I am so grateful we found this school. They really care about the students. My sons teacher is honestly the best he has ever had. This is our second private school, and I dealt with public school system in St Johns county. I was extremely disappointed in Fl schools until we came here. This is our 4th year, & I couldn't be happier. If your child has special needs, or not, this school is worth looking into. I would highly recommend it to anyone.
My review is what it is: my children's experiences with the school environment. My review is not different than if I reviewed a restaurant or a hotel because it is based on my experiences and is mixed with my personal likes and dislikes. Meaning: what works for me may not work for you and what works for you may not work for me.
The School has 2 campuses, Southside for the 2 year olds through VPKers and Mandarin for the Elementary on up. The Southside Campusis more like a revolving door as most of the students come and go due to contract work or long "vacations". The teachers there are great though. The Mandarin Campus has limited students. If you are looking for a "small school", this is it. If you have a child that is very social, please take the size into consideration. If you have a very shy child, please take the size into consideration.
The Mandarin Campus uses a blended learning style, very similar to public schools and charter schools, in that iReady is used to reinforce what the Teachers are teaching. Computers are used but the students are not in front of them all day long. The teachers do instruct and there is "book work".
The Southside Campus uses direct instruction and hands-on learning techniques.
I have had great experiences at this school with children in preschool and in the upper grades. This is a very loving, caring environment. Students are encouraged to do their best, and teachers challenge them, but are always available to help. The blended learning model prepares students for life beyond school. I highly recommend this school.
The blended learning approach is very effective! I highly recommend it. The classes are of a size that each child gets individual attention. Each child is challenged to reach his/her potential in a loving, caring, faith-based environment. Shepherd of the Woods is indeed a great place to Love to Learn and Learn to Love!
My child attended this school for three years. In that time the staff turned over every year. I can estimate that around 25 adults have come and gone in the three years my child has been there. I finally had to pull her after what amounted to a wasted year this year. The classes are combined into three classes with as many as four grades in one room. The class my child was in had kids four years older than her in it and the topics the older kids discussed bordered on the inappropriate. The teacher was removed during the year. She was in over her head with kids that wouldn't behave and an expectation that was unrealistic. I tried to meet with the Principal but that never happened. She either passed me off to someone else or just cancelled. My guess is that unless you have money you can't see her. I read one of the other comments about the number of people in meetings with parents. The Principal doesn't trust her teachers enough to meet alone with parents, or so I was told by a teacher last year who also left midyear. I'm not even sure how or why she is allowed to be a Principal. According to my child and other parents she yells at students and contradicts teachers in front of their students. This year one of the teachers in my child's class hasn't even graduated college yet and isn't even certified or trained to teach. I guess being the Principal's daughter is training enough. She is also mean to students and regularly insults them. It's sad that a Christian school would have such hateful people running it. I can say that the rest of the teachers really try and want to help. I know that they care. Sadly the administration doesn't. I wish I could name all of the nice teachers my child had, all of whom are gone except one. I only hope I can find a good school for next year, I certainly can't find one worse.
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.