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Shepherd Of The Desert Lutheran School

Private | PK-8 | 516 students

We are best known for sharing the love of Christ.

 
 

Living in Scottsdale

Situated in a suburban neighborhood. The median home value is $238,000. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $1,070.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
 
Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 8 ratings
2013:
Based on 5 ratings
2012:
Based on 3 ratings
2011:
No new ratings

Teacher quality

Principal leadership

Parent involvement

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37 reviews of this school


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Posted September 22, 2014

As John Bradford said "There but for the grace of God go I." My kids are both graduates of SOTD and I am happy to say that they have both carried the morales and values they were taught at Shepherd into their adult lives. This was one of the main reasons my husband and I chose to enroll and keep our children in a SOTD. We wanted them in an environment that reinforced what we taught them at home. It was not always easy either financially or when dealing with day-to-day "personality differences" but they were given the tools and perspective from a caring and involved staff to make the correct decisions. Not only are they educationally prepared for high school and now college, they'll are also prepared to cope with all people in a tolerant and accepting manner. While we may not all agree or "like" each other, we must all learn to live in the same world. Shepherd's staff is excellent educationally also and goes the extra mile to help students learn proper study habits. So happy we made the decision to send our kids to SOTD. They both plan to continue the tradition when they have kids.....not to soon I hope!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 1, 2014

We are new to Shepherd of the Desert, and so far it has been wonderful! My kids actually enjoy going to school. The teachers have also been a surprise. It often seems like kids are just a number, but both teachers have truly taken an interest in my kids. I had individual meetings with each teacher to discuss my needs and expectations as a parent. I was very pleased with how they listened to my concerns, and gave me the reassurances I needed. Overall I am very happy with the school, and look forward to see how the rest of the school year goes.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 6, 2014

My son graduated from Shepherd of the Desert Lutheran School and was received with love and acceptance after relocating from the Midwest. The school is a close knit community, the teachers are caring and nurturing. The education was far superior over the public schools he had attended prior. The Christian foundation and well rounded education that he gained has been and is a huge blessing in his life. I strongly recommend this school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 19, 2014

This school went from an incredible reputation and education to the absolute opposite in less than 2 years. It's only getting worse from here and now it's not just the good and well behaved students leaving, but the good teachers too. It seems they too cannot handle the disruptive behavior allowed in the classroom. Because of the hitting, kicking, tantrums and other disruptions that are not at all discouraged, the children are unable to learn what their peers are learning at other schools. There isn't enough time to teach when there are so many distractions in class. I feel sorry for the parents who are continuing with the school hoping it will get better because their kids will only fall further and further behind. My kids love their new school and I'm so glad to be rid of this school and it's politics among the teachers, administration, board who lacks any experience, and "mean girls" parents' association. All in the name of God!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 21, 2014

This school is on a very sad situation! They have decided to reward bad behavior in the name of disabilities and the good kids are punished because they cannot learn in the hostile environment that they are subjected to each day. Hitting, kicking, throwing, tantrums and other bad behavior is accepted so long as your child can be labeled as special needs. Nothing is done to stop or correct the behavior because anyone who sees a problem with it is labeled a bad person. I just wonder how much longer the school can survive with this philosophy? Why isn't something being done? If your child is a problem child, this is the perfect school for you. If, on the other hand, you have a good kid, you may want to consider a different school. The teachers and administration are all not only on board with this behavior, but they talk badly about people who want kids to be told it is not okay to be bad.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 7, 2014

We were at SOTD for two years in the upper elementary grades. SOTD is not worth the $$$. The previous reviews about "mean moms" are true. Bad parent behavior is rampant throughout the grades and encouraged by the administration. The small class sizes are no advantage when you factor in that there will be a significant number of children who need special attention from the teacher because of a behavioral or learning disability. The classrooms are wrought with distractions from these children, and the level of academic achievement is just not where it should be for a school charging this much money. Over the two years that we were there, we watched as all the smart, well behaved kids and good parents left the school. We watched in horror as the teacher disclosed to another parent that we complained about the obscene gestures that their child was making toward our child in class. We were ostracized by the other parents and excluded. Finally, we were done with complaining to the cowardly administration and left as well. Worse, we paid good money to be treated poorly!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 21, 2014

We have been with SOTD for almost 3 years now. I love the teachers and staff and feel the curriculum and additional support is key to our son's success. The teachers' truly care about each student and the school is a very "family" friendly community. This is a fabulous school and I would recommend it to anyone.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 15, 2014

We are in the second trimester of our first year at Shepherd, with a child in the five day kindergarten. We really like Shepherd. On a scale of 0 to 10, where ten is the best, we would SOTD a solid 8.5. We like: the approachability of the teachers, the excitement seen in our child wanting to go to school (it definitely was no always this way with a preschool we were at in years past), the community of the school is welcoming. Yes, you need to make an effort, attend and get involved to meet others but that's a normal part of life at any school. The teachers really care about the kids and make learning fun. As far as kids that are severely autistic, I wonder if the person that wrote this has ever seen a severely autistic child? I have to wonder as the situation presented in previous reviews is just not accurate. It sounds to me like fear based statements from someone who does not understand what autism is...and so rather than learning about it, reacts with fear to it. My child is also in this class, and it is not out of control, the kids are not fearful, and the kids are learning! I consider the statements made overly dramatic and misrepresenting the class. Just something to consider
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 18, 2013

