I must say I agree with many points made below concerning the lack of leadership an "unfriendly" attitude of the Principal. We were one of the many families who left GS after 10years. Not a call, a letter, a phone call or email asking us about our experience or opinions on the direction of the school. They could care less and it showed. The administration just this year started kicking out families who had concerns with the administration. Even after the school year started the admin kicked a family out for no real infraction other than disagreement. There are a few great teachers at GS who did truly appreciate our kids Apathy to those who spent countless hours volunteering to help our kids grow academically and athletically was apparent everyday. Trying to move outside the box was met with road blocks. Now that they have resorted to kicking people out of school who have concerns and are unhappy I would reccomend not sending your child here. The mass exodus speaks volumes although with the same Principal, Vice Principal, and hand picked student moms who worked themselves into jobs at the school, that used to be done as volunteer positions, the school will not change.
This is the most un-Catholic Catholic school on the planet. Principal is stubborn and unresponsive to parent concerns...I wonder if she is even Catholic? Schedules a book fair with foods and treats on Ash Wednesday?, Teachers are unaware that confirmation is even happening, gets rid of great math teacher who inspires kids (especially girls) to be good at math, yet hires an ex-pro basketball player to teach technology (oh...and run the athletic program)? Have never even seen the music teacher at Back to school night or conferences...Academics and Catholic values are NOT the priority here....
Of course, 12 families left from 5th grade and over dozens more from other grades - there is no leadership and no willingness to improve. The principle only works four days a week because she had a nervous breakdown a year and half ago. She had to "step back," but then why is she still the principle? Is this who we want leading our school and the future of our children. The vice principle moved to four days too but it doesn't really matter because she is disorganized and unproductive anyway. VP cares more about the social ins and outs than the academics. Why do we have two people in leadership roles who aren't full time? It's not an effective way to run a school. I thought it would get better this year but I was wrong. Communication is horrible, academic concerns are still ignored, teachers have low moral, and the learning environment is negative and not engaging. Most of the teachers do not inspire or encourage the kids because they aren't happy to be there. It's not a healthy learning environment.
It speaks volumes that 12 families left from last years fifth grade and many other families who had been there for many years left as well. We finally left because the negatives outweigh the positives: overcrowded classrooms (elementary and middle sch), a dictator principle that doesn't want to hear feedback, very high teacher turn over, little space for students' self expression (taught to stay in box, not much in arts), judgmental approach with students (except if students' parents have connection within administration) and overall poor leadership by very unfriendly principle and vice principle. We have been there for 7 years and the principle doesn't know my name or my kids. They introduce new programs like Singapore Math and do not train teachers to be able to teach it or hire teachers that know how to teach it. They strongly dislike athletics and student athletes. The only reason there is a decent art room is because of endless efforts and donations from parents. Parent involvement is one of few positives. Sadly, they do not foster a truly Christian atmosphere for ALL kids and their learning given their interests and talents. Leadership definitely needs a change.
Unfortunately this school has gone downhill since the principle started over 6 years ago. She doesn't have any principle experience before this and it shows. She has very poor leadership skills: poor management of curriculum, poor training and management of staff especially on new programs, and no vision to move the school into future and keep good teachers. She rarely interacts with parents and students and when she does it's painfully awkward. My son graduated from here and was not prepared well for high school. We had to hire a math tutor because he was a full grade behind. I was surprised since received all As throughout middle school. He was also far behind his peers in grammar and writing skills. There is very low teacher moral and as a result very high teacher turnover. The principle hires poor teachers with very little experience. Some of the teachers don't even have their teaching certifications. There are some good teachers, but that number is decreasing quickly. The principle and vice principle only work 4 days a week which shows their lack of commitment to the school and its future. Parent involvement is great but a school is only as strong as its leader.
We've been at GS for many years. The Montessori program is wonderful, the teachers have been wonderful & parents so involved. One of my children has a learning difference & the teachers were so accommodating & cooperative in working with her specialized tutor. The sports and extra programs are numerous and such fun.
