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.
My children attended this school and the kindergarten is horrible! The principal is new and she does not have any background on how to run a school and is completely inept. She thinks smiling is enough, but it's not and her greenness and unprofessionalism comes through with one conversation. The assistant principal is a bully, never smiles and is generally very mean. It's clear why they didn't give her the principal job! The teachers are not teaching as they have too many problem children in class that they ignore and allow to hit other children and throw fits. Nothing is done about these children. It is likely because they are severely autistic and trying to be acclimated into a class where they do not belong. But, when you complain, you will be the problem. One child cannot even speak so he acts out physically and against the other children. How are kids supposed to learn when they are being attacked by other kids and nothing is being done to stop it. Shame on this school! The quality is terrible and I hate to see that happen after all that had been done to build it up. Bad teachers, horrible "principal" if you can call her that, and overall bad leadership. BEWARE!
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.
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.
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!!!
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.
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!
Excellent teachers and a great atmosphere for learning. A focus on Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior is very important for children to establish a firm foundation for life. The academics are second to none. We're so blessed to have our child @ Shepherd of the Desert since pre-K. The experience has been outstanding!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
Our three children attend this school. One is currently in the 3's program and the other two are in the elementary school. We are very pleased with the school and the quality of faith based education they are receiving. The faculty is strong and focused on a carriculum that appropriately challenges the students. The first grade teacher (Mrs Brandt) just received teacher of the year award. The schools overall achievement test scores were way above all national averages and most came out in the 90th percentile in reading and math subjects. There is a new principal who has fantastic goals and is building a strong infrastructure. Key areas of focus are in the technology and continued academic performance. He has already instilled a number of new enrichment programs for this years coursework along with a lot of new extra curricular items. The forecast for the SOTD is very bright!
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.
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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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