't have the 'right' clothes to wear. I would highly recommend this school!
As a speech-language pathologist I service private and charter schools all over the valley and have also worked for a large school district in Arizona. I am convinced that the education my children are receiving is top-notch and national test scores support this. In addition to a high-quality eduation, I feel that SOTD provides a deep sense of community for my entire family. I am so blessed by a loving, Christian atmosphere and great education for my children. All 4 of my children have started in the early childhood program at age 2 and next year will be our 7th year at SOTD. Arizona private school tax credits have helped us tremendously by significantly reducing the cost of tuition.
My daughter has been at Shepherd since Kindergarten. She is currently in the 6th grade. I could not be happier with the education she has received. The teachers are loving and caring of all the students. They challenge all the students to do their best. The current principal is wonderful.
My son is currently in the 3rd grade here and so happy! We have been with the school for three years and with each year I have seen him grow emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. His confidence has blossomed with the loving support that is encouraged from students, teachers, staff, and parents. The smaller class sizes allow for more individualized attention to his school work and he is challenged in all subjects including Religion, Art, Music, Spanish, and Computers. The Saxon Math and Shurley English used here have proven to be superior teaching methods that are supported by documented test-score increases and research studies. They are also the most widely used home school curriculums on the market. Most importantly, the schools overall modeling and guidance to instill in our children to have respect for others, be responsible for their own actions, and be involved with giving back to the community sets it apart from any other school, private or public.
Having taught in the public schools I've seen a lot of teachers. These teachers are top notch! They put so much into their teaching! The new principal is taking a whole new lead and doing great! Extra-curricular activities have really blossomed this year with great coaches and student enthusiasm and participation! It's like a family! Parents are very involved and contribute to the loving atmosphere generated here! Academically my children are shining and there is individual considerations made for those who need extra help! I love it!!
My son finished the 2's class and is in the 3's class this year. He absolutely loves school! It is the best part of his day! The Teacher's and staff are great and parent/teacher communication is great as well. My son comes home from school each day having learned something new. Best of all is the Christ centered curriculum. I understand that the Elementary school has struggled with lack of leadership during the past few years, but the new principal has really turned things around and leading the school in a new direction. I look forward to having all my children attend the Pre-school and day school.
Positives, from our perspective, include the small size and Christian education, however we feel there is much room for improvement in the quality of academics, especially in the middle grades. Lack of strong leadership, including careful attention to curriculum review/development, has been a problem for the past few years. A new principal has just been hired, and there are signs the school will be taking steps to try to better prepare the students for academic success in high school. Many families are hoping for improvements next year, under the direction of a new principal; some have decided not to return in the fall, partly because of newer, more academically rigorous schools opening in the area, there are just so many more options now than there were a few years ago.
Our son is excited to come every day. He loves his teachers, classmates, and activities.
Such a wonderful school! The morals and beliefs they teach these kids are amazing. I couldn't be happier and moe pleased that we have this blessing at our fingertips. Both of our kids are happy and doing great.
Beautiful facility. Wonderful art teachers and after school sports program. Everyone is very friendly. Excellent structure but not too strict.
We just put our son here in the middle school and have found the teachers and administration to be very caring and concerned about each individual child. So far my son is very happy and we feel he is challenged.
Great Christian based elementary school where character, morals and respect matter. Very pleased to have my daughters there...one just graduated 8th grade.
Provides a safe, active learning environment. Students are encouraged to be friendly and helpful.
Best kept secret in Scottsdale! Our daughter loves this school and is excelling in everything.
My son went to shepherd 3's, preshool and kindergarten, when we switched him in first grade to a charter school he had to play catch up because he was so far behind. There is more play time than there is learning. In my opinion if your looking for a place for your kids to come play this is a great scool, but if your looking for a great education this isnt the right scool for you.
Not any parent involvement in the classroom. Not very much learning our second year at the school. The 2's program was great and the 3's program was not as good. There was not much of a curriculum if any at all. Since our child has changed schools his vocabulary has increased and he is developing so much. The 3's program needs some richness added and a stronger curriculum to stimulate the children. On a good note the teachers were very nice and loving.
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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.
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