Our family moved to CO in August from CA and were fortunate enough to be admitted to GS. We reviewed several top schools in Denver-private, public and religious. Immediately we were impressed with the admissions office, admin staff and leadership. The Good Shepherd community, parents, teachers and school welcomed our family with open arms. The teachers are very communicative, supportive and well qualified. Both the elementary and middle school faculty have worked to help develop the "whole child" for both our daughters. Good Shepherd also offers wonderful support in the learning specialist department, technology, counseling, PE and arts/religion. As a new family we could not be more impressed with Good Shepherd and the community. Obviously by some reviews listed not everyone shares my appreciation for the Good Shepherd faculty and administration...luckily for Denver residents you have other options for education which may in fact be a better fit. If you are looking to join a warm, faith based, parent involved, supportive & communicative school --- look no further. Good Shepherd has a long wait list for a reason...it's an outstanding school. E Stribley
We have been at Good Shepherd for 4 years. We have been extremely happy with all the aspects of our family's experience here. There is a strong academic program with amazing teachers, rigorous programs and consistent expectations from grade to grade. We are also extremely impressed at the involvement of the parents at this school and the amazing sense of community we have experienced at Good Shepherd since the first day we walked in.
I sadly agree with several comments below - which seems to boil down to a common thread: principal leadership or lack thereof. Dictatorial approach, deficit based thinking, no flexibility or creativity when it comes to providing students what they really need to engage in learning. Punitive and judgmental approach when students as young as four do not comply. Seem to overreact for unacceptable but age appropriate behaviors. No desire to listen to parent feedback - answers like : "There is always "that kid" and "i am a great educator" happen in the same conversation. Leadership seems more concerned about protecting staff than about ensuring that ALL kids are learning given their interests and talents. Teachers, office and counselor have good intentions, parents are highly involved, yet the sense of community is not there.
I went to Good Shepherd, and wish so much my parents had sent me somewhere else. The children are cliquey, and have a disdain for individuality. The parents are no better. They teach values, but exhibit the opposite. The leadership has zero interest in helping with any concerns the parents and students may have. Overall terrible experience.
Before enrolling at Good Shepherd we had heard such wonderful things about it. After several years at the school, our experience has unfortunately not been what we had expected and we decided to leave this year. The class sizes are very large, especially in the youngest grades. It just seems to be very crowded at the school and we believe our kids will get more individualized attention elsewhere. Socially it seems rather cliquey, and teacher turnover is very high. Thus, the sense of community is greatly lacking. Parents are, however, very involved at the school.
A push by administration to maximize school capacity at 28 kids per class has resulted in what we feel is overcrowding in each small class room and has significantly effected the quality of education that the children are receiving. The level of teacher turnover and the principles lazy approach to recruiting new talented teachers is alarming. Further the principle is not approachable and is very defensive to parent input and feed back. The level of parent involvement is very high which is the saving grace of Good Shepherd. However there is not a great sense of community due to poor leadership and the numerous cliques that exist in the school. Sadly it is not the school it used to be.
Sadly the school has systematically disassembled/undermined its previous sense of community. Unfortunately the principal takes a dictatorial approach, becoming very defensive when approached for discussion.
We have been at Good Shepherd for 10 years and have been very happy with our experience. Our children love their school! We feel very lucky to be a part of such a wonderful community of families, teachers, staff, and administration. I disagree wholeheartedly with the previous reviewer's comments. The administration works very hard to hear the interests and concerns of the school families. Teacher to student ratios are appropriate and I believe lean strongly towards benefitting the student. The teachers do a fantastic job of challenging both gifted children and ones who might need additional help. Thank you, Good Shepherd administration, teachers, and staff!
When our kids started at Good Shepherd several years ago, we could not have been happier. Fr Neal , Ms Nancy, the faculty and the school community could not have been better. However, our opinion of Good Shepherd has changed dramatically over the last 2 years to the extent that I struggle to even give it 3 stars. The administration is detached and aloof. Meanwhile, teacher:student ratios have swung wildly out-of-control and several new learning programs have been instituted without either proper staff training or effective parental communication. The school struggles SIGNIFICANTLY to challenge academically gifted children while, at the same time, leaving children who require extra attention completely to fend for themselves. Worst of all, I no longer feel as though the staff are interested in finding and cultivating the unique , good qualities resident in every student there. We are likely not returning in the fall.
Fantastic school, great Montessori program, talented and caring teachers.
We have one child at Good Shepherd in the traditional program and I cannot say enough good things about it!
We have two children there and could not be happier. THEY couldn't be happier. The only negative I have is that it is not as economically diverse as it was when our kids started there. It definitely feels more like a private Catholic school than it does a diocesan Catholic school. But the school community is incredible. The teachers are completely committed to their kids' success and Fr Neal is a perfect fit.
Both of my daughters attend Good Shepherd. One is in 8th grade and went through the traditional program from Kindergarden on. The other is currently in grade 3 in the Montessori program. I've found the school to be excellent academically and to be relatively free of the chaos that accompanies middle school age kids. Good environment, involved parent community and caring staff.
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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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