I'm saddened by the comments made toward this school and its staff. As a new employee, I was welcomed with love and appreciation and continue to receive nothing less than that. In my opinion our staff goes above and beyond to make sure that everyone is treated fairly and respectfully. The education that the children receive IS on par with their grade level and our students are well prepared as they transition into the next year. Being in this faith based Christian environment is a blessing each and every day. I' m proud to be a member of this loving staff and would highly recommend this school!
—Submitted by a teacher


Posted December 16, 2013

Oh my gosh!!! My kids are working ABOVE grade level compared to when they were in the public school! It was initially a struggle for them to get caught up, but the teachers went above and beyond to help my children, even staying after school! I laughed about the comments made about the principal and assistant principal...the principal is sweet and caring (yes, she smiles a lot and I like that!). The assistant principal is also the middle school English teacher and if by bullying you mean she holds kids accountable, then that's what my husband and I like! My daughter is now in high school and English is a breeze...the principal CARES and that is important. I LOVE THIS SCHOOL!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 11, 2013

We are very happy with the teachers and the education at SotD. Our daughter was in the 5 day kindergarten last year. It was a great experience and she was reading fluently by the end of the year. She now is in 1st grade and reading at a 4th grade level. The math is Singapore math and it is impressive to see how much she is learning. My one reservation is that many of the parents, especially the core PTA group, tend to be unfriendly.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 5, 2013

I love Shepherd of the Desert. We are entering first grade next year and my daughter is really thriving. The class sizes are small with attentive teachers and aides as well as parent volunteers. The community is warm and welcoming and she is getting great academic building blocks.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 16, 2013

I am sad to report that the value of this school has greatly deteriorated over the past 4 years. The lack of leadership, dare I say, character of our leaders, has failed our children and our teachers. We used to be great, now we are mediocre at best. My child received an A+ for Spanish, a class that was taught every two weeks and then once a month in the last trimester. That is unethical. I don't want padded transcripts and half truths; this school is better than that. We have many wonderful teachers who invest in our children but the leadership over the past few years has pushed many of those out the doors. I pray God will intervene and save our school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 13, 2012

Shepherd of the Desert is an Amazing school in so many ways! First the environment is Christ Centered and also focused on teaching our children the importance of helping the community! The teachers are caring and go above and beyond what their job description asks them to do! The environment is loving, the education that my kids are receiving will and is preparing them for High School, and when your child LOVES school, you know you have them in the right spot! We LOVE SOTD and everyone there! It's a family kind of place!!!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 25, 2012

My son and daughter attended SOTD. My daughter was enrolled in the three day kindergarten. We were shocked and not prepared for the hostile nature of the school community. The teacher and some of the more involved parents were unfriendly and bullies. We complained many times to the teacher and principal that our daughter was not welcomed to play with the "popular" group of girls. The teacher encouraged us NOT to discuss this matter with the principal. Why can't we speak with the principal about this important issue? Well, we did and he was receptive and tried to correct the problem. The teacher then decided to participate in the bulling. We were suprised when numerous parents shared with us that they too had reservations about this teacher. Our daughter did not attend the last three weeks of school. Instead of her kindergarten being a memorable year, it was traumatic.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 17, 2012

We have two children who attend SOTD and we absolutely love ir! Great director and the teachers not only know and care for our kids, but promote age appropriate development. Very nice clean facilities too. Highly recommend!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 28, 2010

Our daughter was in the pre-K program this year and did extremely well here! Her teachers were excellent & the "play" while learning was incredible. She is definitely ready for Kindergarten following this program.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 13, 2010

The junior high program has developed over the past two years into a premier academic program that shares the love of Christ. Little behavior issues within the junior high as negative parents and students have been asked to move onto other schools (note the negative May 22, 2009 parent posting ). My son loves the teachers and wonderful variety in programs! Thank you SOTD!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 12, 2009

We have had 2 children at Shepherd of the Desert Lutheran School since 1st grade. It's been a wonderful experience for our family. We couldn't ask for anything more from a school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 5, 2009

We have three kids at SOTD. I thinks it is one of the best kept secrets in Scottsdale. The academics are very strong and the teachers are excellent. There is also a strong feeling of community among the families here. We couldn't be happier.
—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 93% 42%
Black 3% 5%
Hispanic 3% 43%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 5%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 0% 3%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 0%
Two or more races 0% 2%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

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Special education / special needs

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

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Ceramics
  • Painting
  • Photography
Music
  • Band
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Instrumental music lessons
Performing and written arts
  • Creative writing
  • Drama
Media arts
  • Video / Film production
Clubs
  • Student newspaper
  • Yearbook

Language learning

Foreign languages taught
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • French
  • Spanish
School leaders can update this information here.

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School basics

Before school or after school care / program onsite
  • After school
  • Before school
School Leader's name
  • Andy Benscoter
Best ways for parents to contact the school
  • Phone
Gender
  • Coed
Is there an application process?
  • Yes
Affiliation
  • Lutheran church - missouri synod
Fax number
  • (480) 860-4152

Programs

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
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • French
  • Spanish

Resources

Extra learning resources offered
  • Remediation
School facilities
  • Cafeteria
  • Chapel/spiritual reflection center
  • Computer
  • Library
  • Playground
School leaders can update this information here.

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Sports

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

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Ceramics
  • Painting
  • Photography
Music
  • Band
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Instrumental music lessons
Performing arts
  • Creative writing
  • Drama
Media arts
  • Video / Film production

Student clubs

Clubs (distinct from courses)
  • Student newspaper
  • Yearbook
School leaders can update this information here.

School culture

Dress Code
  • Uniforms
School leaders can update this information here.

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9590 East Shea Boulevard
Scottsdale, AZ 85260
Website: Click here
Phone: (480) 860-1188

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