Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is Good Shepherd accredited?

Good Shepherd works to provide the best education possible, and accreditation is part of that work. We are a full member of the American Montessori Society (AMS) and we are accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS).

How well do Good Shepherd students adjust and perform when they transition
to other schools?

GSMS alumni consistently share with us that they do well both academically and socially. Research studies show Montessori children are well prepared for life after the Montessori classroom. They adapt to new and diverse social situations, and proactively seek out learning
opportunities. Since Good Shepherd students develop a love of learning, they adapt well and can navigate through the challenges this transition can present.

Will Good Shepherd admit students with special needs?

The learning environment at Good Shepherd is designed to help all children reach their full potential at their own pace. We celebrate the differences of each child, and these differences help build a stronger community, one where children learn from one another. Because of the multi-age classrooms, children can work at their own pace without feeling ahead or behind other students. We address “special needs” students on a case-by-case basis.

If you don’t test children, how can you measure their achievements?

We measure achievement, both academically and socially, through observation and demonstration of skills in our integrated learning environment. Our guides assess individual progress and identify areas needing additional support, through daily interaction with the
children.

What is the typical class size?

The typical size of our Primary classroom (ages 3 - 6) is 25 - 30 children and is taught by one guide and two assistants. Our Lower Elementary (Grades 1 - 3) and Upper Elementary (Grades 4 - 6) classrooms typically have 27 - 29 students each and have a guide and assistant in each classroom. Junior High (Grades 7 - 8) typically enrolls 20 - 24 children and is also taught by one guide and an assistant.

Good Shepherd speaks about diversity – how diverse is the student population?

Central to our mission and beliefs, we value socio-economic and racial-ethnic diversity and strive to create a diverse learning community for our students and families. 40% of our students receive some form of financial aid and we strive to have at least one-third of
our student body come from households of poverty. The nature of our school community, like that of South Bend itself, continues to change.

According to Dr. Maria Montessori:

“Diversity is introduced as early as possible in Montessori education. . . . Discussions help children see that the needs of human beings in all places on the earth and in all times in history are the same. . . . This emphasis on common needs helps in the development of brotherhood and sisterhood with all peoples on earth.”