My son attended this school in the three's class. The school came highly recommended by a friend whose son started in VPK and is now still in the school in grade three. My experience was horrible. And my friend's is now worse; though she didn't know it till recently. My son was potty trained when he went to this school and his teacher treated him well. But my son came home daily with reports of verbal abuse by the young inexperienced teacher towards his classmates for whom he cared a great deal. I once caught her yelling at a young boy because he was accidentally wet his pants - it was just the start of the school year and he did not seem to speak English well. One day a teacher taped a child's fingers together to force his hands to hold his middle three fingers up; forcing him to make the number three with his hand. That was the last straw for me and my husband. We found a MUCH better school across the street. Remember my friend who recommended? She's just discovered that her child was being passed from grade to grade without merit or discussion. He is supposed to be entering 4th grade and reading at a much lower level. No teacher helped her realize this.
This school is primarily for students with disabilities which is something that is not shared with parents who do not have a child with a disability. Although inclusion is important, the school does not have the resources to maintain an environment that is beneficial to all students. It's impossible for a teacher to be able to give quality attention to the non-disabled students and the disabled students. My child does not have a disability and my child has suffered academically as result. When I set up meetings to talk with my child's teacher, she invited other people but never informed me that other people such as the pastor or the principal would be there. Additionally, when I had questions on how my child was being graded, the teacher would not respond to my inquiries. Further, I caution you to not put your child in this school if your child is NOT disabled. Trust me, your child will be a minority and will be treated as such.
This is our first year at SOTWLS but we are loving it so far! The best part is that the students are taught about Jesus & what God has done for us. Each morning the students meet w/ the pastor & have prayer. They have a chapel class once per week in addition to the prayer held each morning. The daily classwork & homework is great & both of my sons are learning so much already. The student-teacher ratio in my son's Kindergarten class is 8:1, & in my youngest son's classroom for VPK the ratio is 6:1. These ratios are unheard of! The students have plenty of individual instruction. The school uses MAP testing to chart the students progress throughout the year. I love the MAP test objective because it gives a more personalized "map" of where each student is & allows the teacher(s) to focus on each student's level & learning abilities right away & throughout the year. After speaking w/ several teachers I learned that they really like the MAP testing too. Oh wait...another great thing about the school is that they have a parents web page that gives parents access to daily, weekly, monthly & yearly details on each child & on the school itself. It is so easy to see how my boys are doing!
I LOVE LOVE LOVE this school!!!!! It has been a godsend for us. My ASD son was failing miserably in one of the best school districts until a grateful parent referred me to this school. My son is now thriving and gets more than adequate support. The staff is extremely positive beginning with Ms. Speagle. All I hear from them are positive reviews about my son and what they are doing to improve his weaknesses. I've seen my son's self esteem increase and his ability to perform go up as well. He gets extra tutoring after school, which he was denied at his old school. He's never pulled out of class and is given maximum opportunity to learn and interact with his peers. I'm so very grateful to the leadership of this school because they are the ones providing the right direction and very optimistic for my son's future.
I have two boys attending SOTW, one is in Pre-K and one is in first grade. I absolutely love this school. My oldest has ADHD & SID. He had a horrible Kindergarten experience at another school. Through love, attention and encouragement he has been able to work through the negativity left from his experience. He has grown and flourished in his academia, behavior and social aspects. He loves going to school and is excited to go every day. Mrs. Chestang and Dr. Speagle are Godsends. We work together as a team with open communication. The environment is structured with the option for additional resources. The teachers know all of the students and their needs. My youngest enjoys learning and is excited and ready for Kindergarten. Excellent care extends to extended day and summer camp. There is not enough space to explain just how grateful we are to have found such a wonderful institution for our children.
I love this school- my son goes to the prek on Southside and my daughter's in elementary at their Lakeshore location. Caring teachers, small class sizes, and they are SO good about working with learning disabilities! I couldn't be happier.
Shepherd of the Woods Lutheran have the best teachers who care for each student individually on so many levels, and yet they also focus on providing a loving, nurturing environment for all children to excel in all life's situations.