This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Good Shepherd Catholic School1
Posted January 22, 2015
- a parent
I agree with all the comments made already. This school gets worse by the year - academically & socially. My high schooler went into high school ill-prepared and well behind her peers. She scored two years behind in math and really behind in language arts. We did not know because she had always gotten good grades in middle school. The principle and vice principle ignore concerns. We have another child in middle school that we need to switch schools so we aren't playing catch up in high school again. We have brought up serious concerns of bullying that have also gone ignored. It is the way the principle and vice principle operate and just do not care.
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." Why is she still the principle then? 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, especially now that she shares her office with her friends, who are parents. 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. It's not a healthy learning environment.
We have not had a good experience with this school. Teachers with either little experience or very low moral. Every time we think we are going to get a good teacher the next year, the teacher leaves or asked to leave. We have tried talking to principle and vice principle but it goes nowhere. They always say things are fine or things are getting better and they are neither fine nor getting better. I guess they are in denial or don't want to put in effort to make things better. We have already lost a lot of good students and families and now I know why.
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.
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....
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.